Frequently Asked Questions

Installing / Purchasing

To view all the purchases associated with your Google account (the one you are logged into on your Android device):

  • Launch Play Store app
  • Tap on your profile icon (top-right of screen)
  • Payments and subscriptions
  • Budget and history

If you cannot see some (or all) of your purchases then most likely you purchased using a different Google account. In this case, please check your old emails to find your Google Play Store order number(s) and send us an email.

Important Note: this topic is regarding Google Play purchases. Amazon Appstore purchases use a separate licensing system. Other Notes:

  • If your new device does not have Google Play (i.e. Play Store app) pre-installed then you will not be able to use Hanping paid apps
  • Please make sure you have backed up your starred items, history etc using the Backup/Restore feature (see Hanping menu)
  • If you are in China then please read this.
  • For general information about retrieving previously purchased application please read this

In short, when you purchase a paid app, it is tied to your Google Account. Therefore, if your Android device is logged on to that account (through Google Play) it will be able to use the app.

You may uninstall the app (maybe to free up space) and reinstall later without having to pay again.

If you have multiple devices (and are signed into all those devices using the same Google account) then you only need to pay once for all those devices.

If you change your Google Account then you will need to purchase the app again. In which case, please email us to request a refund for the original purchase (quoting the original and new Google Play order numbers). Whether such a refund is granted depends on how much the price has changed and how long ago the original purchase was.

If you are having problems, please check that the Play Store app is using the correct Google Account. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Play Store app and then tap the profile icon in the top-right
  2. At the top of the next screen, make sure the correct Google account is selected (which should be the same account you used to make the purchase)
  3. Tap Payments and subscription
  4. Tap Budget and history where you should be able to locate your purchases
  5. If not, then you most likely have not purchased with that Google account.

Note: When you install the app on your new device, Google Play will attempt to restore your user data from your Google Play account and so your starred words, history etc should automatically be restored. However, it’s a good idea to create a manual backup (via Hanping Pro’s Backup/Restore screen) from your old device just in case (don’t forget to keep the backup ZIP file somewhere safe - for example email it to yourself). You can later restore from this ZIP file if necessary.


If you’ve found a problem with a dictionary entry (e.g. pinyin error, or inaccurate/incomplete definition) navigate to our contact us page where you can find links to report the issue to the relevant dictionary editors.

Hanping Chinese Dictionary How-Tos

For Chinese handwriting recognition, tap the paintbrush icon in the search box. To find the character by radical, tap the icon. Alternatively, for pinyin and radical-based input, try Google Pinyin IME

Tap the icon in the search box

In traditional mode, search box hint text starts with 漢字, otherwise 汉字. Alternatively, press Menu > Settings where you will see either Simplified, Simp [Trad], Traditional or Trad [Simp]

Tap the microphone icon in Hanping’s search box. Long-press on this icon to show the configuration dialog. From here you can choose whether to recognize Chinese (Mandarin), English or simply use the System Default. If you click on the System Default you will be taken to the System Settings screen for Voice Recognition. The next time you click on the microphone icon, the latest configuration will be used.

Use v instead. For example, if you want to search for the pinyin nǚpéngyǒu (which means girlfriend) then you might type nvpengyou or nv3peng2you3. In fact, if you are using Google Pinyin IME, nvp is enough.

In the Menu you will see an item describing whether the displayed Chinese characters are Simplified or Traditional. Click on this menu option to cycle through the different settings. You can view Simplified only, Traditional only, Simplified [Traditional], or Traditional [Simplified]

Suppose you have a multi-character word in the Details screen and want to see the dictionary entries for characters/words within that word. Just click on the character you are interested in. This will usually bring up the dictionary entry for that character. However, if there is a sub-word starting with that character then that will be shown instead. For example, suppose the Details screen is showing 中国人民 (zhōngguórénmín, the Chinese people). Click on and you will see the entry for 人民. Click on again and you will see the entry for .

Long-tap on any history item (or any date label). This will bring up an Action Menu at the top of the screen where you will see three icons on the right hand side:

  1. Select All
  2. Delete
  3. Pin So if you would like to clear all history. Just tap the first icon and then tap the delete icon.

Note: The above steps refer to the default history style only. If you are using Classic History style (see Settings) then you will first need to temporarily revert to default history to perform the above steps.

Hanping Chinese Dictionary Pro and Hanping Cantonese Dictionary automatically backup your starred/tagged words to your local device. To enable this, all you need to do is go to the Backup/Restore screen (left Navigation drawer) and specify the Location for new backups. You should not specify a folder under /Android/data because that may be deleted when you uninstall apps. If the local device storage does not appear then tap on the three-dots icon in the top-right and tap Show internal storage.

