How to Install APK on Android

This step-by-step tutorial is designed for total beginners who want to learn how to install APK files on their Android devices.

APK files allow you to download and install apps outside of the Google Play Store. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with computers; we’ll guide you through each step in detail. You can also check how to open apk file.

 

How to Install APK on Android

Step 1: Prepare Your Android Device

Before we begin installing apps from APK files on your Android device, it’s essential to ensure that your device is ready for the process. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Check Your Android Device: Ensure that your Android device is in working condition and powered on. If your device is turned off, press the power button to switch it on.

    Example: Press the power button, usually located on the side or top of your device, to turn it on. You may see the device’s manufacturer logo when it starts up.

  2. Unlock Your Device: Your device should be unlocked to proceed with the installation. If your device has a lock screen (a PIN, pattern, password, or fingerprint), you’ll need to unlock it.

    Example: If your device has a PIN, enter the correct PIN and press «OK» to unlock the screen.

  3. Access to Device: Ensure that you have physical access to your Android device. You’ll need to interact with the device’s screen and settings during the installation process.

    Example: Hold your device in your hand and ensure that it’s within reach so you can navigate through the steps.

 

Step 2: Find the APK File

Once your Android device is ready for the installation process, the next step is to locate the APK file you want to install. APK files are Android Application Package files, which are used to install apps on Android devices. Here’s how you can find the APK file:

  1. Check Your Downloaded Files: If you’ve downloaded an APK file from the internet, it’s likely located in your device’s «Downloads» folder. This is the default location where files you download from the web are saved.
    • Example: Suppose you downloaded an APK file named «MyApp.apk» from a website. You can find it in your device’s «Downloads» folder.
  2. Check Your Email: If you received the APK file via email, you may need to access your email app or email client to find the attachment. Email apps often have a designated folder for attachments.
    • Example: If a friend sent you an APK file as an email attachment, open your email app, locate the email, and find the attachment there.
  3. Explore External Storage: If you transferred the APK file from another device or location, you might need to explore your device’s external storage or SD card if you have one. The APK file may be in a folder you specified during the transfer.
    • Example: If you transferred an APK file from your computer to your device via a USB cable, it might be in a folder you created on the external storage.
  4. Use a File Manager App: To make it easier to locate the APK file, consider using a file manager app on your Android device. File manager apps allow you to browse and manage files and folders on your device.
    • Example: Open a file manager app like «Files by Google,» «File Manager,» or «My Files,» and navigate to the appropriate folder where you stored the APK file.

 

Step 3: Enable «Unknown Sources»

Android devices typically only allow app installations from the Google Play Store for security reasons. To install an app from an APK file, you’ll need to enable the «Unknown Sources» option, which allows installations from sources other than the Play Store. Here’s how to do it:

a. Open Your Device’s «Settings»: To access your device’s settings, follow these steps:

  • Example: Tap the «Settings» app icon, which is often represented by a gear or cogwheel, in your app drawer (the list of all installed apps).

b. Scroll Down to «Security» or «Privacy»: Depending on your Android device and version, you’ll need to find the «Security» or «Privacy» section in your device settings.

  • Example: Scroll down the settings menu until you see «Security» or «Privacy» and tap on it.

c. Toggle On «Unknown Sources»: In the «Security» or «Privacy» section, you’ll find the «Unknown Sources» option. To enable it, simply toggle the switch to the «On» position.

  • Example: Locate «Unknown Sources» and tap the switch next to it to turn it on. You might see a warning message about the potential risks of installing apps from unknown sources. Read it carefully and, if you’re comfortable, tap «OK» to proceed.

 

Step 4: Open a File Manager

If you received the APK file via email, downloaded it from the internet, or transferred it to your device, you’ll need to open a file manager app to locate and access the file. Here’s how to do it:

a. Open Your Device’s App Drawer: The app drawer is where all your installed apps are listed. It’s usually represented by an icon that looks like a grid of dots, squares, or circles.

  • Example: Tap the app drawer icon on your device’s home screen. It’s often located at the bottom-center of the screen or can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, depending on your device’s interface.

b. Locate a File Manager App: In the app drawer, look for a file manager app. Common file manager app names include «Files,» «File Manager,» or «My Files.» The app icon may resemble a folder or a file cabinet.

