Why can’t I sign in Play Store?

Trying to sign into the Google Play Store but getting error messages or unable to complete the sign-in process can be extremely frustrating. There are many potential reasons why you may be unable to sign in to the Play Store on your Android device.

Quick Overview of Common Issues

Here is a quick overview of some of the most common reasons you may be unable to sign in to the Play Store and potential solutions:

  • Incorrect password – Double check you are using the right Google account password
  • Account security/verification – Google may require extra verification to sign in if there is suspicious activity
  • Webview/Play Services out of date – Update these system apps in your device settings
  • Network connection issues – Check your WiFi or mobile data connection
  • App needs updated – Check for Google Play Store app updates
  • Device date/time incorrect – Make sure date & time settings are set properly
  • Disabled or revoked account – Check your account standing with Google
  • Device compatibility issues – Older devices may have issues running latest Play Store
  • Play Store cache/data – Clearing cache & data may help resolve sign-in issues

Carefully going through the troubleshooting steps below for each potential cause can help resolve your Google Play Store sign-in difficulties. If issues persist, contacting Google Play support may be needed for additional help.

Incorrect Password

One of the most common reasons for being unable to sign in to the Google Play Store app is using an incorrect password for your Google account. Double check that you are using the right password associated with the Google or Gmail account you are trying to sign in with.

Things to check:

  • Make sure caps lock is not enabled if your password contains capital letters
  • Verify it is the account password and not an app-specific password
  • Try copying and pasting your password from a password manager to avoid typos
  • Attempt signing into your Google account on another device or the web successfully

If you have fully confirmed you are using the right account and password but it is still not working, you will likely need to go through the account recovery process. You can reset your Google account password by following these steps:

  1. Go to the Google account recovery page at https://www.google.com/accounts/recovery
  2. Enter the email for the account you are trying to recover and click Next
  3. Select “I don’t know my password” on the next page
  4. Choose how you want the recovery email sent and follow the instructions provided
  5. Once you receive the recovery email, click the link to create a new account password
  6. After resetting your password, try signing in to the Play Store again

Resetting your password should resolve any issues signing in caused by an incorrect password.

Account Security/Verification

If you suddenly find yourself unable to sign in to the Play Store on your Android device, Google may have flagged the account for suspicious activity and have ramped up security. You may be prompted for additional verification before being allowed to sign in.

Some things to look for:

  • Prompt to enter 6-digit verification code sent to recovery email or device
  • Notification to use Google prompt on another mobile device to verify
  • Request to provide additional details to confirm identity

If you encounter any of these additional account security screens, carefully follow the instructions provided to verify your identity and regain access to your account. Entering incorrect verification codes repeatedly can sometimes lead to temporary account lockout, so double check your information is correct.

If no verification prompts are displayed, check the following:

  • Recovery email, phone updated with correct info
  • 2-step verification is enabled if required
  • Trusted devices are still authorized

Updating your account recovery options can help resolve identity verification issues when signing in. Also make sure to review recently authorized apps and devices under your Google account security settings and revoke access to any unknown or suspicious items.

Webview/Play Services Out of Date

Another common source of Google Play Store sign in difficulties on Android is having an out-of-date version of Google Play Services or the Android System Webview component. These are pre-installed system apps/services on your device that help power Play Store functionality.

If these have not been updated in awhile, it can sometimes create incompatibility issues leading to problems signing in or using the Play Store. You can check their version and update these components by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications on your Android device
  2. Click the 3 dots menu in the top right and choose “Show system”
  3. Scroll down and check for pending updates for “Android System WebView” and “Google Play Services”
  4. Follow the prompts to update each component to the latest version
  5. Restart your device and try accessing the Play Store again

Keeping these system apps updated can prevent many Play Store errors, so if in doubt, updating them is recommended.

Network Connection Issues

Since the Play Store requires an internet connection to sign in, any issues with your network connectivity can result in problems accessing your account. Here are some things to check if you suspect your WiFi or mobile data may be the culprit:

  • Try connecting to a different WiFi network or switch to mobile data
  • Toggle Airplane mode on/off to reset connectivity
  • Check for internet access by opening a web page or using another app
  • Reboot your router if on WiFi to refresh network settings
  • Disable VPNs or proxies that could be interfering
  • Verify account works on another device’s network

If you can connect to the internet but still can’t sign in, clear the Play Store app cache and data as covered later. But if internet access seems to be the problem, work through network troubleshooting steps before continuing.

App Needs Updated

Just like with Play Services, having an outdated version of the Play Store app itself can also cause issues with signing in. Check that you are running the latest version available for your device and update it if needed.

