How to fix ''Google Play authentication is required'' error

Update: Refreshed for 2021!
How to fix ''Google Play authentication is required'' error

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.

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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 > All apps > Google Play Store. Be careful to select Google Play Store, not services.  Then simply hit Uninstall updates by tapping the three dots at the top right corner. 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 install the latest version of the Google Play Store and sign in once again.

google play store updates
Uninstalling updates rolls Google Play back to its default version. / © NextPit

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.

google play store remove account
You should see your Gmail where the blank white line is. / © NextPit

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 follow these steps.

  • Open Settings, tap Apps and then select All apps.
  • Scroll to find Google Play Store and tap to open.
  • Tap on Storage and cache.
  • Tap on Clear cache or Clear storage (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.

Clear cache
Clearing the cache works as a solution for many people. Try it! / © NextPit

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 into 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.

install from web
Did you know you could install apps on your phone using your computer's browser? / © NextPit

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 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.

Have you suffered from the "authentication is required'' error in Google Play before? How did you solve it? Let us know in the comments below.

This article was updated in July 2021. Older comments have been retained


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  • Tek 1 month ago Link to comment

    On my Allwinner Android 10 Head Unit, I have tried all of this and nothing works. I can only log into Google using other browser apps such as Firefox and download Apps that way. But nothing Google-related will let me log in to my account. When I open any app like MAPS, CHROME, or PLAY STORE the apps work but as soon as I try to log in to them at the email fill window I have about 5 seconds to type in my email before I am taken back one step to the login screen. I wish there was an App with an entering code option. I mean like, on my computer I add an unknown device to my account and get given a code, and then on my head unit, I could enter that code into an App to be granted permission and my details added for me. I can still check emails, Install google store apps as long as it is through Firefox but I don't get any auto-updates this way. How can I make the screen where I enter my email address stay open so I can add my details. The problem is ONLY with Google Apps, any google App.

  • Elizabeth Szabo 3 months ago Link to comment

    How do I play my Google Play points $3.08

  • nisa hmm 9 months ago Link to comment

    Clear data from the Google Play Store - WORKS for me 100%!! thanks

  • fit_writer_supervipika Apr 2, 2020 Link to comment

    account re-login didn't work. Only cache and storage deletion worked. Thanks Brittney!

  • Alex Mh Dec 31, 2019 Link to comment

    2nd step - deleting and entering accounts - worked. It should NOT be like this. Something is wrong with the most smartphones OS and/or Play Store.

  • Cliff Oct 19, 2019 Link to comment

    I have installed play store in my Amazon device but the problem is now authentication error

  • Rajendra chauhan Aug 31, 2019 Link to comment

    I can't install ptm

  • Michael Benal Aug 22, 2019 Link to comment

    Google play not supported on your tablet after replacing screen

  • meee Aug 22, 2019 Link to comment

    I have attempted everything to get rid of the dreaded "Account Action Required" I have cleared the data, i have cleared the cache. It will NOT let me remove the accounts. I have removed them off my pc but the error still persists! Please there has to be something else!

  • Vijay Jul 24, 2019 Link to comment

    I was trying to install Firefox Focus & could not find it in the store.
    It was there in the previously installed app list, so had to install it from there.

  • Russ Michaels Jan 27, 2019 Link to comment

    Uninstall updates only works until play store then updates again, then the problem is back. I have factory reset multiple times, but it keeps happening.

  • DylanSy Dec 26, 2018 Link to comment

    Im using a samsung tablet s2 and my google version is 12.7.36 but theres no accounts and sync in settings and there isnt an uninstall updates button pls help i dont want to factory reset

    • DylanSy Dec 26, 2018 Link to comment

      Nevermind google just moved the uninstall updates button some where else ignore my comment

  • saarang arora Dec 24, 2018 Link to comment

    Thanks man you're a lifesaver.

  • sajjad rsd Nov 20, 2018 Link to comment

    Thanks for your note.
    Was helpful

  • Akhil Jain Nov 4, 2018 Link to comment

    Cleared Data, worked like a charm thank you.

  • Cheung KK Anthony Sep 27, 2018 Link to comment

    It needs patience to solve this issue: "google play not working", because the Google play control many apps in Android, without which, your life fails. This error occurs, after updating the Android system to 8.0.0 and not knowing why the issue occurs?
    Step by step, I follow the advices and successfully revive the Google Play Service, PAy, Map, Document, Drive, Youtube, etc. Summary: Apps, Force stop Google Play, Storage, Clear Cache, remove all Gmail account, add Gmail account. Completed. Thanks.

  • Leoine Gabrielle Perfinan Jul 31, 2018 Link to comment

    Clearing Data finally worked for me. I was SOOOO happy THANKS

  • Spep Jun 29, 2018 Link to comment

    "It makes you realize just how much you rely on Google products for your smartphone activity, especially the Play Store" Actually, it makes me still have lack of faith for the future of user-friendly products. I changed my password to Gmail, so why can't I simply just do something as simple as re-login? The quote should be "It makes you realize how Google still doesn't give a shit about users" But thanks for the way to fix it. I'll try it now.

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