How to download and install the Google Play Store

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A note on Google Play Store version numbers

The numbering system for Google Play Store versions may seem a little confusing at first, but it’s easy to get your head around. If the jumps between numbers seem odd, that’s simply because Google didn’t publicly release the versions in between.

Download Google Play Store APK

Please note that the following guide is for owners of an Android device with a licensed version of the Play Store installed. We recognize that is sometimes necessary to re-install or roll back the Play Store.

Download the latest version of the Play Store:

Looking for a previous version of the Google Play Store?

As usual, most of the changes are under the hood, aimed at making everything run more smoothly. We haven’t been able to find significant changes to the user interface or new features. If you download the update and notice any errors, however, check out our guide to troubleshooting Google Play.

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Of all the apps on your phone, the Play Store is the one you really want to keep updated. / © Tech News

How do I install the Google Play Store?

The simplest method for installing the Play Store will already be quite familiar to you if you’re an avid follower of Tech News: just install the Play Store APK manually. An APK is the Android equivalent to an .exe program on your computer.

Instead of downloading an app from the Play Store, you simply install it yourself without the Play Store’s help. We’ve even got a handy guide to help you:

This is, of course, extra useful when the app you want to install is the Play Store itself.

There are two ways to get the Google Play APK installed on your device: directly on your phone or through your computer. We’ll do the easy option first.

Install Google Play with your phone

On newer versions of (Android Oreo and up), just use the download links above, and you’ll be prompted whether you allow the download and installation. APKMirror is a safe source, so it’s ok to hit Yes.

On older versions, it’s a little more complicated, you’ll need to adjust your settings thusly:

  • Head to Settings and find Apps. Once in the apps menu, scroll down until you find your mobile browser – Google Chrome, for example.
  • Tap on your browser and scroll down to the Advanced section. There you will find Install unknown apps. Open and select Allow from this source. You can disable this option after you’re done.
  • Using the browser on your device, go to XDA Developers forum or APK Mirror to download the APK for the latest version of the Play Store.
  • You may get a message warning that “this type of file can harm your device.” Ignore it (trust us) and tap OK.
  • Open the APK (you can tap the completed download in your notifications menu), read the new permissions (if any) that the new Play Store version requests, then tap Install.
unknown sources
Enabling unknown sources installs can be intimidating, but you can disable it any time. / © Tech News

Install Google Play using a computer 

If you don’t have a data or Wi-Fi connection on your device, you can download the APK to your computer instead. The same process applies, but you will need a file manager app, if your device doesn’t come with a preinstalled one.

  • Download a file manager – Es File Explorer, for example. Allow it to install apps from unknown sources, following the same steps as described for your mobile browser.
  • Using the browser on your computer, go to XDA Developers forum or APK Mirror to download the APK for the latest version of the Play Store.
  • Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable and copy the APK over to your Android device.
  • Find the APK with your file manager app.
  • Launch the APK, accept the permissions and tap Install.
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Sideloading from your PC with a USB cable can sometimes avoid installation problems with APKs. / © Tech News

Google Play Store troubleshooting

Google Services Framework is a crucial service that lets the Play Store communicate with apps on your device, allowing for automatic updates and so on. If these functions stop working, or you experience other problems, then there may be a problem with the service. In such a case, you should clear the cache on both Google Play Store and Google Play Services. To do this:

  • Go to Settings > Apps
  • Scroll down to Google Play Store, tap it, then tap Clear cache.
  • Do the same for Google Play services
  • That should fix most problems you’ll experience with the Play Store

Note: depending on what type of device you have, it may need to be rooted in order to manually install the Play Store, but that’s a tutorial for another day.

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