While trying to download large size apps like WhatsApp, Facebook on my Android smartphone recently I ran into an issue where the apps just wouldn’t seem to download. Every time that I went for the download, I would get one specific error message that would halt the download and keep me from getting my much-needed applications. I started up the download and a few moments later would get the message “App could not be downloaded due to an error (504)” again and again.
Only after trying a bunch of different fixes was I able to resolve the issue and it took some serious researching on my part. Finding the information, I needed to resolve the problem was time-consuming and difficult, which is why I decided to take the time to put together this guide for others in a similar situation.
Keep on reading to learn more about the error code and what causes it, and to explore some potential solutions for the issue as well. Hopefully, by the time you’re finished reading through this guide, you’ll at least have an idea of how to resolve the problem and you can start testing if any of the solutions will work for you.
What Does Error Code 504 Mean?
If you run into error code 504 it means that one server is having trouble reaching another server. This is a common problem that occurs when trying to open websites, but in the case of Android downloads, it means your phone isn’t properly communicating with the download server that’s in charge of sending you the files. Something is messing up that connection and causing you to get the error code repeatedly. With my research, it became obvious that people suffer from this error code for many different reasons, which makes it a bit more difficult trying to resolve the issue.
The Server is Timing Out:
When you see the error code it is usually because the server on the other end is “Timing Out” or taking too long to make the connection that it’s supposed to be making. That could be because there is a problem with that specific server, which is common when you’re getting the problem when trying to visit a specific website online. When you’re having the problem while downloading an Android App the problem is likely with your device or with your internet connection. There is something going wrong with one of those two things, and you’ll have to correct the issue before the error code will go away and let you complete your download.
How to fix the Problem While Downloading apps:
Now that you have a better idea about what the cause of the error code is, it’s time to get into possible solutions available to you. There are several different steps for you to try to hopefully correct the issue. Start at the top and work your way down through the potential solutions, and hopefully, you can fix the problem before you get to the end of our tried and true solutions. Each solution has worked to correct the issue for someone, so you really do have to try them all until the problem is corrected.
1. Test to See if the Problem is Limited to a Specific Application:
The very first thing that you should do if you run into the 504 error code problem is to test and see if other applications will download even if the first one does not. This will help you single out the root cause of the problem.
Open a different application and try to download it immediately. If the download works fine while the other application keeps sending back the 504-error code it’s likely that there is actually a problem with that specific application and not your device or your internet connection at all. If you have the same issue with multiple applications as well, you have a problem that’s affecting your entire system and you’ll have to resolve it. If you’re only having the issue with a single application, you might have to look or a replacement application if you can. It’s possible that your phone isn’t compatible with that version of the application and that you may not be able to use it at all without investing in a different device.
It’s important that you go through this step as soon as possible when getting started with troubleshooting the 504 error code. If the problem is with the application itself, it’s unlikely that the rest of our tips will help fix your issue.
2. Verify that You Have a Functional Internet Connection:
It’s entirely possible that your problem is being caused by a broken internet connection. If your device is connected to WiFi and that wireless network isn’t connected to the internet, your phone won’t use its data connection and you won’t be able to complete your download. There are a few ways to test if this is the issue. The simplest option, if you have available data that you can use, is to shut off your WiFi connection on your phone and connect to your data network instead. If the download functions normally once you are connected, the issue is likely with your wireless network.
If you don’t have available data left to experiment with, you’ll have to test to see if you’re getting an internet connection on your smartphone. Open a web browser and visit a website. If the site loads properly it’s unlikely that your internet connection is causing the 504 error code at all.
3. Turn Data On and Then Off:
If you’re trying to complete your download through your wireless carrier’s data connection, it’s possible that there’s an issue with your data connection. Try switching the data connection off and back on again to see if this corrects the issue. One of the fastest ways to do this reliably is to turn Airplane mode on and turn it back off.
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the command center
- Tap the data symbol to turn data off and tap it again to turn it back on.
- You can also do the same with the Airplane symbol if it is present in your menu at the top of your smartphone
- Try to download the app once again.
