The Google Play Store is an integral part of the Android ecosystem, facilitating the download and update of applications and digital content. However, users often encounter Google Play Store is not always working. These issues manifest in various forms, ranging from error codes like 501, and 504, to non-code issues like billing discrepancies or regional access restrictions.
The underlying causes of these errors may include software bugs, network issues, outdated app versions, or incorrect settings. Some problems present straightforward error codes, aiding in swift troubleshooting, while others like ‘Google Play not available in your country’ or ‘Insufficient storage error’ require more detailed investigation.
Resolving these errors often involves steps such as clearing the cache and data of the Google Play Store app, checking the internet connection, updating the app, or adjusting the necessary settings. This article outlines common Google Play Store errors, explores their causes, and provides technical solutions to restore its functionality and ensure a smooth user experience.
How do I fix Google Play Store errors?
There are plenty of different issues one can encounter on Google Play Store but the majority of problems stem from either system bugs, temporary server issues, or outdated Play Store and Play Store Services. On the other hand, there are payment and authentication errors that usually require users to adjust.
Luckily, most of the errors and problems are not that complex to solve, unless we are talking about purchase/payment issues where you should probably contact Google Support. Either way, we listed the most common problems and errors we found online along with some applicable solutions. Check the list, follow the instructions, and we should fix the problem in no time.
Google Play Store Not Opening
We already said that most Google Play Store issues are isolated cases but this one does appear more often than most. What’s the deal with Google Play Store not opening on your Android smartphone or tablet? Well, here are the most probable reasons why the Google Play Store won’t open:
- Play Store is updating in the background. This usually happens when the device is idle, but it might happen whenever. Wait for some time and try again.
- Local data is corrupt, and you’ll need to clear the data and restart the Play Store.
- Something is wrong with Google Play Services. Wipe the data and open Play Store again.
- You haven’t signed up with your Google Account. Play Store and other Google services won’t work without a Google Account.
- Your Android device and the accompanying OS version are outdated.
Restart your Android
Whenever an illogical issue arises, it’s a good idea to go straight for the reboot. Restarting your device will fix the majority of the temporary issues with most apps, including the system apps like Google Play Store.
Clear local data from the Google Play Store and Google Play Services
Local app data will pile up over time and it can cause performance issues in both third-party and system apps. In this case, you should clear the data from the Google Play Store and associated services. This usually solves the problem and Google Play Store should start working as soon as the data is gone.
Follow these instructions to clear local data from Google Play Store and associated services:
- Open Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu and choose to Show system processes.
- Now, open the Play Store from the list.
- Tap Storage.
- Choose Clear cache and, if that did nothing, you could clear the data, too.
- Now, clear the data from Google Play Services and Google Services Framework, too.
- Restart your device and open Play Store again.
Sign out and sign in again with your Google Account
Another thing you can try is sign out of your Google Account and sign in again. Once you remove and add your account again, Google Play Store and associated services should start working again.
Follow these instructions to sign out and sign in again with your Google Account:
- Open Settings.
- Select Accounts.
- Choose Accounts and backup.
- Tap Manage accounts.
- Expand your Google Account.
- Tap Remove account.
- Confirm when prompted.
- Add your Google Account again and open Play Store.
Can’t activate Google Play Gift Card in Google Play Store
If you can’t activate a Google Play Gift Card in the Google Play Store, you should:
- Check the code and ensure to enter it correctly.
- Make sure you are using the Google Play Gift Card from the supported region.
- Make sure that you are not over the Balance Limit.
- Contact Google Support for further assistance.
Your transaction can’t be completed error
If you have issues with transactions when purchasing content from the Play Store, you should definitely check the Payment Info Profile in Google Pay. At the same place, you can update payment methods and change the payment method if your debit or credit card expires.
On the other hand, ensure that your bank isn’t blocking the Google Play purchases. Most banks offer tweaking settings for online purchases in mobile banking apps.
If you follow those steps closely, you shouldn’t have issues with the Your transaction can’t be completed error in the Google Play Store.
Google Play Store “Authentication is required” error
The Authentication is required error isn’t necessarily an error. It all depends on your settings. If you navigate to your account and open Settings > Authentication, you should see the Require authentication for purchases option. Expand it and choose Never and Authentication is required prompt shouldn’t occur anymore. You’ll need to enter your Google Account password to disable Authentication.
On the other hand, if you disabled Authentication in the Google Play Store but the Authentication is required prompt appears, you can clear the local data from the Google Play Store and associated services or remove your Google Account and add it again.
Insufficient storage error
The “Insufficient storage” error on Google Play Store typically indicates that your device doesn’t have enough storage space to install or update apps. If you are sure that there’s enough storage space on your Android, you can clear the cache from Play Store and Play Services and try again.
On the other hand, if you do have insufficient storage space on your Android, you can make some space by doing the following:
- Delete or disable apps you’re not using or clear their data in Settings > Apps.
- Back up photos and videos and delete them from internal storage.
- Empty Trash and delete APKs and other downloaded files.
