1 March 2013

Android Update ScreenSo you’re merrily rolling along with your Android phone, and all is well…

Then one day, perhaps after an Android upgrade, every time you try to update or install any app from the Google Play Store, you get an error message like: Error retrieving information from server. [RPC:S-5:AEC-0]

This is obviously very annoying. These update errors started happening to me recently after I updated to Android 4.2.2 on my Nexus phone.

Fortunately, there are a couple of easy tricks to try to stop the error messages and get updating working properly again. One of these solutions in particular seems to work for everyone who tries it…


Okeydokey, so you hit Google and people tell you things like:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Apps
  3. Go to All Apps
  4. Go to Play Store
  5. Tap the Clear Cache button
  6. Now go back to All Apps
  7. Go to Google Services Framework
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button

There are numerous variations on this scheme. Some people say you should do Clear Data, go to Home, then go back in and do Clear Cache. Then repeat for Google Services Framework. However, it appears that if you do Clear Data on Google Services Framework, you will actually cause this annoying Play Store update problem! That’s been my experience, anyway.

Others say that a phone restart is required, and/or force-quitting the apps themselves either before or after clearing the cache for one or both of the above services.

Well, I tried all of that, and nothing worked.

Sometimes, rebooting the phone while standing on your head and rubbing your tummy is recommended. I didn’t try this one.

So, I went for the one solution that DID seem to work for everyone who tried it (these instructions are for Android 4.1 and above, and may be a bit different for older versions, but the general idea is the same):

  1. Backup your contacts, files, and other settings!
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Scroll to Accounts, and tap your Google account
  4. Tap your e-mail address under the “Accounts” header
  5. Tap the options button (3 squares in a vertical row in the upper-right-hand corner) and pick Remove Account
  6. Now go back to Accounts, and tap Google again to re-add the Google account you just deleted
  7. Restore your backup of contacts, files, etc.
  8. Try to update again!

Note that if you are backing up your contacts and such to Google’s servers, you won’t have much trouble with things like your contacts disappearing. I didn’t do that unfortunately, so I had to re-enter all my contacts. Oops!

Also, things like photos are wiped when your Google account is removed. I suppose this kind of makes sense, but then again it doesn’t. A photo I take on my phone has nothing to do with my Google account, unless I say it does! Google begs to differ.

Oh well… We can agree to disagree on that one. Besides, Google’s implementation of this kind of thing is WAY better than Microsoft’s idea of account management on Windows Phone. The only way to change your account on Windows Phone is to completely reset the phone and start from scratch.

In any case, removing and restoring my Google account fixed the update error problem quite nicely. Give it a try!

If you need a good backup app, there are quite a few free ones available on the Play Store. If you’re looking for a good one, try MyBackup Pro. You can create local backups of anything and everything you want, or you can back up your data to their servers. Pretty handy!

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Android Update Error: How to Fix Google Play Store Update Problems
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