[Update: Available again] Huawei devices can no longer download VLC from Play Store because of EMUI’s aggressive background restrictions

[Update: Available again] Huawei devices can no longer download VLC from Play Store because of EMUI’s aggressive background restrictions

Update 4/15/19: Users are reporting that they can install VLC once again on Huawei devices, including the Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei P30, and Huawei Mate 20 (via AndroidPolice). The dev team confirmed on Twitter that it has been available for months. Sadly, Huawei has not changed EMUI‘s aggressive background management in the slightest.

Huawei’s reputation with developers is going from bad to worse thanks to VLC player. Because of EMUI’s aggressive background restrictions, VLC would randomly stop playing audio when in the background. As a result, the developers have blacklisted numerous Huawei devices from installing it from the Google Play Store. This is thanks to the application receiving many 1-star reviews from device owners who did not know it was caused by their phone. You can still sideload the APK from their website just fine, however. You just can’t see it on the Google Play Store.


While it is technically possible to disable these battery optimizations that cause the issue, many don’t know how. Currently, the Huawei P8, Huawei P10, and Huawei P20 are all blocked from viewing it on the Google Play Store. Honor phones are currently not affected by this blacklisting. Those who already have the application won’t notice that it’s gone, as they’ll still have it. While this may be perceived as a move against users, the developers don’t really have any other choice.

It’s unsurprising though, given how aggressive OEMs can get with background restrictions. Admittedly, they shouldn’t be shutting down applications that are used for music. The system should know the difference between an app playing music and an app just running in the background for the sake of it. We don’t know if the developers behind VLC tried to contact Huawei or not. A cursory glance at the Google Play Store reviews for the application suggests that a decent number of users are facing the problem. You can check out the application below if you have a supported device, or download the APK from VLC. Be sure to disable the battery optimisations for the application, though.

VLC for Android
Developer: Videolabs
Price: Free

About author

Adam Conway
Adam Conway

I'm the senior technical editor at XDA-Developers. I have a BSc in Computer Science from University College Dublin, and I'm a lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter-Strike. You can contact me at [email protected] My Twitter is @AdamConwayIE and my Instagram is adamc.99.

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