4. Free up Space on Your Device:
It’s also possible that you are getting this issue because you simply don’t have enough space available for the app that you want to download. While you won’t normally get the dreaded 504 error for lack of storage space, it does happen to some Android users occasionally. To be sure, check your available space to see if you have enough for the app you want.
Follow the below steps to check and clear up application data on your smartphone:
- Open “Settings”
- Tap on “Storage”
- Check the available “Internal Storage” – The Internal Storage amount should be larger than the application you want to download. If it is not you will have to remove some content or applications to clear your device.
- To remove applications back out of the “Internal Storage” menu and open “Apps & notifications”
- Tap “Apps” or “Application Manager” at the top of the menu
- Choose unnecessary apps with a quick tap.
- Select “Uninstall” to remove the app and clear up the amount of “Storage” space that it’s using.
- Do this repeatedly until you clear out the necessary space.
If you don’t want to remove applications, you may be able to clear up storage by deleting files or media on your smartphone. Back up your photos or videos or remove other large files on your device if possible.
5. Clear Google Play Store and Services Data and Cache:
Another potential issue that could be causing the problem is a bug in the Google Play store. Occasionally the software will malfunction and will cause app downloads to stop working. To double check, if this is the problem, you’ll have to follow a few steps to clear out the local data and the cache file for the Google Play Store app. Once you do that the download should go through for your app if that was the issue.
Follow these steps to clear out local data and the cache file for the Google Play Store:
- Open “Settings”
- Select “Apps” or “Application Manager”, whichever you have.
- Make sure that “All” is selected at the top of the screen.
- Locate the “Google Play Store” on the menu and
- Select “Storage”
- Press the “Clear Data” and “Clear Cache” buttons
- Go back up two menus
- Select “Google Play services” from the apps screen
- Choose “Storage”
- Select “Manage Data” and “Clear All Data”
- Go back up a single menu
- Tap “Clear Cache”
- Now exit Settings entirely and check to see if you can download the application now.
6. Remove and Add Your Google Account:
If you haven’t had any success with any of our tests so far, it’s possible that your Google account is causing the issue with the downloader. The downloads are running through your Google account after all. The next test will see if it’s your Google account that is the culprit.
To test this problem, follow the below steps:
- Open “Settings” on your phone.
- Choose the “Accounts” tab.
- Select “Google”
- Click on the “Remove” button shaped like a garbage can at the bottom.
- Confirm your selection and wait for your Google account to be removed.
- Go back a single menu.
- Tap on the “Add account” button.
- Enter the details for your Google account.
- Leave settings and test out the app download once again.
Sometimes simply clearing out your Google account and putting it back in is all it takes to take care of any account issues you have on your Android smartphone. Hopefully, once you complete the steps, you’ll be able to go through the app download process.
7. Perform a Hard Restart on Your Smartphone:
If none of the other options up above resolved your issue and you’re still seeing the 504 error code, there’s one more suggestion I have for you and that’s to restart your smartphone completely. To do this first exit out of all your open applications so that you can save any valuable information that you don’t want to lose. Once you do that you can turn off your smartphone. Shut down your phone by holding down the power button. This is hard to restart your smartphone and it removes all the power from the device so that it turns completely off. This is the most reliable way to make sure everything gets reset on your phone completely. Once you’ve shut off your smartphone, wait about 10 seconds and turn your phone back on once again.
There’s a chance that the problem you were experiencing was caused by specific settings on your smartphone. By restarting your phone, you may close out the application or clear the settings that are leading to your problems. Hopefully, once your smartphone turns back on you will be able to download once again. If downloads work properly after going through a hard restart you likely had a setting turned on that was causing you issues, or you were suffering from a conflicting application causing your problems.
While the 504 error code is a frustrating one, and it can make you feel like you’ll never be able to download apps again, it’s an issue that you can resolve with a bit of trial and error. Hopefully one of the suggestions above helped you fix your issue and get your phone downloads working properly once again. If none of them was a solution to your problem you will have to look for some additional solutions on your own. Keep searching for a solution and I’ll update this list if I come across additional solutions that work for other phone owners with this same problem. Make sure that you take your time and try out every one of the steps on this list before you give up. Even if one of the initial steps doesn’t solve your problem, it’s likely that one of the later options will and leave you with a perfectly functional smartphone once again.