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Google Play Store not working? Here's what you can do

Authored by: Loie Favre — 1 month ago

We've all experienced a Google Play Store problem at some point. Whether the problem is an error message when downloading apps, or the Play Store simply won't open, we have the solutions. Here's what you can do when the Google Play Store doesn't work for you.

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If the Google Play Store is giving you problems, there are few things you can try. / © ANDROIDPIT

If you haven't already, we recommend taking a look at our article that explains what the various Play Store error messages mean. Then, try our tips below. Errors are often painful evidence that the Google Play store is still a work in progress.

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Loie Favre
Errors are often painful evidence that the Google Play store is still a work in progress.
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1. Clear the Google Play Store cache

In most cases, you can get the Play Store going again by just emptying the cache. The cache is a storage area that temporarily holds data so it can be quickly retrieved without needing to be reloaded. To empty the cache:

  • Go to Settings > Apps. Tap All > Google Play Store then finally tap the Clear cache button.
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Clearing your cache could fix the problem you've been having. / © ANDROIDPIT

2. Clear out your Play Store data 

Deleting your data from the Play Store is similar to our first tip but more drastic. It sets the app back to square one and gets rid of your saved information, hopefully including whatever glitchy data was causing the problem.

  • As with the previous tip, go to Settings > Apps > Google Play Store, but this time tap Clear data.
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While drastic, clearing your data might get your Google Play working again. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Uninstall Play Store updates

Sometimes an update to your Play Store app will do more harm than good. So if the error happens after an update, it makes sense to uninstall that update.

  • Go to Settings > Apps > Google Play Store, then tap the button that says Uninstall updates.This will revert Google Play back to the original version (as it appeared when it was first installed on your device),
  • Next, you'll need to find an older – but still recent – version of the Play Store app to download. The best way to do this is by going to the Google Play Store page on APK Mirror and download it from there.
  • If you need help installing the Play Store APK, we have a guide on how to do it at the link.
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You can find previous Play Store versions at APK Mirror. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Clear data and cache on Google Play Services

If Google Play Store is the heart of your Android device, then Google Play Services is its soul. Play Services is the mysterious background process that allows apps to communicate with different parts of your device, enabling them to sync, send push notifications and so on.

It is possible that Play Store problems could stem from issues with Google Play Services. To solve them: 

  • Go to Settings > Apps > All > Google Play services then tap the Clear cache button. If that fails to solve the problem, come back to this page and tap the Clear data button.
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Go to the Google Play Services page, then scroll down and tap 'Clear Cache' or 'Clear Data' . / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Install the latest version of Google Play Services

Another thing that may help is to download and install the latest version of Google Play Services. The most current version of the software is likely to be the most stable, so it's useful to keep it updated. Read our tutorial at the link above to find out how to get the latest version.

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Is your Google Play Services app up-to-date? / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Reset your Google account on your phone

We're now coming to the slightly more drastic solutions. If your Play Store app still isn't working, then you may need to refresh your Google account on your Android device. To do this, remove your account then add it again.

  • Go to Settings > Accounts then tap Google
  • Tap the Google account you want to remove, then tap the menu icon (three dots) at the top right and tap Remove. Do this for every Google account on your device. 
  • Next, go to Settings > Accounts > Add Account > Google and follow the on-screen steps to re-add your account.
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Removing your Google account then re-adding it could solve your Play Store problems. / © ANDROIDPIT

7. Enable Download Manager

There is a chance that the Play Store will stop working if your download manager is disabled. If this is the case, the solution is simple. 

  • Go to Settings > Apps / Application Manager > All > Download Manager.
  • If Download Manager is disabled, you'll see a button marked Enable. Simply tap this button to switch Download Manager back on. If all you see are buttons for Force Stop and Disable (possibly grayed-out, as seen below), then Download Manager is not disabled and you can rule this possibility out.
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Disabling the Android Download Manager wreak havoc on your system. / © ANDROIDPIT

8. Perform a factory data reset on your smartphone

If you're still facing problems after having tried all of the above, then you may have little choice but to do a factory reset. Be warned that all of your data will be lost, so perform a complete backup beforehand. To do this:

  • Go to Settings > Backup & reset, then make sure the Back up my data slider is on. Tap Back up account to select which account you want your data backed up to.
  • Once you've done this, go to the Backup & reset menu and tap the Factory data reset button at the bottom. Confirm that you want to do this, and your phone will be as good as new. Your data will be restored when you log back into your Google account.
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Make sure you've selected 'Back up my data' before performing a factory reset. / © ANDROIDPIT

9. For rooted users: edit hosts file

If the Play Store won't load for you and your device is rooted, you have an even simpler solution on your hand: just modify your Hosts file for a quick fix.

  • Go to your preferred file manager, then navigate to system/etc/hosts and select the Edit option (this will vary between devices).
  • Add a hashtag (#) to the front of the second set of numbers and save your changes (i.e. change from 127.0.0.1 to #127.0.0.1). Reboot your device, re-add your Google account and your Google Play Store problems should be fixed.

