When I try to run the Google Play store app on my Android 6.0 device, I get an error message telling me:

Background data disabled

Google Play Store needs background data to be enabled.

When I click on "learn more" I am taken to this page: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1663315?hl=en

That page claims that, under Android 5.0 or higher I need to open the Settings app and select "Wireless & networks" or "Connections" and touch "Data Usage", or on some devices "Battery & Data Manager" and then "Delivery". I have none of these, the closest I have are "WiFi" and "Battery", neither of which have "Data Usage" or "Delivery" under them.

I do however have "Data Usage" as a top-level menu item in Settings but it deals exclusively with Cellular Data limiting. And in that I do have Google Play Store restricted to "Disable background data on cellular networks". I am not going to change this as this was one app I identified which was using excessive mobile data usage.

However, I am not on a cellular network when I am trying to open the Google Play store, I am on WiFi, so I'm not sure why it is complaining. Is there some other location that background data has to be enabled for WiFi? I find that when connected to WiFi my phone is automatically updating apps in the background every day or two which would seem to suggest it does have background data when on WiFi, so why can't I open the Play Store under the same conditions?

  • 3
    I just ran into the same thing, and rebooting fixed it for me. Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 2:23
  • @FabianTamp Huh. That fixed it for me too. Thanks!
    – Michael
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 2:40
  • @Michael from what I can see on Background data for devices 6.0 and above, Enabling/Disabling background data affects cellular networks and not WiFi..*but* there's a specific configuration for WiFi networks that allows you to restrict background data on apps when using specific WiFi networks under more>restricted networks. Could you have engaged this option?
    – user145490
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 20:07
  • Hi, looks like you've found the solution. Consider posting it as a proper answer since self-answering is not only allowed but even encouraged. Thanks.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


I've just experienced this problem, and worked around it by completely disabling mobile data in the SIM card's "Data Usage" configuration page. Once wifi was the only possibility to connect, Play Store stopped complaining about not being allowed to use background data.

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