Installing Google Play Store APK

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

In case you’ve been within the Android sphere lengthy sufficient, and also you’re greater than only a informal consumer — which might be true, should you’re at Android Authority — you’ve most likely heard individuals speaking about APK information. You may also have a imprecise sense of what they’re. On this information  although we’ll supply a extra in-depth rationalization, together with whether or not or not you must really feel secure putting in them.


An APK is the file format Android depends on for putting in apps. It accommodates every part wanted for set up, so apps will be loaded in your machine with or with out the Google Play Retailer.


What’s an APK file?

Google Play Store apk download

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

APK is brief for Android Package deal, and that’s a great clue by itself. To truly clarify nevertheless, an APK file is an archive of all the property an Android app wants to put in and run, together with not simply its major code however issues like certificates, sources, and a manifest file. An APK will be loaded on most gadgets that help Android apps, which means not simply telephones and tablets however issues like Windows 11 PCs.

Except you’re a developer, there’s (usually) no want to consider APKs. Everytime you obtain or replace an app through the Google Play Store, APK unpacking is dealt with quietly behind the scenes. The identical is true with the Amazon Appstore on Fireplace gadgets, or the Galaxy Retailer on Samsung merchandise. Actually, if you’d like, you may set up the Amazon Appstore on non-Fireplace platforms, however there’s not a lot level except you’re utilizing Home windows (extra on that later).

We are saying “usually” as a result of if you will discover different sources of APK information, guide set up is feasible, and there are a number of causes you is likely to be outdoors of software program growth. The primary is that some apps may technically violate Play Retailer guidelines, like Fortnite, however in any other case be completely secure and practical. In some instances an APK could also be obtainable earlier than an replace is pushed to your machine, so guide set up can pace up the replace course of. Lastly, there’s piracy — however that leads us to the subsequent part.

Are APK information secure to put in?

Fortnite Chapter 4 in action

Sure, so long as they arrive from a trusted supply. After the key app shops, the subsequent most dependable sources are well-known app builders, reminiscent of Fortnite’s Epic Video games. Beneath that tier are smaller indie builders, for whom much more skepticism is required — even a well-meaning creator may need a buggy or outdated app that might play havoc together with your machine.

Not all Android builders have good intentions, which is the place piracy comes into play. At greatest a pirated app goes to be practical, however deprive its creator(s) of earnings and deter them from supporting Android sooner or later. At worst it’s actually a trick — you’ll be by chance putting in malware since you have been attempting to save lots of a number of {dollars} or possibly even a number of cents.

Whereas it’s unlikely, one other factor to conscious of is that an APK may appear on the up-and-up however actually function a type of adware for an unethical firm or authorities. For causes like this you must all the time desire downloading from an app retailer except the factor you need is solely unattainable there.

The way to open an APK file

We’ve received devoted guides for installing APK files, together with loading third-party app shops or putting in on outdated variations of Android, however right here’s what you sometimes must do relying on the platform.

On Android

  • Discover the APK you need and obtain it to your machine.
  • Open the APK to start set up. Any file explorer app will do, however the remainder of our directions assume you’re utilizing Recordsdata by Google.
  • A pop-up ought to warn that permissions are wanted. In Recordsdata, faucet the Settings button to proceed.
  • On the subsequent web page, you’ll be requested to permit unknown apps from this supply. Flip the Enable from this supply toggle to proceed.
  • When an set up immediate seems, faucet the Set up button.

On a Home windows PC

  • Replace to the most recent model of Home windows 11. Additionally, open the Microsoft Retailer app, click on the Library tab, then click on Get updates. As soon as downloads are completed, click on the profile button within the title bar to examine the Microsoft Retailer model quantity. You want a minimum of 22110.1402.6.0 or later.
  • Ensure Home windows 11 has virtualization enabled. Head to Management Panel > Packages and Options, choose Flip Home windows options on or off, then tick Digital Machine Platform and Home windows Hypervisor Platform earlier than clicking OK. You might must restart your PC.
  • Set up the Amazon Appstore through the Microsoft Retailer. This can set up important elements in tandem, so don’t skip this.
  • Since we’re assuming you don’t need to be restricted to Appstore titles, obtain and set up ADB Installer.
  • Grant administrator permissions if vital.
  • Hit Y and press Enter when requested to put in ADB and Fastboot, set up ADB system-wide, after which set up Drivers.
  • Full the driving force set up wizard when it pops up.
  • Obtain the APK you need should you haven’t already.
  • Utilizing the Home windows 11 search bar, discover and launch Home windows Subsystem for Android.
  • Within the Subsystem’s settings, toggle on Developer mode, then click on the field subsequent to Recordsdata.
  • Individually, run PowerShell as an administrator, then sort adb join [IP address] into the command line, the place the IP tackle is what you see in Subsystem settings. For instance, one thing like “adb join”. Hit Enter.
  • Find your APK file, right-click it, and select Copy as path.
  • Swap again to PowerShell, then enter adb set up [APK path], pasting the trail you simply copied. Press Enter.
  • Your app must be put in, able to launch within the Begin menu.

On a Chromebook

  • Enter Developer Mode. As a result of this performs a manufacturing facility reset, be sure to’ve backed up any important information to the cloud first.
  • Discover and obtain the APK you need.
  • Use the file’s context menu to put in the APK.


No, a minimum of to not set up them. Some apps may allow you to peek inside their contents, however iPhones are incapable of operating Android software program, or vice versa.

It could be if the APK relies on a business app like Netflix or PUBG Cellular. You’re most likely solely going to get in hassle should you’re caught distributing the mod, although, not utilizing it.

No, they’re simply the information used to put in Android apps. APKs can doubtlessly comprise viruses, nevertheless, so it’s greatest to obtain them through app shops (just like the Google Play Retailer) or well-known builders reminiscent of Epic Video games.