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If you see the “Google Play Service has stopped” error message, don’t fear. We’ve summarized 10 of the fastest and easiest fixes for when the Play Store stops working.
You should follow these steps in order to start with the low-hanging fruit before moving onto more complicated options. Note that the tips in this guide won’t apply if you’ve modified Android with a custom ROM, since doing so introduces more variables.
What Causes “Unfortunately, Google Play Service Has Stopped”?
Almost all Play Store stoppages are caused by either bad software or network issues.
However, there is a major exception: The Play Store is hard-wired for specific devices, so sometimes Google accidentally rolls out the wrong version of Google Play for your device.
Let’s start with the most common methods and easiest to use fixes before moving onto more complicated steps.
1. Restart Your Device
This step might sound obvious, but we’re not trying to insult you. Turning your device off and back on again can fix most Play Store problems.
To restart your Android device:
- Hold down the power button until the shutdown menu appears.
- Choose the power down icon.
- After the device completely shuts off, start it back up by holding the power button.
- Open the Play Store and see if your issue is fixed.
2. Update the Play Store and Google Services
Sometimes an outdated version of Google Play or the Google Service Framework can cause a problem. You should thus check for updates for both of these when you run into trouble
- Launch Google Play Store.
- Tap on the Menu button located at the top-left of the Play Store menu. It’s represented by an icon with three horizontal lines.
- Tap My apps & games and you’ll see a list of pending updates. Find and download the latest version of Google Services Framework if available.
- Open the left menu again and tap Settings. Scroll to the bottom of this page and tap Play Store version to check for updates to the Google Play app.
- Restart your device and then launch the Play Store again.
3. Change From Cellular Data to Wi-Fi (or Vice-Versa)
If your internet connection is poor, you might see the “Unfortunately, the Play Store has stopped working” error. In some cases, you won’t see the error message at all. Other times, the Play Store might fail in the middle of downloads or refuse to start them altogether.
In either case, the fix is pretty simple. If you’re currently online via Wi-Fi, change over to your mobile network or try another wireless network. If you’re on mobile data, try changing over to a Wi-Fi network and see if that fixes the problem.
4. Change the Time and Date
Google Play Services may fail if your time and date settings are incorrect. Correcting these is pretty easy:
- Launch Settings and select System.
- Choose Date & time from the menu.
- Check Automatic date & time if it’s not enabled already. Make sure your device picks up the right time.
- If you still have trouble, you can try setting a manual time by disabling the automatic function and tapping on Set time.
- Restart your device and then retry the Play Store.
5. Clear Google Play Services Data (and Cache)
Google Play Store and the Google Play Services app (the Google Services Framework app no longer appears as a separate app) both support Google’s apps. If anything goes wrong with Google Play, we recommend wiping data on both services and restarting your phone.
Note that the Wipe Data option also wipes the “cache,” which is a location where app data is stored. Here are the basic steps:
- Navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications > See all X apps > and find the Google Play Store.
- On the app’s page, choose Storage and then Clear storage or Clear data.
- Repeat this process for Google Play Services. You may need to tap the Menu button in the corner and choose Show system to reveal it.
- Restart your phone.
6. Revert to an Older Version of Google Play Store
Reverting (or “rolling back”) to the version of the Google Play Store that came with your phone or tablet can resolve issues with a glitched version. Doing so is easy:
- Open Settings and choose Apps & notifications.
- Tap See all X apps and find the Google Play Store app in the list.
- Choose Disable from the following menu. Disabling system apps does not uninstall them, but rather replaces them with original the version that came with your phone.
- Restart your device.
After rolling back, your device will eventually update to the latest version of the Google Play Store again. Hopefully, by then, your issue will be cleared up.
7. Remove Your Google Account
Sometimes an Android device fails to add a user account correctly. If this is the problem, removing and re-adding the account can sometimes resolve Google Play Store issues. To do this:
- Go to Settings.
- Choose Accounts.
- Tap on the Google account you want to remove and choose Remove account. Make sure you’ve backed up everything synced to that account so you don’t lose it.
- Re-add that Google account and see if the Play Store works again.
8. Install a Third-Party Copy of the Play Store
If the above steps have failed, downloading a copy of the Play Store from third-party APK websites is worth a try. This can let you update the Play Store if normal methods won’t work.
You should have a file manager installed to make it easy to browse to the downloaded APK and install it. Ghost Commander is a fine choice if you don’t have one yet.
You’ll also need to enable sideloading of apps on your device, which is a bit different on Android 8 Oreo and newer. Then head to the below links on your phone and download the APKs to your device.
Open them from the download prompt in your browser, or find them with your file manager app. Android will install them like any other app, which includes updating them if they’re stuck.
9. Factory Reset Your Device
A factory reset will restore your device to its original state. That means it will revert to the original versions of the Play Store and other apps, almost certainly resolving your issue.
Unfortunately, doing so will also cause you to lose all data on your phone, including apps, photos, texts, and more. If you choose this option, make sure to back up your Android phone first.
To reset your device, plug it into a power source and then take the following actions:
- Go to Settings
- Tap System > Advanced > Reset options.
- Choose Erase all data (factory reset).
- Tap Erase everything from the next menu.
- Walk through the steps to set up your device anew.
Is the Play Store Still Not Working?
The “Google Play Service has stopped” error message is difficulty to fix if the methods here do not work.
Some people have had success fixing Play Store issues by rooting their device and sideloading special copies of the Play Store. But for most people, it’s probably best to just install an alternative to the Play Store and move along.