Google Play isn’t the only place to find apps for Android devices. There are numerous websites that host Android apps. Apps can be downloaded as special APK files from these websites and installed on your phone. Because these are unofficial Android apps, you’ll need to configure your phone to install them.
If you’re new to APKs and don’t know how to install Android apps with these APK files, this guide will help.
What Is An APK File?
APK stands for Android Package Kit, and it is a file that contains all of the resources and codes required for the app to install.
For example, if you download the YouTube APK, the APK includes YouTube resources such as banners, logos, and other content. The APK also includes the code that tells the app what to do when you select a specific option. You can also make use of an online emulator to open some apk files.
In a nutshell, an APK is an Android app installer. When you tap an APK file, the app is installed on your phone.
Why Use An APK To Install An App On Android?
There are several reasons why you would wish to install programs using an APK.
One typical cause is that the program you’re seeking isn’t available on Google Play. You may use the app on your phone by downloading the APK from the developer’s website.
Other causes include Google Play Store restrictions in your location. An APK can help you bypass this constraint.
What Are The Risks Of Installing An APK From Outside The Store?
Using an APK to install Android apps is fraught with danger. One significant concern is that you don’t know what the app will perform on your phone. For example, it may be a rogue program that steals your data.
Because these applications do not go through the Google Play Store’s quality and security tests, they can include any code and do anything to your phone.
However, the majority of applications are risk-free. You should be OK as long as you trust the website or developer from whence you obtained the APK.
How To Enable APK Installation On Your Android Device
The ability to install unauthorized apps (APKs) is disabled by default on practically all Android phones. To install APKs, you must enable this option.
Step 1: Open your phone’s Settings app.
Step 2: Scroll down and choose About phone.
Step 3: To activate developer options, tap “Build number” roughly 7-8 times.
Step 4: Return to the main settings panel, choose “Developer options,” and check “Unknown sources.”
Step 5: Look for choices like “Security” or “Lock screen and security” if you can’t locate the Developer settings menu. This option changes depending on the device, but you should be able to find it.
How To Enable App-Specific APK Installation On Android
Some Android phones offer a setting that allows you to only allow APK installs from particular sources. On these phones, you must enable the APK installation option for each app you intend to use to download APKs.
For example, if you intend to use Chrome to download and install APKs, you must activate the Chrome APK installation option.
Step 1: Tap Apps & notifications in the Settings app.
Step 2: Scroll down and select the last option, “Special app access.”
Step 3: On the subsequent page, click “Install unknown applications.”
Step 4: Select the app that will be used to install APKs. Most of the time, it will be your browser or file manager.
Step 5: Select the “Allow from this source” checkbox.
How To Install An Android App Using An APK
The installation of a program using an APK file is the simplest step. If you haven’t previously downloaded the APK for your app, do it immediately or visit one of the popular and secure APK download sites to obtain it.
You now have two options for installing your app using the downloaded APK.
Using Android Debug Bridge (ADB)
The Android Debug Bridge (ADB) allows you to run commands on your phone from your computer. If you have saved your APK file to your computer, you may use an ADB command to push the APK to your device and install the app.
Using Your Android Phone
If you’ve previously transferred the APK file to your phone, you may install it using your browser or the file management app.
- Launch your browser or file manager and choose the APK file.
- You’ll be asked if you wish to install the app. At the bottom, select Install.
- The live installation process will be shown on your screen.
- After installing the app, press Done to exit the current screen or Open to open the newly installed app.
How To Install Updates For APK Apps On Android
You can only update apps that you’ve downloaded from the Google Play Store. You have two options for updating apps that you installed via APKs.
Manually Find & Install Updates
Downloading and installing the latest APK file is one approach to updating your APK apps. This will replace your existing app while retaining your data in those apps.
You can locate updated versions of your APK apps on APK download sites or the app’s official website.
Use An App To Update Your Apps
You may update your downloaded apps using a free program like APKUpdater, much like the official Google Play Store procedure. This program searches your smartphone for all installed apps, identifies updates for those apps, and prompts you to install them.
APKUpdater searches many sources for the most recent versions of your installed apps. It also provides a notification when an update for your apps is detected.