Google Play Store
Google Play Store not working? Here's how to fix in 4-steps / © TechMag

At some point, we all experienced a problem with the Google Play Store. Whether it’s an error message when you download apps, the Play Store crashes or just won’t open, we’ve got the solutions. Here’s what you can do when you’re not working on the Google Play Store.

There are quite a few factors that may affect the Google Play Store, we’re going to run through the methods of troubleshooting from simple solutions to the more complicated.

1. Troubleshooting guide – getting started

First of all, you’re going to want to make sure that the problem is on your end and not a wider Google issue. For example, check the status of the Play Store on a service such as downdetector. If many users report a common issue, chances are that it’s on the side of Google and you’ll have to wait for them to solve it.

If you suspect the client end of the issue, you will want to restart your phone first. It seems obvious, but for many issues, this can be a quick solution. If you repeat your issue, it’s time to get to the job. (Please note: when you get a specific Google Play Store error code or a “Google Play Authentication Is Required” error, we have separate articles.) To get started, we want to check out a few simple things outside of Google Play that might affect your performance. Make sure that your settings for date and moment are right and that your Internet connection works correctly.

Check your date and time settings

Google will check the date and time of your Android smartphone for the Play Store. If the Store fails to find the time, it may cause some problems. Google’s servers could synchronize with your computer for a hard moment and cause your Play Store to take action.

To solve this problem, you need to go into your Android device’s Settings. You should see Date and Time under System. Tap this and you’ll see if your computer is on your network’s automatic date and time. If it’s not already, you should switch it on.

If your device is running automatically and your Google Play Store still doesn’t work, you should set the date and time manually. You need to switch the automatic date and time off first. Then start by entering as accurately as possible the date and time. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry, there are a lot more alternatives to get your Google Play Store up and running again.

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

Check your Internet connection

It may seem too easy, but checking your internet connection might fix your issues. Try to switch to mobile information from Wi-Fi, or vice versa, and see if the issue persists. You should also attempt to switch your phone back and forth to “airplane mode.” Finally, to make sure you have a healthy link, you can reset your router.

2. Check Google Play 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, make sure Google Play itself is up-to-date and clean. This means that you have installed the recent version of Google Play. You’re going to want to do some housekeeping if you still have issues. This means clearing the Google Play Store cache and going further and clearing up your Play Store data if this doesn’t fix stuff.

If there is still a problem after the Play Store has been cleaned up, we will need to go a little deeper and clear Google Play Services information and cache as well as make sure to install the recent Google Play Services version. If the problem persists, resetting your Google account on your machine will be the next phase (make sure your passwords are recorded, etc.).

Install the latest version of Google Play

It’s silly, but sometimes there’s an update from Google Play available, but it won’t download automatically until days after release. However, if you get the APK, you can get the latest version right away.

Fix Google Play Store
Make sure you have the latest version of the Google Play Store.

Clear the Google Play Store cache

In some cases, by simply emptying the cache, you can get the Play Store going again. The cache is a storage region that retains information momentarily so it can be retrieved rapidly without reloading. This might fix your issue and it’s simple to empty.

First, go from the home screen of your smartphone in the settings. Then you should go to your Apps or Application Manager, depending on your device. You should be able to scroll down and reach Clear cache from there, or you might have to go to Storage first and then Clear cache.

Go back to your Google Play Store once this has been done and see if your issue has been solved. If not, here’s one of the other alternatives you should attempt.

Fix Google Play Store
Try clearing the cache.

Clear out your Play Store data

Deleting your Play Store data is similar to our first tip, but it erases a little bit more. It sets the app back to square one and gets rid of your saved information, including hopefully any glitchy data that caused the problem.

Remember, your files, settings, accounts, databases and other data will be removed when you do this. You should make sure you have the account login information as it will be removed from the account of the Google Play Store.

To get began, go to your Apps or Application Manager settings. You should be able to scroll down to Clear Data from there or go to Storage first then Clear Data.

 

Fix Google Play Store
Clearing your cache and/or data could fix the problem you’ve been having.

Clear data and cache on Google Play Services

Play store issues may be caused by problems with Google Play Services. If the core of your Android device is theGoogle Play Store, then Google Play Services is your soul. Play Services is the mysterious background process that enables applications to interact with distinct components of your computer, allowing them to synchronize, send push notifications, etc.

If it didn’t work to clear the cache and information in your Google Play Store, you might need to go into your Google Play Services and clear the information and cache. It’s simple to do this.

You need to go to your Application Manager or Apps settings and hit. Find the Google Play Services app (the piece of the puzzle) from there. You should be able to press the Clear cache button depending on your device, or you may need to go to Storage first and reach Clear cache. If the problem cannot be solved, return to this page and hit Manage Space or Manage Store, then tap Clear all information.

