play store bag

Root users get all the fun. Case in point: there's a debug menu built into the Play Store APK, and only those with access to root can sneak a look at it. This isn't exactly a secret - the debug menu has been there for quite a while - but one of our readers brought an easy method for displaying it to our attention. You'll need root, the flexible Xposed Installer, and the "All Apps In Play Store" Xposed module.

2014-01-24 14.37.54 2014-01-24 14.38.16 2014-01-24 14.38.06

First, install Xposed, grant it root permissions, tap the "Install/Update" button in the Framework section, then install the All Apps In Play Store module from rovo89 and make sure it's active. (This will require a reboot or two. I'll wait. Ready? Let's continue.) Open the Play Store Fixes module in Xposed and select "enable debug menu." Now just open the Google Play Store app and tap the menu button. You should see "debug options" in the drop-down list. If you don't, clear the app's data and cache in the Applications section of the Settings menu and try again.

2014-01-24 15.42.15 2014-01-24 15.42.07 2014-01-24 15.41.42

So what's in there? Honestly, not much that will interest anyone except developers. You can display the size of downloaded images, which is information that's usually transparent, but it might be useful since many apps include screenshots of different sizes for different devices. You can skip caching for downloaded images, clear the Play Store cache, disable personalization, dump the library state, and enable a "fake" rating for testing purposes. There's also a carrier override option, though the Xposed module you used to get this far will open up any carrier-restricted apps anyway. If you want to spoof settings for other carriers, Google+ user Nikolay Elenkov has a simple method for doing so. The various network codes can be found on Wikipedia.

2014-01-24 15.58.16 2014-01-24 16.01.48 2014-01-24 15.57.42

So there you have it. There's nothing in here that will drastically change the user experience of the Play Store. Feel free to check out these options if you're rooted, and if you're not, they probably won't inspire you to root your phone or tablet just to see them.

Thanks, Matthew Biggs!

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • andy_o

    Anyone else with a Nexus 5 and stock 4.4.2 having the play store suddenly close when updating? (No FC popup, just close.) Not happening with N10.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah, happens all the time on all my devices.

      • andy_o

        Hmm, I've only noticed it on my N5 and not the N10, might just be chance, and I only use those 2 devices, so good to know at least it's not just me.

        • Justin W

          Moto X for me... happedn a few times on my Note 3 as well though.

          • SpoorthyVemula

            I'm running the catalysym ROM on my n5 with a bunch of other tweaks and I'm not getting any force closes

    • Nathan Bryant

      Google has been having serious issues with a lot of their applications. The Operating System itself.

      • Brad

        Oh yeah?

        • Cj

          Yeah dude... he just said so :P

    • Serge Cebrian

      i think that that usually happens when the play store updates it self so it closes and updates but it never reopens so you have to reopen..
      at least one time i noticed a new store when it happened

      • andy_o

        No, this happens whenever it's updating apps. Happens very often to me.

        • Timothy Sherman

          It has never happened to me on Nexus 7 2012 or 2013

          • andy_o

            Funny you bring this up now, it still happens after the recent kinda major update on the n5, still not on the n10 though.

    • nxtiak

      Happens all the time to me when I'm updating apps on my Nexus 5.
      I like to read changelogs as it is updating and it would close on me all the time.

  • Daggar

    Would this allow someone to install otherwise region-locked apps like VLC?

    • Matthew Fry

      I think that's what the Xposed All Apps in Play Store module is. If you want a root-less option, get a VPN with servers in the regions you want.

      • blahmoomoo

        The module entry in the repository specifically says:

        "Note that it will NOT allow you to download apps that are not offered in your country."

        Seems that it gets around other restrictions.

        • Android Developer

          i've now tried it out.

          it shows as if you can install apps that were blocked before, but when you click on install, it shows a notification that if failed:

          "the item you were attempting to purchase could not be found"

          i've tried the next apps that i've added to my wishlist, hoping that they will be unblocked in the future.
          those still cannot be installed:

          "motorola gallery", "Rec. (screen recorder)" , "motorola camera", "netflix", "pandora internet radio", "motorola active", "ratchet and clank:BTN", "motorola spotlight", "aereo", "dungeon keeper", "google voice", "google keyboard", "pacific rim kaiju","my galaxy", "os mapfinder", "cubeman",

          apps that now i can somehow install:
          "kitkat launcher+", "chromecast", "champs:battlegrounds".

          tested on SGS3 with Omega rom 54, (stock samsung, Android 4.3 based).

  • ArclightX

    Cool! Thanks!

    Could one ever go back to a non-rooted device once you've experienced the freedom of Root?

    I think not!

  • Paddy

    Harumph! I've been using Xposed for a while for other purposes. I am trying to get this module to work and can't. The steps look right, but no matter what, the debug menu does not show up in Play. I did do the clear of data and cache for both this module and for Xposed. Is anyone else having this problem?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Worked for me. You installed, enabled, and rebooted, I presume?

    • Rich

      I have the same issue, cleared cache/data reboot (many times) - tried reinstalling play store. Yes, I have 'debug' checked in the xposed module - Nothing gets me the debug setting. And this is a very hard module name to google help on!

      • Rich

        alright reinstalled framework & module, now it works. Wondering if I had the module enabled the first time?

      • Prince Shah

        I also have same problem please help

  • http://estebanlopezv.smugmug.com/ Esteban López Vega

    Carrier override? Does that will enable you to install country-restricted apps?

  • Rovno

    What do you mean by "disable personalization" in this context?

  • jeanne

    Sorry to be so uneducated
    with all this but I am trying to download games to my son's android tablet and the downloads keep going to my phone because the tablet keeps coming up "no carrier". What does that mean and how can I change it?

  • Prince Shah

    there is no moduole like all apps in playstore