My Android phone has deleted Google Play Services. How can I fix it?
April 30, 2015 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I have a Moto G running Android 4.4.4 that has a bad habit of occasionally deleting an app without provocation. This is a small bother normally (I just re-download the app), but this time, it has deleted Google Play Services, which is necessary for all kinds of things. How do I fix it?

The absence of this one app means that my email, texting, and weather apps, among many others, just won't load (and my notifications tray is full of notices that can't be swiped away letting me know that they need it). Phone calls and browser still work, thank goodness. But the kicker is that the deletion has also made the Google Play Store inaccessible. Since I can't go to the store to download the app, how can I fix this issue?

I tried downloading the .apk for Google Play Services for Android 4.4.4 from another site (apk mirror) but that didn't work. It wouldn't install.
posted by ocherdraco to Technology (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Did you try to just download it from the Google Play store? If that doesn't work, factory reset your phone.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:45 AM on April 30, 2015


This shouldn't be possible. That's pretty odd. If the Play Store isn't working, try clearing the data for it in the app settings and try again.
posted by GuyZero at 9:47 AM on April 30, 2015


Since this is an ongoing problem, the very first thing I would do is backup any user data you have on the phone, then factory reset.
posted by selfnoise at 9:52 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's normally impossible to uninstall system apps. However, they can be disabled. To see if Google Play Services was disabled, go to Settings -> Apps -> Disabled and search for it in the list.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:15 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was going to suggest downloading it from APK Mirror... what was the error it gave you when trying to install it?
posted by dobi at 10:22 AM on April 30, 2015


GuyZero: that didn't help. Play Store still doesn't open.

mbrubeck: it isn't present in any of the app lists.

dobi: after I downloaded it and agreed to the permissions, I got a message saying "the app was not installed."
posted by ocherdraco at 10:48 AM on April 30, 2015


And selfnoise, you're probably right, but if something else works first, I'll take it.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:00 AM on April 30, 2015


selfnoise, what would be the best way to back up user data from the phone?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:12 PM on April 30, 2015


What happens if you install it from the play store on a computer (i.e., click AppleTurnover's link on a computer where you're logged in to google)? Does it just not install?
posted by brainmouse at 12:18 PM on April 30, 2015


It's worth a try. I'll do so when I'm home.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:09 PM on April 30, 2015


The Google Play website won't let me download it because it says it's already installed. (Which is clearly not the case.)

It looks like factory reset might be the only way out of this.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:55 PM on April 30, 2015


I actually had several issues with Android recently that were driving me nuts -- I wouldn't get any email notifications, I couldn't open place addresses with Google maps, I kept getting notifications of a software update that would never go away, etc. I factory reset my phone and magically, all of those problems are fixed and my phone is fine now.

Make sure your Google accounts are synced so you'll have all your contacts when you reset. Save your photos by connecting your phone to your computer and transferring them. You may wish to backup your text messages (I didn't think of doing that and after I reset my phone, I was bummed that all my text messages were gone.)

Factory reset is your best bet.
posted by AppleTurnover at 2:35 PM on April 30, 2015


How old is the phone? I would actually chalk this one up to bad NAND/flash storage and try and get a warranty replacement ASAP. It happens. I don't know if i'd even bother with a factory reset, especially since motorola phones basically run stock android like a nexus.
posted by emptythought at 2:57 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I bought it in January 2014. I don't know if it's still under warranty or not.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:22 PM on April 30, 2015


My phone runs the closest to stock Android I've ever had, and a factory reset fixed all my problems. And chances are his phone company will make him do a factory reset before they send him a new phone anyway. Definitely see if they will send you a replacement for free, but either way, you are going to lose the data on your phone to fix this, so you should back up everything.
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:38 PM on April 30, 2015


Thanks. For the record, I'm a woman.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:49 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh I had a similar problem!!

You have to make sure you are downloading the correct version. Go to a site like this.

Figure out which version (last 3 digits) you need, and download that one, load it to your phone and if it's the correct one, the apk should install.

I went through trying to install about 6 different versions yesterday that just wouldn't install until I finally figured out that the last 3 digits had to match.
posted by sarae at 11:26 PM on April 30, 2015


Alas, sarae, I had tried that already. It seems my phone was just too fucked up.

So, I have done a factory reset, and things seem to be back to normal. I just have to get all my apps set up properly again.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:12 AM on May 1, 2015


The factory reset did the trick. I'm happily using my phone again.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:28 PM on May 30, 2015


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