Full Guide: How to fix common Google Play issues

Google Play is the heart and soul of each and every Android device. Now, imagine what would happen if that vital organ stopped working. Your phone would basically become an empty shell.

Luckily, such drastic Google Play issues rarely happen. So, you really don’t have to worry about not being able to download any apps on your phone. On the other hand, various minor problems with the Google Play Store can happen occasionally. And that can be quite annoying.

Once they happen, your device will become almost unusable, as the foundation of the Android system lies in Google Play’s associated services. We decided to dig deep into the user reports and enlisted the most common issues and their respective solutions. The list is below so feel free to check it out.

Table of contents:

Fix – Google Play Services has stopped

This is one of the most reoccurring issues concerning Google Play Services and Google Play Store. Even though we’re referring to a built-in application and essential part of the Android platform, the Google Play Services is still prone to occasional errors. And sudden crashes are nothing strange, although not as expected as with some third-party apps.

What Google Play Services do is connect all installed apps with your Google account and it tends to pile up a lot of data. This application can’t be deleted or reinstalled.

If you’re seeing the “Google Play Services has stopped working” error, it means that something is probably wrong with the locally stored data or the app is not up-to-date. Of course, if this is an isolated case, you can just restart your device and everything should be fine.

On the other hand, if the problem is persistent and Google Play Services crash often, here’s what you can do to resolve it:

  • Restart your device.
  • Clear cache from the Google Play Store and Google Play Services. Open Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps > Google Play Store > Storage and tap Clear Cache.
  • Clear data from the Google Play Store and Google Play Services. Navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps > Google Play Store > Storage and tap Clear Data.
  • Do the same with the Google Services Framework. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps > tap on the 3-dot menu and choose Show system > open Google Services Framework and clear cache and data.
  • Reset the Google Play Store to factory settings. Just access the app in App settings, tap on the 3-dot menu and uninstall updates.

Fix – Google Play Services is updating

This is a quite rare issue but it affected and it might affect a lot of Android users. Moreover, it affects almost exclusively users who enrolled in the Beta program for the Google Play Services. This issue was distinctively bothering Huawei and Honors users, but it might happen on various devices, nonetheless. Google is the one to partially blame, as that Beta update wasn’t well-optimized. But, we all know that the Beta versions are for testing and not exactly recommended on daily-driver devices.

By any case, if you run into this problem where the Google Play Services app is constantly updating, we recommend taking these steps:

  • Clear Google Play Services cache and data.
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps & notifications (Application manager).
  3. Select All apps.
  4. Open Google Play Services and tap Storage.
  5. Clear cache and data.
  • Leave the Beta program for the Google Play Services and reinstall the app.
  1. Open Google Play Services in Settings again and open App details.
  2. Under the “You’re beta tester” section, tap Leave.
  3. Wait until the Google Play Services reinstall a stable version and restart your handset.
  • Uninstall Google Play Services updates and update the app again.
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Security & location.
  3. Open “Apps with usage access”.
  4. Set Off for Google Play Services.
  5. Now, open Apps & notifications and choose All apps.
  6. Open Google Play Services and Disable it.
  7. Re-enable it again and wait until it installs.
  8. Restart your handset.
  • Reset device to factory settings.

Fix – Google Play Services battery drain

Battery drainage is a grave problem, especially since modern-day handsets already have larger screens which are major consumers on their own. And that’s why most users have zero tolerance when some rogue app takes a substantial part of their SoT (Screen-On Time). This can happen with the Google Play Services, too. But, in comparison to all third-party apps, you can’t prevent this essential app from working in the background.

What you can do is make sure it’s performing as intended and, that way, avoid it draining both your battery and taking too much of other system resources.

Here are some steps you should try in order to reduce battery drains:

  • Clear Google Play Services cache and data.
  • Disable Auto-update. Open the Google Play Store > 3-line menu > Settings > Auto-update apps, and disable it.
  • Leave the Beta program for the Google Play Services and reinstall the app.
  • Reset the device to factory settings.

