Missing Features (network control and update settings)

(tldr at the bottom)


I have an Issue, I would like to restrict all automatic system updates on my phone. I have found no way of doing so. All solutions I have found state that there should be an option on System->Advanced->System update, yet there is none. I am aware that not updating your system is a bad idea, however not being able to choose is much worse in my opinion because I cannot control when or whether mobile data or wifi is used to download an update.

The same issue is present when trying to restrict network access to apps, including system apps. I wish to optimize my data usage when using a mobile network, however once again there is no option to disable the mobile or wifi access for an app e.g. google services. I am using a workaround with an internal vpn however this does not give me the level of control I am used to from my older phones.

I do not wish to root my phone as it would void my warranty (which is one of the reasons I bought the phone), another reason is to escape the draconian control that my previous phones exercised (e.g. locked bootloader). One of Fairphone’s slogans is “If you can’t open it you don’t own it” but if I can’t use it then I don’t own anything either. I sincerely hope that this is just some error on my part and not a new industry standart to remove features like the headphone jack.

tldr: I cant find a way in the system settings to stop automatic system update or disable network access for apps (including system apps). I wish solve these issues without using workarounds.

Is there a solution for these missing features ?
Many thanks in advance

This below doesn’t do the trick for you? System image updates are done over WiFi as well. To download them over mobile data you have to confirm that you really want that.

As for disabling background data, you can do that per app.

But you can also enable battery saver, or data saver.

Thank you for your reply,

knowing that I need to confirm whether I want to download a system update on mobile data is a big help. Suspending automatic updates in the play store works. However, my problem isn’t disabling app updates, it is not being able to disable SYSTEM updates, and not being able to disable wifi and mobile data entirely and not just in the background on ALL apps, including system apps. One real world example where you want this is when playing a mobile game with ads. I wish to be able to watch a tutorial on one side of the screen on the game while playing the game one the other. I could disable wifi when starting the game in order not to have to watch any ads, but I couldn’t watch the tutorial either then. A third party workaround, like a local vpn, that blocks wifi access for selected apps, is not a solution either, as it cannot block wifi or mobile data access to system apps, like the google services app. So, if the third party fake vpn blocked internet access to the game, it could still request ads from google services and load ads. That is what I want to make sure cannot happen. On previous phones I was able to simply disable Internet access to any app (including system apps) in the Phone’s settings.

Hmm, I haven’t used it yet but shouldn’t NetGuard do exactly what you’re asking for?

Edit: While this probably does the trick you could question yourself why you’re playing a game that needs adverts to finance itself? Is it maybe because someone has invested time and money to create it and maybe you could just spend a few euros to get an add-free version of it? If that doesn’t work for the game but NetGuard helps you then consider spending some money there.


Neither on the FP2 nor the FP3 was any system update installed without my manual confirmation and that was the default, nothing had to be disabled. Is this really different on the FP4?




By the way the practicle side of this means that you can root the phone but can not use the warranty whilst rooted or with an alternate OS.

But by doing a factory reset/reinstalling the default OS then the warranty is valid again.

Can you share some more info about this? Where would this setting be? On which phone? Do you have a screenshot? Can be from an online source as well of course, doesn’t have to be a screenshot you made. Sounds like you want one of those “firewall” apps to block network access of apps. But that’s not part of stock Android.

This doesn’t sound like a stock feature. Updates can be delayed (30 days), but not disabled. They are part of keeping your device stable and secure. An option to disable that would cause more issues than it would solve. Which phone allows you to disable this?

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I’ll gladly share some more info.

My previous phone was the Huawei p9 lite.
In this phone you could go to Mobile Data → Networked apps and disable/enable Network access to most apps (I was mistaken when regarding integral system apps, only Mobile data can be turned off). There roaming data and background data could also be turned on or off with the exception of things such as Android OS. I was of the impression that such a feature would be included in any phone as it a powerful tool for privacy and security.

Regarding automatic system updates I’m not quite sure of the wording of the setting and whether it turned off automatic update or not ,but regardless, I had it turned off and was never forced to update the system at any point in time. Any system update was completely voluntary and needed manual confirmation to start. I do hope that an option to stop forced updates would be added (in stock android), because if someone knows how to turn it off, they know how to turn it back on when something goes wrong. More control over your devices is always welcome in my book.

