Fix: Google Play Services for Instant apps has stopped

Google Play Instant Apps is a thing for a couple of years and there’s a chance you’ve never heard of it. What is Google Play Instant Apps? Simply put, Google allows developers to add slimmed-down previews of their apps with essential functionality. The idea is for users to test apps without the need to install them. Overall, a useful feature. However, some users started getting an error closely related to Instant Apps. The pop-up “Google Play Services for Instant Apps has stopped” appears and they can’t do much.

If you, too, have problems with the same error, check the steps we provided below. On the other hand, if you get the “Google Play Services has stopped”, check this article where we offer some applicable solutions.

Table of contents:

  1. Clear local data from Google Play Services and associated services
  2. Uninstall updates from Google Play Services
  3. Disable Instant apps
  4. Install the latest APK of Google Play Services
  5. Uninstall Google Play Services for Instant Apps
  6. Remove and add again your Google Account
  7. Reset your Android to factory settings

How do you fix the “Google Play Services for Instant apps have stopped” error?

1. Clear local data from Google Play Services and associated services

Firstly, restart your device. This is the best start to any troubleshooting and a lot of issues are addressed with a simple reboot. If that doesn’t help and you are still met with constant errors, we recommend clearing local data from Google Play Services and a few more Google services, too.

Google’s services that you should check are Google Play Services, Google Services Framework, and Google Play Store.

Here’s how to clear local data from the aforementioned services on your Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps & notifications (Apps).
  3. Expand All apps (App manager or Manage apps).
  4. Tap on the 3-dot menu and choose to Show system processes.
  5. Open Google Play Services from the list of available apps.
  6. Tap on Storage.
  7. Tap Manage Storage and Clear All data and confirm the selection.
  8. Do the same for Google Services Framework and Google Play Store.
  9. Restart your device and check for improvements.

2. Uninstall updates from Google Play Services

If that didn’t help, we recommend uninstalling updates from Google Play Services. Google Play Services is the essential system service that connects all your apps to your Google Account and ensures that all third-party apps can access Google’s services, like Maps or WebView. Of course, consequently, it affects how Instant Apps work.

You can’t uninstall Google Play Services and, if you can, you risk rendering your system unusable. What you can do is uninstall updates and reset the app that way. Once you do that, restart your device and check if the issues persist.

Here’s how to uninstall updates from Google Play Services:

  1. Again, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps.
  2. From the 3-dots menu, choose to Show System processes.
  3. Locate and open Google Play Services.
  4. Tap on the 3-dots menu and then select Uninstall updates.
  5. Confirm the selection and restart your device.

3. Disable Instant apps

This is an obvious solution. The option is buried in Play Store settings and allows you to prohibit the opening of web links as instant apps on your device. Once you disable this option, the error should stop popping and certain weblinks won’t lead to instant apps but to websites instead.

Here’s how to disable Instant Apps on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Google.
  3. Tap Settings for Google apps.
  4. Select Google Play Instant.
  5. Toggle the Upgrade web links option off.

Of course, you can still use Instant Apps if you open links that lead to them in your browser.

4. Install the latest APK of Google Play Services

The next thing you can try is to install the latest APK of Google Play Services. For some reason, Android sometimes won’t update the app on its own and you can’t do it manually. The only remaining option is to sideload and install APK from a third-party website.

We already wrote extensively about APKs, here, so make sure to check what are APKs and how they can improve your user experience.

Here’s how to install the latest APK of Google Play Services on your Android:

  1. Uninstall updates for Google Play Services.
  2. Navigate to APK Mirror, here, or use any other APK aggregator that you trust.
  3. Download the latest compatible and stable APK.
  4. Run the APK and allow the installation of third-party apps (unknown sources) on your device when prompted.
  5. Restart the device after the update/downgrade.

5. Uninstall Google Play Services for Instant Apps

The Instant Apps feature started with testing back in 2017 and, before they incorporated it within Google Play Services, this feature had a separate service conveniently called Google Play Services for Instant Apps. Exactly the one causing issues.

So, in 2021, you shouldn’t see this service since Instant Apps are now part of Google Play Services. But if you have a device with an old Android version that hasn’t been updated for a long time, chances are that the service is still there. And you should probably uninstall it to resolve the issue at hand. Ideally, you would also get the latest compatible version of Google Play Services.

Here’s how to uninstall Google Play Services for Instant Apps on Android:

  1. Again, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps.
  2. From the 3-dots menu, choose to Show System processes.
  3. Locate and open Google Play Services for Instant apps.
  4. Tap Uninstall and confirm to uninstall the app. If you can’t uninstall it and the option is grayed out, navigate to Settings > Security > Device admin apps and disable Find My Device. Get back to Apps and try uninstalling Google Play Services for Instant apps.

Don’t forget to re-enable Find My Device for obvious security reasons.

6. Remove and add again your Google Account

Another viable solution is to remove your Google Account and add it again. Everything on your Android phone is unified under the account you used to sign in. And, if the issues continue, you can try to address them by removing the account. This precedes factory reset because you won’t lose any data after removing the account but make sure to back up everything so you can restore Messages, Call logs, and System Settings.

Here’s how to remove and add your Google Account on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Accounts. You need to open Manage accounts on some devices.
  3. Now choose Google.
  4. Remove the Google account.
  5. Reboot your device and sign in again.
  6. Skip restoring apps from the backup, accept terms, and check if the “Google Play Services for Instant apps has stopped” appears again.

You can also boot into Safe mode and check if the issue appears there. If it doesn’t, uninstall recently installed apps and check for improvements. If the error keeps popping up, reset your device to the factory as explained below.

7. Reset your Android to factory settings

Finally, if none of the previous steps worked for you, we are afraid that the factory reset is the only thing we can suggest. Although tiresome, the procedure of resetting your device is much faster these days. Unless, of course, your internet is sluggish and you have a lot of data to restore. Learn how to back up your data, here.

More times than not, system issues are unfixable with regular troubleshooting steps, and a clean slate is needed to get your device in order. This is particularly recommended after major system updates since that transition often leads to issues. As a rule of thumb, as soon as you get a new Android version, back up everything and reset your smartphone to avoid possible issues.

With that in mind, here’s how to reset your Android to factory settings in a few simple steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Select Reset options.
  4. Tap Erase all (factory reset).
  5. Tap Erase all.
  6. Your device will restart and you’ll get to the initial setup screen.
  7. From there, sign in to Google and/or to OEMs account and restore everything that’s backed up.

You can also report the problem to Google Support, here. And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and do tell us if you were able to fix the problem with the steps we provided here. The comments section is just below.

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