So the Android Market doesnít work anymore Ė how to fix it

The Android Market is a glorious thing. With countless apps and games, most of which are free, it offers countless possible upgrades to your Android phoneís capabilities without the need to change handsets every time your contract runs out.

It also suffers from a notorious bug that renders all your downloads frozen in time, refusing to fetch anything even if youíve paid for it.

Itís incredibly annoying when it strikes as it renders all future downloads inoperable. You donít have to despair though because Iíve encountered the problem enough times to figure out a good number of way of overcoming the issue.

Unfortunately not all the methods listed below will work. Sometimes the issue is caused by the data held on your phone and other times it seems to be a connection error or cache issue, so donít start to panic if you canít solve the problem straight away.

All instructions are based on the Android 1.6 OS running on a T-Mobile G1 but they should be transferable between handsets.

Method 1: Check the powerís switched on

Letís start with the most patronising method as itís also the least painful to check.

If youíre on PAYG check your balance to make sure youíve got the cash to go online. There are a lot of free data call plans now, even for PAYG, but not all of them are so donít get caught out. Check a website on the browser to see if data transfer is enabled.

It may also be due to a network operator/Market failure that canít be rectified via your phone. Once again, check the browser and other online apps are working before flinging your phone across the room in frustration.

If both the data plan and the Internet are working fine then letís move onto the next method.

Method 2: Take to the skies

Thankfully this method doesnít require you to leave the country and has proven to be the most successful for me in the past.

Hold the power button down until the shutdown window appears and select Airplane Mode. Wait for a few seconds until the mode becomes selectable again and then tap it again to disable it.

Viola! All queued downloads should now start working. If not, read on.

Method 3: Restart & Reboot

The quickest way to get things going is to clear your download queue (Downloads ó tap the program ó Cancel Download) and once all cleared, restart them one at a time.

It helps sometimes to restart your phone before restarting the downloads by turning it off and on again, in true IT helpdesk style, but this isnít guaranteed to kick-start your phone back into life.

Method 4: Google Talk it to life

Google Talk is a mysterious app. On the one hand itís a convenient chat program linked in with your Google account, but on the other itís a pair of shock paddles that may very well resuscitate your Android Market downloads back into life.

Just boot it up and wait for it to connect, then your download queue should miraculously begin downloading again. If it doesnít connect though, well, best move on to the next method.

Method 5: Clear the cache & user settings

Weíre starting to get into the slightly more complicated methods now. This one requires you to go to the Application Settings (Menu ó Settings ó Applications ó Manage Applications) and clear the data in Google Talk, Google Mail, Market, Google Apps, Download Manager and IM.

Donít be afraid of the Clear Data button, it wonít delete the programs from your phone as theyíre built into the OS. Instead this will clear your user settings, which will require you to re-input your Google Mail username and password. Make sure to also delete anything in the appsí cache, too.

Open up Mail, Talk or Market and re-input your user name and password. Wait for the little sync icon to disappear at the top of the notification bar and then try downloading again. If youíve already queued up some apps, just leave the phone alone for 10 mins. When you return, everything will be fine.

Or not, letís move on.

Method 6: Factory Reset

First of all, youíre going to lose every installed program with this option so only perform it as a last resort. You can still download purchased items for free from the market after the reset though as theyíre linked into your account, so you havenít wasted any money.

To perform a factory reset, navigate to Settings ó SD Card & Phone Storage ó Factory Reset, breath deeply and confirm your choice. The phone should now explode into a million flames Ė sorry, I meant shut down and restart.

Once the system has rebooted, enter your username and password as before and wait for everything to sync (watch the little icon at the top of the screen.) Once this is done, you should be able to download again.

Method 7: Phone a friend

If after all of that the Market still isnít working, then check the Official Android Market forums. They contain some useful information and tips from others whoíve solved the problem and helped aid me in fixing my G1 the first time.