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.

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

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.

No error code? Then try the following steps to get the Play Store up and running again.

The Fixes

Fix 1: Restart your phone

It’s cliché, but you’ll be amazed at how often “turning it off and on again” will get things moving.

Fix 2: Clearing the Play Store App cache

You’ve restarted your phone and the Google Play App still won’t open. No problem, we’ve more cards up our sleeve. 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

Now we’ve cleared the app’s cache, let’s try opening it again.

Fix 3: Clearing Google Play Service’s cache

Google’s apps are all powered by Google Play Services, which can fall over from time to time just like any other app. Follow the steps in Fix 2 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, follow steps 5, 6 and 7 above.

Fix 4: 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.

Fix 5: 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.

Conclusion

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.

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