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How to download and install the Google Play Store

Update: New "show installed apps" toggle feature and layout for top charts

The Google Play Store is a treasure trove of apps and content. It's sometimes necessary to install the Play Store manually if you unintentionally uninstalled it or want to roll back to a previous version to avoid bugs. Here's how to download and how to install the Play Store, along with details of the new features each update introduces.

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A note on Google Play Store version numbers

The numbering system for Google Play Store versions may seem a little confusing at first, but it's easy to get your head around. If the jumps between numbers seem odd, that's simply because Google didn't publicly release the versions in between. Note that new Play Store versions can delete old features as well as introduce new ones, so we've detailed what each new version brings in at the bottom of this article.

Download Google Play Store APK

Please note that the following guide is for owners of an Android device with a licensed version of the Play Store installed. We recognize that is sometimes necessary to re-install or roll back the Play Store. 

The latest version of Google Play is 6.9.15 and this version hints at several upcoming new features, including the ability to test apps without downloading them to your device. For more details, head to our what's new in Google Play section and if you're having problems, check out our guide to troubleshooting Google Play.

AndroidPIT OnePlus 2 app drawer
Of all the apps on your phone, the Play Store is the one you really want to keep updated. / © AndroidPIT

How to install Google Play Store

The simplest method for how to install the Play Store will already be quite familiar to you if you're an avid follower of AndroidPIT: just install the Play Store APK manually. An APK is the Android equivalent to an .exe program on your computer.

Instead of downloading an app from the Play Store, you simply install it yourself without the Play Store's help (see our guide on installing apps outside of Google Play). This is extra useful when the app you want to install is the Play Store itself.

There are two ways to get the Google Play APK installed on your device: directly on your phone or with your computer. We'll do the easy option first.

Install Google Play (phone method)

  • Enable Unknown Sources by going to Settings > Security, then ticking the box next to Unknown sources. Don't be alarmed, unknown sources are simply locations outside of the Play Store, which is critical if it's the Play Store itself that you want. (Don't forget to uncheck this option once you're done)
  • Using the browser on your device, go to XDA Developers forum or APK Mirror to download the APK for the latest version of the Play Store.
  • You may get a message warning that "this type of file can harm your device." Ignore it (trust us) and tap OK.
  • Open the APK (you can tap the completed download in your notifications menu), read the new permissions (if any) that the new Play Store version requests, then tap Install.
AndroidPIT google play not working 5
Before you can install APKs, you need to enable Unknown Sources in your security settings. / © AndroidPIT

Install Google Play (computer method)

If you don't have a data or Wi-Fi connection on your device, you can download the APK to your computer instead. The same process applies:

  • Enable Unknown sources on your device.
  • Using the browser on your computer, go to XDA Developers forum or APK Mirror to download the APK for the latest version of the Play Store.
  • Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable and copy the APK over to your Android device. 
  • Launch the APK, accept the permissions and tap Install.
androidpit USB 1
Sideloading from your PC with a USB cable can sometimes avoid installation problems with APKs. / © AndroidPIT

Google Play Store troubleshooting

Google Services Framework is a crucial service that lets the Play Store communicate with apps on your device, allowing for automatic updates and so on. If these functions stop working, or you experience other problems, then there may be a problem with the service, and you should clear the cache on Google Play Store and Google Play Services. To do this:

  • Go to Settings > Apps
  • Scroll down to Google Play Store, tap it, then tap Clear cache.
  • Do the same for Google Play services
  • That should fix most problems you'll experience with the Play Store

Note: depending on what type of device you have, it may need to be rooted in order to manually install the Play Store, but that's a tutorial for another day.

AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 edge 10 review
Each version of the Play Store can add or subtract features. / © AndroidPIT

What's new in Google Play

What's new in Google Play: the latest new feature

The latest feature to be added to Google Play is a "Show installed apps" toggle button. This has been added to app lists in the Google Play Store, but not search results. It appears that the update is available to all users, so next time you're looking through a list of top games for something new to try, you can filter out ones you already have. In addition to this nifty feature, there is a new UI layout for numbered top app charts.

play store update top charts installed toggle
The before and after, with the installed apps toggle on then off. / © AndroidPIT

What's new in Google Play 6.9.15

The latest version of the Google Play Store hints at several upcoming features. First and foremost, Google has implemented an 'App Streaming' function into searches so that you can test an app without downloading it onto your device. This was pointed out by Android Police, who claim that the apps load on a remote server and are then streamed to your device and that this is not the same as Google's upcoming 'Instant Apps' feature. 

Though app streaming is currently only found in the 'Apps' tab when conducting an online Google search, it would appear that this will be rolled out to the Play Store at some point in the future. 

Additionally, version 6.9.15 indicates that a Play Store purchase interface specifically for VR could be in the works. Typically, making purchases in the Play Store requires the use of your smartphone to complete the process. Code in version 6.9.15 suggests this could soon change. 

