How to fix Play Store error 961 on Galaxy S9

Are you getting Play Store error 961 on your Galaxy S9? If you do, follow our suggestions in this post to fix it.

What causes Google Play Store 961?

Assigning a code or number for a particular problem is good way in identifying what the problem is all about. When it comes to Google Play Store errors, codes are indispensable in knowing where the problem lies. Error 961 usually takes this form: “[Name of app] could not be downloaded due to an error. (961).” This usually means that the you are unable to download a particular app because the system has encountered a problem that’s related to payment. This might mean the payment option on your Google account is problematic, or Google is having a problem with the app that you’re trying to purchase.

In some other cases error 961 can be related to a bug with the Play Store app or with your Google account.

How to fix Play Store error 961 on Galaxy S9

There’s a number of solutions that are known to fix error 961. Let’s see each of them below.

Get a refund

A lot of error 961 cases we encountered are caused by a payment error during app purchase. If you get this error immediately after buying an app, we suggest that you get a refund from the Play Store. Google provides a 15-minute grace period after purchasing an app, which means that your credit or debit card won’t be charged if you request a refund within 15 minutes of purchasing the item. To get a refund, simply open the Play Store app and select the repayment option.

Clear cache of Play Store app

Should asking for refund won’t help and the error returns, the next troubleshooting step is to clear the cache of Play Store app. The cache may had been corrupted for some reason and the error may be the result of that. To ensure that the Play Store app cache is refreshed, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Apps.
  4. Tap the 3 dots icon (at the upper right)
  5. Tap Show system apps to display preinstalled apps.
  6. Find and tap Google Play Store.
  7. Tap Storage.
  8. Tap Clear cache.
  9. Tap OK.
  10. Restart the device and check for the problem.

Return Play Store app to its defaults

Sometimes, clearing the Play Store app cache is not enough to fix error 961. The next step to do in this case is to return the app itself to its defaults. This is done by wiping its data. Here’s how:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Apps.
  4. Tap the 3 dots icon (at the upper right)
  5. Tap Show system apps to display preinstalled apps.
  6. Find and tap Google Play Store.
  7. Tap Storage.
  8. Tap Clear data.
  9. Tap OK.
  10. Restart the device and check for the problem.

Clear data of Google Services Framework app

Another troubleshooting step that we found effective in fixing all sorts of Play Store errors in the past is by clearing the data of Google Services Framework app. Google Services Framework is a core Google app that manages important Google-level services in a device. If this app is buggy, it can affect other apps like the Play Store app. To make Google Services Framework stable, you can revert its settings to defaults with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Apps.
  4. Tap the 3 dots icon (at the upper right)
  5. Tap Show system apps to display preinstalled apps.
  6. Find and tap Google Services Framework app.
  7. Tap Storage.
  8. Tap Clear data.
  9. Tap OK.
  10. Restart the device and check for the problem.

Remove and add your Google account

If error 961 has not disappeared at this point, we recommend that you try to see what happens if temporarily remove the Google account from the device. Once you’ve done that, restart the phone, add your Google account again, and see what happens.

To remove a Google account:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap cloud and accounts.
  4. Tap accounts.
  5. Select the Google account (if your multiple accounts, pick the one you’re using for Google Play Store).
  6. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT.
  7. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT to confirm.

To add back a Google account:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap cloud and accounts.
  4. Tap accounts.
  5. Tap Add account at the bottom.
  6. Select Google.
  7. Provide the screen unlock if prompted
  8. Enter your Google account credentials.

Update apps

Sometimes, Play Store errors are the result of app incompatibility. If the problem remains at this point, make sure that all apps are up-to-date.

Factory reset

The last thing that you can do for this error is to wipe the phone. Although it’s rare that a user will need to do this solution to resolve error 961, you should not hesitate to do it if all the suggestions above have been exhausted.

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight “wipe data / factory reset.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.