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Google Discover not working? Here's how you can try to fix it

Remember that you don't need Discover to run a search.
By
January 15, 2024

For many of us, Discover is a nearly invisible part of the Google app. You’re probably loading the app with a specific search in mind, so it’s easy to gloss over its content recommendations. It can be a handy way of catching up on news, however, not to mention reviews, opinion pieces, and YouTube videos. If you legitimately rely on Discover, here’s how you can fix it.

How to fix Google Discover

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 google discover
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

There are a variety of reasons Discover might stop working, although these generally boil down to app or service glitches. Run through the troubleshooting steps below in order and you’ll almost certainly have things functional by the time you reach the bottom.

  • Doublecheck your internet connection. Like any online service, Discover rides or dies on the quality of your cellular or Wi-Fi. If you’ve got a weak or otherwise underperforming wireless signal, try getting closer to your source or bypassing obstacles. That’s easier said than done with 4G or 5G, of course. You might alternately try switching between connection methods if more than one is available. It’s also possible that your carrier or ISP (internet service provider) is experiencing issues, although they’re unlikely to affect Discover without impacting everything else.
  • Check that Discover is actually enabled. The feature is optional, which means that it might have been disabled at some point. You can always switch it back on by opening the Google app, tapping your profile icon, then navigating to Settings > General. Flip the Discover toggle on if necessary.
  • Make sure Google servers are up and running. There’s no way to check Discover’s status specifically, but you can use sites like Downdetector or the Google Workspace status dashboard to see if Google’s network infrastructure is holding up. If outages are being reported, that’s the likely culprit. There’s not much you can do in such a scenario except wait for technicians to work their magic.
  • Relaunch the Google app. Temporary glitches sometimes happen with apps, whether it’s a caching problem or a stuck process. Try force-quitting the app and opening it again.
  • Manually clear out cache data. If the last step didn’t accomplish anything, you can try manually wiping cache data. To do this on Android, go to Settings > Storage > Apps, select the Google app, then find Clear cache. You might also need to do this with Google Play Services. Note that menus can differ depending on your version of Android.
  • Restart your device. There’s the possibility of a temporary glitch at the operating system level, in which case restarting (a.k.a. rebooting) your device may help by forcing everything to start from scratch. This step also closes other apps that could be consuming too much memory or bandwidth.
  • Scan for app updates. Needless to say, with search advertising being the heart of Google’s business, the company tends to update its search app (and related components) on a frequent basis. If you haven’t updated your apps in a while, there could already be a fix for Discover-related problems. Update Android apps using the Google Play Store, and iPhone and iPad apps using the Apple App Store.
  • Verify that background data is running. Discover can’t pre-fetch content if background data sync is disabled. Go to Settings > Apps > Google, select Mobile data and Wi-Fi, and see if the Background data toggle is on. Note once again that menu labels may vary depending on your version of Android.