Some Android users report that they get the Another app is blocking access to Google Play error whenever they try to update or download apps from the Store. If you are uncertain why this occurs and want to find a way to solve it, check the instructions we provided for you.
Table of contents:
- Check the Appear on Top permission
- Reset App preferences
- Boot into Safe mode and uninstall recent apps
- Reset your Android to factory settings
How do I stop apps from blocking Google Play?
This is quite an infrequent problem that seemingly plagued users on older Android versions. Which doesn’t mean it won’t appear on Android 12 or Android 13. You can stop apps from blocking Google Play by preventing them to draw on top of the Google Play Store. You can do that in the Special access menu where all advanced permissions appear. Or you can right away reset App Preferences and fix it that way. Learn the details below.
1. Check the Appear on Top permission
If some third-party app appears on top, it can prevent other apps from functioning properly. Luckily, only certain features in certain apps do this so it should be easy to identify what exact app (e.g. chat bubbles in Facebook Messenger) is causing the problem with Google Play Store. What you need to do is find the Special Access permissions menu and revoke permissions. Just go with the system of elimination until you find the culprit.
Here’s how to disable the Appear on Top permission on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu and select Special access.
- Choose Appear on top.
- Disable apps on the list and check if Another app is blocking access to Google Play error appears again when you try to download or update apps.
2. Boot into Safe mode and uninstall recent apps
The next thing you can try is to boot into Safe mode and check if the issue persists there. You might have a rogue app running in the background that is causing the problem and, if you can’t find it on your own, the Safe mode should point you in the right direction.
The procedure is pretty straightforward and, once your Android boots into Safe mode, all you need to do is open Play Store and check if the error pops up again. If that’s the case, try the next step. If you don’t get the error, exit the Safe mode and uninstall all apps that you recently installed.
Here’s how to boot into Safe mode on your Android:
- Press and hold the Power button until the Power menu appears.
- Tap and hold on to the Power off icon until the pop-up appears. It should inform you about safe mode and offer options to enter the Safe mode or cancel the action.
- Tap OK to boot into the Safe mode.
- Once the device boots into Safe mode on Android, you’ll see the Safe mode strip at the bottom of your screen.
- To exit Safe mode, just restart your device from the Power menu.
3. Reset App preferences
If the first step is a more delicate way to remove problematic permissions, resetting app preferences is a blunt force. With it, you’ll restore all apps to their default settings and you’ll be asked to grant their permissions again after you open them. In this case, it should help if you have a lot of apps with the Appear on top permission and can’t be bothered eliminating them one by one.
Here’s how to reset App preferences on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu.
- Select Reset app preferences.
- Tap Reset to confirm.
4. Reset your Android to factory settings
Finally, if none of the previous steps worked for you, try to reset your device to factory settings. This can definitely be a lot of work and it’s never an ideal solution. However, some users claim that the issues started after a system update which makes us believe that some system corruption is at hand. And if multiple updates didn’t fix it, your only option is to try with the factory reset. Especially if you just came from a different Android version (updated from Android 12 to Android 13, for example).
The important thing is to back up everything before the factory reset in order to keep your settings and files. You should back up everything to Google Drive (or alternative cloud services). If you have media files, back them up to Google Photos or save them externally to your PC.
- Open Settings.
- Choose System.
- Select Reset options.
- Tap Erase all (factory reset).
- Tap Erase all.
After that, you can restore your device from Google Drive with your Google Account or use another cloud service like Samsung Cloud. With that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts with us. Was this a useful read? Tell us in the comments below.