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Play Store apps and games can't download on Android, how to fix

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It is not uncommon for Android users to face the error: the Play Store app does not download apps.

In this article, we'll number the reasons why the app does not download from Play Store and suggest best solutions. Here are some of them:

Table of Contents

Google Play Store is the most popular service that publishes new apps. With its help Android owners can download and install various content on their device, such as apps and games.

The downloading process, as a rule, does not cause any difficulties. It is enough to find the desired app, read the notification "Waiting for download" and wait for the start of the process. If the download still hasn't started after a couple of minutes, it's time to take action and fix the bug.

Easy ways to fix Play Store error

Quick ways to fix Play Store if apps aren't downloading:

  1. Thoroughly check your phone for viruses. Instruction, how to remove the virus via VirusTotal app. In addition to this, Malwarebytes is also a great peace of software. Basic version is free to use.

  2. Update Android to the latest version, install all important updates through Settings - Software update.

Detailed instructions are here. You can also enable Auto download over Wi-Fi feature.

  1. Create a new Google account and connect it to the phone instead of the old account (may have problems with authorization or security).

Go to Settings - Accounts and backup - Manage account and add new Google account.

  1. Fix system error related to the work of Google Play services on the phone. This error is very common case for Android users.

  2. Download another version of the Play Store app on Android. However, there is no 100% chance that the update will be successful.

  3. Android users with antivirus installed are recommended to temporarily disable the protection. Antivirus app can block the downloading of apps and interfere with the solution of the problem in the following ways.

If you can not understand why the app is not downloaded from Play Store, reboot the device. This is the fastest and easiest option, which, despite its simplicity, often helps to solve the problem.

Besides, restarting Android will help if there is a failure in Android.

The same goes for restarting the Play Store app.

Quite often, the long wait for a download in the Play Store is due to an unstable Internet connection. In such situation, you can perform the following steps by step:

  1. Reboot the router via the power button.
  2. Connect to another network and repeat the download of the app via Play Store.
  3. Switch the connection type from wi-fi to mobile Internet or vice versa.

Please note that downloading apps via mobile internet may incur additional data charges.

Memory card error

The phone may be using an sd card and it is selected as the recipient for downloading apps. This may be the reason for the Play Store error. There are two ways to solve the problem with downloading apps:

  1. Check memory card for read errors. This can be done through a card reader.
  2. If the card is readable, remove it from the device and repeat actions.

Time is incorrect on Android

Just like any system app, Google Play app may not work correctly if the basic Android settings have problems. Here is a list of typical errors:

  • Wrong time zone
  • Failed factory reset
  • Out of sync with world time

To fix the issue perform the following actions:

  1. Go to Android Settings - General management.
  1. In the Date and time section enable synchronization with the Network (the "Automatic date and time" option).
  1. Restart your mobile device.

Play Store update

One of the reasons why apps are not downloaded and Google Play displays an error, is connected with the automatic updating of other apps in Play Store.

It is necessary to perform the following actions:

  1. Check the Play Store Settings - Network Preferences
  1. Visit "Auto-update apps" section.
  1. If the "Over any network" or "Over Wi-Fi only" item is selected, this may be the reason for problems with the installation of new apps.
  2. Go to Play Store and open the menu (three bars at the top left).
  3. Go to the "Manage apps & device" - Manage tab.
  1. Check the list of apps. If a download pending message appears, wait to install new apps. The second option is to forcibly terminate the app update by tapping on the cross.

Safe Mode as a diagnostic tool

Safe mode is necessary to diagnose malfunctions. If Play Store crashes continue, open the app through Safe Mode. In this mode, Android works without any background processes.

How to use Safe Mode:

  1. Press the hardware Power button
  2. When the menu appears, tap the Power off button
  3. Select the Safe Mode option
  1. In Safe Mode, open Play Store

If the Play Store opens correctly, there may be a conflict of apps or services installed by the user. In order to fix the errors, uninstall unwanted apps.

Cache Cleanup

This method does not require any special knowledge, if you perform all the steps step by step:

  1. Go to the Settings - Apps section.
  1. Find and select the item "Google Play Store".
  1. Find the "Storage" section, tap on this item.
  1. Tap the "Clear data" and "Clear cache" buttons.
  1. Reset the data and clear the cache one by one, confirming each action in the popup windows.
  2. Return to the main menu, find the item "Delete updates" and confirm the action.
  3. Wait until the system deletes the update and restores the current version by itself.
  4. Restart the service and check if it works.

Temporary failure on Google server

No service is ever stable. Occasionally (though very rarely), Google servers crash. Because of this, the Play Store app may not connect to the network and you will not be able to install any apps.

The only way to deal with this error is to wait a few minutes or hours, then open Play Store again and check the status.

There is a special service that inform about technical failures on the Google Play service side. Using Downdetector you able to find out the current status of the server, whether the failure is fixed or not.

Installing apps via the Google Play online

You can install mobile apps without using Play Store on your phone. There is a web version of this service.

How to use it:

  1. Open a browser on your PC (Windows or Mac OS)
  2. Go to https://play.google.com/store/apps/
  3. Log in to your Google account (button on the top right)
  4. Search for the app you want to install on your phone
  5. Press the Install button
  6. Select your current mobile device from the list
  7. Make sure the Internet is turned on on your phone
  8. The app will be installed on Android

Fixing problem through Google account

The downloading error in Play Store can also be related to your Google account, which you can clear from unnecessary data by following simple instructions:

  1. Open Settings > Accounts and backup - Manage accounts.
  1. Go to the section with accounts.
  2. Select the "Google" item and tap the Remove account button to delete account.
  1. Delete the account by confirming the action in the pop-up window.
  2. Go back to the accounts section and find the "Add account" button.
  1. Enter a valid email address, phone number, and password.
  2. Go to Play Store under the new Google account and check if the app download error has been resolved.

Reset Settings

If none of the proposed methods are not suitable, and you still need to fix Play Store, you have to reset your device settings. This can be done through the Android menu or with the help of Recovery.

  1. Go to Settings > General management
  1. Tap the Reset > Factory data reset button one by one.
  1. Tap the Reset button and confirm the action.

Please note! Resetting will erase the data on your device, so you should transfer all important files to another media beforehand.

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The problem of waiting for a download from Play Store can be solved by various methods. Which one will work in your case? It is recommended to start with simple methods, gradually moving to more complicated ones if the error cannot be solved.

Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.