To check for Play Store updates:

  1. Open the Play Store app
  2. Tap the 3 lines “hamburger” menu in top left corner
  3. Choose My Apps & Games > Updates available
  4. If Play Store shows an Update option, tap it to install latest version
  5. May require restarting your device once update finishes

Keeping the app up-to-date can help avoid version-specific bugs that might interfere with signing in correctly.

Device Date/Time Incorrect

One lesser known factor that can influence logging in to your Google account on Android is having the wrong date or time set on your device. If your device date and time does not match close to the actual current date/time:

  • Account authentication tokens may be considered expired
  • SSL connections could fail when communicating with Google servers
  • Sign-in requests may be treated as invalid or replayed

To rule out any issues here, double check the following:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Date & time
  2. Toggle “Automatic date & time” ON if available
  3. Set time zone to match your actual location
  4. Adjust date/time manually if they seem very inaccurate

Having the proper date, time, and time zone configured can prevent cryptographic issues when signing in. If problems began after traveling internationally, also double check these settings.

Disabled or Revoked Account

In some cases when you are unable to sign in, there may be an issue with standing of your Google account rather than just a simple login error:

  • Checking account recovery options mentions the account is disabled
  • Seeing a “Google has disabled your account” message
  • Account access has been revoked due to Terms of Service violations

If you suspect your Google account itself may have been disabled or blocked from signing in, you will need to follow Google’s account reinstatement process:

  1. Submit an account disabled appeal at https://support.google.com/accounts
  2. Select “Cannot access your account”
  3. Choose “My account is disabled”
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions and provide details on why you feel your account was disabled in error
  5. May require waiting 24-48 hours for review of reinstatement request

Getting your account reactivated by Google support will be required before you can sign in again if it has been disabled for some reason.

Device Compatibility Issues

On older Android devices that are no longer supported with major Play Store updates, you may start running into sign-in difficulties as apps stop maintaining backwards compatibility. Some things to look out for:

  • Using a device that is over 5 years old and no longer receiving Android updates
  • Play Store version shows as out of date with no updates available
  • Receiving “Play Services Out of Date” type error messages

If your device is too outdated to run the current required Play Services and Play Store versions, your options may be limited, including:

  • Installing custom Android firmware allowing newer app versions
  • Performing a factory reset in case issues are software-related
  • Upgrading to a newer device that is still supported

While you can try updating other system apps like Webview separately, at a certain point the core Android OS may just be too old to work properly with the latest Google Play capabilities.

Play Store Cache/Data

One last troubleshooting step to attempt is clearing cached data for the Play Store app itself. Corrupted app data can sometimes interfere with being able to sign in properly. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications
  2. Select Google Play Store app
  3. Choose Storage & cache > Clear cache and Clear storage buttons
  4. Confirm clearing the data and cache
  5. Open Play Store app again and try to sign in

With the app’s data reset, any issues relating to corrupted data should now be resolved. Re-adding your Google account and downloading apps again may be required afterwards.

Contacting Google Play Support

If you have tried all troubleshooting steps here but are still unable to sign in to the Google Play Store, reaching out to Google support directly may be the next step needed to resolve it.

Some options for contacting Google Play support include:

  • Play Store app Help & Feedback screen
  • Google Play Help Center: https://support.google.com/googleplay/
  • Google Play community support forums
  • Live chat or phone support may be available in some cases

Google can investigate server-side issues signs-in issues further and provide specialized troubleshooting tips not covered here. Having access Order ID numbers and detailed error message information is helpful when reaching out.


Being unable to properly sign in to the Google Play Store can certainly be a frustrating situation to deal with. However, methodically stepping through these troubleshooting techniques will help identify the specific cause in most cases. Issues like an incorrect password or out-of-date app are simple fixes, while other cases may require getting further support from Google to resolve account or device-specific issues that are preventing you from signing in.

Some key takeaways include:

  • Reset password if forgotten and confirm proper account being used
  • Provide any requested identity verification details if prompted
  • Check Play Services and Play Store app for available updates
  • Test network connectivity using other apps
  • Adjust device date/time settings if they seem inaccurate
  • Clear Play Store cache and data as a final troubleshooting step

Following these tips should get to the bottom of most Play Store login problems. But if you continue having issues, Google Play support does provide additional ways to look into more difficult account and device-specific situations that may be affecting sign-in capabilities. Using their expertise and troubleshooting advice will assist in resolving problems that cannot be fixed through standard consumer steps alone.

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