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13 min read 2,675 Shares 343 comments

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

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

There are quite a few factors that could possibly affect the Play Store, we'll run through the troubleshooting methods beginning with simple solutions down to the more complicated, but at any point you can follow the link to the detailed solution down below:

1. Troubleshooting guide - getting started

First of all you'll want to make sure the problem is on your end and not a wider problem with Google. Check the Play Store status on a service like downdetector, for example. If a lot of users are reporting a similar problem, then chances are it's on Google's side and you'll need to wait for them to fix it.

If you suspect the problem is on the user end, you'll first want to restart your phone. It seems obvious, but this can be a quick solution to many issues. If your problem repeats, then it's time to get to work.

To start off, we want to check a couple of simple things outside of Google Play that might be affecting its performance. Namely, your that your date and time settings are correct and that your Internet connection is working properly. 

2. Check Google apps

If the Play Store is frozen or glitching, force close it by swiping it away or going to Settings > Apps > All select the Google Play Store and hit "Force stop".

Then, you'll want to make sure that Google Play itself is up to date and clean. This involves making sure you have the latest version of Google Play installed. If you still have problems, you'll want to do some housekeeping. This means clearing the Google Play Store cache and, if this doesn't solve things, going further and clearing out your Play Store data.

If there's still an issue after the Play Store has been cleaned up, we'll have to go a little deeper, and clear data and cache on Google Play Services, as well as make sure to Install the latest version of Google Play Services. If the issue persists, the next step (make sure to record your passwords, etc.) is to reset your Google account on your device.

3. Check third party apps

The steps above should confirm whether the issue lies with the Google Play system itself, but sometimes the problem can originate from a different, related app, that can be interfering with the Play Store. First, check your disabled apps, and make sure that you enable Download Manager. You should also disable your VPN if you have one.

4. Drastic solutions

Now, we're getting to some more technical solutions that need to be done with care, so make sure you've tried the above methods first. Now, if you've rooted your device, then we recommend to delete the file "hosts.txt" in your system directory. If this doesn't work or if you don't want to root your phone, then return to the Play Store and uninstall previous updates.

Finally, as a last resort, you can always perform a factory data reset on your smartphone. This will erase all your data, so make sure to back up first.

Below are all the solutions outlined in detail.

Check your date and time settings

Google checks your Android smartphone's date and time for the Play Store. If the store does not find a time, then it could cause some issues. Google's servers could have a tough time syncing with your device and cause your Play Store to act up.

To fix this issue, you need to go into your the Settings in your Android device. Under System you should see Date and Time. Tap on this and you will see whether your phone is on the Automatic date and time provided by your network. If it isn't already then you should toggle it on.

If your device is on automatic and your Google Play Store is still not working then you should manually set the date and time. You first need to turn Automatic date and time off. Then start by entering the date and time with as much accuracy as possible. If this doesn't work, don't worry, there are still many more solutions for getting your Google Play Store up and running again.

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Setting the date and time could help if your Google Play Store is not working. / © AndroidPIT

Check your Internet connection

It may seem too simple or easy, but checking your Internet connection could solve the problems you're having. Try switching from Wi-Fi to mobile data, or vice versa, and see if the problem persists. You should also try switching your phone to "airplane mode" and back again. Finally, you can reset your router to make absolutely sure you have a good connection.

Install the latest version of Google Play

It's silly, but sometimes a Google Play update is available but won't automatically download until days after being released. If you get the APK, you can have the newest version immediately though. Read this article to find out how.

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Make sure you have the latest version of Google Play Store. / © AndroidPIT

Clear the Google Play Store cache

In some 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. This could solve your problem and emptying it is easy.

First go in the Settings from your smartphone’s home screen. You should then go into your Apps or Application manager, it depends on your device. From there you should either be able to scroll down and hit Clear cache or you might have to first go into Storage then Clear cache.

Once this has been completed, go back into your Google Play Store and see if your problem has been solved. If not, you should try one of the other solutions here.

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Try clearing the cache. / © AndroidPIT

Clear out your Play Store data 

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

Remember, when you do this your files, settings, accounts, databases and other information will be erased. You should make sure you have the log-in information for the account as it will be taken off the Google Play Store account.

To get started, head into your Settings and find the Apps or Application manager. From there you should be able to scroll down to Clear data or go into Storage first then Clear data.

