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Unable to install an App from the Play Store because there was a problem parsing the package? Don’t worry! We can help.

There could be a variety of reasons why you’re getting the “Problem parsing the package” error. The app could be corrupt or damaged. It’s possible there is an app compatibility issue or Play Protect has blocked the installation.

Even something as simple as an app safety check could be the cause of the problem. So the best thing to do is work through the troubleshooting steps below in order until you find the solution that works for you.

Tips to Fix “Problem Parsing the Package” Error on Android

Fixing the “problem parsing the package” error could be as simple as activating an option from the Settings app or as complicated as identifying the root of the problem.

Here are all the tips you’ll learn about in this guide:

  1. Allow installation from unknown sources
  2. Download the APK file again
  3. Disable Antivirus app
  4. Clear cache data for Play Store
  5. Update the Android OS
  6. Download APK compatible with Android OS
  7. Download from Google Play Store
  8. Enable USB Debugging option

1. Allow Installation From Unknown Sources

Google Play Store is the official app store for Android users to download apps. However, certain apps are not available from the Play Store, which prompts users to use third-party app stores.

By default, Android doesn’t allow you to download apps from unknown sources. Follow the steps below to enable installation from unknown sources. But be careful to only download apps from trusted sources.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps & notifications.
  3. Right at the bottom, tap on Special app access.
  4. Select Install unknown apps.
  5. Then select the app source and enable the Allow from this source toggle.
Allowing installation from unknown sources
Allowing installation from unknown sources. Screenshot: Sagar Naresh/Gotechtor

Now, you’ll be able to download and install apps from outside the Play Store. Are you still getting the parse error? Let’s move on to the next step.

2. Download the APK File Again

There are chances the APK file that you’ve downloaded is corrupt or incomplete. This could result in the “problem parsing the package” error.

To fix this, return to the website where you originally downloaded the APK and download it again. Once the download is complete, install the app and check if the error is gone.

3. Disable Antivirus App

For safety and security reasons, we install an antivirus app on our Android devices. Though antivirus apps aren’t 100% effective in protecting you from viruses, they’ll surely stop you from downloading apps from sources other than Play Store.

Temporarily disabling the antivirus app could let you install the app. To do that, open the antivirus app and turn it off.

If you aren’t sure how to do that, simply uninstall the antivirus app from your device and try installing the APK. After the installation is successful, you can go ahead and reinstall the antivirus app.

4. Clear Cache Data for Play Store

If you’re still getting the “Problem parsing the package” error when downloading an app from Play Store, then you can try clearing the cache data for it. Corrupt temporary data could be the reason behind the issue.

Here’s how you can clear cache data for Play Store:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Apps & notifications.
  3. Select See all X apps.
  4. Search for Google Play Store.
  5. Now, tap on Storage & cache.
  6. Hit the Clear cache button.
Clear cache data for Play Store
Clear cache data for Play Store. Screenshot: Sagar Naresh/Gotechtor

5. Update Android Software

Another simple yet effective solution that you can try out for fixing the “Problem parsing the package” error is to check for software updates on your Android phone.

Android won’t let you download an app if it’s not compatible with your device or the Android version of your phone.

Follow the below steps to check if Android is up to date on your device.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Tap on System updates.
  4. Your phone will automatically look for a new update.
Check for Android updates
Check for Android updates. Screenshot: Sagar Naresh/Gotechtor

If a new update is available, go ahead and install it on your phone. If there isn’t any update, you can always install a custom ROM. Anyway, don’t worry! We’ve got more fixes for you to try.

6. Download APK Compatible With Android OS

If the APK file isn’t compatible with your phone’s Android version, you may come across a parsing error.

Make sure the APK you’ve downloaded doesn’t have any compatibility issues before you install it on your phone.

7. Download From Google Play Store

The freedom to download apps from third-party sources comes at a cost. You’re putting your phone at risk by installing apps not vetted by Play Protect. There is no harm in downloading apps from a third-party source as long as it’s from a trusted source.

Installing apps from Google Play Store
Installing apps from Google Play Store. Screenshot: Sagar Naresh/Gotechtor

When you download apps/games from a trusted third-party app, it’ll prevent you from installing incompatible apps or viruses on your phone. Sometimes those malicious apps can steal your sensitive personal and financial information.

If you don’t know which trusted third-party sources to download apps from, it’d be better to stick with the Play Store.

8. Enable USB Debugging Option

It’s not entirely clear, but many users have claimed that turning on the USB Debugging option has helped with fixing this problem.

Here’s how to enable USB Debugging on your Android phone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap on About phone.
  3. Here, you need to tap on the Build Number 7 times until a message pops up saying “You are now a developer“.
  4. Now head over to Settings > System. Under the System menu, select Developer Options. Turn the Developer Options toggle On.
  5. Scroll down and under the Debugging section, enable USB Debugging.
Enable USB Debugging
Enable USB Debugging. Screenshot: Sagar Naresh/Gotechtor

After you’ve enabled the Developer Mode on your phone, attempt to install the app that is generating the parse error.

Final Thoughts on Problem Parsing the Package

If nothing has worked for you, as a last resort you can factory reset your Android device. But be aware that this will erase all your personal data.

Before you take that route make sure you have a recent backup of your phone. In case, you don’t, here’s how to backup your Android phone. After you reset your phone, try to install the app again.

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns, or any other tips that have fixed the problem for you in the comments section below.

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Sagar has over 2 years of writing experience. Has worked with GuidingTech, TechWiser, MakeTechEasier, etc. Loves his coffee and working out.

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