What to do if the Google Arts and Culture App isn't working for you
By now, you’ve likely seen your fair share of Google Arts and Culture selfies on your news feed. It’s the app responsible for all those museum portrait lookalikes, and it’s fun, addictive, and educational.
Unfortunately, like any app, Google Arts and Culture has its fair share of glitches, and some people have been having trouble accessing the museum portrait feature (aka, the whole reason most people download the app in the first place). So what are you supposed to do if this is happening to you, too?
Start by figuring out if the museum-portrait feature actually isn’t working, or if you’re just looking in the wrong spot for it. The portrait option is just one feature of the app, so it isn’t the first thing you see when you open it up. Open the app, scroll down, and you should see text that says, “Is your portrait in a museum?” Once you agree to the terms and conditions and take a selfie, you’re good to go.
Not seeing the feature at all? Check to make sure the app doesn’t need any updates (go to the App Store, click on Updates, see if Google Arts and Culture is listed). If it does, update it, restart your phone, open and try again.
No dice? Okay, here’s the bad news: As of right now, the app is only available in the United States. If you don’t live in the U.S., that’s your problem right there; it isn’t available in your country yet, and we’re not quite sure when (or if) it will be.
If you do live in the U.S. and your app still isn’t working, you’re not alone. A lot of U.S. users have been complaining that the museum-portrait feature isn’t working for them. Google has yet to comment on this, so again, we don’t have clear answers on when that issue will be fixed. Some Twitter users have figured out a way to get around this by signing up to a reputable virtual private network (VPN) with a different region to work around the issue (though that’s admittedly more work than most people likely care to do for an app).
Signing up for a VPN can be a little tricky, and if you find one that isn’t reputable, it could seriously mess with your phone. So if you have no idea what you’re doing, the portrait feature might not be worth it!
The good news is the app is so popular right now that it’s likely only a matter of time before Google makes the museum-portrait feature available to everyone. Fingers crossed!