How to Fix Download Pending Error in Google Play App

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What is your first reaction when you see a “download pending error” message while installing an app from Play Store? And if you need the app urgently, say for a taxi ride, the error can be very frustrating. In such situations, our first impulse is to blame everything on poor Internet. Indeed, the problem is more commonly faced while using public Wi-Fi, on roaming networks, and with traveler SIM cards in a foreign country.

Google does recommend having a strong Wi-Fi or carrier network for downloading Play store apps. But, in many cases, it’s not the Internet speed which is the real issue. You also don’t have to reboot your Android phone or tablet or nervously search for another Wi-Fi provider. There are calmer and easier ways to ensure that you can start downloading your desired app in any urgent situation.

Download Pending Error in Google Play Uber App

Enable Background Data Usage

There’s a good chance that the Google Play Store app on your phone isn’t currently set to have unrestricted data access in the background. This doesn’t necessarily mean that downloads won’t be occurring in the background, but in some cases it can cause unexpected holdups.

Fix Google Play Download Pending Error Background Data

So to address this problem, go to “Settings -> Data usage -> Data Saver -> Unrestricted data”. Then scroll down until you reach Google Play Store, and tap the slider next to it so that it’s blue and switched on. That should be enough to get background up and running again, and get rid of that frustrating “Download Pending” message.

If that doesn’t quite cut it, then don’t worry. There’s more solutions to come.

Stop Auto-Updates and Pending Installations

The basic idea behind the download pending error is that Google prioritizes background updates and installations to more recent downloads. Clearly, to allow the download, the earlier processes must be stopped first. As soon as it’s done, you can get back to installing your intended app once again.

On the Play Store app click the icon with three little bars (☰), followed by “My apps & games.” Here, you can stop auto-updates and any pending installations. This might seem counterintuitive as many of us feel that auto-updates free us from waiting for new features, bug fixes and security patches. The key is to be selective about the apps requiring auto-updates. You don’t really have to start Gmail or YouTube from Google Play Services, much less allow their auto-updates to consume valuable memory. Simple, isn’t it?

google-play-app-auto-update-turned-on-installs-pending

To free up space on Android, it’s always a good idea to disable auto-updates and go for manual updates.

Clear the Storage Clutter

If clearing the queue didn’t work, you might be looking at device and Play Store version issues. Usually, if there is much less free space, it can interfere with the download of apps. As a precautionary step, go to “Settings” followed by “Battery and Storage,” and check your device’s “Storage” issues. You can also clear the cache from “App info.” It’s good to delete any excess apps or bloatware which may be causing your device to act weirdly. Optionally, you may force-stop the Google Play Store app and start it once again.

play-store-force-stop-clear-cache

Sometimes SD cards can cause download issues on Play Store if they have not been set up properly. In such cases take the card out and reinsert it. However, if it was corrupted, stop using the SD card immediately. You don’t really need one for a download on the Play Store.

Bypass Download Pending Error with this Tweak

The download pending error can always be bypassed by doing away with the “Play Store” app altogether. Indeed, you can visit the official Play Store website on your phone’s browser and log in with your Google account to access the app.

download-pending-error-browser-bypass-trick-2

After selecting the app in a browser window, you have to choose your device model. You can check later if the app was successfully downloaded on the device.

If All Else Fails, Try This

In the event that you’re feeling extremely unlucky, here is one last method to try, short of a factory reset. It might be that you restarted your phone several times, emptied the cache, and checked the SD cards, but nothing has worked. In such unlikely situations, you can always delete your Google Account associated with Play Store and add it back up once again.

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Simply visit “Accounts-Google,” select your account, and click “Remove account.” After five minutes, you can add a new account to sync with Play Store and start the download once again.

Conclusion

All the methods discussed in this tutorial are tried-and-tested solutions derived from the Google Play Help website. Additionally, you can also choose to fix the problem on your own if you have permission to root your device, such as with Pixel phones.

Do you know any other methods to solve this common download error on Play Store?

This post was updated on Apr 2019.

20 comments

  1. Thanks. It works. Have a nice day!

    1. Glad you enjoyed. Nice day to you too.

  2. Hi Sayak.

    Thanks for guide.
    It did’nt help me, but resetting network settings did the trick for me :)

  3. Avdshare can also download videos from YouTube, Youwatch, Global News, CNBC, CBS, JibJab and more other video websites.

  4. Did not work for me. Still trying to figure it out.

    1. Go to App info and clear App data and cache. It should work

  5. Google store refuses to install if you are using a VPN. Pending dowloads only proceed if you turn off your VPN.

    1. Thanks for this important information.

  6. I just factory reset and updated my phone to android 8, and none of the methods apoved worked for me. But I found a way

    1) I went to settings and disabled my Google play store(this will uninstall Google play store on your device)
    2) then I downloaded a Google play store APK
    from apk pure and installed it.
    3) everything works fine now

  7. Hi,
    As per my experience, this happens when you try to use the same google id as primary account on two or more devices. I got a new phone and when I logged in with my existing google account it was showing download pending. I did a factory reset on my new phone and the problem was resolved but now my old phone is showing download pending.

  8. Thanks for the advice. Nothing did the trick until I did this:

    Clear cache & data from Download Manager
    On your Android phone or tablet, open your Settings app Settings and then Apps.

    * At the top of the screen, tap More More and then Show system.

    * Scroll down and tap Download Manager.

    * Tap Storage and then Clear Cache and then Clear Data.

    * Open the Google Play Store, then try your download again.

    Hope it helps.

  9. I stopped auto updates and the download resumed without a problem. Thanks exactly my experience.

  10. tnx alot sir
    the 2nd method really worked for me
    I appreciate

  11. Thank you for this article. I have been suffering with this download pending issue for months. The last method in your article finally worked for me! Thank you, Sayak!

    1. You’re welcome. Have a nice day.

  12. If your phone is now just disable Google play store and enable it again and the download will start. That’s how it worked for me none of the above helped. Thanks thou :)

  13. My day is saved. Thank you.

  14. For me what worked was settings > accounts > selecting’ *****@hotmail.com (the email that is my play store account) Google’ and then clicked the 3 dots in the top left and selected ‘sync now’ – the downloads/updates started immediately.

  15. I “had” TWO google accounts. Mine and my mother’s. She’s old so I read her mail on my phone. I deleted my account then all of her “stuff” showed up. So I deleted her account too. Reboot phone. Re-added my account. Rebooted my Android phone. Ten minutes later the updates started to work. After my 28 updates are complete I will add her account and see if I once again get “Download Pending”.

  16. Pending installation error worked.. 1 app got stucked in the background..
    Thanks a lot mate :-)
    U r brillaint

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