  • Example: Suppose you have the «Files» app on your device. Tap the «Files» icon to open it.

c. Tap to Open the File Manager App: Once you’ve located the file manager app you want to use, tap on it to open it. The file manager will allow you to browse and manage files and folders on your device.

  • Example: If you selected the «Files» app, tapping on it will launch the app, and you’ll see a file directory with various folders and files.

 

Step 5: Locate the APK File

In the file manager, you need to navigate to the specific folder where you’ve saved or downloaded the APK file. More often than not, APK files are stored in the «Downloads» folder. Here’s how to find it:

  1. Open Your File Manager: By now, you should have opened a file manager app as discussed in the previous step.
    • Example: Suppose you’re using the «Files» app as your file manager. It should be open on your device’s screen.
  2. Navigate to the «Downloads» Folder: Look for a section or category within the file manager that lists your device’s storage locations. Typically, this includes «Internal Storage» and «SD Card» (if your device has one).
  3. Select «Internal Storage»: Most APK files are stored on your device’s internal storage. Tap on «Internal Storage» to access it.
    • Example: Tap «Internal Storage» to proceed.
  4. Find the «Downloads» Folder: Inside your device’s internal storage, you should see a folder named «Downloads.» This is where files you’ve downloaded from the internet are usually saved.
    • Example: Locate and tap the «Downloads» folder.
  5. Look for the APK File: Within the «Downloads» folder, you’ll find a list of files, including the APK file you want to install. Scroll through the list to locate your APK file.
    • Example: If you downloaded an APK file named «MyApp.apk» from a website, it should be visible in the «Downloads» folder.

 

Step 6: Tap on the APK File

Once you’ve successfully located the APK file you want to install, the next step is to tap on it. Tapping on the APK file initiates the installation process. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Locate the APK File: You should already be in your device’s file manager, looking at the list of files in the «Downloads» folder or the folder where you saved the APK file.
    • Example: Suppose you found the APK file you want to install, and it’s named «MyApp.apk.»
  2. Tap on the APK File: To initiate the installation, simply tap on the APK file’s name.
    • Example: In this case, tap on «MyApp.apk.»
  3. Confirmation Dialog: After tapping on the APK file, you may see a confirmation dialog that asks if you want to install the app. It usually provides information about the app and its permissions.
    • Example: You might see a dialog that says, «Do you want to install this application?» along with the app’s name and requested permissions.
  4. Tap «Install»: To proceed with the installation, tap the «Install» button on the confirmation dialog. This action will start the installation process.
    • Example: Tap «Install» to begin installing the app.
  5. Wait for Installation: Android will now install the app from the APK file. The duration of the installation may vary depending on the app’s size and your device’s performance.
    • Example: You’ll see a progress bar indicating the installation status. Once it reaches 100%, the app is installed.

 

Step 7: Review App Permissions

Before proceeding with the installation of an app from an APK file, you’ll encounter a screen that displays the app’s permissions.

These permissions outline the actions or access rights that the app requires to function correctly. It’s crucial to take a moment to review these permissions to ensure they align with the app’s intended purpose and your comfort level with granting them. Here’s how to review app permissions:

  1. Permissions Screen: After tapping on the APK file to install the app, you’ll be directed to a screen that lists the permissions the app is requesting.
    • Example: You might see a screen titled «App Permissions» or «Permissions Required.»
  2. Read the Permissions: Carefully read through the list of permissions. Each permission will have a brief description of what it entails.
    • Example: You might see permissions such as «Access to Camera,» «Location Access,» or «Storage Access.»
  3. Consider the App’s Functionality: Think about the app’s intended functionality and whether the requested permissions make sense. For example, a camera app needs access to your device’s camera, but a simple note-taking app might not require such access.
    • Example: If you’re installing a photo editing app, it’s reasonable for it to request access to your device’s gallery and camera.
  4. Exercise Caution: If the app is requesting permissions that seem excessive or unrelated to its function, it’s essential to be cautious. Apps with overly broad permissions may pose privacy or security risks.
    • Example: If a flashlight app asks for access to your contacts and location, it might raise concerns.
  5. Accept or Decline Permissions: Based on your assessment of the permissions, you can choose to either accept or decline them. To proceed with the installation, you’ll typically need to accept the permissions.
    • Example: If you’re comfortable with the permissions requested by the app and believe they align with its purpose, tap «Accept» or «Allow.»
  6. Modify Permissions (Optional): Some Android versions allow you to modify app permissions even after installation. If you want to adjust permissions for an app later, you can usually do so in your device’s settings.
    • Example: If you installed a navigation app but want to revoke its access to your location, you can modify this permission in your device settings.

