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How to Install APK Files on Android

by Tera Delgadillo (2022-06-09)


This is Google’s controlled marketplace for apps, but it doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. Rogue apps often fall through the cracks, making it hard to trust the apps you’re installing. It doesn’t have every app, either, with some developers choosing to bypass the store (and Google’s control) entirely.

An alternative is to install the app files (called APK files) directly. If you’re installing an app from a trusted developer that isn’t in the app store, you might want to do this. If you want to know how to install APK files on Android, follow this guide.

Installing Unknown Source Apps on Android 10 and Later
Android has a number of safety mechanisms to try and protect you from installing rogue app files. Unknown source apps, for instance, are apps that are installed manually from a source it doesn’t trust. This usually means an app that isn’t from the Google Play Store or from a third-party marketplace like the Amazon Appstore.

If you try to install an unknown source app from an APK file, Android will block you. To bypass this, you’ll need to allow Android to install unknown source apps on your device.

The steps to do this will vary slightly, depending on your version of Android and your device manufacturer. This guide assumes you’re running a device running Android 10 and later.

To install unknown source apps on Android:

Open the Settings app on your Android device.
In the Settings menu, tap Apps.
Tap Special app access (or Advanced > Special app access).
Tap Install unknown apps.
Select an app to use to install an APK file—your browser and file management apps are the best option here.
Tap the Allow from this source slider to allow APK files to be installed via that app.
Installing Unknown Source Apps on Samsung Devices
Samsung devices run Android, but the company likes to do things a little differently. If you want to install unknown source apps on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, for instance, apkhol the steps are different.

To install unknown source apps on Samsung devices:

Open the Settings app.
In Settings, tap Apps.



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