Fix Google Play Store
Clearing the data and cache in Google Play Services can fix your Play Store problems.

Install the latest version of Google Play Services

Another thing that can assist in downloading and installing the recent Google Play Services and Google Play Store version. The software’s latest version is likely to be the most stable, so keeping it up-to-date is helpful.

First, you need to create sure you’re up to date with your Google Play Store. Go to the Google Play Store app and press the menu button (three lines in your screen’s top left-hand corner). From there, tap Settings and see when your Google Play app updates under General. Tap Auto-update applications and make sure that Wi-Fi checks auto-update apps. Now, make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection.

Getting the recent Google Play Services version is much harder and too long to mention here.

Fix Google Play Store
Is your Google Play Services app up-to-date?

Reset your Google account on your device

Now we come to the slightly more dramatic alternatives. If your Play Store app is still not working, your Google account on your Android device may need to be refreshed. This means that your Google account will be reset throughout your phone, not just in the Google Play Store. Before you begin this, make sure that you understand the account(s). If you are not cautious, you might lose the entire account.

So, remove your account and then add it again to do this. It’s very easy to do. Go to your Configurations and tap Accounts. Now you have to tap the account that you want to remove from Google, then tap the menu icon (three dots at the top right) and tap Remove account. Do this on your computer for every Google account.

Now you need to re-enter your Google account. Go back to your Account Settings and tap again. Add Account is the only thing you should see. You forgot to remove one if you see an account. To re-add your account, tap Add account and follow the measures on-screen.

Fix Google Play Store
Removing your Google account then re-adding it could help.

3. Check third party apps

The above steps should verify whether the problem resides with the Google Play itself, but sometimes the problem may arise from another associated app that may interfere with the Play Store. First, inspect your applications that have been disabled and make sure you have Download Manager enabled. If you have one, you should disable your VPN as well.

Check your disabled apps

Many apps need other apps to work correctly. This is particularly true when it comes to system applications such as the Google Play Store. If you disable an app lately that might be your issue. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed.

Go to your Manager of Settings and Apps or Apps and scroll down. This is where applications that are disabled end up. If you see any facilities that are disabled, simply go into them and press Activate and see if it helps.

Enable your disabled apps
Enable your disabled apps.

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 may cause you problems with your Google Play Store in the area you’re in.

You should disable this if you have a VPN enabled on your Android device. Go into your settings and, depending on your device, tap More or More networks. Hit and switch off the VPN.

Disable your VPN
Disable your VPN and that might help.

Enable Download Manager

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

Go to your Settings and tap Apps or Application Manager (depending on your device). You ought to either see all of your apps or choose All. Get Downloads or Download Manager from there and hit that.

You should be able to see if you have a disabled Download Manager. If it is, you will see the Enable button. Just press this button to switch back on the Download Manager. If all you see are Force Stop and Disable buttons (possibly grayed-out, as shown below), then Download Manager is not disabled and this possibility can be excluded.

Android Download Manager
Disabling the Android Download Manager wreaks havoc on your system.

4. Drastic solutions

Now, we’re getting to some more technical solutions that need to be carefully done, so make sure you’ve tried the methods above first. Now, if your device is rooted, we recommend that you delete the “hosts.txt” file in your system directory. If that doesn’t work or you don’t want to root your phone, go back to the Play Store and uninstall previous updates.

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

Delete the file “hosts.txt” (requires root)

Open your favorite root file explorer of choice for advanced users who have already rooted their device. Then go to your directory root/system and find “hosts.txt” and delete the file. Note: do not touch any other files of the system!

Uninstall previous updates to Google Play

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

You first have to go to your Settings, tap either Apps or Application Manager, and either you should see all of your applications, or you might have to select All. Google Play Store can be found from there, and tap Uninstall updates.

If your Google Play Store still doesn’t work, you have to go back and reinstall the updates. From there, go down to our final solution.

Perform a factory data reset on your smartphone

If after having tried all of the above, you still face problems, you may have little choice but to reset the factory. This is a drastic measure, and the consequences will follow. All your data are going to be lost. You should, therefore, carry out a complete backup in advance.

It’s time to reset your data once it’s backed up. Go to your Settings and tap Reset & Backup. Make sure my data slider is backed up now. To select which account you want to back up your data, tap Save account. Make sure this account is accessible to you.

Go to the Backup & Reset menu once you have done this and tap the data reset button at the bottom. Confirm that you want to do this, and when you purchased it, your phone will be as it was. When you log back to your Google Account, your data will be restored.

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

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.

About the Author

Zulfiqar Anees is an entrepreneur, IT Specialist and educationist. He is Founder/CEO at Tech Mag and also contributing to TechEngage.com as a content writer.