What's new in Google Play 6.2.10 - 6.5.08

Since February, Google has released what appears to be four different versions of the Play Store, designated by the ending letters A, B, C or D. This would suggest Google is conducting A/B testing on users. From what we can tell, these new features and changes include things like the removal of the scrolling window of featured apps on the Play Store homepage, icon changes, and other relatively minor things. One thing all the builds seem to share in common is that the Play Store now displays Download pending when an app is queued for download, rather than showing the animated downloading bar.

androidpit google play store update install 4
One recent change is the addition of the Download pending... text. / © AndroidPIT

What's new in Google Play 6.0.5

In a helpful move for both developers and users, Google has added the ability for developers to generate promo codes, allowing paid apps and games, as well as in-app content, to be made available for free.

Google also made a less substantial alteration to how reviews are judged by users. Now there is a small thumbs-up icon, just like on Facebook, that can be used to show agreement with a user review of an app. As part of this change, the spam button has been relegated to a side menu next to the thumb. It's a subtle change that means it's now easier to give positive feedback than negatively report reviews, which was likely abused by many.

What's new in Google Play 6.0.00

The biggest change in Google Play v6.0 is the long-awaited visual overhaul previewed by Googler Kirill Grouchnikov almost a month ago (shown below). The redesigned Google Play Store now divides content into two categories: apps and games, and entertainment. Previously, the front page showed six tabs. 

androidpit google play store update install 1
The new Google Play Store landing page. / © AndroidPIT

What's new in Google Play 5.10.30

Google Play version 5.10.30 came quickly after version 5.10.29. There are only a few changes that we can see, the most notable of which the new Google Play font in the search bar, along with the ability to copy text from the Description and What's New section. 

We still haven't seen the new front page mentioned above, but that may well be Play Store version 6.0 or a server-side change. Other changes in the code that aren't live yet reference books being grouped into series and app size information being displayed at installation time. 

AndroidPIT Nexus 6 google play store select text
Google Play now lets you select text in descriptions and What's New. / © AndroidPIT

What's new in Google Play 5.9.11

The first thing you'll notice in Google Play 5.9.11 is a new pop-up window letting you know about granular app permissions in apps compatible with Android 6.0.

The team at Android Police revealed further documentation for fingerprint support, an uninstall manager (probably tied into Marshmallow's RAM Manager), location-based recommendations and new visuals when refunding apps.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 Google Play app permissions notification
You'll now see a notification alerting you to granular app permissions. / © AndroidPIT

What is the one must-have feature you want in the Google Play Store? Do you like the latest updates? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Hi, I was presented with an Amazon Fire phone which which has 6.0 version, from my daughter which incidentally had Google Play store and Google play services but hanged subsequently. I uninstalled and installed again but there was no shortcut created on the page. When I go to the APK mirror for reinstalling them, it says installed. How to get the shortcut icon so as to download apps to my phone.

  • Diana 5 months ago Link to comment

    It was very helpful, thank you!

  • Ann Ellis 6 months ago Link to comment

    I can tdownload gamepoint

  • I need help play services keep stopping and I can't fix the problem

  • My installed Google play store in tablet Tablet Canaima does not open.solve my problem,please.

  • Md Firoz 6 months ago Link to comment

    When me open Google play store show me dress H .totaly not working kl

  • Yes missing

  • OBELIX ER 7 months ago Link to comment

    My rooted porridge is cooling down and my spoon is stuck in V5.11, how can i eat?

  • I can't download anything it is so annoying

  • Ali Amjad 7 months ago Link to comment

    i am using galaxy C7 and i am having problem with google services as i am unable to connect any google service since i updated the new software. can some one help me?????

  • i was able to load play to my fire tab no problem. The problem arises when i try to download a spanish app. it says not available in your country. since im an American, living in Mexico, I can not grab the claro video application.

  • M Cac 8 months ago Link to comment

    This STILL isn't working for me. I received a replacement LG G4 phone and it is not authenticating so I can't dowenload any apps. I have cleared cache and data, restarted, uninstalled play store updates, installed APK play store - NOTHING. can anyone help? msem1003 at gmail

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! Was trying to download an app for hours. Tried everything clear cache, delete Play Store, delete google account, reboot etc. This did the trick in a few mins :-)

  • If a repair to the broken phones takes more than one click just forget it and don't post an article about it.

  • Its work

  • Thomas dow 10 months ago Link to comment

    Can't make it install on kindle 10

  • Would like some scheduling options. like time of day, day of week, frequency, only if condition (e.g. if plugged in, if wi-fi on, etc.)

  • you can dowload it via settings

  • I'm having problems downloading the latest version of Google Play Store

  • I am using a Blue Wave android tablet/device. It asks to update google play services to be able to use maps or youtube. However, I could not update the app and it always prompts "insufficient storage available" message. I have tried to clear everything just to accommodate the updating but, to no avail. Pls. help me. Thanks.

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