Let’s suppose you choose a new folder hanping-backups at the top level of your device’s storage. Your automatic backups will be placed here. However, should you remove this directory/wipe your storage/reset your device/lose your device etc, you will also lose your backups. So you need to, er, backup these backups to a remote location. Hanping periodically prompts you to do this, allowing you to, for example, email a copy of your backup to yourself.

However, there is a better way!

Google Drive provides you with plenty of storage in the cloud. Unfortunately, the Android app does not allow you to specify folders on your device to sync. Luckily, there are apps that unlock that functionality for you. The downside is that you have to grant such apps authorisation to read/modify your Google Drive storage. If you are happy to do that, then here are some instructions for how to do this with FolderSync.

  • Install FolderSync on your Android device (it’s free), launch it and complete the setup
  • In Accounts, add your Google Drive account (might be good to check the Use Chrome custom tab if you are using a device purchased in China) and grant authorisation
  • From the left Navigation drawer, select Folderpairs - sync type = To remote folder, and specify the Remote folder and Local folder (for simplicity I use hanping-backups at the top-level of the local device and Google Drive storage. You can create these folders within the app
  • For Scheduling, select something appropriate for your uses, for example Daily
  • For If conflicting modifications, select Use local file
  • Have a look at the other options and check any that are appropriate (for example whether to sync on wifi only)
  • Tap Save and then Sync to check

And that should be it!

If you need to restore from a backup that has been synced to Google Drive, simply launch the Google Drive app, navigate to your hanping backups folder, tap on the latest backup and select Hanping app from the app chooser. This will overwrite any starred/tagged words you currently have.

More information on how to configure FolderSync can be found here.

Hanping Chinese Dictionary Tips

If you enter a long phrase (which is not in the dictionary) then Hanping will break down the phrase into words. This works really well when combined with voice recognition in Chinese mode!

However, sometimes its useful to do so. For example, searching for xi an will not include any of the xian results

Arrow buttons: The up/down arrow buttons at the top-right of the screen are used to navigate through the results (usually the results of a search in the main screen). To return to the search screen you can either click Back through the Details screens, or just click the top-left app icon to jump straight to the Search screen

Gestures: Try swiping your finger quickly left or right. This will step through the dictionary. For example, if 你好 (nǐhǎo, hello) is currently showing, then use swipe from the right to show the next dictionary entry 你好吗 (nǐhǎoma, how are you?). This is very useful for finding related words that might not have come up when searching by English (for example, hello would not bring up 你好吗 (nǐhǎoma, how are you?) Swiping your finger quickly up or down will have the same effect as using the up/down arrow buttons (i.e. step through the search results)

The colouring represents the tone of each character. There are different colouring-schemes available. To cycle through them: Menu (within app) > Settings > Colouring by Tones

(If you are not yet familiar with Homescreen Widgets, please watch:

There are two types of widgets available: 1x1 (2-character words) and 2x1 (4-character word). The words are updated daily. Adding lots of these widgets (for example, you can add four 1x1 widgets) is a great way to learn multiple words every day. Clicking on the word in the widget, brings up the word in the second screen of the app. Clicking on the icon of the widget, brings up the main screen of the app. This means you don’t need to have a separate shortcut to Hanping on your homescreen.

AnkiDroid Flashcards

Sometimes Hanping is unable to reset the Anki card templates directly. This is because Anki does not allow third party apps to make changes that would force the user to do a full sync.

The most common situation here is that the Hanping Chinese Type (Note Type) does not have all of the expected Card Templates. For example, if the only card type is Hanzi Question then that will be the only type of card that can be exported. To see the Card Templates, (in AnkiDroid) go to Manage Note Types, long tap on Hanping Chinese Type and tap Edit Cards.

How to recover from this (assumes you have an Ankiweb account and have already synced the problematic note type): WARNING - you will probably lose your study progress if you do this.

  • Delete the Hanping Chinese Deck from
  • Install Anki Desktop (Windows, MacOS, Linux)
  • Launch Anki Desktop
  • Delete Hanping Chinese Type (Browse / right click on Note Types / Manage Note Types)
  • Back on the main Anki Desktop screen, tap Sync, and select “Upload to AnkiWeb”
  • Now that AnkiWeb no longer has the corrupt note type, launch AnkiDroid and tap the Sync icon. Select AnkiWeb as the collection you want to keep


Google, Facebook, YouTube etc are unavailable from within mainland China. Nor can you purchase apps (or in-app purchases) from Google Play Store. To overcome this, sign up to a VPN provider (preferably before) you travel, and for that we currently (as of mid 2023) suggest trying ExpressVPN (affiliate link) and LetsVPN (non-affiliate).

