Last Updated: February 12th, 2014

Update [2/12]: It looks like the glitch is over with. Several people are reporting that downloads are working again and everything has returned to normal.

If you've been having trouble with 403 errors while attempting to download new or updated versions of apps from the Play Store, welcome to the club. Reports have been popping up all over the Internet from people experiencing the same issue. Unlike the infamous Package File Invalid Error, the glitch appears to be persistent, preventing any and all downloads from starting. The problem is almost certainly tied to the Play Store servers, so it's best to just wait until Google gets it sorted out.

2014 - 1_thumb[11]

The HTTP specification defines the 403 error is a response for a 'Forbidden Request,' which means the server understands the request but chose to deny it. This is a good indicator that the issue might be tied to a configuration malfunction, not unlike the one that caused some Google services to go down a couple of weeks ago.

The 403 errors appear to be hitting a relatively small percentage of users. There aren't any specific patterns emerging, but a lot of brand new and factory reset devices appear to have a higher than average failure rate. Perhaps they are being directed to newly provisioned servers that have been misconfigured.

Several people have offered different - fairly hacky - solutions that mostly center around clearing data from the Play Store and Google Play Services. It's possible that these methods will work, but they may cause other issues. Staring at a bunch of pending updates might be annoying, but it's best to wait it out, at least for now.

Thanks, Marc.

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Changa Sjudi

    Shame on google. How come I am not getting Error 403 on my iPhone 5S?

  • fer

    Saw "Play Store" and thought a new version is out.
    Disappointed now, and it is even a bug :)

  • Konstantinos Pap

    Just flashed CM11-11_2_2014 build for Nexus 4 with Banks Gapps and xGenesis Kernel. Everything is working as expected, thank God. :D

  • Andy

    It happened to me when there are two accounts in my phone and I used a wrong account to install a paid app. Once I switch the Google Play account to the correct one, I can then install the paid app successfully

    • Angelica Gerard

      Perhaps they are being directed to newly provisioned servers that have been misconfigured.

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  • kindrudekid

    Hopin someone here will help me

    have STOCK rom on m nexus 7 and 5; but it is rooted

    I use koush's SU app and today I got the su binary update prompt; it fails, every time via recovery

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    I've been trying to reproduce this for myself most of the evening. I've done factory resets and switched accounts a few times. It was all fine up until this last round, where the Play Store is now running so slowly that a 200k app took almost 20 minutes to download. I'm not sure if this is related, but it lends a little more weight to the theory that some people are being pushed onto servers that's misconfigured or overloaded.

  • Princesation

    Fixed mine by turning off sync and data, wiping data/cache for the Play Store, Play Services, Services Framework, and Gmail. Then I removed all my gmail accounts, rebooted, then re-added primary account. Fixed.

  • luckiest guys

    it's funny how this error appears to me yesterday in the exactly moment when I was opening my brand new Moto G... I was scared that was some kind of HW related problem... thanks god

    • deano

      i just reset and rooted my phone and was faced with this error :/

      • luckiest guys

        I noticed that my Google Play Store and my Google Play Services were out of date even if I was on kitkat 4.4.2: so I pushed ES File Explorer to my phone and the other two APK (GPStore and GPServices) then I installed it by ES (without it I couldn't install the GPServices apk, don't know why). After this, everything went ok.

  • TheUndertaker21

    I faced that when flashed CM 11 for my GT-I9500, I thought it was the old 403 error, but you guys say it's different, so I guess I am not alone, hope google team fixes it soon. thanks guys for informing us about it!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I'm starting to see some comments popping up to suggest things are working again. Keep us posted if it starts working for you..

      • TheUndertaker21

        I can confirm that the problem is Gone, it's exactly as you mentioned, now the problem is solved, thanks for answering buddy :).

  • hocestquisumus

    Yeah... good thing I was in that small percentage yesterday. Thought I had fu**ed up my brand new CM installation somehow. That was perfect timing :D

  • Diaz1999

    Hey sir! what is that ROM? An pop-up with grey line, not the holoyolo blue line?

  • MikeJwF

    This is something that always happens with Tapatalk Pro updates. I'm pretty much never able to update it.

  • Dattatri

    403 error still persists... Hope Team android is working to resolve the issue...

  • LethalPigeon7

    Just got the error recently

  • devilmaycare34

    For me, this is back. I'm going to assume its' googles fault because it started at the same time on a note 10.1, note 2, nexus 7 2013 and 7 normal model, in 2 different houses for the same apps. I've tried every fix going, including router settings and all devices are acting the same so I'm going to say this is google and not actually me and it's pissing me off because I can't reinstall a game I paid £22 for, I am literally going insane. Some apps install no problem, others say no and there's no logic, it isn't just paid apps, it's free as well. I also get error 925 with 403 thrown in intermittently. Have even tried an alternate gmail account, no dice. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH