What to do if your Android device doesn’t download or install apps
Many mobile operating systems have failed in recent years due to application compatibility and limitations. Your ability to use a phone or tablet without apps is incredibly limited.
The same goes for the errors and issues that affect your AndroidOS device. Although the operating system supports a wide range of applications, it is still possible to encounter errors that make your smartphone almost useless. So what can you do if your Android device isn’t downloading or installing apps?
This article will walk you through some troubleshooting steps and fixes so that you can get right back to installing apps on your Android device.
Android device does not download or install apps
The Google Play Store is quite reliable, so serious complications are rare. But if you can’t download apps right now, something’s wrong somewhere. Let’s go over some things you should check before moving on to more intuitive solutions.
If you are having trouble downloading apps, first check them off your list:
- Is your device charged? – Some devices may not allow you to download new apps until your device is charged more than 15% or even 30%.
- Do you have a stable WiFi connection? – You may be using cellular data or connected to WiFi but the signal is weak. Try another WiFi network if possible.
- Have you restarted your device? – Quick restart of your phone often fixes most of the problems; including issues with the Google Play Store.
- Is the Google Play Store having a system-wide issue? – Check the downdetector website. Maybe Google has a huge problem and you just have to wait for the developers to fix it.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the Quick Fix, try downloading an app from the Play Store. If that doesn’t solve your problem, here are some solutions you can try if your Android device isn’t downloading or installing apps.
Check your free space
Whenever you’re troubleshooting a device, it’s helpful to start with the basics. Downloads depend on the space available for download. Most applications are only a few megabytes in size, but some are larger. Do you have enough space on your device? Do you need to do a spring cleaning before adding new things?
First, check the storage of your devices by doing the following:
To note: Since the Android interface varies by manufacturer and version, our tutorial covers general specifics that should work for everyone.
- Open the Settings on your device and use the magnifying glass to search Storage.
- Press on Storage in the list that appears.
- Check the amount of available storage listed.
If your storage is full, you can quickly delete infrequently used apps by tapping applications, choosing the apps you want to remove, and then pressing 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, keep reading for more solutions.
Check your network
We mentioned it briefly 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 (using WiFi or cellular data), make sure the network you’re connected to is strong enough to maintain connection. If your WiFi is congested or you’re almost out of range, or if you only have a bar or two of signal, you might want to wait until you’re in a better position before downloading your app.
One of the first indicators that you’re having network connectivity issues is that websites and apps aren’t loading properly. You can run a speed test using your phone’s browser or if you already have the app to check for a strong connection.
If you are using WiFi, try switching to cellular data. Or, you can try another WiFi network if it is available. Assuming cellular data is your only option, check your Android device’s settings to make sure background data usage is available. You can do this by going to the Settings> Apps> Google Play Store> Mobile data option. Be sure that Allow data to be used in the background is activated.
Restart your device
Restarting the phone is always the first proper troubleshooting step you should take when things go wrong. As well-written as it is, software depends on timing and a complicated ballet of processing, allocation and execution to make everything run smoothly. If the timing is exceeded or if a previous line of code is blocked for some reason, everything can take the shape of a pear.
A restart will force the phone to delete all the code it was processing and start over. New processes will be loaded into memory and you may be able to download the application without any errors.
Check your time and date settings
Authentication is a mobile process that requires the correct time to authenticate your device with Google Play and the download server. Most of us have our phones to automatically sync the date and time with the network, but it’s worth checking out.
All you need to do is verify that your operating system is in the correct time zone. If this is correct, continue. If not, correct it or set it to automatic. Here’s how:
- Open the settings on your Android device and type Date and time in the search bar.
- Toggle the switch to Automatic date and time so that it lights up.
- Turn off your phone, then turn it back on and verify that the time has been updated.
Clear the Google Play Store cache
If your Android device is not downloading or installing apps even after all these checks, it may be useful to clear the Store cache. This is temporary storage where the Google Play Store stores all the data it uses and / or needs to function. It can be corrupted so it’s worth checking if things don’t go as planned.
- Select Settings & Apps.
- Select All apps and Google Play Store.
- Select Storage and Clear cache.
- Repeat for the Google Play service and Google Services Framework, if applicable.
Change your Google Play Store permissions
Ideally, you should never have to touch permissions as they are set automatically. However, if you’ve made it this far and still can’t download or install an app, it’s worth a try.
- Select Settings & Apps.
- Select Google Play Store.
- Select Permissions.
- Make sure SMS and phone are on. Contacts and location are optional, but turn them on for testing.
- Select Google Play Services in Apps & Permissions.
- Make sure permissions are enabled for body sensors, call logs, camera, contacts, location, microphone, SMS, storage, and phone.
- Retest the app download.
Some security apps will interfere with these settings, but the Google Play Store may be sensitive to this. If you do not want all of these services to be accessible, you can turn them off after testing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Having issues with your device isn’t fun, especially when you can’t use key features like the Google Play Store. If you still have questions, read on.
What if I accidentally deleted the Google Play Store on my Android device?
The Google Play Store is a preloaded app on most Android OS devices. Maybe you’ve searched your app drawer and home screen, and can’t find the little Play Store icon anywhere. Unless you’re using an AndroidOS device that doesn’t come with the native Google Play Store app, the good news is you haven’t actually deleted it.
Here is what to do if you can no longer find the Google Play Store app on your device:
1. Open Settings and tap Applications.
2. Scroll down until you see Google Play Store. Then press in.
3. At the bottom of this new page, you will see the Activate or Activate option. Tap on it.
4. Go to your app drawer and search for the Google Play Store. It should appear, but you’ll need to add it back to the Home screen.
When your Google Play Store app goes missing, it is most likely because it is disabled and not deleted.
If your Android device isn’t downloading or installing apps, one of the steps above will definitely help. Do you know of any other ways to make downloads work? Tell us about it below if you do!