How to fix Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with “Can’t download app. (Error code: -20)” issue

The error message “Can’t download app. (Error code: -20)” may seem like an app-specific issue because the dialog box will include the name of the app you are supposed to download/install. However, it’s actually an issue with the Play Store or your phone and not of the application. It may happen from time to time and even high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 can experience it every now and then.

The good thing is that it’s just a minor issue and you can fix it on your own without having to ask somebody for help. There have been so many solutions and workarounds for this issue online but in this post, I will share with you the few yet effective and proven solutions for this problem. So, if you’re one of the users that’s bugged by this problem, continue reading as this article may be able to help you one way or another.

Before we move on, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our Galaxy Note 9 Help Guides for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. We may already have articles on our site that could help you fix the problem with your phone.

Restart your phone. If it’s the first time you encountered such error or problem, then you must restart your phone first because it could be just a result of a minor glitch in the system. Or better yet, perform the forced reboot by pressing and holding the volume down and power keys together for 10 seconds or more. This will restart the phone like it normally does but its memory will be refreshed and all its apps and services reloaded. After this, try to download the same application to know if the problem is fixed or not and if you’re still getting the same error, then move on to the next solution.

Download app using a web browser. This is a workaround if you don’t want to immediately deal with the error. More often, this will allow you download the app on your phone while triggering it using a web browser. It may save you from all the trouble so try it…

  1. On your computer (non-mobile) web browser, navigate to https://play.google.com
  2. Sign in to the same Google account that you used on the phone/tablet via the Sign In button.
  3. Search or browse the app and select Install.
  4. Select the problematic device in the Choose a device dropdown and select Install.
  5. Check if the app is successfully downloaded/installed on the device.

Remove Google account and re-add it. Since it’s a Play Store issue, your Google account may also have something to do with it. So, to make sure that it’s not due to account syncing problem, try to remove your Google account from your phone. Then, reboot your device and add the same account back. After which, download the same application and see if it goes through this time. If it’s still the same, then try the next solution.

Backup your files and reset your phone. A reset will fix it provided you still have the stock firmware running on your device. The reset will bring the device back to its default configuration. However, you need to make a backup of your important files and data as they will be deleted during the process. After the backup, follow these steps to reset your phone:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung credentials to finish the master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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