Fix: Google Play Store error 963 when downloading apps

We all sometimes take the Android user experience for granted. I mean, we can install hundreds of apps and never run into a single issue. Although the Google Play Store is not perfect, it is quite reliable. Unless it suddenly isn’t. There are Google Play Store errors like error 963 which are quite a headache.

If you are having a hard time fixing this error, check the steps we provided for you below.

Table of contents:

  1. Remove the SD card and move apps to local storage
  2. Clear Store’s cache and data
  3. Uninstall Play Store updates
  4. Download an APK of the app

How do I fix Google Play error 963?

If you got this error, then you are probably aware that the full error reads “App couldn’t be downloaded due to error (963)”. So, it prevents users from downloading or updating apps on the Google Play Store. But why it occurs?

The most common reason is the location of the app, as the affected app is probably located on external storage. On the other hand, it’s not impossible that error 963 appears due to an abundance of the locally stored cache.

Solution 1 – Remove the SD card and move apps to local storage

This exact error and many similar issues that occur when downloading apps on the Play Store occur due to the SD card. Namely, some older Android iterations allowed for a lot of apps to be transferred to external storage (SD card) to relieve some internal storage.

Although both cache and data are still stored locally, this was quite helpful. At least for large games that can take up a lot of storage space. And it still is, at least for some devices and certain apps.

However, some things changed in the meantime and many apps that worked and got updates seamlessly, won’t work from external storage these days. That’s the cause of our problem right there.

Firstly, you can try and move the app that’s causing the Google Play error 963 to local storage. If that doesn’t help, remove (unmount) your SD card and try updating again. That should address the issue.

Follow these instructions to unmount an SD card from your device:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Storage.
  3. Under the External storage, tap on the SD card and then select Unmount.

Solution 2 – Clear Store’s cache and data

Now, if the issue persists, we suggest clearing the cache and data from the Google Play Store and the associated system app, Google Play Services. This should resolve the problem completely, as there are reports of piled-up data causing the halt in system apps.

Follow these instructions to clear the cache and data from the Play Store and Play Services:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps.
  3. Then open All apps or App Manager.
  4. Tap on the 3-dot menu and choose to show system processes.
  5. Locate the Google Play Store and open it.
  6. Open Storage.
  7. Clear the cache first and then all data.
  8. Get back to the all apps list, locate Google Play Services, and clear cache and data as well.
  9. Reboot your device and look for improvements.

Solution 3 – Uninstall Play Store updates

In case the Google Play error 963 keeps reappearing, you can uninstall updates to Google Play Store and Google Play Services. They will update automatically and, hopefully, without the issue this time. Since we can’t reinstall system apps clean, this is the closest thing to starting from scratch.

Follow these instructions to uninstall updates from the Play Store and Play Services:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Apps > App manager.
  2. Open the Google Play Store and tap Uninstall updates.
  3. Get back to all apps (make sure that system apps are being shown), open Google Play Services, and uninstall updates there as well.
  4. Reboot your device and try downloading the affected app again.

Solution 4 – Download an APK of the app

Finally, if the error keeps popping up every time you try to update or install a particular app on the Google Play Store, you can try and install it from a third-party source. Just navigate to APK Mirror or any other APK aggregate website, and download whatever you need.

You will be prompted to grant the system permission to install apps from third-party sources. Once you’ve done that, the APK installation will be done in no time.

There are plenty of versions of the most popular apps, some dating months back. You can make your choice and avoid Google Play Store altogether. Now, we don’t recommend this for all apps or to make it standard practice for obvious security reasons. However, in this scenario, we thought to suggest it as an option.

With that said, we can call it a wrap. Thank you for reading and make sure to report other Play Store issues or post your questions in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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