We uploaded an Android app to the Play Store as a staged rollout to 5% of the market. (Unsure how Google defines market here, but that’s another question.) We’ve decided to remove the app and restore the previously published app. However, this seems impossible to do. When I switch to advanced mode on the developer console a “Deactivate” button appears under Actions in the version’s line. Clicking on Deactivate results in a red box displaying “This configuration cannot be published for the following reasons: It is forbidden to downgrade devices which previously matched…”. Nevertheless, the staged rollout version gets replaced by the previous production version, which is exactly what we want. However, whenever I try to navigate off the page, I get “You have archived or re-activated one or more APKs. Do you want to leave without saving?” There’s no save button anywhere on the page so leaving the page results in the staged rollout version NOT getting deactivated! How can we deactivate a staged rollout?
Thanks for reading.
Once you hit publish (whether staged rollout or not), you cannot downgrade to a prior version – only upgrades (i.e., from lower version code to higher version code) are allowed.
You can publish the old version of your application with an updated version code that is higher than the build you pushed via staged rollout – that will replace everyone’s version with the old version (whether they were part of the staged rollout or not).
I’d strongly suggest looking into Alpha/Beta testing with a larger set of users to catch issues that might require you to rollback to a previous production version. Alpha/Beta testing also allows you to publish those versions only to a specific set of people (and update them separately from your production build), allowing to you quickly fix issues as they come up before they affect your entire production population.
That is incorrect.
You should press ADVANCED MODE in the console top right corner.
Once you hit that, the unpublish buttons and move back to production buttons both work.