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Clearing your cache and/or data could fix the problem you've been having. / © AndroidPIT

Clear data and cache on Google Play Services

It is possible that Play Store problems could stem from issues with 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.

If clearing the cache and data in your Google Play Store didn’t work then you may need to go into your Google Play Services and clear the data and cache there. Doing this is easy.

You need to go into your Settings and hit Application manager or Apps. From there, find the Google Play Services app (the puzzle piece). Depending on your device, you should be able to tap the Clear cache button or you might need to go into Storage first then hit Clear cache. If that fails to solve the problem, come back to this page and hit Manage space or Manage storage then tap Clear all data.

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Clearing the data and cache in Google Play Services can fix your Play Store problems. / © AndroidPIT

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 and the Google Play Store. The most current version of the software is likely to be the most stable, so it's useful to keep it updated.

Firstly, you need to make sure your Google Play Store is up-to-date. Go into the Google Play Store app and hit the menu button (three lines in the top left hand corner of your screen). From there tap Settings and under General you should be able to see when your Google Play app updates. Tap Auto-update apps and ensure that Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi is checked. Now, make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

Getting the latest version of Google Play Services is much more difficult and too long to mention here. Read our tutorial here for a detailed explanation on how to get the latest version

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

Reset your Google account on your device

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. This will mean your Google account on your entire phone will be reset and not just in the Google Play Store. Make sure you know the account(s) before you start this. You could lose the entire account if you’re not careful.

So to do this, remove your account then add it again. It’s pretty simple to do. Go to your Settings and tap Accounts. Now you need to tap the Google account you want to remove, then tap the menu icon (three dots at the top right) and tap Remove account. Do this for every Google account on your device.

Now you need to re-enter your Google account. Go back into your Settings and tap on Account again. The only thing you should see is Add Account. If you see an account then you forgot to remove one. Tap Add Account and follow the on-screen steps to re-add your account.

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Removing your Google account then re-adding it could help. / © AndroidPIT

Check your disabled apps

Many apps need other apps in order to function properly. This is especially true when you're dealing with system apps such as the Google Play Store. If you recently disabled an app that could be your problem. Luckily, this is easy to fix.

Go into your Settings and Application manager or Apps and scroll to the bottom. This is where disabled apps end up. If you see any disabled services, just go into these and hit Enable and see if that helps.

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Enable your disabled apps. / © AndroidPIT

Disable your VPN

Having a VPN is a great way to get all your favorite media outside your geographic location. You can even use a VPN to install an app in the Play Store of another country. But your VPN could be causing you problems with your Google Play Store in the region you're currently in.

If you have a VPN enabled on your Android device you should disable it. Go into your Settings and tap More or More networks depending on your device. Hit VPN and toggle it off. 

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Disable your VPN and that might help. / © AndroidPIT

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 into your Settings and tap either Apps or Application manager (depending on your device). You should either see all of your apps or you might have to choose All. From there find Downloads or Download manager and hit this.

You should be able to see if Download manager is disabled. If it is then 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 wreaks havoc on your system. / © AndroidPIT

Delete the file "hosts.txt" (requires root)

For advanced users who have already rooted their device, open your root-privileged file explorer of choice. Then go to your root/system directory and search for "hosts.txt" and delete the file. Note: do not touch any of the other system files!

Uninstall previous updates to Google Play

Generally, when you have a problem with an app you can just uninstall it and then reinstall it. Well, that works for some apps, but the Google Play Store is a system app on your Android device. What you can do instead is uninstall previous updates to the app and this might help your problem.

You first need to head into your Settings, tap either Apps or Application manager, and you should either see all of your apps or you might have to choose All. From there find the Google Play Store and tap Uninstall updates.

If your Google Play Store is still not working then you need to go back and reinstall the updates. From there, head down to our last solution.

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. This is a drastic measure and there are consequences. All of your data will be lost. So you should perform a complete backup beforehand.

Once your data is backed it's time to do a reset. Go to your Settings and tap Backup & reset. Now, 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. Ensure you have access to this account.

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 it was when you bought it. Your data will be restored when you log back into your Google account.

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Make sure you back everything up before performing a factory reset. / © AndroidPIT

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.