 

Step 8: Install the App

Once you’ve reviewed the app’s permissions and are comfortable with them, the next step is to proceed with the installation. Installing the app from the APK file is straightforward. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Review Permissions: Before proceeding, take a moment to ensure that you’ve reviewed the app’s permissions and are comfortable with them. You should have already assessed the permissions in the previous step.
    • Example: You’ve read through the permissions and determined that they align with the app’s intended function.
  2. Tap «Install»: To start the installation process, tap the «Install» button. This button is usually prominently displayed on the screen.
    • Example: You might see a button labeled «Install» or «Install Now.»
  3. Wait for Installation: After tapping «Install,» Android will begin installing the app from the APK file. The duration of the installation process can vary depending on factors like the app’s size and your device’s performance.
    • Example: You’ll see a progress bar indicating the installation status. Wait for it to reach 100%.
  4. Installation Complete: Once the installation is complete, you’ll see a confirmation message indicating that the app has been successfully installed.
    • Example: You might see a message that says, «App installed successfully» or «Installation complete.»
  5. Access the App: To use the newly installed app, tap the «Open» button if available. This will launch the app immediately. Alternatively, you can find the app icon on your home screen or in your app drawer to open it.
    • Example: Tap «Open» to launch the app directly. If you choose to open it later, you can locate the app’s icon among your other apps.

 

Step 9: Wait for Installation

Once you’ve tapped the «Install» button, your Android device will commence the installation process. During this time, you’ll need to be patient as the system works to install the app from the APK file. The duration of the installation can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the app and the performance of your device. Here’s what you can expect during this step:

  1. Installation Progress Bar: You will likely see a progress bar or indicator on the screen. This bar shows the status of the installation and how much time remains until it’s completed.
    • Example: A progress bar might fill up from left to right, indicating the installation’s progress.
  2. App Icon Appears: While the app is being installed, you may notice that the app’s icon is added to your home screen or app drawer. This icon represents the app and will allow you to access it once the installation is complete.
    • Example: You’ll see the app’s icon among your other apps, but it may be grayed out until installation is finished.
  3. Wait Patiently: The installation process may take a few moments, especially for larger apps or if your device has limited processing power. It’s essential to be patient and avoid interrupting the process.
    • Example: You might see a message that says, «Installing…» along with the progress indicator.
  4. Installation Complete Message: Once the installation is finished, you’ll receive a confirmation message indicating that the app has been successfully installed.
    • Example: You might see a message that says, «App installed successfully» or «Installation complete.»
  5. Open the App: After the installation is complete, you can choose to open the app immediately by tapping the «Open» button if available. Alternatively, you can find the app icon on your home screen or in your app drawer to open it when you’re ready to use it.
    • Example: Tap «Open» to launch the app directly. If you prefer to open it later, locate the app’s icon among your other apps.

 

Step 10: Open the App

After the installation process is complete, you’re just a step away from using the newly installed app. Here’s what to do:

  1. Locate the «Open» Button: Once the installation has finished, you’ll typically see an «Open» button on the screen. This button allows you to launch the app immediately.
    • Example: Look for a button labeled «Open» on the installation completion screen.
  2. Tap «Open» to Launch: To start using the app right away, simply tap the «Open» button.
    • Example: Tap «Open» to immediately access and use the newly installed app.
  3. Find the App Icon: Alternatively, you can locate the app’s icon on your home screen or in your app drawer to open it when you’re ready to use it.
    • Example: Scroll through your home screen or app drawer to find the app’s icon, which represents the app.
  4. Tap the App Icon: Once you’ve located the app’s icon, tap it to open the app. This will launch the app and take you to its main interface.
    • Example: Tap the app’s icon (e.g., a colorful icon with the app’s logo) to access its features and functionalities.
  5. Start Using the App: Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed and opened the app. You can now explore its features, settings, and content as intended by the app’s developers.
    • Example: If it’s a weather app, you can check the weather forecast for your location. If it’s a messaging app, you can send and receive messages.