How to extract APK files from an Android phone

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Pehaps an Android app that you use and love is not available in the Google Play Store or not available to your region. Or perhaps you are using an Android phone with no official support for Google Play Store. Perhaps you cannot find this app anywhere else, but you already have it on an older phone. One of the ways you can get to install it on your new phone is to extract the APK file.

You can extract APK Files on Android phones

What is an APK file?

Android Package Kit (APK) is the package file format used by the Android operating system for distribution and installation of mobile apps. So, if you have the APK file for an app, you can install that app on any Android phone (or years ago, a BlackBerry 10 device).

One way you can get the missing app installed on your device is via side loading. Side loading refers to installing an app from a source that is not the official app store, e.g., by sending the app’s APK file to your device and installing it. If your Android smartphone or tablet does not have Google Play Store, or you own a BlackBerry 10 smartphone (which runs Android apps), and you are certain that the apps that you want are not available on third party app stores, then you can install those apps by side loading them.

To get the APK file, you do need to extract it first. Here is a quick guide. You will need three things:

  1. an Android smartphone with the app already installed. Borrow one from your friend, parent, child, etc, etc
  2. APK Extractor
  3. a file manager

How to extract APK files on an Android phone using a file manager

You can use a file.manager to extract APK files on Android phones. Here is how to go about it:

  1. Launch Google Play on the Android smartphone and search for “APK Extractor”. There are several there. Install one.
  2. If there is no File Manager installed on the Android smartphone, install one from Google Play too.
  3. Launch the APK Extractor app, you will be shown a list of all the apps installed on your device.
  4. Select the app you want to extract and initiate extraction. The extracted file will be saved in a location on that phone.
  5. Use the file manager to find the APK on your device and send it via Bluetooth or email to the Android or BlackBerry 10 device you want to install it on.
  6. On the target phone, run the APK file to install it.

You can use this method to also update Android apps on Android and BlackBerry 10 devices that do not have access to direct updates via Google Play.

How to Extract APK files on Your Android Using APK Extractor

If using a file manager to extract APK files is a bit too technical for you, you can use an APK file extractor app to do it instead. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Open the APK Extractor app on your Android device. It will list out all apps that are installed on your phone.
  2. Tap on the specific app APK file you wish to extract.
  3. When prompted, select, “Save” and the file will be saved to your phone.

Tht is it. Now, you can find that APK file using a file manager.

How to install APK files on Android phones

To install the APK file that you have extracted, follow these steps:

Locate the APK File:

Open your device’s file manager or download folder to find the APK file.

Tap on the APK File:

Tap on the APK file to initiate the installation process. Your device may prompt you with a security warning; proceed if you downloaded the file from a trusted source.

Enable installation from unknown sources

Your phone will prompt you to enable installation of apps from unknown sources. This is a feature designed to protect your phone from malicious apps randomly being installed. Follow the instructions and prompts to proceed to the phone’s settings and toggle the button to enable the installation.

Confirm Installation:

Your phone will now prompt you to proceed with the installation. It might also present you with a list of per.sssions to review, in which case, do read the permissions requested by the app. Confirm by tapping “Install.”

Wait for Installation:

The installation process will take a few moments. Once completed, you’ll see an “Installed” or “Open” option.

Open the App:

If you choose “Open,” the app will launch immediately. If you select “Done” or “Close,” you can find the app icon on your home screen or in the app drawer to open it later.

Disable Unknown Sources (Optional):

For security reasons, it is advisable to disable the installation from unknown sources after installing the desired APK. This helps prevent unintentional installations of potentially harmful apps.

Avatar of Mister Mobility

By Mister Mobility

I have been tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones since my first in 2001.

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