How to download and install the Google Play Store

The Google Play Store is updated regularly, which is good news. The not-so-good news is that it can take weeks or even longer for some people to get the latest iteration. Basic functionality never changes, so holding on to an older version isn’t such a bad thing. However, we understand the urge to get the latest and greatest version on your device.

Want to update the Google Play Store on your device? Here’s how.

Step 1: Check your current version

The first thing you want to do is see what version you need to make sure you’re downloading the latest version of the Google Play Store.

This can be done as follows:

  • Open your Google Play Store app.
  • Open the settings.
  • Scroll down to the bottom. There you will find the “Play Store version”.
  • Google Play Store: a definitive guide for beginners.

This is important because you don’t want to accidentally install an older version of Google Play. You also want to make sure you download a version that is compatible with your phone. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem unless you’re rocking an old version of Android like 2.3 Gingerbread – if that’s the case, it’s probably time to replace your phone!

Step 2: Download the Google Play Store via an APK.

It’s a pretty self-explanatory step. The Google Play Store is available in APK format, just like any other Android app. You can download APKs from websites, tech blogs, and trusted people on forums or other places. However, currently APKMirror is probably the best choice for trusted Google Play Store APKs. Here is a short tutorial on how to download the Play Store app:

  • Find the version of the Play Store you want. If you want a newer version, point to your current version and check if a new version is available.
  • Download the app by following the instructions on the website.

There are some other places where Play Store APKs have been uploaded recently. However, APKMirror is just the easiest method that people generally trust. You should have no problems getting it from there.

Step 3: Handle security permissions

The Unknown Sources setting has been part of Android for ages. When this option is disabled, users (and other apps) can only install apps from outside the Google Play Store. Android Oreo has changed this to a per-app permission rather than a system setting. Thus, there are two different parts to this.

Before Android Oreo:

  • Enter your device settings.
  • Go to “Security.”
  • Find the Unknown sources option and check the box. A warning will appear, which you should make sure to read. When you are done, click “OK.” This will allow you to install APKs from unknown sources.

If unknown sources are not included in the security settings, try to find them in the privacy or application (apps) settings.

After Android Oreo:

  • Start the installation with a file browser or via the web browser.
  • Android will tell you that the app does not have permission to install APKs. In this prompt, click the Available Settings button.
  • In the next menu, check the box that allows this app to install APKs.

Find the Unknown sources option and check the box. A warning will appear, which you should make sure to read. When you are done, click “OK.” This will allow you to install APKs from unknown sources.

If unknown sources are not included in the security settings, try to find them in the privacy or application (apps) settings.

Step 4: Use a file manager and install Google Play Store.

Now that we’re ready, it’s time to install this thing. Use your favorite file browser. For those who may not have one, you can see our recommendations here!

Open your file browser and navigate to the location where you downloaded the Google Play Store APK. If you downloaded it to your device, it will be on your SD card in the Downloads folder.

Once you have found the APK, click on it. Depending on the apps installed on your device, you may see a box asking you which app you want to use. If this is the case, click on “Package Installer.”

On the next screen, read through any permission changes (usually none) and then click “Install”. After the process is complete, the latest Google Play Store will be installed on your device.

Hey you did it! Wait, there is one more step!

Step 5: Disable unknown sources

If you leave the Unknown Sources checkbox checked, there is a big security hole that can lead to problems later. The best way to protect yourself is to go back and turn that off! If you have Android Oreo or higher, you are done and can skip this step as these settings are no longer present in your phone.

Pre-Android Oreo:

  • Go back to your device settings.
  • Return to the security settings, privacy settings, or application settings (wherever you found them last).
  • Uncheck the checkbox. This will prevent everything (except the Play Store) from installing apps. You can always re-check the box later if you need to do this again.

There’s probably a reason they changed it in Android Oreo, and this is probably it.

Android Oreo and above:

  • Go to the device settings and then tap on the Apps option.
  • Scroll and find the app you used to install the Play Store. It’s usually the same browser you used to download the Play Store. Tap It.
  • On the next page, check the permissions until you find the section with unknown sources. Uncheck the box to remove the permission to install apps from outside Google Play.

Please note –

This process may change from phone to phone. Even default Android is slightly different from Android Oreo to Android 11 when performing this task. If you can’t find it at first, keep looking. You’re not crazy, it’s probably just in a slightly different place.

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