How to fix Google Play Store “Package file is invalid” error

The Google Play Store “Package file is invalid” error message may occur while your phone is downloading or installing an application. It may be because of an interruption during the process and such interruption may result from a connection problem or anything else. Since we don’t know the reason or the cause of the problem, we need to troubleshoot your phone and that’s the purpose of this post.

I will walk you through in troubleshooting your device for us to determine the reason or cause behind the problem and eventually fix it. I have a personal experience with this problem and I can assure you that it’s not a serious one and you may be able to fix it by doing some very basic troubleshooting procedures. So, if you’re one of the users with this kind of problem, continue reading as this article may be able to help you one way or another.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our Android issues questionnaire.

Here are the things you can do if you keep on getting the “Package file is invalid” error when downloading or installing apps…

  1. Force restart your phone
  2. Refresh network connections
  3. Clear cache and data of Play Store
  4. Try downloading or updating app via web browser
  5. Backup important files and reset your phone

First off, it’s possible that this error is just a result of a minor glitch in the firmware and that’s the reason why you need to perform the forced restart procedure before anything else. This may save you from a lot of trouble. The forced restart procedure will refresh your phone’s memory as well as reload all the apps and services. Therefore you can rest assured that if this error is caused by a minor glitch in the firmware, this procedure alone will fix the problem. So after doing it, try to download or update the app you were having issues with.

Another common cause of this problem is when the connection is interrupted during the download or installation. As a result, the phone may not be able to properly read some files that may also result to this error message. Regardless whether you’re using mobile data or WiFi, resetting the network settings will take care of the problem. Most of the phones nowadays already has the option to reset network settings. So, just dig a little deeper into the Settings menu to find such option.

Clearing the cache and data of the Google Play Store will reset it back to its default settings and configuration while deleting and replacing all its cache and data files. Since the “Package file is invalid” is a Play Store error, it’s logical enough to go after the app itself. Actually, this is the most effective solution among the procedures I cited here. I personally encountered similar cases in the past that were fixed by simply resetting the Play Store. Don’t worry though as none of your files, data and apps will be deleted if you did this. It’s safe yet very effective in dealing with this problem.

There’s one thing I want you to try if the problem keeps on happening even after doing the aforementioned procedures and that’s to download the app to your phone using a web browser in your computer. Your Android device must be properly synced with Google servers and there are times when they’re out of sync and so errors may occur. However, the simplest way to download an app is by using the web browser. Here’s how:

  1. On your computer (non-mobile) web browser, navigate to
  2. Sign in to the same Google account that you used on the phone/tablet via the Sign In button.
  3. Search or browse the app and select Install.
  4. Select the problematic device in the Choose a device dropdown and select Install.
  5. Check if the app is successfully downloaded/installed on the device.

Lastly, if the problem continues to bug you even after doing the previous procedures, then you have no other choice but to reset your phone. The Google Play Store is a core application and thus deeply integrated into the firmware. It’s possible that the error is just a result of a more serious firmware issue and that’s the reason why you need to reset your phone. Before the reset though, make sure to create a backup of your important files and data as they will be deleted during the process.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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