A Definitive Guide to Fixing Google Lens Translate Not Working on Android and iOS

Google Lens is capable of a lot of interesting things. One of my favorite things to do with the Lens app is capturing text from pictures and images in real time. Best of all, it can translate the captured texts into over 100 languages. Although I hardly run into any issues using Google Lens, many users reported that the app’s translation feature was not working on their devices.

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If you ever find yourself in this situation, try closing and reopening the app. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you can restart your device. And if Google Lens translation still does not work, refer to the solutions in the section below.

For Android devices

1. Check cellular data or Wi-Fi connection / setup

The Google Lens app requires an active internet connection to translate the text of images in your gallery or photos you take. Without Internet, the error message “No connection” appears when you open the Translate section of the application.


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Check that your phone’s cellular data or Wi-Fi connection is transmitting data correctly. You should also check if you can use the internet with other applications. You can close the Lens app, turn airplane mode on and back on, and check if the app now connects to the internet.

Also, if you have enabled some form of data saver, you should disable it; Android data saver affects the translation functionality of Lens.


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You should also grant Lens unlimited access to internet / data usage on your device. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Settings menu on your phone and select “Apps & Notifications”.


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2nd step: Then select App Info.


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Step 3: Select Lens from the list of apps.


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Step 4: Tap “Mobile Data & Wi-Fi” on the app’s info page.


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Step 5: Activate the option “Unlimited data usage”.


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This will grant the Lens app unlimited access to your device’s cellular data or Wi-Fi, even when the data saver is on. This should allow Google Lens translation to work without network related disruption.

2. Update Google Lens

Google Lens’s in-app translation service may not work on your Android smartphone if there is a bug in the version of the app you are running. Typically, Google doesn’t let these bug-induced issues linger for long before releasing an update to fix them. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to fix Google Lens translation not working issue is to update the app.


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Launch the Google Play Store on your Android smartphone and search Google Lens. You can also press the “Update Google Lens” button embedded below. This will redirect you to the Play Store, where you can update Google Lens.

3. Clear Google lens cache

Google Lens translation may stop working if the cache data accumulated in the app is corrupted. There is no way to determine if this is the reason why the in-app translation feature is not working, but you can try clearing the Lens cache data and see if that fixes the problem.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Touch and hold the Google Lens app icon on the Home screen or in your phone’s application bar, and then tap the information icon (i).


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This will redirect you to the Google Lens app info page.

2nd step: Next, tap on “Storage and Cache”.


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Step 3: Finally, tap on the Clear cache icon.


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Launch Google Lens and check if the in-app translation service is now working.

4. Check the app permissions

This is a necessary troubleshooting check that you should run if the Google Lens app doesn’t translate words in your photos or images, possibly because the app can’t detect the camera or the storage of your smartphone. For efficient performance, make sure Google Lens has permissions on your device’s camera and storage.

Step 1: Launch the Google Lens app info page (Settings> Apps & notifications> See all apps> Lens).

2nd step: Select Permissions.


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Step 3: If the camera and storage are in the Denied section, the Lens app may be unable to translate words captured from images (stored on your device). Tap Camera and change its permission to Allow.


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Step 4: Return to the app permissions page and select Storage. Then select Allow to change the storage permission for Lens.


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Launch the Google Lens app and check if the translation is working now.

5. Clear data from the Google Lens app

Deleting data from Google Lens can also help refresh the app and restart its translation service.

Note: Deleting data from Google Lens will simultaneously delete app settings, accounts, translation language preferences, etc. You will need to configure the app from scratch.

Step 1: Go to the Google Lens app info page and select “Storage & Cache”.


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2nd step: Tap Clear storage and select OK from the confirmation prompt.


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For iOS devices

Unlike Android, there is no dedicated Google Lens app for iOS devices. IPhone and iPad users can indirectly use Google Lens through the Google app or the Google Photos app. If Lens does not translate captured text on any of these apps, see the following troubleshooting checks below.

1. Google Photos permissions

If Google Photos does not have access to your device’s cellular / Wi-Fi data, you may not be able to use some of the features of Google Lens. If this happens, follow the steps below to resolve the issue.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu on your device and select Google Photos.


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2nd step: Make sure mobile data is turned on and on.


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2. Google permissions

If you are using the Google Lens translation service on your iPhone or iPad through the Google app, be sure to grant the app the necessary permissions for effective functionality. Without access to your device’s camera and mobile data, Google Lens Translate may fail. Here’s how to check and enable Google app permissions on iOS devices.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu on your device and select Google from the list of apps.


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2nd step: Make sure the Camera and Mobile data options are both turned on.


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If none of the above methods work, you should consider updating the Google or Google Photos app on your iOS device.

Then:

Confused between the Google lens and Pinterest? Read the guide below to find out which visual search engine you use to find similar products and ideas.

Last updated on Jul 27, 2020

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