What to do when your Play Store app won’t open

The Play Store is one of the most important apps on Android phones. For those that want the ability to easily download apps onto their phone, it’s a must have – though you can encounter problems with the app occasionally. If you want to fix Google Play Store, then we’re going to look at the best ways to do that.

What to do when your Play Store app won’t open

The Google Play Store, the key to making your phone your own, won’t open. Before we start working our way through possible fixes, let’s make sure that the problem isn’t Google itself.

Head on over to a “down detector” service like ServicesDown.uk to see if other people are reporting issues with the app. If they are, give Google some time to sort themselves out. If nobody else is having problems, keep reading for some common errors and steps you can take to resolve the problem.

Common Play Store error codes

Are you getting an error code? If not, you can skip down to the fixes. If you are shown an error code when the app fails to launch, you’re in luck – Google is telling you what’s wrong! Check below for the most common, and what to do if you’re seeing them;

Play Store Error 481 – There’s a big problem with your Google account. Unfortunately the only documented fix for this one is to remove your Google account from your phone and sign back in with a new one. To remove your account, follow these steps:

  1. Head to Settings
  2. Tap Accounts
  3. Tap Google

Play Store Error 505 – The recommended fix for this error is to clear the Google Play Store and Google Play Services cache. For instructions on doing so, jump to Fix 2 and Fix 3 below.

Play Store Error 919 – This error code means you’ve run out of storage space on your device. To clear some, consider deleting some old photos or apps that you no longer use. Alternatively if your phone has expandable memory, load it with a bigger SD card!

Play Store Error 927 – This error occurs when the app encounters a problem whilst updating itself. The best fix is to wait it out if the app is mid-update, or clearing he Google Play Store and Google Play Services cache. For instructions on doing so, jump to Fix 2 and Fix 3 below.

Play Store Error 944 – This code means Google’s servers are offline. The best solution is to wait, Google will have their best and brightest working to get things online again.

These are the error codes that bring up the most common Google Play Store issues. No error code? Then try the following steps to get the Play Store up and running again.

Play store not working: Key Fixes

There are a few simple things you can do quickly on your phone, like enabling automatic date and time settings to ensure that you’re setting the time zone automatically. once this is done, follow the instructions below.

Fix 1: Restart your phone & update

It’s cliché, but you’ll be amazed at how often “turning it off and on again” will get things moving. In many cases, simply resetting your device can fix Google Play Store. After you’ve done this, go make sure that you update Play Store within your settings.

In many cases, this might be enough for you to get the fix that you need. If not, then continue through the rest of the possible Play Store issues you might encounter.

Fix 2: Clearing the Play Store App cache

You’ve restarted your phone and the Google Play App still won’t open – make sure you go ahead and clear cache settings on your Android device. Here’s how to clear the app’s cache to give it a fresh start:

  1. Open your Settings app
  2. Tap Apps and Notifications
  3. Tap See all Apps
  4. Scroll down until you find our offender, the Google Play Store. Tap it
  5. Tap Storage
  6. Tap Clear Cache
  7. Tap Clear Data

Google’s apps are all powered by Google Play Services, which can stop working from time to time just like any other app. Follow the steps above, but after you choose to See all Apps you’re going to look for Google Play Services instead of the Google Play Store.

Once you’ve found the Services app, clear the data/cache by doing so in the settings. Sometimes, your cached data can become corrupted, especially when it builds up over time.

Fix 3: Reinstalling the Google Play Store app’s updates

Restarting your phone and clearing the app’s cache didn’t work. It’s time to play our ace – wiping the app back to its factory default version. Here’s how:

  1. First, ensure you’re connected to Wi-Fi
  2. On your phone or tablet, open your Settings app
  3. Tap Apps and Notifications
  4. Tap See all Apps
  5. Scroll down to and tap the Google Play Store
  6. At the top of the screen, tap More
  7. Tap Uninstall Updates
  8. You might be asked if you want to change the Play Store App back to the factory version. Tap OK

Now let’s try opening the Google Play Store app again. If you want to go a step further than this, you could uninstall and then install the Play Store app on your Android device.

Fix 4: Reset your phone to factory default

You’ve tried all of the previous steps to no success. It’s time for the nuclear option – resetting your phone to its factory default settings.

Firstly, a warning. Resetting your phone to its factory default will wipe it clean of all data except for that which was on it when you first received it. Your photos, videos, apps, notes and anything else you might have will be gone. It’s therefore important to backup your files and data before following the instructions below. You can find a guide on how to backup you data below:

Once you’ve backed up your data, follow these instructions to restore your phone to its factory default settings:

  1. Plug in your device to ensure it has enough power to complete the process
  2. Open the Settings app
  3. Tap System
  4. Tap Advanced
  5. Tap Reset options
  6. Tap Erase All Data (Factory Reset)
  7. Tap Erase All Data
  8. Type in your PIN if asked to do so
  9. Tap Erase All Data

Your phone will begin the process of resetting to its default settings. Once completed, you can restore your data from its backup location and re-download your apps via the (now functional) Google Play Store app. A Factory Data reset should be a last resort, but it’s still a good idea to do.

Conclusion

If you’ve tried all of the above with no luck, it could be that the issue lies outside of your Android phone and Play Store. You’ll want to reset your Wi-Fi network, make sure you have a strong mobile data connection, clear your storage so there’s space on your device, and finally make sure there’s no hardware errors on your device.

We hope that one of the steps outlined above has restored your Google Play Store app to normal working order (hopefully before having to reset your whole phone!). If not, you may consider contacting Google directly to resolve the issue.

Photo of author

Connect: Insta

Author

Edward

Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

Read more from Edward

Apps UK
International House
12 Constance Street
London, E16 2DQ