Many mobile operating systems have failed in recent years due to app compatibility and limitations. Your ability to use a phone or tablet without apps is incredibly limited.
The same goes for errors and glitches affecting your AndroidOS device. Although the operating system supports a wide range of applications, errors can still occur that, if not fixed, can render your smartphone almost unusable. So what can you do if your Android device won’t download or install apps?
This article will walk you through some troubleshooting and troubleshooting steps so you can get right back to installing apps on your Android device.
Android device won’t download or install apps
The Google Play Store is quite reliable, so serious complications rarely arise. But if you can’t download apps now, something is wrong somewhere. Before we move on to more intuitive solutions, let’s look at a few things you should check first.
If you can’t download apps, check these off your list first:
- Is your device charged? – On some devices, you may not be able to download new apps until your device is over 15% or even 30% charged.
- Do you have a stable internet connection? – Maybe you’re using cellular data or you’re connected to Wi-Fi, but the signal is weak. If possible, try a different WiFi network.
- Have you turned your device off and on again? – A quick restart of your phone often fixes most issues, including Google Play Store issues.
- Does the Google Play Store have a system-wide problem? – Check the Downdetector website. Maybe Google has a massive problem and you just have to wait for the developers to fix it.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of quick fix, try downloading an application from the Play Store. If your Android device still fails to download or install apps, here are some solutions you can try.
Check your free disk space
When troubleshooting a device, it pays to start with the basics. Downloads are dependent on having space available for your download. Most apps are only a few megabytes in size, but some are larger. Do you have enough storage space on your device? Need to do some spring cleaning before adding new stuff?
First, check the storage of your devices by following the steps below:
note: Since the Android interface varies by manufacturer and version, our tutorial covers general specifics that should work for everyone.
- open that settings on your device and search with the magnifying glass storage.
- Tap on storage in the displayed list.
- Check the amount of available disk space listed.
When your storage is full, you can quickly delete rarely used apps by tapping applicationsselect the apps you want to delete, then tap Uninstall.
Now go back to the Google Play Store and try to download the desired app again. However, if you have a lot of storage space, read on for more solutions.
Check your network
We briefly mentioned this above, but your network connection has a lot to do with the ability to download apps. Whether your downloads are very slow or not happening at all, let’s take a closer look at your internet connection.
Regardless of how you download your apps (over Wi-Fi or cellular data), check that the network you’re connected to is strong enough to maintain the connection. If your WiFi is congested, you’re almost out of range, or you only have a bar or two of signal, you should wait until you’re in a better position before downloading your app.
One of the first signs that you are having network connection problems is websites and apps not loading properly. You can run a speed test using your phone’s browser or, if you already have the app, to check a solid connection.
If you’re using WiFi, try switching to mobile data. Or you can try a different Wi-Fi network if one is available. If mobile data is your only option, turn it on settings on your Android device to ensure background data usage is turned on.
- You can do this by going to Settings > Apps > Google Play Store > Cellular data & Wireless Internet access option and toggle the switch next to on background data.
Restart your device
One of the easiest and most effective ways to fix software issues is to restart the device. Perhaps your troubles are caused by a simple bug. Rebooting will cause the phone to discard all processed code and start over. New processes will be loaded into memory and you may be able to download the app without errors.
Check your time and date settings
Authentication is a mobile process that takes the right amount of time to authenticate your device to Google Play and the download server. Most of our phones automatically sync the date and time to the network, but it’s worth checking.
All you have to do is verify that your operating system is in the correct time zone. If correct, continue. If it doesn’t, fix it or set it to automatic. Here’s how:
- open that settings on your Android device and enter Date and Time in the search bar.
- Flip the switch Automatic date and time for it to turn on.
- Turn your phone off and on again and make sure the time has updated.
Clear Google Play Store cache
If your Android device isn’t downloading or installing any apps even after all these steps, it might be worth clearing the store cache. The cache is a temporary storage where the Google Play Store stores all the data that it uses and/or needs to function. It can get damaged, so it’s worth checking.
- Choose settings and Apps & Notifications.
- Choose Google play store.
- Choose storage and clear cache.
- Repeat for Google Play Services and Google Services Framework if present.
Change your Google Play Store permissions
Permissions are usually set automatically, so there’s not always a reason to tweak them. However, if you’ve gotten this far and still can’t download or install an app, it’s worth a try.
- Choose settings and applications & Notifications.
- Choose Google play store.
- Choose Permissions.
- Make sure SMS and Phone are enabled. Contacts and location are optional, but turn them on to test.
- Choose Google Play Services and then Permissions.
- Make sure the permissions are set to To allow for body sensors, call logs, camera, contacts, files and media, location, microphone, SMS and phone.
- Test the app download again.
Some security apps affect these settings and prevent the Google Play Store from working properly. If you do not want all of these services to be accessible, you can disable them after testing.
Uninstall Google Play updates
It’s no secret that software updates tend to introduce new problems. If the Play Store problem started after a software update, you can uninstall the latest version. Sometimes reverting to a previous version of the software is enough to fix the problem.
To uninstall a Google Play Store update:
- Open Settings on your phone and tap applications & Notifications.
- Scroll down and tap Google play store.
- Tap on the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
- Tap on Uninstall updates.
Now restart the Play Store and try to download the app.
frequently asked Questions
Having problems with your device isn’t fun, especially when you can’t use important features like the Google Play Store. If you still have questions, read on.
What do I do if I accidentally delete the Google Play Store on my Android device?
The Google Play Store is a pre-installed application on most Android devices. Maybe you’ve searched your app drawer and home screen and can’t find the little Play Store icon anywhere. The good news is that unless you’re using an AndroidOS device that didn’t come with the native Google Play Store app, you haven’t actually deleted it.
Here’s what to do if you can’t find the Google Play Store app on your device:
1. Open settings and tap Apps & Notifications.
2. Scroll down the list until you see Google play store. Then tap on it.
3. At the bottom of this new page you will see the option to turn on or Enable. Tip It.
4. Go to your app drawer and search for Google Play Store. It should appear, but you’ll need to add it back to the home screen.
If your Google Play Store app is lost, it’s probably because it was disabled, not deleted.
What do I do if I can’t update apps?
Among other Play Store issues, you may encounter an error that prevents you from updating applications. The Android operating system relies on the Google Play Store to upload most of your applications. Most of the steps listed above apply to this issue as well as the inability to install apps. However, you should also try stopping the offending app as an extra step.
To force quit an application on Android:
1. Open the settings on your device and tap applications & Notifications.
2. Tap the app you’re having trouble with, then tap force stop On the right side.
Now try to update the application again. If none of the listed steps work, you can uninstall and reinstall the problematic app. However, there are times when apps are no longer supported by the developers. Go to the Google Play Store and check for developer updates.
If your Android device isn’t downloading or installing any apps, one of the steps above may help. Know of other ways to get downloads working? Tell us about it below if you do!