Fix – Google Play not available in your country

Due to various regulations, the Google Play Store and all associated services are not available in some countries. Those countries are scarce, but some of them have an enormous user base. China is probably the best example. This directly prevents the access to all 2.9 million apps, some of them essential for the true Android experience.

Now, if you’re in dire need for Android’s native services, there’s a way to install the Google Play Store via the APK. We made sure to explain the whole procedure below:

  1. Open Settings (pre-Oreo Android versions).
  2. Choose Security and enable installation of Unknown apps.
  3. Open Chrome and navigate to APK Mirror, here.
  4. Download and install the latest version of the Google Play Store.

Fix – Google Play authentication is required

Another quite common problem. The Google Play authentication is dealt with the moment you’ve set up your device and administered a Google account. It shouldn’t appear again unless you’ve logged in with your Google account to an alternative device or restored the device to factory settings. Which certainly points out we’re looking at an error, a bug if you like.

This issue isn’t exactly complex to resolve as the troubleshooting includes all basic steps. If you’re not sure what to do, feel free to check our recommended solutions:

  • Reboot your device and try again.
  • Remove your Google account and sign in again.
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Users & accounts.
  3. Remove the Google account and restart your device.
  4. Go back to User & accounts and sign in again.
  • Clear data and cache from the Google Services Framework. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps > tap on the 3-dot menu and choose Show system > open Google Services Framework and clear cache and data.

Fix – Google Play billing not supported

Purchasing an app, game, book or a music track on the Google Play Store is usually quite a simple task. It’s configured that way that you can do it in one tap and authorize the purchase with the fingerprint scanner. As simple as that. However, some users have run into the “Google Play billing not supported” error.

The problem might be on your side, so we suggest checking your payment methods and available funds. Of course, if the error is persistent after that, we encourage you to take this steps and hopefully resolve it:

  • Remove your Google Account and sign in again. Open Settings > Users & accounts, and delete your Google Account. Restart the device and sign in again.
  • Try another paying method, if available. Open Google Play Store > 3-line menu > Account > Payment methods, and add another payment method.
  • Clear cache and data from the Google Play Store.

Fix – Google Play certification status

The next spot is reserved for a certification error which prevents users from accessing the Google Play Store. You’ve might’ve seen the error message “Device is not Certified by Google” if you’ve purchased the device from the unsupported market, like China. A lot of devices purchased there don’t come with the Global versions out of the box.

And without the Google-certified Android version, you’ll be deprecated of all Google apps, including the Google Play Store, Google Photos, Gmail etc. Also, this applies to some custom ROMs which are not certified by Google, but we’re sure that journeymen users will know what to do in this scenario.

For the rest, there’s a way to make your handset certified, but this isn’t a permanent or even reliable solution. Follow the steps below to give it a try:

  1. Download the Device ID APK, here.
  2. Install the APK and find out your Google Service Framework (GSF) code. Copy it.
  3. Now, open Chrome and navigate to the Device registration website, here, and paste the code.
  4. Click Register and wait for some time.
  5. Try downloading Google Play services to your device again.

Kudos to XDA for this solution. Albeit, it might not work on all devices and you might need to flash the current foreign ROM to a certified OS release.

Fix – Google Play Services crash

This problem is rather similar to the first one we enlisted with only slight nuanced differences. Usually, the Google Play Services crash during the backup or after the badly-administered system update, but chances are that a bad Beta update is conflicting with your Android.

The solutions are similar as well, and here are the instructions to follow:

  • Restart your device.
  • Clear cache from the Google Play Store and Google Play Services.
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps & notifications.
  3. Select All apps.
  4. Open Google Play Store and choose Storage.
  5. Tap Clear cache.
  6. Do the same for Google Play Services.
  • Reset Google Play Store app to default values. Open Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps > Google Play Store, and tap Disable and then choose to restore to factory values. Restart your device and update the Google Play Store.
  • Update your system. Open Settings > System > System update, and check for updates.

