APK stands for Android Package Kit and it’s the file format that Android uses for its apps. If you have an Android device/mobile, you might have heard the term APK and wondered what it means. While you can use Android phone without ever learning the meaning of APK, studying a bit will help you appreciate the platform further.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to download and Install APK on Android.
Allow Chrome to download and install unknown apps by going to Settings > Apps > Menu > Special access > Install unknown apps.
Install a file manager (such as Cx File Explorer or File Manager) so that you can find the APK file after you download it to your phone.
Download an APK file and open it to install it. Alternatively, transfer the APK Installer from your computer using USB.
Allow Unknown Apps on Android
Before you can download APK files using Chrome or any other browser, you must first allow unknown apps:
1- Go to your device settings and tap Apps & Notifications (or Apps in older versions of Android).
2- Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner.
3- Tap Special access.
4- Tap Install unknown apps.
5- Tap Chrome (or whichever web browser you use)
6- Move Allow from this source to the On position.
Install an Android File Manager, if you dont have already!
Now that you’ve configured your phone to let you install unknown apps, you’ll need a way to find the application file (APK file) on your phone so that you can run it.
Android phones typically come with a file manager app you can use, but if you don’t have one, search for one on Google Play. Some of the best options include Cx File Explorer and File Manager.
Download the APK Installer From Your Android
The easiest way to install an APK file on your Android is to download the file using the default browser, Chrome.
1- Find a website offering the Android app (APK) i.e. Advicehacks and tap the link to download the APK file. Accept any pop-ups, including “This type of file can harm your device.”
Note: “Only download APK files from reputable sources. A quick Google search can often let you know if an app (or company that makes the app) has a questionable reputation.”
2- If your mobile’s web browser doesn’t give you the option to open the file after downloading, open your file explorer app, go to the Downloads folder on your device, then tap the APK file.
3- Allow the app any required permissions it asks for. Then, at the bottom of the installer window, tap Install.
4- Now you’ll see the app available in your list of installed apps.
Transfer the APK File via USB
If you don’t have internet access on your phone, or for any other reason you can’t use a browser to download the file, you can still install apps from your computer. Using your computer web browser, download the APK file just like described above. Once it’s downloaded, connect to your Android phone and transfer the file.
If you’ve never connected your Android to your computer, enable USB Debugging. You can then plug your phone into your computer with a USB cable, and it’ll mount the phone like it would a memory stick.
Once your mobile phone is connected to your computer, it shows up as another drive in your computer’s File Explorer. Move the APK file you downloaded from the app website to the /sdcard/download folder on your phone.
Once the file is transferred, use the file explorer app on your phone as described in the previous section to tap the APK file and install the app.
Why Use an APK?
If the Android app you want to install isn’t available on Google Play in your country or you need a full version, you can download the APK file from the web and install it manually.
How to Find and Install APK?
There are many websites i.e. AdviceHacks, APK Pure, APK Mirror, where you can find non-Google Play apps to install.
Download Free APK for android Apps here.
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