The content you can access on the Google Play Store is entirely dependent on the location settings in your Play Store account. Many apps, movies and even music are only available in certain regions. So you won’t be able to access them unless your Play Store location is set to the right country.
For example, you might want to download a game that is only available in Japan. Or, you might want to access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK.
The Play Store will update your country and region when your IP address changes. But Google limits this change to just once a year. So, this is not much help if you frequently travel to different countries, or if you regularly want to access apps, music and movies that are only available in other parts of the world.
Luckily, you can use a VPN to change your location and get around those restrictions. So, read on for everything you need to know.
Short guide on how to change Google Play region
- Select your VPN. This will unblock the apps that are geo-locked on the Google Play Store. We recommend NordVPN, as it is fast and reliable.
- Clear your data on the Google Play Store.
- Connect to a server in the region you want to access and change your Play Store location to match that region.
- Download the apps you want to access.
Why do you need a VPN to change countries on Google Play Store?
The Google Play Store places geographic restrictions on its apps and content. The IP address assigned to your device can stop you accessing certain apps on the Play Store.
A VPN will help you get around this issue by assigning you a new IP address in whatever location you want. This will help you bypass geo-restrictions put in place by the Google Play Store and individual app companies, such as:
- Hulu, which is only available in the US and Japan
- BBC iPlayer, which is only available in the UK
- Sky Go, which is only available in Europe
- HBO Go, which is only available in the US
5 step guide to change Google Play country with a VPN
You can use a VPN to change your location on the Google Play Store. Here’s how:
1. Go to Settings
First things first, you will need to clear your history. To do this, you will need to access your device’s settings. This will look different depending on which device you are using. Most users accessing the Google Play Store will probably be using an Android tablet or smartphone.
Once you’re in the settings, you need to select the Apps button. Across different devices, like on Windows or Mac, it may be listed as Applications, All Apps or Apps and Notifications. This will bring up all the apps installed on your device.
2. Clear History of Profile
On the list of installed apps on your phone, scroll down to the Google Play Store, select it and press Force Stop. Then press the Clear Data button. This will clear your cache and data.
Don’t worry, this won’t clear or delete your profiles, and it won’t remove any of your apps. All it does is reset the Play Store, so that the next time you open it up, it will connect to your server’s region.
3. Pick a VPN
Next, you will need to pick a secure and reliable VPN. To bypass the Google Play Store restrictions, you will need a VPN that has a large choice of servers. It’s also a good idea to pick one that has a mobile app that works across different platforms.
We recommend NordVPN because it is reliable, and it can bypass localized restrictions with ease. It’s also fast, has a large selection of servers, and it’s reasonably priced.
ExpressVPN is another excellent choice. It is more expensive, but it delivers an excellent service and it offers 160 locations across over 90 countries. So it is a great option if you want to change to a more obscure location. Or, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, Surfshark VPN gives you the best value for money, with prices starting at just $2.49 a month.
Still not sure which one to pick? Take a look at our guide to the best VPN providers to help you choose.
4. Pick a Server on VPN
Before you open the Play Store back up, you will need to connect to a server in your chosen region or country. On your selected VPN, scroll down the list of server locations. This will be the list of countries that you can connect to. It is important to select a VPN with a vast network of server locations. NordVPN has over 5,000 servers across over 60 countries, while ExpressVPN boasts a network of over 3,000 servers across over 90 countries.
You can search for your chosen country in the app, or you can find the country by scrolling down the list. Click on the country you want, and your VPN will connect you to the fastest server within that region.
5. Refresh the Google Play Store window
Once you have connected to your chosen region’s server, open up the Play Store. You might be able to see straight away that it has worked, as the currency on paid apps might have changed. Although, if you’re connecting to a country that uses the same currency, you will need to start searching for the apps you want from your new region and see if it works.
If it hasn’t worked automatically, you will need to update your location manually. On the menu of the Google Play Store, click Account and select Country and Profiles. It should show you your previous default country and the new country you have connected to with your VPN. Click on the new country and this should switch it over for you.
Did this work for you? Did you encounter any problems? Comment below to share your experience.
How to bypass Google Play payment restrictions
When you click on Country and Profiles, and have chosen your new location, it will prompt you to enter local payment details. This is to confirm your change of location. If you have a localized payment method, all you need to do is enter those payment details and you’ll be ready to go.
If you don’t, you will need to create a new Google account or add additional accounts that are not linked with any other payment methods. Once you have set up your new account, you can switch from your previous account to this new account. Make sure your data and cache are cleared before you re-open the Google Play Store and it should connect to the local store of your chosen server.
There are no limits to the number of accounts you can have. So you can have accounts linked to the UK store, US store, Canadian store, Australian store and more. And you can switch seamlessly between them.
If you then want to buy any apps from the Google Play Store, but you don’t have a local payment method, we recommend buying a Google Play Store voucher and adding it to your account. Then, you will be able to bypass payment restrictions and purchase apps from the Google Play Store without setting up a local payment method.
How do you change regions on Google Play without a credit card?
First, you will need to erase your current account from your device. Go to Settings, click on Accounts and remove your account from your device. Then, connect to a VPN server, go back to the Play Store and click Add Your Account.
How to download unavailable Google Play apps in your country?
The best way to bypass Google Play’s geo-restrictions is with a VPN. Then, choose the server you want, clear your data and cache and go back to the Play Store. Then, return to the app you want, and you should be able to download it.
Is Google Play Store locked in my region?
The Google Play Store locks you to a specific location. So, if you’re in the UK and you use a VPN to connect to a US server to access Hulu, you will need to change your VPN server to access BBC iPlayer or vice versa.