The “Google Play authentication is required” error is a surprisingly common problem on Android devices. It makes you realize just how much you rely on Google products for your smartphone activity, especially the Play Store. The good news is that it’s a super easy problem to fix. Just follow the steps provided in our guide below.
There are several different ways to go about solving this problem, from simple data clearing to the more drastic factory reset as a last resort. We’ve outlined the following methods below.
Uninstall Play Store updates
Sometimes the problem is not with your credentials but the Play Store itself. Go to the Play Store in Settings > Apps > Google Play Store. Be careful to select Google Play Store, not services. Then simply hit Uninstall updates. This will take you back to the original version of the Play Store that was installed on your device.
Then, all you need to do to fix the error is to install the latest version of the Google Play Store and sign in once again.
Simply remove your Google account
The error may simply be a sign-in issue, which sometimes occurs when the Play Store is updated. The first trick is to go into your phone’s main Settings menu and then Accounts & sync and simply remove the Google account that is getting the “authentication is required” error. Once you’ve done this, you can re-add the account and it should work just fine. You can also restart your phone before re-adding just in case. However, you may need to do this step along with the second step below.
Try a fresh sync
It’s possible that things aren’t syncing for some reason, and just need a little push. Go to your Settings, tap Accounts & sync, find your Google account, tap it, and select Account sync. Then you can go back to the Play Store and see if the authentication message is gone.
Clear data from the Google Play Store
To clear data from the Play Store, you need to go into Settings and then Apps and find the Google Play Store. Tap it, scroll down and go to Storage. After that simply select Clear data. (You can try just clearing the cache first if you like, but clearing data will clear the cache as well).
If the previous step (the fresh sync) didn’t work for you, try again after clearing cache and data – it could have better results.
Download an app using your mobile/desktop browser
This workaround bypasses the malfunctioning Play Store app completely. Go to your web browser and navigate to the Google Play Store website. Try downloading an app directly from there rather than through the Google Play Store app. Just sign in to your Google account through your browser and then install the chosen app.
You can also do this on your desktop browser. You will be asked to sign in your Google account and then to select which device you would like to download the app to. As long as your smartphone/tablet is connected to the Internet, the download should begin almost instantly.
If you’re still having problems after trying all these steps, run through them again in this order, rebooting your phone between the steps: remove Google account, reboot, uninstall updates, install new Play Store, reboot, add an account, and so on. Just keep trying until the error goes away.
The last resort: factory reset
One user tried everything and still couldn’t get rid of the error message. However, the last resort worked: a factory reset. Here’s how to do it.