Debuting a little over eight years ago, the Google Play Store gave Android users an equivalent of the App store. Before it was developed, Apple nearly had a monopoly on the smartphone market; no company was even close. After Google Play was released, it made Androids much more popular, giving the iPhone competition. Since then, it has evolved into a digital media store, offering music, magazines, books, movies, and television programs for sale.
Although it is innovative and a great product millions use every day, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have flaws. One of the main complaints about Google Play is that its errors can be hard to manage or understand what is happening.
As discussed in our article on Error 927, Google is fairly unresponsive on their own support forums. Most of the information you will find online about these errors don’t come from Google, but other blogs. This can make some information unclear and can make you spend a lot of unneeded time searching for a good solution.
This can be extremely frustrating to users, as most companies have their own support sites for error codes. Nonetheless, I have compiled three ways to correct the Unknow Install Error 961 from various sites, so read on for all the ways.
Also Read: Fix Google Play Services Error Message
“We ship a new version of Google Play Services every six weeks. Typically, 90 percent of users are on the new version of that.” – Sundar Pichai
About Google Play
If you don’t know much about Google Play, here’s a brief background of its history and some of the features it offers. (If you already know you can skip this section).
Founded in 2008, the Android Market became an immense success. In 2012, the Android Market, Google Music, and the Google eBookstore were all combined into one, singular store, and named the Google Play Store.
As of 2016, Android smartphones made up 80% of the market sales, even though they lagged far behind the iPhone for years. A large portion of the recent success of the Androids can be attributed to the Google Play Store. Originally, the iPhone was the only smartphone with apps, a huge selling point of the new technology. Once Google Play came along, the landscape completely changed.
Currently boasting 2.2 million apps and over 50 billion downloads, the Store is one of the largest digital media providers out there.
Now, most Apple users have never used this service, with Apple having its own products like iTunes and the App Store. However, unknown to most, Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV are both available in the Apple App store. Although other applications can’t be downloaded on an iOS device, they can be downloaded directly to an Android or Google TV device through the Play Store mobile app, or from the Google Play website, a feature that Apple lacks.
What Exactly is Unknown Install Error 961?
This error that affects Android users occurs when you are trying to download or update an app from the Google Play Store. It can happen with paid or free apps. With trying to download a free app, you might not mind as much. But when paying for an app, you will be charged even before it starts to download. So, you will essentially be paying for something that doesn’t work.
If you did pay for the app, you can easily get a refund within 15 minutes of your purchase. To do this, select the repayment option in the Play Store. However, it will still be annoying nonetheless, as you probably will still want the app.
It is somewhat complicated to explain what causes this error but to simplify it, it is usually caused by a misconfiguration of your Device System Files. There are only a few solutions for this error, but they will almost always work.
There are a variety of solutions that may help you with this error. I have listed them from easiest to hardest, so you can try the simplest first. The nice thing about this error, unlike some, is that there aren’t a ton of steps you need to try. There are only three solutions, so once you try those, your device should be working.
1. Refresh the Google Play Store
The easiest thing you can do is to just simply refresh the store. The first step to the solution of many of these error codes is to restart or reboot the system, and this is no different.
To do this step:
- Go to your Device System Settings.
- Then click on Apps->Google Services Framework->Force Stop->Clear Data and Cache Memory.
This step will stop all Google Services Framework Background Data, and will basically return your store back to its normal state. From there, just restart your device, and many times this error will be fixed.
2. Remove Your Google Account
This solution is similar in principle to the previous. It isn’t nearly as effective, but it will take less than a minute and is worth a shot. To do this, go to your Settings and then click on Accounts. Once you are here, you need to remove all Google Sync Accounts. This is accomplished by clicking on Google and then on your account. Select the Menu Button and then select Remove Account, this will remove your synced account(s).
Afterward, restart your device, and then open up the Store again. When you do this, it will ask you for your login credentials, and login in with your Google account information.
This solution works because many times the error is of your account and the phone. This step is especially useful if you have recently changed some login information for your account.
3. Go To Recovery Mode
Many users aren’t aware of this feature for Androids, but it is simple and fixes a lot of problems besides just this error. As the name suggests, recovery mode helps repair or recover many issues you man encounter when using your phone. To learn more about Android’s recovery mode, read this article from DigitalTrends.
Putting your phone in recovery mode is very simple. To do so, turn off your device and then hold the two volume buttons and the power button at the same time. Hold this position until you see the boot selection menu. (It should look something like below).
Once you get your device to this screen, use the volume down button to navigate to recovery mode. You use the volume up to select, and after selecting you will see a red exclamation mark in a triangle on the Android icon.
After that, press the volume up and down buttons at the same time, and that will take you to system recovery (below).
Once you are in system recovery, use the volume down button to navigate to ‘Wipe cache partition’. Select it this time by pressing the power button. Once that is done, navigate back up to ‘reboot system now’, and use the power button to select it.
This step completely reboots your system and can be used anytime you are having errors with your Android.
The recovery mode is not just an Android feature. Apple devices alike have a way of activating recovery mode as well. Recovery mode is a great, general solution you can use on whatever device you are using when trying to solve a problem or fix a glitch. It may not always work, but it is easy, takes a short amount of time, and can be effective.
Getting the Unknown Install Error 961 on your Android smartphone can be irritating and needs to be corrected as soon as possible. I provided you here with more than enough options to correct this problem, and odds are at least one will work. Google is a great but not perfect company, and you may run into some errors while using the Google Play Store. All of them can be corrected within a short amount of time so you can get back to using your phone or tablet for what you bought them for.
Knowing how to refresh Google Play, removing and adding your Google Account, and entering your device into recovery mode are great skills to learn anyway. Even if you don’t need to correct this error, I’m sure this list gave you some skills you will be able to use in the future. These solutions can also be used if you get a different error from the store, or just in general from your device.
Another common error people experience when using Google Play is Error 905. This is a similar error, as it has to do with being unable to download an app. If you have or ever get this error message, make sure to read our article on it here. There you will find all of the details about the error, as well as ways to correct it.
Also remember that if none of these solutions work for you, make sure you contact Google Play customer service. This is important because not only will they possibly be able to fix the problem, but they can also give you a refund if you paid for your app. Their contact information is listed here.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or other pieces of information to add, make sure to leave a comment below.
Ryan is a computer enthusiast who has a knack for fixing difficult and technical software problems. Whether you’re having issues with Windows, Safari, Chrome or even an HP printer, Ryan helps out by figuring out easy solutions to common error codes.