Blocking Google Duo in Google Play Updates

If you are Samsung Galaxy owner, your phone/tablet will have pushed Google Duo into your apps list will be attempting to ‘update’ Google Duo onto your device. This article discusses how to prevent Google Duo from being installed.

More Info

Google Duo being force installed on a Samsung Galaxy S10The issue originated with Samsung’s stock ROM release for Android 10. After the update, Google Play attempts to push a new install of Google Duo onto the device.

This act will surprise many as its presence in the “updates” list should imply that the app was already installed. You will however observe that the app is not installed on the device, nor in the apps list.

My hypothesis is that Google were not ready with their attempt to join the Covid-party at the time Samsung finalised the ROM. The observation that Google Duo is not installed is correct; the APK (the programĀ  bundle) is not on the device.

To accommodate Google, Samsung injected a psudo-app with the same app ID into the ROM in preparation for Google releasing the final APK. The psudo-app is named “Duo Installer”. The presence of this psudo-app is what is prompting Google Play to attempt to ‘update’ Google Duo – in reality it is attempting to install it in the first place.

The Fix

On your phone/tablet:

  1. Close Google Play
  2. Open Settings
  3. Tap the search icon at the top of settings
  4. Type “Duo” (without the quotes). This will find the elusive Duo Installer App info
  5. Tap on the entry for Duo Installer
  6. Tap the Disable button at the bottom
    Duisable Google Duo screenshot
  7. Restart Google Play and open the updates list. Google Duo will no longer be offered