Solved - Play Store not downloading apps - solution was quite intriguing

Couple weeks ago, suddenly out of the blue, Play Store stopped downloading apps for me. On two of my phones.

I did all the things that Google told me to do. The problem persisted. On both the phones. No matter what I did and how many settings I changed, and how many times I cleaned the cache, cleared the data for however many apps, and rebooted, etc etc, I still couldn't download any app.

I just have to tell everyone what finally solved the problem, because I am still intrigued by it - I was doing all of this over wi-fi, and strangely enough, my home wi-fi network was set as a "Restricted Network". As soon as I toggled that setting, the problem with the Play Store disappeared, and I was able to download apps!

I am thrilled, but my question is - how in the world did my home wi-fi network get designated as a "restricted network" in the first place??? On two phones, no less?

I am mystified. Would love to have your thoughts on what could have caused that setting to appear on my phones. Thank you!

Incidentally, my home network was the only network that was set as restricted; all other wi-fi networks on that list were un-restricted (e.g. McDonald's, Walmart, Starbucks, hotel networks, etc were all set to be un-restricted). Also, I just happened to find this "Restricted Networks" setting by chance, when I was looking around to troubleshoot TextNow. I could have sworn that I have never seen that list of networks prior to this, let alone set my home wi-fi as a restricted network.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Thanks for heads up. Where is that restricted list located?

Usually in the Data display on the phone-- look for 'Network Restrictions' or similar.
Basically, the intent is to treat some networks, like the hotspot from another phone, as a 'metered' supply, where one might need to be particularly careful about how much data is used. I think it applies the same data restrictions that you have set for the native cellular data plan on your phone. (So, if I say "no Google Play downloads" on my phone's data plan, it will also be disallowed on a WiFi source that is marked as a 'metered' source.)

Glad you got it figured out, peterquinn! I don't know how the setting would appear spontaneously on 2 phones....