What to do if your Samsung Galaxy S9 shows “Can’t install app. (Error code: -18)”

When the error message “Can’t install app…(Error code: -18)” shows up while you’re trying to install an application on your Samsung Galaxy S9, it means that the installation hasn’t been initialized or completed. It could be due to a Play Store issue, the download has been interrupted, a problem on the directory where you want to install the app or a problem with the firmware of your phone.

There are too many factors to consider if you want to fix this problem. The thing is you really don’t have much of a choice when this error shows up and you badly need to install the app. You have to deal with it until it’s fixed and your phone can install new applications again. In this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your Galaxy S9 that’s bugged by this Play Store error 18. So, continue reading as this article may be able to help you one way or another.

Before going further, if you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to your problem, then try to visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed most of the commonly reported issues with the phone. We’ve already provided solutions to some of the problems reported by our readers so try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit.

How to fix Galaxy S9 with Play Store error 18 when installing apps

I will share with you the most effective and practical solutions to this problem only so this troubleshooting guide may be brief. You don’t need to do all other procedures that were suggested by other blogs. Here are the things you need to do to fix this error…

Perform the Forced Reboot first. I personally encountered this problem before and what fixed it was a couple of reboots. I don’t know what the reason why I got this kind of error on my phone before but i was able to successfully install the app after rebooting my phone twice. I did the reboot a couple of times because after the first reboot I felt my phone was too slow so I did it once more and tried installing the same app and it went through. In this case, I want you to perform a much more effective solution, the Forced Reboot. Press and hold the volume down and power keys simultaneously for 10 seconds or more. After this, try installing the app and see if the problem still occurs and if it still does, then move on to the next solution.

Try installing the app on your phone’s internal storage. I understand why you may need to install the device on an SD card but such can cause this problem. Try to install the app on your phone’s internal storage and then move it to the SD card once the installation is complete. It would just add a step or two but if doing so would save you from the hassle of dealing with this problem, then it’s worth it.

Make sure your SD card is working properly. Another reason why the error code 18 shows up is when the device cannot read and write properly on the SD card. In other words, it would be just normal to receive such kind of error if there’s really a problem with your external storage device. That’s one of the reasons why you need to try the previous method because it could all be just an issue with the SD card and if it is, then you will go through the hassle of backing up or recovering your files and data that are saved in the SD card so that you can reformat it. But still, that’s not a guarantee that the problem will be fixed. Another thing you also have to look into if the SD card is working fine is the storage space left. If there isn’t enough space then you must delete some files just to get rid of this error and that the app will be successfully installed.

Use a web browser to download the app. Your phone should conform with a lot of things before an app will be installed and errors may occur here and there if there’s even a slight issue. One way to avoid this error is to use a web browser to install an application. Follow these steps if you badly need to install an app and you don’t want to deal with this problem…

  1. On your computer (non-mobile) web browser, navigate to https://play.google.com
  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.

Basically, this is just a workaround for you to be able to install the app you were having issues with. But if everything else failed to fix the issue, then you have to reset your phone.

Perform the Master Reset. After doing the procedures above and the problem continues to prevent you from installing applications on your phone, then backup your files and data and then perform the master reset because there’s always a chance that it’s a firmware issue.

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung 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.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!


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