This detailed guide will explain how to download and install the Google Play Store on Android smartphones and tablets. And while most devices have it pre-installed already, some don’t, like the Amazon Fire tablet. We’ll cover that and more to help you get the latest software.
Google updates its app store pretty often, adding new features or improving the user interface. The problem though is some end up waiting weeks on end before it arrives, or even longer. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as most of the features are the same, but we understand wanting to have the latest release right away.
Some recent Google Play Store changes include a refresh button to check for updates, enhanced security tools and easier to read change-logs. There are several reasons to manually download and install the Google Play Store. Whatever they are, here’s what you need to know and where to get it.
How to Download and Install the Google Play Store
There are a few different steps you’ll need to take to ensure you have the right version of Google Play, and that it will actually install after you download it. You’ll need to follow our instructions and disable a security feature real quick, then download and install it. The entire process takes less than 2-3 minutes.
Enable Installs from Unknown Sources in Settings
The option in settings labeled “Unknown Sources” has been in Android for years. All phones ship with this setting disabled, which means users or apps can’t install anything unless it comes directly from the Google Play Store. It’s a security measure that keeps our devices and their contents safe.
You’ll need to enable the Unknown Sources option, which allows you to manually install an APK. That is the Android Package Kit files needed to install applications. It sounds technical, but it’s extremely easy.
- Open the app tray and click on the app called Settings (or click the gear-shaped icon in the notification pulldown bar)
- Go to Security or Lockscreen & Security
- Find and enable the Unknown Sources box or switch
- Click OK on the warning pop-up
Some Android manufacturers put this option in the “Privacy” tab in settings, so if you can’t find it look there or use the search button at the top of the page. We also recommend turning this off once we’re done installing the Google Play Store to keep your device safe.
Check What Google Play Version You Have Installed
Next, you’ll want to quickly see what version of the Play Store you have so you know which version to download and install.
- Open the Google Play Store
- Hit the three lines on the top left and scroll down to Settings (or find Settings)
- Scroll to the bottom and check the Play Store Version and build number
As of right now, we’re on Google Play Store version 8.1.29.S-all. Depending on your device you may already have it. Keep in mind that extremely old devices may not support the latest version. So if you’re still using Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version might not work for you.
Download the Google Play Store APK File
Now that you’ve allowed the device to install files from unknown sources and know what version of the Play Store you’re on, go ahead and download the latest release. The popular website XDA Developers has a continuously updated list with the latest version. We recommend you only download APK’s from trusted sources like XDA developers or big-name Android blogs.
- Download: Google Play Store v8.1.29.s-all (or the latest version)
- Click Yes to download file anyway if you get a popup
Install the Google Play Store
Next, depending on your device, you can simply click the download file from your notification pulldown bar and install the Google Play Store. If you downloaded it on a computer, use a USB cable to transfer it to your phone. We recommend clicking the download link above on your Android device to make things easier on yourself.
- Tap the downloaded file shown in the image above
- Once it opens select Install
- Hit Done or Open and we’re finished
- If you’re using an older or unsupported device you may need a file explorer. We recommend ES File Explorer
- Use the file explorer to find the Google Play Store APK you downloaded earlier. Click install, or you may see something labeled “Package Installer,” Click that.
- Agree to any permissions if needed, hit install, and that’s it.
Go Back and Disable Unknown Sources Installs
Better safe than sorry, right? We recommend going back into the security settings and unchecking the Unknown Sources option. This keeps your device safe and secure in the long-term.
Install Google Play Store on Amazon Fire Tablet & Others
The Amazon Fire tablet lineup is one of the most popular tablets on the market. They don’t have Google Play installed and rely on Amazon’s app store. If you want to get Google’s app store, you can.
Even the new Amazon Fire HD7 or Fire HD8 works with this method. There’s no rooting or crazy hacking required. Just follow the same steps mentioned above for unknown sources. Then, download all the files from this how to guide. Once you’re done, you’ll have the Google Play Store on an Amazon device and many others.
Almost every major Android smartphone and tablet already has the Google Play Store installed and any files needed to get the latest version. Meaning this same easy process works for almost every Android device you own. Simply download the latest release and install it yourself.
Some imported devices from China, Amazon tablets, and other random devices might not though. If so, you’ll need to follow those individual device guides to get it. Good luck, and enjoy the millions of apps on Google Play.
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