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How to fix Google Play Store problems

Whether you want to watch the latest superhero movie, catch up on Game of Thrones, discover a good eBook, or find a weather app, the Google Play Store is where us Android fans go to stock our smartphones and tablets. If you bump into a problem with the Play Store, you will want to get it sorted out fast.

There are several different issues you might run into with Play Store. Perhaps it won’t open or load properly. Maybe it crashes or you can’t download or install apps. Chances are there’s a simple fix.

Here’s the first step: Make sure your internet is working. Check that your Wi-Fi or cellular data is turned on. The Play Store may even show you a message reading, “No internet connection” and asking you to check your mobile data or Wi-Fi. You may need to turn your data back on or connect to a functioning network before you can use the Play Store.

Is Google Play up and running?

If your smartphone or tablet is working normally and you can access websites and do other regular tasks, then it’s worth checking to see if Google Play is up and running properly. Check in with downdetector to see if there are any reports of an outage.

Clear the cache and data

There’s no Play Store outage and your internet connection is fine. Next, let’s try what Google calls giving the app “a fresh start.” We do this by clearing the app’s cache and data. Head to Settings and tap on Apps & Notifications and then “See all apps.”

Your apps are in alphabetical order, so scroll down until you find Google Play Store, then tap on it. Next, tap on Storage and tap on Clear Cache and Clear Data. Now you can re-open the Play Store app and try again. This can be especially useful if you’ve run into a glitch where you’re having trouble downloading an app.

If the Play Store is still acting up, be sure you’ve tried the classic move of turning your Android device off and then on again, or simply restarting it. It seems basic, but sometimes this is all you need to clear out a temporary error.

Capture a moment in time. Here’s how to take a screenshot on your Android phone.

Clear Download Manager and Google Play Services

You may need to look beyond just the Play Store when it comes to clearing cache and data. If the Play Store trick didn’t work, then move on to clearing the Download Manager and Google Play Services.

For Download Manager, tap on Settings, Apps & Notifications, and See all apps. Now tap on the three dots in the corner and tap on “Show system.” Scroll down to Download Manager, tap on it and then tap on Storage. Tap on the buttons to clear the data and cache. Repeat this same process for Google Play services. Open the Play Store and try your download again, though you may need to wait up to five minutes before this works.

Check your storage space

Google Play Store can have trouble downloading and installing apps if your phone or tablet has run out of storage space. You can check your storage quickly by opening Settings and looking for the Storage section. It will tell you how much space you have available. If you need to make room, then follow the steps in our Komando guide for freeing up space on your Android gadget.

Uninstall updates

Here’s one more step to try to get your Play Store working properly again. Open Settings, tap on Apps & Notifications, tap “See all apps,” scroll down to Google Play Store, and tap on it. Next, tap on the three dots in the corner and tap on “Uninstall updates.” You may see a message asking if you want to replace the app with the factory version. Tap on OK. You can then open the app and try your task again.

Chances are good your Play Store frustrations will be temporary. As usual, make sure you keep your Android device up to date with the latest system and app updates.

Kim’s eBooks are now available in Google Play Store. Start reading them in Play Books now!

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