How to update Google Play Services on an Android phone, and troubleshoot it if it stops responding

Google PixelHollis Johnson/Business Insider

Google Play Services runs in the background on your Android phone and connects your Google account(s) to apps installed through Google Play.

Google Play Services allows you to use apps without entering login details each time you install a new app. It also processes and keeps track of purchases made through Google Pay to ensure you get the right version of whatever media has been purchased (books, apps, movies, etc.).

Updating Google Play Services is a little different than updating your installed apps, but the process is quick.

Update Google Play Services

1. From your phone's app settings menu, go to Apps (sometimes called Apps & Notifications).

settings_appsNavigate to your Apps menu.Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

2. Find Google Play Services under your list of all apps.

all_appsFind the app that simply reads &quotGoogle Play services."Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

3. If you have an option to Update or Install, tap to do so. Your version of Google Play Services is up-to-date if you do not see these options.

If you run into issues with Google Play Services that an update hasn't solved, you may need to do a little troubleshooting. There are a few things to try before making any drastic moves.

Google Play Services connection errors

Google Play Services connection errors may show up as an alert telling you to connect so your apps will work. You'll likely notice there's an issue before seeing an alert. Apps may become unresponsive and you may get multiple push alerts saying the service must be reconnected.

You can troubleshoot the connection error without contacting Google or your phone manufacturer about it. Here are a few options to check:

Check your internet connection

Ensure your connection, whether it be WiFi or cell network data, is working properly. A poor connection can sometimes cause issues with Google Play Services.

Clear Google Play Services cache and data

1. From your phone's settings menu, go to the Apps section.

2. Find Google Play Services under the list of all apps.

3. Tap Google Play Services to open the app information screen.

4. Clear cache by tapping the Clear Cache button.

5. To clear data, tap Manage Space, then select the data you would like to remove. You can review search data stored by each app on your phone or use the Clear All Data button to remove all data.

storage_managementYou can clear all data with a single press.Michelle Greenlee/Business Insider

Reboot your device

Occasionally, you may need to turn your phone off then back on again.

1. Press and hold the power button to bring up the option to Power Off your device.

2. Tap Power off to shutdown.

3. Press the power button to turn on again.

If you're still having issues, Google has a handy list of more steps to fix problems on Google Play that includes additional tips for managing Google Play Services.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

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