Fix: ”Application Not installed” error when installing from Play Store or APK file

There’s no OS without issues. And Android is sometimes prone to problems just due it’s massively used with so many smartphone manufacturers. One error that’s not common but can diminish your will to live is ”Application Not Installed”. It affects certain only certain apps but we can’t say for sure which are those.

So, if you’re sure that you installed the troubled app properly (either via Play Store or APK), but the error keeps popping up, we advise you to check the solutions we prepared below.

Hopefully, with our little help, you’ll be able to resolve the issue.

Clear Play Store’s app cache and data

If you’re using stock Android, this should be the first troubleshooting step. Namely, cache and data that are stored in the Play Store app can get corrupted and thus cause the issues with future downloads and updates. Yes, they’re both useful, either for speeding up app-processes or storing essential setting. However, it’s advised to clean them from time to time.

If you’re unsure how to clean Cache and Data from the Play Store app, follow the instructions below:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open Apps (Applications).
  3. Tap Play Store and open the Storage.
  4. Clear Cache and Data.
  5. Get back to Apps and open Play Store Services.
  6. Open Storage and clear Cache.
  7. Restart your device and try downloading an app again.

Reinstall app

Some apps are just gonna make a bad first impression. That’s rarely the case, but certain apps, especially demanding games, can start with you on the wrong foot. Of course, it’s imperative that you cover the requirements. If it’s there, it doesn’t mean that you can run it. But, if you’re certain that you can and error is persistent in its goal to ruin your experience, just try to reinstall it.

Moreover, some users reported that, after the deeper analysis, they get the things going by removing all of the app-related media from the device. For example, if you use WhatsApp and it starts to misbehave, uninstall it and delete WhatsApp-related folders. Backup saved photos from your conversations and delete it. Later on, install WhatsApp again and the problem should be resolved.

Follow these steps to do so with any app that’s flawed:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open Apps.
  3. Open the troubled app and choose ”Uninstall”.
  4. Restart your phone.
  5. Use File Explorer of some kind to navigate to the app-related folder and delete it.
  6. Restart your device again.
  7. Open Play Store and install the app.
  8. Check for changes.

Make sure that you have enough storage space

Besides many other things that can cause this error, lack of storage space is probably at the top of the list. You must be aware that the app can take much more data than its original size. In addition, media files tend to pile up quickly. If you don’t have support for external storage, your internal storage may suffer.

Follow the tips below to clean up your storage:

  • Use SD card (if supported) for media files like music, photos, videos etc. It can be used for apps, as well, but that might cause additional issues. We’ll explain it below.
  • Use Google Drive or the 3rd-party cloud service of choice to upload your data. Delete it afterward.
  • Clear data from apps. It will reset your settings or login credentials but will grant you some storage space.
  • Uninstall unused apps. If you don’t use it on weekly basis, there’s a chance that you don’t need it, don’t you agree?

You can find additional tips in this article.

Switch from SD to Internal storage

Sometimes, especially with the older Android handsets, you might decide to use SD to install apps. They’ll still run through internal storage, but most of the installation data will be stored on SD card. Now, you can even format an SD card initially as the internal storage on Marshmallow or Nougat. However, as we already stated before, SD card is much better for storing media files.

In other words, SD card as the main storage might cause errors, especially due to slower reading speeds. Because of that, we recommend making sure that the internal storage is where all apps are downloaded and installed.

Follow the steps below to set the Internal Storage as default:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Storage.
  3. Change Default Storage to Internal.
  4. Try updating again.

Enable the ”Unknown Sources” feature in Settings

Now, let’s move to APK issues. APK installation shouldn’t cause any problems. It might be dangerous since some apps from third-party sources can get you in trouble, but, we’re sure that most of them are as trustworthy as the ones on Play Store. However, if you’re running a stock Android (and most users does), you’ll need to allow third-party installation files.

If you’re not sure how to do that, these instructions should help you:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Advanced and open Security.
  3. Scroll down and enable Unknown Sources.
  4. If you already have that app installed (even different version), make sure to uninstall it and restart your device.
  5. Navigate to the folder where the APK is stored and install it.
  6. Restart your device.

Some users reported further issues related to updating APK app over Play Store. Have in mind that certain apps can’t be updated if they’re not in the Play Store list. For that, you’ll need a custom ROM and a third-party updater. But it’s unlikely for that to happen with the majority of the mainstream apps.

Make sure that APK file isn’t corrupted or incomplete

There are dozens if not hundreds of viable choices if you’re keen to download APK. However, as we mentioned, that’s not the stock Android in its true nature. Why? Well, you’ll need to inform about the system requirements since not all apps are supported by older Android devices (KitKat and earlier). The second thought goes to file completion. You’ll need a proper APK file in order to install and run it on your device.

Also, some users transfer archived files instead of just APK, which can be a problem, depending on tools you have on your device. Built-in file explorers aren’t always suited to do WinRar’s job. So, basically, you have 3 choices:

  • To extract the APK file on your PC and transfer it like that to your device.
  • To use File Explorer or similar app for extraction on your Android.
  • And, to use some kind of PC Android Suite to perform these actions.

It’s completely your choice. If APK is spot on, you should have an easy time installing it. In addition, the above-mentioned error should be out of the way.

Wipe cache partition data

Until now, we tried to address the app-related issues. However, if the problem is within the system, some more advanced measures are needed. After some time, for various reasons, you can encounter strange errors that weren’t there before. Unoptimized and unpolished updates are the main reason.

Now, since there’s no a simple way to downgrade the OS, at least, on stock Android, you can always wipe cache partition and remove possible errors within the cache partition. This action won’t lead to losing your data, and it will clear system cache.

This is how to wipe the cache partition in Android:

  1. Make sure that the battery isn’t completely depleted and power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down key and Power Button simultaneously.
  3. Once the phone starts, use the Volume Down to navigate through the menu.
  4. Select Recovery mode with the single press of Power button.
  5. Press the Power button to start Recovery mode. The Android robot with exclamation point should appear.
  6. Hold Power Button and press once Volume Up key. The menu should appear.
  7. Use the volume buttons to scroll to “wipe cache partition” and confirm with a single press of Power Button.
  8. Have in mind that the access procedure can vary on different Android devices.

That should relieve you of possible corruptions in system cache and the issue at hand should be resolved.

Reset device to factory settings

Finally, if none of the above steps helped you to resolve the problem at hand, a factory reset might be the only thing you can turn to. The reasoning behind is similar to the reasoning behind cache partition wipe: after some time of extensive use or due to an update, things can go wrong.

If (when) that happens, make sure to backup your data, from both internal and external memory to a Google Drive or PC, and proceed to a factory reset.

This is how to do it:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Backup & Reset.
  3. Tap Factory Data Reset.
  4. Choose Reset Phone.
  5. Confirm selection and you should be good to go.

If you’re still stuck with this error, there’s a chance that your system can’t read from memory. Make sure to contact service or responsible vendor.

That’s a wrap. We certainly hope that this was a helpful read and that helped you to resolve the problem with your Android handset. If you have questions, suggestions or remarks of any kind, be so good to share them with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and have a great day.


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Jisnudeep Mandal
Jisnudeep Mandal
May 16, 2020 5:20 pm

None of these helped
I guess this is the issue with latest android version

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