Fix – Google Play no connection

Of course, in one way or another, all Google Play’s associated services require the stable connection in order to work. The Google Play Store, for example, is completely blank and offers no options without a stable Wi-Fi or Mobile Data network. Which makes the “No internet connection” error quite common.

Now, of course, this looks like a certain connection problem. You need to sort out the network and we’re back in the game. However, some affected users singled out the Google Play Store as the only app or service having connectivity issues. All other apps were successfully accessing the online content.

With that in mind, we enlisted all possible solutions, both related to connection troubleshooting and the Google Play Store itself.

  • Reboot your phone and your wireless router.
  • Enable Airplane mode and disable it.
  • Reset Network settings
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Select Reset options.
  4. Tap Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth and confirm the selection.

Fix – Google Play couldn’t sign in

Another commonly-reported issue concerns the sing in error into the Google Play services. We already mentioned in one of the previous steps that the authorization is done automatically via the Google Play Services and the Google Play Framework. However, if any of the two fails, the sign in process will fail, too.

This, of course, can be resolved with a few steps, depending on what’s exactly causing the problem at hand. The steps you should follow are below:

  • Remove and add the Google Account again. Go to Settings > Users & accounts and remove the Google Account. After you reboot the device, sign ina gain and try accessing the Google Play.
  • Clear cache and data from the Google Play Store, Google Play Services and Google Services Framework.
  • Leave the Beta program for the Google Play Services and install the stable release.

Error codes ( 924, 500, 927, 505, 491, 492, 963)

Now, besides the direct prompts, the Google Play store also has a fair number of error codes, which might come in confusing for some users. Although every error code means a different thing (network issues, failed authentication, Play Store for web issues etc.), one set of solutions is applicable to most of them.

Of course, you can always check for additional information online to determine what’s the exact cause as these errors appear scarcely. Here’s the list of all applicable solutions for the majority of Google Play error codes:

  • Clear cache and data from the Google Play Store and Google Play Services.
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps & notifications.
  3. Select All apps.
  4. Open Google Play Store and choose Storage.
  5. Tap Clear Cache and Clear Data.
  6. Do the same for the Google Play Services.
  • Reset the Google Play Store to factory values.
  • Check the connection settings. Switch from Mobile Data to Wi-Fi and vice versa, reset Network settings if necessary.
  • Reset the Google Play Store to default values.
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps & notifications.
  3. Select All apps.
  4. Open Google Play Store from the list of apps.
  5. Click on the Disable and restore the app to factory values.
  6. Restart your handset and administer updates.

Fix – Google Play Store “item not found” error

You don’t have to be a power user to spend fair chunks of time roaming through Google Play Store sections. And, sometimes, just as you’ve found a handy app, the “Item not found” error pops up suddenly. This is not an uncommon error as some others here, but it’s fair to say it won’t bother you too often.

There’s always a small chance that the app/game/book is removed, but that’s hardly a common case. What’s more likely is the Google Play Store and Google Play Services having some issues with the locally stored data. The Google Play Store cached data allows you, as with any other Android app, access everything faster. But, as you can see, that’s not always working the way it’s intended.

For that reason, we suggest following these instructions in order to resolve this error:

  • Restart your phone.
  • Clear app’s cache and data in the Google Play Store, Google Play Services and Google Services Framework (Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps > Show system > open apps one by one, access Storage and Clear Cache and Data).
  • Sign out of your Google Account and sign in again.

Fix – Google Play Store “insufficient storage” error

If some of the errors here got you bamboozled, this one is as straightforward as they come. The problem might be caused by a minor bug occasionally, but most of the time it occurs because you simply lack storage space to administer updates.

That’s why we encourage you to back up your data to an external storage or Google Drive (or any other cloud of your choice) and give the internal storage some space to breathe.

With that said, we can call it a wrap. If there’s something we forgot to enlist, don’t shy away from telling us in the comments section below.

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