- Use an SD card if your device supports it.
Google Play couldn’t sign in
Google Play Store should sign in automatically when you add your Google Account on your Android. However, there are some instances where you’ll run into the “Google Play couldn’t sign in” error.
If that happens, you should restart your device, check the network connection, or clear the data from Google Play and associated services. This usually sorts out the problem.
Alternatively, you can remove your Google Account and sign in again.
Google Play Store says You’re offline
You should check the network in case Google Play Store says that You’re offline. Make sure that you’re connected to a stable Wi-Fi network, or that mobile data is enabled. We suggest disabling VPN or proxy tools and Data Saver to ensure that nothing else is preventing Google Play Store from accessing the internet.
In case you can’t connect to the internet over Wi-Fi, follow these instructions:
- Restart your Android and Wi-Fi router.
- Forget the network and connect again.
- Check the router settings.
- Disable proxy and VPN temporarily.
- Reset Network settings.
Can’t install Google Play Beta on my PC
Google introduced Google Play Beta recently to bring the games from handheld devices to Windows PCs. If your PC meets the system requirements, the installation process should function without issues. However, some users have had a hard time with it as Google Play Beta won’t install on their PC.
If you can’t install Google Play Beta on your PC, follow these steps:
- Check the system requirements. To install Google Play Games Beta on your PC, you need to meet certain minimum requirements such as Windows 10 (v2004), a solid-state drive (SSD) with 10 GB of available storage space, Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU or comparable, 4 CPU physical cores (some games require an Intel CPU), and 8 GB of RAM.
- Check Virtualization settings. This option is necessary to run an Android emulator on your PC. On some systems, you’ll need to enable CPU virtualization in BIOS settings, but you should get the prompt to enable it during the installation of Google Play Beta.
- Don’t forget to restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
- Check the drivers. Right-click on the Start menu and open Device Manager.
Google Play Store Item not found
If you can find an item in the Play Store, try searching again and make sure that the app or game you are looking for is available in your region and supports your Android device.
Common Play Store error codes and how to fix them
Now, although rare, you’ve probably seen some errors on Play Store that come with error codes. We compiled a list of the most common errors along with applicable solutions. Check the list below.
Problem: Can’t open the Google Play Store or perform downloads.
Solution: Clear cache and data from Google Play Services and Google Play Store in App settings, remove and re-add your Google Account, then restart your phone.
Problem: The app could not be downloaded due to an error.
Solution: Clear cache and data for Google Play Store and Google Play Services, or remove and re-add your Google Account, then restart your phone.
Problem: Two or more apps with duplicate permissions.
Solution: Uninstall the app with the same permissions as the one you’re trying to install.
Problem: Issues allocating space in the phone’s storage.
Solution: Remove unnecessary files and apps, check for storage problems in settings, and clear the Google Play data and cache.
Problem: Problems downloading apps or installing new updates.
Solution: Clear cache and data from Google Play Store in settings.
Problem: Occurs when downloading or updating an app, mainly on outdated Android devices.
Solution: Clear the cache and data of the Play Store app, uninstall updates, or transfer the app to internal memory if on an external card.
Problem: Google Play Store “Can’t install app”.
Solution: Clear cache and data from Google Play Services and Google Play Store, or remove and re-add your Google Account, then check for external storage (SD card) issues in Settings.
Problem: Can’t download an app.
Solution: Clear cache and data for Google Play Services, ensure you are logged into Wi-Fi, try another Wi-Fi network, or switch to mobile data.
Problem: Downloading the app works but the app does not open once downloaded.
Solution: Free up space on your Android device.
Problem: Can’t download an app.
Solution: Restart Wi-Fi, remove and re-add your Google Account, or clear cache and data from Google Play Store and Google Play Services.
Problem: Can’t download an app.
Solution: Clear cache from Google Play Store, delete all data for Google Play Store, or remove and re-add your Google Account.
Problem: Download is impossible due to an error syncing your Google account or insufficient cache memory.
Solution: Remove your Google Account, delete useless apps, reboot your device in recovery mode, wipe the cache partition, and re-add your Google Account.
Problem: Occurs when trying to download larger applications.
Solution: Clear cache and data from the Google Play Store and try downloading the app again.
Google Play Services stopped
If Google Play Services stopped on your Android, you should probably back up everything and go for the factory reset. Google Play Services is an essential system service that can’t be removed or uninstalled. It does a lot of work in the background so, if it starts failing, it means that the system is crumbling, too.
Nonetheless, before we move to resetting your Android to factory settings, you can try fixing it with the following steps:
- Clear data from Google Play Services and restart your Android.
- Uninstall Google Play Services updates in Settings > Apps > Google Play Services > 3-dots menu > Uninstall updates.
- Update Android in Settings > Software update.
- Reset your phone or tablet to factory settings.
And, with that, we can conclude this article. Hopefully, we helped you fix particular Google Play Store issues you run into. Feel free to share your questions or alternative solutions in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in October 2018. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.