(I would have loved to add more screenshots, but I’m new, so I can only embed one)

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Are you sure of this ?
When looking up whether rooting would void my warranty It was stated everywhere that It would and I was of the Impression that, once voided, one cannot get the warranty back. Being able to root the device without having permanently voided the warranty would be great as I could simply add/remove desired features myself. When encountering an hardware issue such as a faulty part, simply reinstalling the stock OS and thusly still being able to claim warranty would be a godsend.

Thank you for your suggestion,

sadly this does not work properly, as most stock apps cannot have their network access disabled with NetGuard.

Ps: I do not mind paying or watching ads to support a good game e.g. Deep Loot, but when a game shows nonstop ads to the point that intrudes on the gameplay it just becomes annoying and I’m not going to pay to have them removed.

Thanks for the extra info! That looks like a modded version of Netguard, which was shared here already. I guess that will do what you want:

I think you overestimate users. By adding an option to disable system updates, people likely disable it and forget about it. Leaving them exposed to security risks. Delaying an update for max 30 days is a great middle ground. I agree you as a user should have control over your device. But this one might be giving users too much control to hurt themselves. That’s also why root access is not enabled on devices by default. Most people don’t need it anyway. Lineage allows you to have more control over updates I believe. You could consider installing that. You do have that freedom.

The Legal understanding as defined by Fairphone is:

4.2.12 Damage caused by the installation of a Third Party Operating System. An example of such damage would be if You modify some Android partitions when You flash a Third Party Operating System, which makes it impossible to go back to the official Software version provided by Fairphone;

This doesn’t specifically mention rooting, so installing an OS or rooting has to be shown to cause damage, which in itself is difficult, but bricking is clearly not under warranty. Hence the oft mentioned €30 cost ~ but there is no mention that once the non-warranty software repair/reinstallation that the warranty is subsequentially void.

For example if sometime after rooting you have sound or visual anomalies for that you think are hardware based you would have to re-install FOS to check before asking Fairphone to help under warranty.

  • If the issue is still there it indicates it was not an OS/rooting software issue.
  • Fairphone will ask what OS/version, have you tried Safe Mode, have you tried Factory reset etc.

On receipt of the phone for repair they will look for water damage via the ‘sensors’ if they see none there is no evidence to show the warranty is void.

There is no question as:- if previous to this ‘issue’ you had rooted and then unrooted or used an alternate OS.

As far as anyone can see this is a Fairphone with default OS that is under repair

If you are an advanced user, you will be happy to know that you can unlock the bootloader of your Fairphone 4 to install an alternative operating system such as /e/OS.

Providing guides to change the OS implies that such in itself does not void the warranty, however, sensibly, Fairphone ask that any changes to the OS are reversed before any request for repairs are carried out.

Another useful indication is from Murena forum

Rooting does not void the hardware warranty on Murena phones. We do not recommend rooting as it is not required to install /e/OS. In some cases, it causes unexpected application bugs.
Does rooting my Murena Fairphone 4 void my warranty? - Fairphone - /e/ community

Then there is

Given I only have an FP3 with 2 years warranty I won’t root or install an alternate OS until after that as I don’t want the embarrassment and hassle of reinstalling etc.and communicating all that with Fairphone.

The simple answer you really want can only be obtained direct from Fairphone.

All the best.

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You might consider to use a custom ROM like /e/OS (maybe other custom ROMs, too - have a look at the #oslist) where all these options are possible.

I spoke with Fairphone support regarding rooting and warranty. Their stance is:

  • If you are rooted/custom ROM’d, the hardware warranty is still intact
  • While you are rooted/have a custom ROM running, you won’t have software warranty (meaning, they will not be held responsible for someone else’s software)
  • If you or they are able to reset the software to stock, software warranty is back.

Only exception: Your software causes hardware damage. Then you are on your own.

I find these terms really reasonable and much fairer than anything I’ve seen anywhere else.

I totally understand why they don’t do warranty for someone else’s software.

Btw, if you are rooted, you won’t have automatic updates anymore, since you will need to unroot, OTA update and reroot for every update (which is rather easy).

For restricting network access, I can also strongly recommend Netguard. I’ve used many firewalls on Android and none comes close to Netguard. If you don’t get it from Play Store but instead from F-Droid or Github, it can even filter ads systemwide. So you can still give games or apps access to the internet and just filter out ads.


And this is the only problem. If FOS can be re-installed then it’s difficult if you find a fault which turns out to be hardware as there is no way of a user truly knowing if it was caused by software.

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