At one time or another, you’ve probably come across the term an APK file, but do you know what exactly that is? If you want to start enjoying the benefits of a wider variety of apps that what the Play Store can offer as well as have the ability to customize your Android phone to your liking, then it is crucial that you understand what an APK is. Here we give you details on what an APK file is, and how to have one downloaded and installed on your Android device.

What is an APK file?

While a computer running on a Windows system uses an .exe file for software installation, Android powered devices employ an APK file format for installing software on their operating systems.

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Why is an APK file so important?

Most times APK files belonging to new or upcoming Android builds are leaked prior to their official releases, which give you the ability to access their awesome features before everyone else. Or in other scenarios, you can even access apps that may currently be exclusive to some regions outside of yours.

Another exciting thing about APK files is the fact you can also get the Google updates that would have otherwise not been made available or taken quite a long time to be pushed out by your carrier or manufacturer. Furthermore, if your Android device is unable to access the Google Play Store, APK files still offer you an alternative for having apps installed on your device.

It is worth mentioning that freedom does however come with consequences. A few APK services allow you to download pirated or stolen apps, which as you know is illegal, therefore stay clear of such apps and always do your research before proceeding to download any new apps.

How to use your PC in the installation of APK files

There are a ton of sources for APK files on the web, but only few are actually trustworthy. Caution should be taken when installing any apps outside the Google Play Store. This is because unlike the Play Store which verifies and ensures that apps are safe and secure for your device, the security of APK files is not really guaranteed. You may easily come across a few APK files that contain malicious software which could aggravate your phone’s security. It is recommended that you try reading user comments and reviews before you download or install an APK. Alternatively look for reputable sites known for the safety of their APK files such as APK Mirror.

  1. To install an APK file on your computer, first ensure you’re your phone allows the installation of third-party apps from outside the Play Store. Go to Settings >> Security and tick the Unknown Sources checkbox.
  2. When you are done, go to your computer and do an online search for the APK file you want and then download to an easily accessible location on your computer, such as the desktop.
  3. Once you have it downloaded on your computer, using a USB cable, connect your device to the computer. If prompted to choose whether to charge your phone or use it as a media device, select the media device option.
  4. On your computer, go to My Computer or Computer section and locate your phone’s folder.
  5. Find the downloaded APK file and copy it to any folder you wish on your Android device.
  6. You will now be able to access the APK file on your device, by searching for it in your device’s My files folder. Simply tap the APK file and then select Install.

Once the installation is complete, you can launch it and start using it for its purpose.

In case it’s not working properly, you may need to repeat the same procedure with a different APK file and possibly from a different site.

How to install an APK directly on your Android device

  1. Simply open any browser of your choice.
  2. Search for the APK you want to download and then select it to begin the download process. You should see the download in progress from your notification bar.
  3. Once the download is complete, navigate to Downloads and find the APK file.
  4. If prompted, tap Yes, and the app’s installation should instantly begin.

Have you ever downloaded an APK file? What was your experience? Leave us a comment below

And as always, we end with an invite: don't be a stranger and join our community - be a part of the conversation where we help each other out, discuss the latest and greatest, and make the best of our tech.



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View Comments

  • wijdene

    it doesn’t work on my GT-s7562 s duos :(

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool