Fix problems with updating apps in Play Store

Fix problems with updating apps in Play Store


Active Android users install quite a few different apps on their mobile devices. In order for each of them to work in a stable and error-free manner, in addition to acquiring new features and capabilities, the developers regularly release updates. But what to do if the application installed through the Play Market does not want to be updated? The answer to this question will be given in our article today.

Checking your Internet connection and settings

Before you start looking for the reasons why apps on an Android device are not updating, we strongly recommend that you do the following:

If you are doing well with the quality and speed of the Internet on your smartphone or tablet, and the automatic update function is enabled in the App Store, you can safely proceed to find the causes of the problem and the options to fix it.

Why the Play Store apps are not updating

There are many reasons why the problem that we are expressing arises, and for each of them we will go on below, of course, giving effective solutions. If the apps you want to update are waiting to be downloaded, check out the following material:


Read more: How to get rid of "Waiting for download" message in Play Store

Reason 1: No storage space

Many users, when downloading various applications and multimedia content to their Android device, forget that its memory is not infinite. Updates may not install for such a trivial reason as lack of storage space. If this is the case for you, then the solution is pretty obvious - you need to delete unnecessary data, forgotten media files, games, and apps. Also, it will be useful to perform a procedure like clearing the cache. You can learn how to do this in separate articles on our website:


Read more:
How to free up space on your smartphone or tablet
How to delete unnecessary files from your phone
How to clear the cache on your Android device


If, after you've freed up memory on your device, the updates are still not installed, go ahead and try other options to fix the problem.

Reason 2: memory card problems

The internal memory of most modern smartphones can be expanded by installing a memory card in them. At the same time, the Android operating system itself allows you to use such a drive not only for storing data, but also for installing applications and games. In this case, a certain part of the system files are written to the microSD card, and if there are various types of problems in the operation of the latter, then updates to one or another software may simply not be installed.

There are several ways to check if the memory card is really the culprit of the problem we are considering. Let's consider each of them in order.

Method 1: move apps

First, let's try to move the applications installed on the SD card to the device's own memory. This can be done with just a few taps on the screen.

  1. Either way, go to the «Configuration» of your smartphone or tablet and find the section "Applications" there (can be called «Applications and notifications» ). Go to it.
  2. Open the list of all programs installed on the device. This is done differently in different versions of the proprietary shell and / or operating system. Possible options are the tab "Installed" or the element «Show all applications» , or anything else that has a similar meaning.
  3. Go to the required section, find that (or those) application that cannot be updated and tap on its name.
  4. Once on your parameters page, go to the element "Storage" (or another name similar in meaning).
  5. Select "Move" or change the value "External storage" a "Internal ..." (Again, the name of the items may differ slightly and depends on the specific versions of the operating system.)
  6. After moving the non-upgradeable app to the device memory, exit the settings and launch the Play Store. Try the upgrade procedure.

In many cases, this simple solution helps if the SD card is the culprit. If moving didn't fix your app update problem, try the next method.

See also: How to move apps to external storage

Method 2: remove the memory card

A more efficient solution, compared to the previous one, is to temporarily disable the external drive. This is done as follows:

  1. Open the device "Settings" and look there for the section "Memory" o "Storage" .
  2. Once inside, we touch the element "Preferred installation location" (or something similar in meaning), we select "System memory" (o "Internal storage" ) and confirm our choice. Alternatively, you can select the last item: « Selectable by the system" .
  3. After that, we go back to the main section "Memory" , we look for our SD card there, click on the icon shown in the image below and, if necessary, confirm the disconnection of the external drive.
  4. The memory card will be removed, but you can remove it from your smartphone or tablet if you wish, although this is not necessary.
  5. Now we leave the "Settings" and we launched Play Market, trying to update the problematic applications.

If the update is installed, you can safely diagnose: the cause of the problem lies in the microSD used. In this case, the card should be replaced with a working analog, but you can first check for errors, please format. You can find out how to do this on our website:

Read more:
Checking a memory card for errors
Data recovery from external drives
Recovering from a memory card
Programs to format external drives

After successfully installing the updates and checking the functionality of the SD card, if it works, you can reconnect it. This is done in the reverse order as described above: "Settings" - "Memory" (o "Storage" ) - tap on the external drive - "Connect" . Then connecting the memory card, in the same storage configuration, set it as the default memory (if necessary).

According to some users, the essence of this problem is also quite the opposite, that is, it can be caused not by an external disk, but by an internal one. In this case, you must do the opposite of the above, assigning the SD card as the place to install applications, or moving non-renewable applications from internal to external memory. This is done in the same way as described above, the only difference is in the choice of a specific unit.

If none of the methods described in the framework of this and the reason above helped to fix the problem with the installation of updates, then the culprit should be looked for not in the storage device, but directly in the operating system.

Reason 3: Cache of system and data applications

Play Store, as the heart of the operating system, accumulates various junk data and cache during active use, which interferes with its stable operation. The same occurs with Google Play Services, which are necessary for the normal operation of Google's proprietary software. It is quite possible that the problem with the application update arises precisely because the system tools we mentioned are too "clogged". In this case, our task with you is to clean this software from the garbage and download it.

  1. Here at the  «Configuration» of the mobile device, go to section «Applications» . Next, go to the list of all installed applications by tapping on the corresponding item or, for example, by going to the tab "System" (it all depends on the Android version).
  2. In the general list, we find the Play Store and click on its name to go to the parameters page.
  3. Once there, open the section "Storage" and in it, in turn, click the buttons "Clear cache" y "Delete data" . In the second case, confirmation may be required.

    Note: the location of the above items may vary on different versions of Android. For example, the buttons for clearing data can be located not horizontally, next to each other, but vertically, in sections called "Hidden" y "Memory" . In either case, look for something that has the same meaning.

  4. Let's go back a step, to the general information about the Play Store page. In the upper right corner, tap on the menu button, made in the form of three vertical dots. We select the element "Remove updates" and we confirm our intentions.
  5. Now we go back to the list of all installed applications and find Google Play Services there. We touch its name to go to the parameters page.
  6. As in the case of Market, open the "Storage" click first "Clear cache" and then on the following button: "Manage location" .
  7. On page "Data storage ...", Click the button «Delete all data» that below, confirm our intentions and return to the main Google Play Services settings.
  8. Here we touch the ellipsis button located in the same corner and select the element "Remove updates" .
  9. Exit the settings to the main screen of the device and restart it. To do this, press and hold the power button and then select the item "Restart" in the window that appears.
  10. After starting the operating system, open the Play Store, where you will need to accept the terms of the Google License Agreement again. Do this and try updating the application; with a high degree of probability, the problem will be solved.

Forced data cleaning and removal of updates from the Play Store and Google Play Services is an effective way to combat most of these errors. If this action did not help you update your application, see the solutions below.

Reason 4: outdated Android version

The version of the operating system plays an important role in updating applications. Therefore, if an outdated Android is installed on the device (for example, below 4.4), many of the popular programs will simply not update. These include Viber, Skype, Instagram, and many others.

There are very few effective and easy-to-implement solutions in such a situation; If possible, the smartphone or tablet should be updated to the latest version available. If there are no updates, but there is a strong desire to update the Android generation, this can be done by flashing the device. This option is not always available, but in a special section of our website you can look for a suitable guide.

Read more: flashing smartphones from different manufacturers

To check for available operating system updates, do the following:

  1. Open "Settings" , scroll down and select "About of the phone" (o «About the tablet» ).
  2. Look in it for the element "Upgrade system" (or something similar in meaning) and tap on it.
  3. Press "Check for updates". Если будет обнаружена новая версия Андроид, скачайте ее, а затем установите, следуя подсказкенороиного. Возможно, эту процедуру потребуется выполнить несколько раз.
  4. ?

As mentioned above, in the case of an outdated version of the operating system, there are no guaranteed effective solutions. If your smartphone or tablet is really old, the lack of ability to update some apps can hardly be considered your most serious problem. And yet, even in such cases, you can try to circumvent the restrictions set by the system, which we will discuss in the section «Alternative solutions to the problem» .

Reason 5: Specific Errors (Numbered)

Earlier we talked about the problem of the inability to update applications in general, that is, when the update is not installed, but Play Market does not issue any error that has its own number. Very often, the same process is interrupted by the appearance of a window with the notification "The application could not be updated ..." , and at the end of this message it is indicated in parentheses "(Error code: No.)" , where No. is a three-digit number. The most common error numbers are 406, 413, 491, 504, 506, 905. And let these codes differ, but the options for clearing such an error are almost always the same. You should do what we described in "Reason 3", that is, erase and reset the application data from the system.


For more detailed information on each of the above errors, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the special materials on our website, dedicated directly to the Play Store and its work.

Read more:
Configure Play Store and eliminate possible problems in its operation
Eliminate error 506 in Play Market
How to get rid of error 905 on the App Store

Other "numbered" errors are possible, they have the code 491 or 923. The notification that accompanies such errors says that the updates cannot be installed. Fixing this problem is pretty simple - you need to delete and then re-link your Google account.

Important: Before proceeding with removing an account, make sure you know the username (email) and password. Keep them handy if you don't have them in your memory.

