If you are the proud new owner of an Android smartphone or tablet, you are probably excited to dig into the Google Play Store and explore the seemingly infinite number of applications, games, books, music, movies, magazines that can be found there.
Understandably so: the Play Store is chock full of useful applications, tools, games and content that make life much easily and much more fun and entertaining. So we definitely want to make sure you can access all of the potential of your Android device with Google Play Store.
The good news is, your device probably came with Play Store already installed. Most new smartphones and tablets will arrive with some standard Google applications preinstalled, updated and ready to use, including Play Store. In this case, you simply need to go into your Apps and scroll through until you find the Play Store.
If you notice that your Android device did NOT come with Play Store or the other Google applications preinstalled, the rest of this article is for you.
If you have an Android device that does not have Play Store already installed, there are a few explanations for why this might be. This happens fairly often when buying cheap Android devices from China, basically because the device doesn’t have an official Google certificate. Either the device is a clone, or it was rooted by the seller (or possibly by you, but you would know if you had done this). No matter the reason why your Android phone or tablet came without the Google certificate, it means that the normal Google apps that come with an Android device are not automatically on yours, including Play Store.
Can it be fixed? Yes, using the steps below we will show you step by step how to perform a Play Store download for Android devices which, for whatever reason, don’t already have it installed. Basically what we will need to do is: check your version of Android OS, download the APK file for Play Store, change your security settings, and finally install and run Play Store.
Check Your Version of Android OS
First, you need to check what version of Android OS your device is running, because not all versions are able to do the Play Store download. You can find your version of the operating system by going to “Settings” > “About Phone”. Your Android device needs to be running version 2.3 or higher. This is because Play Store was never available for versions older than 2.3; there was another similar app for these versions called Android Market. First, see if your device will allow you to update to a newer version of Android OS. If you can update to version 2.3 or higher, then you can continue with the steps to download Play Store. If your device won’t allow the update, it’s because either the manufacturer and/or your wireless carrier never made the update available to your device (common with older Android devices). If that’s the case, you can follow the same steps but instead of looking for “Play Store”, you will be looking for “Android Market”.
Download the APK File for Play Store
Use the internet browser on your Android device to search for “Play Store APK download”. The APK is the file extension that Android OS executes, and is how we’ll put the file for Play Store on your smartphone or tablet. There are tons of sites online where you can find a free download for the Play Store APK. Go ahead and download it, and while it’s downloading you can proceed to the next step.
Change Your Security Settings
Because you are trying to install and app that’s not originating in Google Play Store (obviously), you’ll need to change your security settings to allow the installation. Go to “Settings” > “Security” and select “Unknown sources”. This will allow your Play Store APK to be installed and give you access to the Play Store.
Install and Run Play Store
Find the Play Store APK that you downloaded in the notifications bar, and open the file. It will give you instructions to install the Play Store file. Simply follow these instructions, and this will install the Play Store app to your Android device. Now you can open Play Store and use it just like if it had come installed on your device.