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Many times, we need to install apps that have been downloaded from another place other than the Google Play Store app on our Android devices. These apps are installed from their corresponding .apk files. APK is the file format for applications running on the Android platform. Apps that are installed from sources other than Google Play Store are termed as ‘sideloaded apps’.

How to install applications outside of Google Play:

  • For Android 2.2 (Froyo) / 2.3 (Gingerbread) : 

1. Open ‘Settings’ app on the phone. You can simply press the menu button and then click ‘Settings’. In settings, scroll down and tapApplications option.

install applications outside of google play

Applications option in Settings

2. In applications, tap the option ‘Unknown Sources’

install applications outside of google play

Unknown sources option

3. Now, a dialogue box will appear that may worry you, but since you have to install apps from the apk file, you have to accept it. You can revert this setting back again after installing your required app  if you’re concerned with any risk.

Tap ‘OK’ on the dialogue box.

install applications outside of google play

Dialogue box

Done! Now you can install apps from a .apk file on your Android device!

  • For Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich and above):

The options are same, only thing is, you’ll find the ‘Unknown sources’ checkbox option in Settings > Security. So instead of going to ‘Applications’ after opening ‘Settings’, scroll further down to ‘Security’ and open it. After that, follow steps 2 and 3 as explained above. That’s it!

Even though this is a convenient way to share and install applications outside of Google Play on your Android device, it comes with a risk. There is a risk of malware propagation through malicious developers with the intent of stealing your data. So, use a little common sense to figure out a normal app from a malicious one.

Got any problems or need a tutorial for something else? Do let us know and we will make sure your queries are answered. Do not forget to subscribe to our mailing list.

Vishal Khedkar

Tech freak, music addict, Android fan, artistic, creative and a good friend to be with...and now also a blogger!


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