Is the Google Play Store app not working for you? Are you getting a persistent error message saying that the app could not connect? If so, look no further, because we here at Appamatix have several potential fixes for your Google Play Store app not working, plus solutions that may fix the connection problem.
This error has been reported on even the most recent build of the Android operating system, Marshmallow. And it seems to occur with enough frequency, and on a big enough variety of devices and OS configurations, that it’s difficult to pin the connection error for the Google Play Store app down to a single cause. This makes it difficult to find a single “magic bullet” to fix the Google Play Store app when it’s not working. However, we’ve conferred with a lot of users who have had this problem (and have solved it) in order to provide you with a wide selection of potential solutions. If you try everything listed in this article, you should be able to fix the connection of your Google Play Store app that isn’t working.
Normal people […] believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. — Scott Adams
Google Play Store Not Working — Connection Fix
As I said above, it’s difficult to lock in a single cause as being behind all of the connection error that you may be receiving when you attempt to fire up the Google Play Store app on your Android device. However, whether a distinct cause can be positively identified or not, I think it can generally be agreed upon that this is a real nuisance. The inconvenience can be minor (such as not allowing you to get onto the Google Play Store app when you just want to browse around to see what new apps are available), to the much more problematic (such as if you desperately need to delete and reinstall an app that’s causing some real and perhaps system-threatening problems on your Android device).
Below are a variety of solutions that friends have reported, that have worked for me, or else that I have just found in my research for this article. I have tried to arrange them in order of ease — the simplest solutions to attempt are first, the ones that require more time and effort show up later — although, of course, what is easy and what is hard is a completely subjective value that will vary from person to person. I have to put my hands into “L’s” to tell my left from my right; but I also can do trigonometry in my head. Hard is relative. Tangent over.
Check the Time and Date Settings
A rather simply addressed glitch that shows up in a lot of solutions to these sorts of problems is to check for conflicts in your Time and Date settings. If you’re ever having any kind of network error, this should be the first thing you try. Make sure your time and date are set properly. Some users have reported being able to fix this problem if they uncheck the “Automatic Time Zone” setting in their device. You can do this pretty simply by…
- Going into the Settings app
- Tapping “Date & Time”
- Unchecking the automatic settings (in different builds, it may be referred to slightly differently but it should be clear from the context just which setting you are looking for.)
Check Your Google Email and Password
Oh yes, it’s like the olden days of television repairmen, when the first question they ever asked before they bothered to come across town and look at your TV was “Is it plugged in?”. The simple solution that nonetheless is very common because of how easy it is to overlook. Check to make sure that your Gmail criteria are entered correctly, and that you’re even signed in. If you’re not signed in correctly, this may be what’s keeping the Google Play Store app from connecting.
If you are logged in correctly and it’s still not getting through, try logging out and then logging back in.
Toggle Airplane Mode and/or WiFi
Perhaps the problem isn’t a conflict in the app per se, but is rather just some hiccup in the device’s connection. In this case, try turning on Airplane mode (or just turning off the WiFi), waiting a few minutes, and then turning it back on.
Restart the Device
Note that I said Restart and not Reset. We’ve yet to see if things are serious enough to require a Factory Reset (as always, and as I’ve written before, let us consider this the nuclear option), but I have not yet encountered the electronic device on which simply restarting the device failed to clean out some of the minor bugs. Note, that I’m saying that, in this experience, this fixes some problems on all devices. I’m not saying it will fix all problems; stop putting words into my mouth! Hey, sorry about that little outburst. I’m okay now. Restarting your device is usually pretty easy to do and (unless something serious is going on with your device) won’t have any lasting detrimental effect. So try this one out. In fact, try it out numerous times. Sometimes, rather than this being a solution in and of itself, it’s the unspoken second half of the solution. If resetting the date and time doesn’t work, then try restarting after you adjust the date and time. If clearing your cache doesn’t work, try restarting after you clear your cache. It’s usually worth a shot, if nothing else. And may save you from looking like this:
You’re scared of the claw.
Use the Browser
Android isn’t nearly as restrictive with how you use your device as Apple is. Whereas on an Apple device, you can only ever download and install new apps from the App Store app, Android devices are much more open-minded, and will give you the option to download and install from the device’s browser. If you navigate your browser to the Google Play Store website, you may be prompted as to whether you would like to open the app, or to continue using the Internet or Chrome.
Some users reported receiving this prompt when they first navigated to the site, and others didn’t receive the prompt until they attempted to update an app. In any event, if you choose to use the Internet, you will then be called on to sign into your account. Some (not all) users have reported that once they sign in from the mobile browser on their device, it somehow triggers the Google Play Store app to recognize its connection and fixes the connection error. As always, your mileage may vary, but it’s a relatively easy workaround to attempt. And once again, may save you from looking like this:
Clear Your Android Device’s Cache
Modern computers make work easier for themselves by storing a lot of recently downloaded data and media in a cache, so that these things don’t have to be downloaded again next time a page is loaded or accessed. However, sometimes these accumulated data fragments can make it difficult for your device to function efficiently. Think of it like the junk drawer in your kitchen, and that having it crammed full of random odds and ends sometimes keeps the drawer from closing. Yes, it’s a poor analogy, but no analogy is perfect, and no kitchen is complete without that drawer.
Anyway, here’s how to clear your device’s cache:
- In your device’s “Settings” menu, go to “Apps.”
- In “Apps,” look for (and select) “All Apps.”
- Choose the Google Play Store app.
- Tap “Force Stop.” Other than sounding like a maneuver taught in Jedi driver’s ed courses, this will make the cache available.
- Tap “Clear Cache.”
Uninstall the Google Play Store Updates
Although Android devices typically aren’t as dastardly about trying to think for you as some other devices, sometimes they will nonetheless download and install updates for apps without your sayso, knowledge, or permission. If this has occurred, and you think it may be behind your technological kerfuffle, (don’t you love the word kerfuffle?), you can uninstall the update and revert to an earlier version of the Google Play Store app. You can do this in the Google Play Store app settings that were previously accessed in the steps for clearing the app’s cache.
Factory Reset Your Device
If you’ve come this far and you still haven’t been able to solve the problems in your device, then you may want to consider a Factory Reset. Sometimes referred to as a Hard Reset, this will restore your device to the settings with which it was shipped, undoing everything you have done with your device. If you are doing this, make sure to back up your information. I go into more detail on how to Factory Reset an Android device in a previous article.
That’s the entire gamut of successful solutions I’ve been able to uncover. Well, not all of them of course, but most of the others are just variations of the above. I have also seen a few solutions that require rooting the device, but I’m more than hesitant to advise that, as it is very easy to compromise your device’s security, or else brick it entirely.
Other than that, if this has been helpful to you, do not hesitate to share this article with others who may be having this same problem. And if there are any other solutions that have helped you but aren’t mentioned here, by all means mention them in the comments.