  1. Here at the  «Configuration» of the mobile device, find the section "Accounts" (can be called «Users and accounts» , "Accounts" , «Other accounts» ) and access it.
  2. Find your Google account and click on it.
  3. Touch the inscription "Delete account" (can be hidden in a separate menu) and confirm your intentions in the pop-up window.
  4. Restart your smartphone or tablet, and after starting it, go to "Settings" - "Accounts" again, scroll down the list, tap the item «+ Add account» and select "Google" .
  5. In the next window, select Google, enter your account username and password one by one, accept the terms of the license agreement and wait for the authorization to complete.
  6. After making sure the account is linked to the device again, exit the settings and launch the Play Market. It can also ask you to accept the terms of the license agreement again. Once you have done that, try updating the application; the problem should be fixed.

In case of errors with the codes 491 and 923, a solution as non-obvious as deleting and relinking a Google account is guaranteed to eliminate the problem discussed in this article.

Alternative solutions to the problem

Each of the above reasons for the app update problem has its own, often effective solution. An exception is an outdated version of Android, which is not always possible to update. Here's what to do if the Play Store apps haven't started updating after completing the steps outlined above. In addition, this information will be useful for users who, for one reason or another, did not want to find the culprit of the problem, understand it and solve it.

Method 1: install the APK file

Most of the Android users are aware of the fact that this operating system supports the installation of applications from third-party sources. All that is required for this is to find the executable file on the Internet, download it to the device, run it and install it, having previously provided the necessary permissions. You can get acquainted with how this method works in a separate article on our website, but we will briefly consider one of the possible examples.

Read more: Install APK on Android

There are quite a few sites where you can download APK files, the most famous of which is APKMirror. There are also specialized web resources that allow you to "extract" the executable file of the application directly from the Play Store. Below is a link to one of them, and we will tell you about it.

Important: This online service generates links directly from the Google brand store, so its use can be considered completely safe, unlike websites that directly offer files, whose source is not always known. In addition, this approach offers the possibility to download the latest version available on the Market.

Go to the APK download site

    1. Launch Play Store on your smartphone and go to the page of the application you want to update on it. To do this, you can use search or follow the path "Menu" - «My applications and games» - "Installed" .
    2. Once on the description page, scroll down to el button Share . Click it.
    3. In the window that appears, find the item "Copy" o ( «Copy link» ) and select it. The application link will be copied to the clipboard.
    4. Now, using a mobile browser, follow the link above to the web service page that provides the ability to download the APK. Paste the copied URL (long tap - select "Paste" ) in the search bar and click the button «Generate download link» .
    5. It may take some time (up to 3 minutes) for the web service to generate a link to download the APK file. After creation, click the green button «Click here to download» .
    6. A window will appear in the browser warning that the downloaded file may damage your device. In it, just click "To accept" and the download process will begin.
    7. When finished, click "Open" in the notification that appears, or go to «Downloads» of the smartphone, or open this folder from the curtain, where the notification will "hang". Run the downloaded file by tapping on it.
    8. If you have not previously installed applications from third-party sources, you will need to give permission to perform this procedure.

Depending on the Android version, this can be done in a pop-up window or in "Settings" in the section "Security" o "Privacy & Security" . In any case, you can access the necessary parameters directly from the installation window.

After granting permission to install, click the button "Install" and wait for the process to complete.


  1. The new version of the application will be installed over the previous one, therefore, in this way we update it by force.

Note: With the above method, you will not be able to update a paid application as the APK Downloader service simply cannot download it.

This approach to solving the problem of updating applications in the Play Market cannot be considered the most convenient and simple. But in those rare cases where it is impossible to install the update in any other way, this method will clearly be useful and effective.

Method 2: Third Party App Store

Play Market is the official app store, but not the only one, for the Android operating system. There are several workarounds, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages, all of which were considered by us in a separate article.


Read more: Play Market Alternatives

A third-party app store can also be helpful when an update issue hasn't been resolved. The material in the link above will help you decide on the choice of a suitable market. Then you just need to download and install it on the device, and then find on it the application that is not updated in the company store. However, in this case, it may be necessary to remove the already installed version.

Method 3: reset the device to factory settings

The last thing that can be recommended in cases where it is not possible to fix a problem in the operation of a smartphone or tablet on Android is to reset it to factory settings. This will get your mobile device back out of the box when it is fast and stable. A major drawback of this action is that all user data, files, installed applications and games will be deleted, so we recommend that you make a backup in advance.


Read more:
Factory reset an Android device
Creating a backup of a smartphone or tablet

As for the problem that we are directly considering in this article, the inability to update the applications, it is unlikely that it will restart. So if the methods described in the first part of the article did not help (which is unlikely), then one of the two described above will certainly help not to get rid of it, but simply to avoid this problem by forgetting about its existence. A full restart can be recommended only if, in addition to the inability to install an update, there are other problems with the operation of the operating system and / or device.


In this article, we have considered all the possible reasons why the apps on the Play Store may not be up to date, and we also provide effective solutions to combat the problem even in cases where it was supposedly not fixed. We hope this material has been useful and now, as expected, use the latest versions of the applications on your Android device.