Did these solutions work for you? Do you have any other advice to get the Google Play Store working again? Let us know in the comments.

Loie Favre found her way to her present passion for Android and smartphone technology after experiencing an epiphany when she held her Galaxy Note 2. From that point onwards, you can find her with her nose buried in countless Android apps and different smartphone models, and thanking her lucky stars that she gets to work at something she loves.

260 comments

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  • I need to uninstall google play store updates on 2.3.6 but this is showing how to do it on 5.0

  • I really need help.

    My son's LG phone has same problem. I tried all steps but no luck. I even did factory reset. After reset, set up with the old gmail account and the phone said can't connect with email. And still has no luck with google store.

  • This worked by the seventh step already !!! Thank you :D

  • Do check the background data of play store and Download mananger. I have did this mistake one time.

  • Jes L 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    I've tried all the suggestions in the book to get my Google Play Store working! I had kept getting "Unfortunately, Google Play Store has stopped"? So I had the idea to use my PC to sign into my Gmail account to check on my credit card information! You know, the credit or debit card used when purchasing Google Play Store apps?? And guess what? My credit card info was wrong! I thought I had found the cure for sure! So I updated my credit card info, went to try Google Play Store again... I quickly discovered all sorts of errors trying to use Google Play Store. I can't write all the errors down here! So I tried all the suggestions all over again on my phone, did another factory reset, clear more data, more cache, force stop, on again, deleted my Gmail account and set-it up again on my phone, etc.. Google Play Store still doesn't work! I'm getting Google server error messages, all sorts of Google bla bla has stopped working, we have to laugh or I'll lose it! :)

    • I was getting the message "Unfortunately, Google Play Store has stopped" no matter what I had tried! I had tried EVERYTHING that was mentioned online and nothing worked! I even rooted my phone! The only thing that finally worked for me to get Play Store working was to download a different browser to my phone which was easier said than done! I remember Play Store had mentioned once that my browser (my phone's default browser) was no longer supported. So after having tried everything else - I remembered the message! I was finally able to download Firefox onto my phone my using the default browser set to Desktop View instead of Mobile View! I made sure to set my phone to allow for 3rd party apps to be downloaded - and finally I was able to download Firefox! Google had kept switching me over to Play Store every time I went to download Firefox until I switched to Desktop View in the phone's default browser! Since Play Store wasn't working I couldn't download Firefox or Chrome using Play Store! Anyway, once I got Firefox installed I disabled my phone's default browser via Settings then Apps and I was all set. Now when I click "Play Store" the Firefox browser opens and gives me instant access

  • thank you this has been driving me crazy since I tried to get updates everything went wrong ...sorted now thank you

  • Thanks

  • Alex R. 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    This is one of the best article!Thanks for posting,

  • WAPNIL 1 month ago Link to comment

    FROM WHERE DO U DOWNLOADER PUSH SERVICE

  • I had my phone restored, entire software updated, installed latest version of play store but still stucked at downloading......getting 😡

  • maro93 1 month ago Link to comment

    I have installed notification push service which o deleted by accident and it solved the problem after trying every thing including factory reset and all advices that people recommended for a rooted phone

  • Rooted phones ftw, none of the other remedies helped me! I almost factory reset, thank you so much! The hash allowed me to re-add my account and connect to the store, if you have a rooted device and es file explorer then your good as gold for the host edit change! Have a great day.

    • Yeah about that ..
      You see I messed up and ended up deleting the hosts file ....
      Any way I can get that back?

  • I'm not even able to uninstall the Google play store update. The phone keeps freezing and crashing when I'm trying to do so. I've tried to install the latest Google play store update, but no luck on that too. Freezes and crashes. Please help me out.

  • OMG THANKYOU! Had spent hours searching web to solve PlayStore issue with SamsungS3. Followed your sequential, simple , step-by-step instructions & solved problem in 5 minutes. Thanks Tom Jones, New Orleans

  • Alex W. 1 month ago Link to comment

    Thanks for the practical tips, but does it work better if we uninstall updates or update to the latest version?

  • When I first had this phone I installed 2 APPs First Direct and TACX and they worked! suddenly both have vanished, Not on Google Play site. I am continually being buggered about with this phone. I am 81 so I am sure you will say "silly old Fart" it's all his fault. It is not I am very angry. Am cancelling Tal Talk account in 24 hours if this latest problem is not fixed. Thank you Mike Daniels

  • 4 and 5 are extremely bad ideas. By manually installing Google Play Service, there are great chances to make all Google apps (plus some other apps that use Google Play Services) crash.
    I tried on my G4 (and yes, it was the correct version I installed) and I had to factory reset it.
    Clearing the cache is not as bad but can end up with same results.

    I'm surprised that a website specialized on Android give such bad advice

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