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343 comments

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  • MaryHelen 4 months ago Link to comment

    Absolutely none of any of these fixes worked. Including twice doing a factory reset. WTH?........everything worked on this tablet when I got it.....for a whole five days...now it is also telling me Avast has stopped working also... It is not tied in to google play. What do I do now this is the second dud tablet I have bought this year. Do I need to go back to windows?????????????


  • T Mst 5 months ago Link to comment

    Killing it and restarting does the trick on my Lollipop device. I've been clearing the cache, but apparently that's not necessary.


  • my setting when i want to clear google play cache closed after sevral Times how to ok it?


  • I tried all the method but nothing worked. I found the solution on appslova.com
    Resetting App Preference worked for me. Settings > application > click on 3 dots on the top right corner of the screen > Tap Reset App Preference. Hopefully, it will help you


  • OUR ANDROID PHONE DISPLAY AREA UNFORTUNATELY,GOOGLE PLAY SERVICE HAS STOPPED LETTER COMING HOW TO THIS CLEAR PLS ANSWER


    • PONNIAH SEKAR, there are many solution for this. It's just which one work for you. Like Clear the Cache and Data, Uninstall Google Play Services, Update Google Play Services, Reset App Preference etc. I suggest you visit appslova.com and you will find solutions step wise.


  • This is a great post. lots of people have problem due to Google play store.
    For the last few days I have been unable to update or download apps on the Play Store.
    All I get is the downloading bar and it says it's downloading but it just sits their like that for hours unless I stop it. I have same problem on my Sgs3 over 3G and Wifi! I I have tried clearing data and cache on download manager and Play Store application but it makes no difference, have tried turning on and off but no difference. I read that Play Store had some major changes on Friday to change the way updates work and maybe this has something to do with it, and I can download successfully from Samsung store so it appears to be a Play Store issue.
    so these kind of problem arise with me in past.


    • I too tried everything before resetting app preferences, under settings>applications, which did the trick.
      Select the 3 dots, top right, for options and tap Reset app preferences.
      I was looking for individual preferences so that I could choose another app for doing downloads (ES File Explorer for ex.) as it appeared to be the downloader itself which was at fault.
      Hope this helps.


  • Jason 7 months ago Link to comment

    Ok, so I've been mucking with this for a good day now on my S8+ . first thinking it was the phone then I did all the reset cache and all that crap but nothing worked. Tmobile was going to get me 2 new phones as both my s8 were having the issue but I solved the issue. It's a carrier problem. So how the hell did I solve it? I threw my phone away...ok no I didn't but I thought about it. Anyways so what solved it for me? First, do to settings. Go to connections, mobile networks,them change LTE to 4g which for me was the second choice in the list of networks. Then let it change to 4g which may take a few seconds to truly connect to it then go to Play store download something or at least get it to start downloading which for me happened on the first try and then once it shows now that something can be downloaded I stopped the download and switched my connection back to LTE and re tried downloading an app. All good now! It seems to be a network issue with play store and the network of the carrier. But again this worked for me on my S8+ and the wife's S8


    • Thank you Jason! You were Spot On! I have Sprint, so I didn't have an option for 3G or 4G. I change from automatic to CDMA. Once the phone restarted, it opened Google Play Store and I had 32 updated waiting smh. Thank you again.


    • I tried EVERYTHING and this did the trick ... thanks


  • I have a solution, but only for Metro PCS. Go to settings, click more, go to cellular networks. Click access point names. Click the + button on the top right of the screen to add another access point. Change the name to whatever you like. Change APN to fast .metropcs .com (no spaces)
    Scroll down to mmsc. Change that to https ://metropcs. mmsmvno .com/mms/wapenc (no spaces) . After that click the three dots on the top right of the screen. Click save, then when you get back to the access point names choose the one you just made. Let your 4g LTE signal refresh then Walla!!!! Downloads from play store are no longer stuck at downloading/ pending


  • Play store is erorr


  • Pls play store is erorr


  • Intex Aqua with version 5.1.
    I reset many time but not able to update any app from play store.
    Please suggest.


  • Solution that worked for me: Settings> apps> Google play store> clear data, cashe, uninstall updates, disable, force stop and restart the phone or tablet. Upon returning will update itself plus all apps that were not updating so far.


  • Jenny Ho 11 months ago Link to comment

    Help i done everything even reset my phone and still doesnt work any suggestions?


  • Best regards

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