How to access the US Google Play Android app market from outside the US


If you’ve ever found that an app you were interested in was only available in the US or some other countries but not your own, or if you’re disappointed with the tired ‘local’ apps that are forced on you every time you open Google Play, then read on; this post will show you how to access and install apps from the US market from anywhere in the world.

Those of you who have hoped to access the US market by connecting to the internet via a US VPN will have been disappointed to find that it did not work. The reason? Google Play apparently gets your geographic location information from your SIM card, or Google Play has cache data about your location. The solution? Switch your phone to ‘Airplane Mode’, which makes the SIM card inaccessible to the phone, then manually switch on WIFI. You then need to get internet access via VPN to obtain a virtual ‘US’ internet connection.

Here are step by step instructions:

1. Switch Airplane mode ON then, then switch WIFI back ON

You can toggle flight mode by long pressing the power button and selecting ‘airplane mode’ (see left screenshot). This will automatically switch of your WIFI, which you need to switch back on. You can do this from the Android notification area (see right screenshot) or you can get to it from the settings. Just tap the WIFI icon on the top left and it will light up again.


2. Next, install a VPN app that can provide a US internet connection.

We recommend: Tunnelbear. Works beautifully, but provides only 1GB of bandwidth in the free version, which should be more than enough for this sort of thing. You can double that to 2 GB by mentioning the app in a tweet.

Once you install the app and create an account, run the app from your Android, select ‘US’, and turn the VPN on.



Update: you could also use the Android version of  Hola VPN. It’s a public proxy with unlimited bandwidth. It works slightly differently from Tunnelbear (you can read more about this in our review linked to above; scroll down for the android version).

3. You now have to delete any app data or cache data that the Google Play App may have had.

Go to Settings > Application Manager> All, then select Google Play. Next, select ‘Force stop’ then ‘Clear Data’ then ‘Clear Cache’ (see screenshot below). You may need to wait for a few seconds after each one; if the buttons turn grey and un-pressable, wait until they revert back. (Note: clearing data will in fact automatically clear cache).

Google Play App Settings

4. Now Start Google Play as usual. That’s it. Enjoy the US market.



5. If the app you seek still does not show in the Google Play App, search for it in the browser.

Open any browser on your device and search for appname google play. When it does appear you can click install and it will install.

Thanks go to to Alaa K for the method and screenshots.

Thoughts, comments? Please share them below.