Over the last week, I've received a few emails about resolving a problematic error involving the Google Play Store. Here's how it works: You go to the Google Play Store and attempt to either install or just search for an app, and the Store returns the following message: "Error retrieving information from server. [DF-PFA-03]". What does it mean? More importantly, what can you do to resolve it?
I'm fairly certain this error centers around corrupt data in a few of the Google caches on your device. For this error, I have a few possible solutions that could resolve the problem. I'll address them in least to most severity.
Sometimes, a good reboot is all you need to fix what ails you. So many users forget their phones are computers, and they simply might need a fresh start. Just turn the device off, wait a moment, and turn it back on. Once the device is back up and running, see if this has resolved your issue.
Correct Google Account
If you happen to use multiple Google accounts on your device, make sure you are signed into the correct account. If you go to Settings | Accounts | Google, make sure the correct account appears. If not, add the correct account and remove the incorrect account.
Believe it or not, having the correct time and date is important for connecting with servers. If your phone is showing the incorrect time or date, this needs to be resolved immediately. To change your time/date settings, go to Settings | Date & Time. In this screen (Figure A), tap to enable both Automatic data & time and Automatic time zone.
Correcting time and date on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.
Reboot your device and see if the error has cleared up.
Extended cache clearing
Because this error stems from a possible corrupted cache, you'll need to clear the cache for a few services and apps. Go to Settings | Apps | All and clear the cache and data for the following:
- Google Play Services
- Google Play Store
- Google Services Platform
Reboot the device and attempt to use the Google Play Store to see if the error has vanished.
Finally, if none of the above steps work, you'll want to do a factory reset. To handle this task, go to Settings | Backup & reset, and tap Factory data reset. Next, tap Reset Phone, enter your PIN (if prompted), and tap NEXT. Finally, tap Delete all, then OK, and the reset will commence.
Hopefully, in the end, the factory reset will have rid your device of the issue.
This error can be one of the more frustrating you'll experience on the Android platform. However, one of these solutions should solve the problem.
Have you come across a problem with Android that you haven't been able to solve? If so, what was it? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.