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The Google Play Store is the heart of most (if not all) Android devices. If you buy an Android smartphone or tablet, you’ll most likely find that the Google Play Store has been pre-installed. This isn’t really surprising; after all, without the Play Store, how can you fill your phone, phablet, or tablet with the apps you want and make it fit your lifestyle and personality?

Unfortunately, there are times when you need to remove the Google Play Store from your device. One of the most common instances is when the current version of the Play Store in your device is full of bugs, so you’ll have to revert to the previous version to avoid these issues. This is always tricky since, aside from the fact that downloading additional apps and updating old apps will be difficult, you’ll never know how your gadget would behave without the Play Store — but sometimes you just have to do it.

Reinstalling the Google Play Store

Fortunately, getting back the Google Play Store is easy since you can download its APK and reinstall it in your device. An APK (which means Android Application Package) is essentially a file format that’s used to distribute and install mobile applications — equivalent to the .exe files that your computer uses. There are two ways to go about this: using your mobile device or using your computer.

If you decide to use your phone or tablet, go to its Settings, tap “Security”, then enable “Unknown Sources”. This allows your device to download applications outside the Play Store (which is essentially what you’ll be doing considering you don’t yet have the Play Store). Open your device’s browser and go to APK Mirror or a similar site that offers the latest version of the Google Play Store APK. Download the file then follow the instructions on the screen to install it in your device.

The same process applies if you decide to use your computer. The only difference is that, once you’ve downloaded the APK, you’ll need to transfer it from your computer to your phone or tablet using a USB cable. Once it’s transferred, follow the instructions to install the file in your device.

Deleting the Play Store Isn’t Always the Solution

As mentioned above, there are times when you’ll need to delete and reinstall the Google Play Store. But, if you’re having problems with it, remember that deleting it is not always the right solution! Sometimes, the only thing you need to do is to remove Play Store updates, clear the cache and/or data in the Play Store or in Google Play Services, or simply download the latest version of Google Play Services.