I know you are frustrated because apps on your Android phone have kind of stopped working. You notice the error that states ‘The app won’t run unless you update Google Play Services.’ Right?
Let’s at least be thankful that Google is letting you know why the apps won’t work. Now, everything would have been fine if one could update Google Play Services easily. But that’s not the case. If you search for Google Play Services in the Play Store, you won’t find it. Well, then, how does one update it?
Don’t worry. It’s not rocket science. Here you will find four ways to update Google Play Service manually on your Android phone. But before that, let’s get to know Google Play Services a little bit.
What Do Google Play Services Do
Google Play Services are system services packed inside one app that help in the smooth functioning of your device. These services are responsible for working of Google Play Store and other apps. If Google Play Services isn’t working properly, then you will face issues with other apps too. That is, they may crash, throw an error, or in some cases won’t even launch.
It is a core system software that works in the background. You wouldn’t even notice that it is installed on your phone (because it doesn’t appear on the home screen or in the app drawer) unless it starts acting up. You would want to uninstall it at this point, but it’s not possible to do so. It can only be updated.
Let’s check various methods to update it.
1. Update from Google Play Store
Yes, it’s not directly visible in the Play Store. However, use this link to view the Google Play Services app page. Once there, tap on the Update option (if available). That would update them on your phone.
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2. Uninstall Updates
While you cannot uninstall Google Play Services entirely, you can remove its updates. When you do so, the app will go back to the factory or the initial version. Doing that will force your phone to update it automatically.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Open phone Settings and go to Apps/Application Manager/Installed apps.
Step 2: Under All apps, tap on Google Play Services.
Step 3: Tap on the three-dot icon at the top-right corner. Select Uninstall updates from the menu.
Step 4: Restart your phone. Wait for 5 minutes or more. Then, open Google Play Store followed by other apps. Hopefully, Google Play Services would have been updated automatically in the background (provided internet is working on your phone).
3. Disable Google Play Services
Another way to force your phone to update Google Play Services is by disabling it. For that, follow step 1 and 2 of the above method (uninstall method). Then, on the Google Play Services screen, tap on Disable (if available). Most probably it will be grayed out.
If that’s the case, you will have to revoke device admin permissions. For that, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open phone Settings and go to Security. You will find it by different names on different devices such as Security & location or Lock screen & security. If you can’t find it, use the search in Settings to find security option.
Step 2: Hit the Device Administrator option or Device admin apps depending on the option available on your phone.
Tip: Look under the Advanced option.
Step 3: Turn the toggle off present next to Find My Device.
Step 4: Now try disabling Google Play Services under Apps in Settings. Once disabled, wait for a minute and then enable it again. After enabling it, restart your phone. Wait again for 5 minutes to let your phone complete its update in the background.
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4. Download and Install APK
If none of the methods mentioned above updated Google Play Services on your phone, try updating it manually. For that, you will need to download its APK file.
Step 2: Scroll down and under All versions, tap on the latest version. Play Services have beta versions too. Avoid them.
Step 3: On the next page, scroll down and you will find various APK variants under Download. If you know the processor on your phone (look under Arch), tap on its variant number.
However, if you aren’t familiar with it, download the Droid Hardware Info app. Once installed, go to the System tab and look under Instruction sets. That’s the code you need to look for on the APK Mirror website under Arch. Tap on the variant number on the site.
Alternatively, you can download any APK and check if it works. Otherwise, you will be shown an error that the file is incompatible. In that case, try another one.
Step 4: You will be shown more details about the particular version. Scroll down and tap on Download APK. A confirmation pop-up will appear. Tap on Ok to start the download.
Step 5: Once downloaded, tap on the APK file to install it. You will be asked permit your browser to install third-party apps. Permit it.
Hopefully, Play Services will be installed successfully on your phone. Restart your phone, and it will work usually again.
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All Work and No Play
Google Play Services are the soul of our Android phones. If something happens to them, you would want to throw your phone on the wall. That's how annoying it can get. We hope you were able to update Play Services using the above methods. Do note that you should manually update Play Services only when required
Next up: Tips and tricks improve the overall experience of any app or device. Check these cool tips and tricks for Android.