I have been playing Pokémon Go since August 2016. I am currently level 18. During Christmas break, I visited China. I decided to see if Pokémon Go works there. I opened the app and found that I was able to log in. I played for a little while as I was waiting for dinner.

After that, however, I was unable to open my Pokémon Go app even after I came back to the US. I have deleted the app and reinstalled it, but still cannot open the app. When I click on the app, the Niantic logo appears for a few seconds but disappears. I did everything from closing all the apps to deleting and reinstalling the app. Now it is not working. How do I play again?

  • 5
    If not done already, open a ticket with Niantic. They might have some issues with your account specifically.
    – Karlyr
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 23:19
  • 1
    I guess your account might be soft banned so just wait for some days it will be fine also file a ticket on Niantic as @Karlyr Suggested Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 4:28

4 Answers 4


You may have been 'soft-banned' due to the substantial change in your GPS location:

Pokemon GO players have been noticing for a while that Niantic is “soft banning” (temporarily banning) players whose GPS action looks sketchy. If there’s a possibility a player might be spoofing their GPS, then they may find themselves soft-banned. Although Niantic hasn’t officially commented on this, the circumstantial evidence seems pretty strong.
- Stephanie Dube Dwilson - Heavy.com

Niantic can't really tell the difference between someone spoofing their location (using a program to change where their GPS says they are), and someone that is legitimately traveling a substantial distance. a Reddit user had a similar situation traveling from Paris to Lyon.

There are a bunch of tips and rumors floating around about how to dismiss a soft-ban, but the only tried and true method is to check your location in Google Maps (with GPS turned on), ensure that it says that you are where you actually are, and then wait 2-4 hours for the soft ban to unlock itself.

If after a few hours you are still having issues I suggest contacting Niantic's Support


Try completely shutting down your device and turning it back on, if that doesn't work, try restarting it. One of these always works for me!

  • 11
    Wouldn't shutting it down and turning it back on be the same thing as restarting it...?
    – Vemonus
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 0:02
  • 1
    I think "restarting it" refers to the app, and the two actions would be different on iOS. On Android, they would have the same effect.
    – Jerry
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 13:43

This is because China has blocked all of Google's services.

How Pokemon Go works is that it uses the Google Maps API to keep track of your location in real time. However, if it is blocked, then Pokemon Go cannot get your location.

If you can't log in, that's probably because you're trying to log in via Google. Again, China blocked Google's services, so you can't log in via Google.

  • 1
    The OP is not in China. He traveled to China and back, and now cannot use the app.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 11:49

You might just have a phone with an incompatible system version, e.g. an iPhone 4s or 4 or an old version of Android, and will need to upgrade. although, I'm not sure if your android or iPhone is old, so these are just tips.

  • A low phone? What?
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 14:02

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