How to Cancel a Frozen App Download on Android

If rebooting Android fails, forcing an app stop usually does the trick

App dowload cartoon

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The Google Play Store for Android offers a tested and stable environment to download apps for most everything you can do with your Android device. If you experience the random app-download crash, a stuck download, or a frozen screen, rebooting the device should get things moving again. In rare situations, however, more involved fixes may be necessary.

The directions below should apply no matter who made your Android device: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Fix a Stuck Download on Android

When an app download has stopped and doesn't resume downloading, restart the Android device. If a device restart doesn't fix the stuck download, force the offending app to close. Open Settings, select the app in the Application manager, clear the cache or data, then perform a force stop or force close. 

Use Download Manager for Stuck Google Play Store App Download

For most  Android phones, apps are downloaded from the Google Play Store. To clear caches and get the download unstuck, force the Play Store to close.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap Apps & notifications.

    On a Samsung Galaxy and some older devices, tap Apps.

  3. In the Recently opened apps list, tap See all # apps.

    If the app list on your phone looks different, skip this step. Samsung Galaxy phones and phones with older versions of Android don't organize the list based on when the apps were used.

  4. In the list of apps, tap Google Play Store.

    Apps & notifications, See all 42 apps, Google Play Store on Android
  5. On the App Info page, tap Force Stop to stop the Google Play Store and app downloads.

  6. Tap OK to confirm your choice.

    Force Stop, OK button on Android
  7. Open Google Play Store and download the app again.

Use Download Manager to Fix Stuck Android Market App Download

For older phones using, for example, Android 2.1 with Android Market, the process is slightly different.

  1. Open the Settings app or access the Settings menu.

  2. Tap Applications, then tap Manage applications to display a list of apps.

  3. Tap Market.

    If you don't see the Market app, tap the Menu icon and select Filter to display a list of filter options. Then, tap All to show all the installed apps.

  4. Tap Clear cache.

  5. Tap Force stop.

  6. If you still experience difficulty, go to Download Manager, tap Clear data, then tap Force close.

Private Stores and Sideloading

Some organizations, including large employers, offer custom Android apps outside the Google Play Store. In general, the same process for fixing frozen downloads follows, except instead of performing a force close on the Google Play Store app, force close the proprietary market app.

Advanced Android users sometimes sideload (load an app that's not from the Google Play Market) through various tools. Performing a force close on the sideloading app sometimes work. A broken sideloaded app represents a security and stability risk to the device. It's best to uninstall the app and try again.

If you use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to sideload, manage things from the computer you use to access your Android device. ADB was designed for developers and has tools that deal with bugs and breakage. Reconnect your device or restart the ADB service to set things straight first.