How to download and install the Google Play Store


The Google Play Store is a treasure trove of apps and content. It’s sometimes necessary to install the Play Store manually if you unintentionally uninstalled it or want to roll back to a previous version to avoid bugs. Here’s how to download and how to install the Play Store, so you can try the new features before the rest of the crowd.

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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. 

The latest version of Google Play is 8.6.22 and as usual, most of the changes are under the hood, aimed at making everything run more smoothly so we haven’t been able to find significant changes to user interface or new features. If you download the update and notice any apparent errors, check out our guide to troubleshooting Google Play.

AndroidPIT OnePlus 2 app drawer
Of all the apps on your phone, the Play Store is the one you really want to keep updated. / © AndroidPIT

How to install Google Play Store

The simplest method for how to install the Play Store will already be quite familiar to you if you’re an avid follower of AndroidPIT: 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 to know 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 with your computer. We’ll do the easy option first.

Install Google Play (phone method)

  • Enable Unknown Sources by going to Settings > Security, then select Unknown sources and enable it. Don’t be alarmed, unknown sources are simply locations outside of the Play Store, which is critical if it’s the Play Store itself that you want. (Don’t forget to disable this option by tapping it again once 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.
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Before you can install APKs, you need to enable Unknown Sources in your security settings. / © AndroidPIT

Install Google Play (computer method)

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:

  • Enable Unknown sources on your device.
  • 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. 
  • 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. / © AndroidPIT

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, and you should clear the cache on 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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Each version of the Play Store can add or subtract features. / © AndroidPIT

What is the one must-have feature you want in the Google Play Store? Do you like the latest updates? Let us know in the comments.

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