Note: VPN provider quality is often changing and it’s often a game of cat-and-mouse, so please check before leaving for China.

First, please make sure you are running the latest version of the Hanping app you are having problems with.

Hanping apps use Google Play Store (or Amazon Appstore app) to check the current installation has a valid license. If Hanping discovers there is no valid license, the Pro-only features are automatically disabled and you may be unable to use the app.

This topic focuses on Google Play Store purchases. For Amazon Appstore purchases, please check with Amazon Appstore support.

Please note - if you DO NOT currently have an internet connection, the license check will be performed later and you can use the full version in the meantime. This means that you don’t need to worry about being locked out of the paid features when offline (for example, on holiday).

In rare circumstances, Hanping may mistakenly think a licensed installation does not have a valid license. The most common reason for this is that you are not logged into (on Android) the same Google account you used to purchase the app. The easiest way to verify this is to:

  • Launch the Play Store app on your Android device
  • In the left navigation drawer, go to the Account screen
  • Order history
  • Check if the Hanping app is included in the list (use the search button for convenience!)

If the Hanping app (the one which is showing the license problem) is not included in the list then you probably need to add whichever account you used to purchase the app.

If the Hanping app is included in the list, then it is possible that Google Play is incorrectly reporting the license as missing. In this case, please do the following…

First, try restarting your device (because sometimes this is enough). If that doesn’t help, then:

  • Clear Data on the Play Store app. Then run the Play Store app and accept Terms and Conditions
  • Check the Play Store app is using correct Google Account (Menu > Accounts) - this must be the same Google Account you used to purchase the app
  • Clear Data on Hanping Pro
  • Restart Hanping Pro
  • If asked to restore user data, DO NOT do so (you can always restore later through the Backup/Restore dialog)

If you still have the same problem, then please RESTART your device.

If you have LuckyPatcher installed, then that may also cause problems, so please try uninstalling that.

Please send us an email (including your Google Play Store order number and the Google account you used to make the purchase) if you are still having problems contact us.

Now and again, Google Play Store doesn’t quite work as it is supposed to. General Google Play Store technical support can be found here and the official page of Known Issues can be found here.

If the problem is regarding payment, try here.

In particular, worth mentioning:

Hanping Chinese Dictionary could not be downloaded due to an error. (403)

From the Android Homescreen, press the Menu button and go to Settings > Manage Applications. On that screen, locate the Play Store app and click on it. Then, Clear data.

Then try again.

Hanping Chinese Dictionary could not be downloaded due to an error. (-101)

Try removing your gmail account (from your Android device!) and then adding it back again:

Settings > Accounts & sync > [select Google account] > Menu button/icon > Remove account (you may want to sync everything first)


Settings > Accounts & sync > Add account …

When you start the Play Store app be sure to switch to the correct Google account:

Play Store app > Menu button/Overflow icon > Accounts

App is stuck downloading

You might see Your download is starting, or forever Installing, or a Cancel downloading button that does not work.

Solution (2.2+ only):

From the Android Homescreen, press the Menu button and go to Settings > Manage Applications. On that screen, locate the Play Store app and click on it. Then, Clear data.

This should stop the stalled download and return things to a healthier state. When you are sure you have a good internet connection, go to the actual Play Store app and attempt to download the app again.

See more here.

App is stuck downloading - alternative solution

If your application is stalled at Starting download, please use a few of the following troubleshooting steps to help your download to completion:

  • Confirm that there is connectivity on your device (contact your mobile service provider if you aren’t connected)
  • If downloading a paid application, confirm that your credit card information is up to date by logging in your Google Checkout account
  • Make sure that your phone is logged into Google Talk by following these steps:
  • Go to your phone’s app launcher, and press the Talk app
  • If you’re already logged into Talk, press Menu, and then touch Sign out
  • Launch Talk again to sign in

The requested item could not be found when trying to update an app

This can happen when trying to view an app’s listing from My Apps.

If you just want to update an app, then try Update all. If however, the app is Manual Update then you need to long-press on the app and from there you can Update. Note: the long-press functionality is not available in the latest version of the Play Store app (3.0.26) released mid July 2011 (so please use the Update all approach or switch to a paid-app country sim card).

Downgraded to Lite (displayed in Hanping Pro’s About screen when the Pro license cannot be found)

Please email us so we can check your license.

If you are having problems purchasing the app or making an in-app payment (e.g. payment declined), please have a look here.

Please post here any solutions you have to Google Play Store problems.