Google Play Store and Chromebooks are a decidedly winning combination: the main reason is the ability to download Android apps on this type of laptop in a simple way through the official app proposed by Google.
How to fix Google Play Store if it doesn’t work on Chromebook
However, not a few users are experiencing problems with the Play Store on these devices. Among the many anomalous behaviors are often reported app freezes, error codes 7 or 8, downloads that stop in the middle, and other similar strange phenomena. In this article, we will try to find a solution to allow your Chromebook to manage the Play Store without problems.
1- Check compatibility with your Chromebook
Currently, the Google Play Store doesn’t work on all Chromebooks. App compatibility is only available with some computers of this line.
The most recent models allow you to have much more room for maneuver on the compatibility side.
If you don’t see the Google Play Store app on your Chromebook or it appears grayed out, you must first check whether your device supports this service or not. Check this official list to see if the hardware is compatible.
2- Restart the Chromebook
The first thing you need to do if the Google Play Store isn’t working correctly on your Chromebook is to restart it. However, you shouldn’t just close the lid and open it again. You will need to restart the Chromebook properly as shown below:
- open the Quick Panel on your Chromebook by clicking on the time in the lower right corner;
Click the Power icon in the panel to shut down the Chromebook.
Your Chromebook will start shutting down. Once it has completely shut down, use the physical power button to restart the machine and see if the problem is automatically resolved.
3- Check the Internet connection
What if the problem was the connection and not the hardware? If the Google Play Store screen appears blank or apps don’t seem to load, there may be a network connectivity problem.
To confirm this, start the Chrome browser and open any website. If that doesn’t open, it’s the connection’s fault. Try using a different Wi-Fi connection or connect using your phone’s hotspot.
4- Enable the Play Store on your Chromebook
Sometimes the Play Store is simply not enabled. To get it up and running, follow this procedure:
- Click the time in the lower right corner to open the Quick Panel ;
- then, click the gear-shaped Settings icon;
- now go to the App ;
- you will see the options Google Play Store or Install apps and games from Google Play on your Chromebook: enable the switch next to it, if available;
- now open the Launcher and you should see the Google Play Store app – tap / click on it to find and install Android apps on Chromebook.
Also, keep in mind that not all apps will work with your computer. If an app doesn’t appear when you search for it or is defined as incompatible, it means it can’t run on your machine.
Note: If you don’t see the Play Store option, it means your Chromebook doesn’t support it or has been disabled by your computer administrator at school or the workplace.
5- Log out of guest accounts
If you’re signed in as a guest user, you can’t install or uninstall apps from your Chromebook, as the Google Play Store won’t show up in profiles of this type.
You need to log out and log into a regular profile and then use a Google account. To exit the Guest profile, click on the time in the lower right corner and press the appropriate button.
6- Create a new user profile
If nothing seems to fix the Play Store issue on your Chromebook, you need to create a new user profile on your device and try using the Google Play Store within it.
To do this, you must first log out of your existing profile. Then click on the time below and choose Exit the Quick Panel. On the login screen, click Add Person, then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your new account.
If the Google Play Store works correctly in the new profile, there is something wrong with your main profile. In this case, the most logical solution is to create a new main profile and delete the old one.
7- Clear cache for Google Play Store
As with a common Android smartphone, you can also try to clear the cache for the Google Play Store in the Chromebook environment. This is a well-known solution to fix problems when this application keeps crashing or creating problems. Proceed like this:
- open Settings on your Chromebook;
- go to the App ;
- on the right side, select Manage your apps ;
- Search for Play Store in the list of apps and click on it;
- Click on More Settings and Permissions to launch the App Info screen ;
- click on Archiving ;
- press the Empty cache button ;
- then, restart your Chromebook as shown in the first point of this guide.
If clearing the cache didn’t help, click the Clear Memory / Clear Data button. Clearing the Play Store data will not affect your files but will only restore the Play Store settings.
8- Run the Chromebook diagnostics
Chrome OS offers a built-in tool to detect problems with the Chromebook’s CPU, RAM, or other components. You need to run the Diagnostic tool to detect problems that may affect the Play Store. In this sense, proceed as follows:
- open Settings on the Chromebook;
- go to About Chrome OS and click on Diagnostics ;
- scroll down and click Run Memory Test.
Let the meter complete the test. If the test fails, try closing any open apps on the Chromebook.
9- Check the date and time
It may seem absurd but date and time can affect the functioning or not of the Chromebook (as it does in other operating systems). A date other than the real one can create contrasts that create problems at the software level.
If your Chromebook has an incorrect date and time, you will face problems with the Play Store. To set the correct date and time you must:
- open Settings ;
- go to Advanced – Date and time – Time zone ;
- select Set automatically.
10- Uninstall third-party apps or extensions
Did you recently install an app or extension on your Chromebook? If so, this could cause problems in the Play Store. Try uninstalling the app or extension to see if the Play Store is working properly or not. So:
- open the Launcher and right-click on the icon of the app you want to uninstall;
- select Uninstall.
Similarly, to uninstall Chrome extensions, type chrome: // extensions in the Chrome address bar and find the extension to uninstall.
Click Remove to eliminate the potential cause of the problem.
11- Update Chrome OS
Google Play Store will not work properly if there is a bug in Chrome OS or if you are using an older version. Typically, the operating system will download the update automatically, but you may need to manually check and install the update to fix problems with the Play Store. To do it:
- go to Settings – About Chrome OS ;
- Click Check for Updates.
Wait for the update to download. Once downloaded, restart your Chromebook to install the update.
12- Update Play Store on Chromebook
You must also try to update the Play Store on your Chromebook if what has been done so far has not led to concrete results. In this sense:
- open the Play Store on your Chromebook and tap the profile picture icon in the upper right corner;
- Click on Settings ;
- expand the Information section ;
- Here find and click Update Play Store ;
If an update is available, the installation will start.
13- Remove Google Play Store
If nothing so far has yielded any appreciable results, you need to try reinstalling the Play Store. This should fix any bugs that might be causing problems with the Play Store. Proceed like this:
- go to Settings – App – Google Play Store ;
- Click the Remove button next to Remove Google Play Store.
A confirmation pop-up will appear warning you that the removal of the app. As a result, the operating system will also uninstall all apps downloaded from it. If you agree, select Remove Android App.
Once this is done, restart your computer and go to chapter 4 of this guide to reset the Play Store.
14- Factory Reset Chromebook
Finally, if nothing fixes the Play Store problem, you may want to do a factory reset on your Chromebook. Note that this will erase all data on your device, so make sure to back up your data first as after this you will lose all data on your computer.
So proceed as follows:
- open Settings
- go to Advanced – Reset settings ;
- Click Restore next to Powerwash.
So let’s end this guide with some questions you could ask about your Chromebook regarding this issue.
How to update Android apps on Chromebook?
Open the Play Store and search for the app you want to update, then tap/click the Update button for the app. Alternatively, open the Play Store Settings and go to Network Preferences – Automatic Updates and then select On any network.
Will Android apps from my phone automatically install on the Chromebook?
No, the Chromebook will not automatically download apps on your phone. You need to download them to your Chromebook from the Play Store manually. You can, however, find the list of apps in the My Apps section of the Play Store. Also, be aware that you may not be able to install all apps as some software is not compatible with Chromebooks.
Can you transfer Android apps to Chromebook?
Yes, you can install Android apps without the Play Store by enabling Developer Mode, although this carries various risks such as compromised security and data loss. Another option to install non-Play Store apps on your Chromebook is to use the Linux subsystem.