In this guide, we will go over what is an APK file, how to open APK files, as well as how you can install them on both Android and Windows.
What is an APK file?
An APK file is a mobile application for Android, Google’s operating system. Some Android apps are pre-installed on devices, while others may be downloaded from Google Play Store. Apps installed by Google Play are automatically installed on your device; however, other sources require manual installation.
Are APK files safe?
Typically, users never see APK files since Android executes app installation in the background via Google Play or another app distribution platform. However, many websites now provide direct APK file downloads for Android users who wish to install apps manually. You should be wary of the source of the APK file because malware may be distributed in APK files, as it is done on Windows via .exe files. We recommend that you don’t run APK files from sources you don’t trust.
How to open APK files on Android?
The Android operating system recognizes downloaded APK files automatically. This means you can simply tap the file icon on your Android device to open an APK file. To install an unverified app, however, you’ll need to modify your Android device’s security settings so that third-party applications may be installed.
Allowing Installation of APK Files
To install an APK file, you must first enable your Android device to install apps from unknown sources. You may accomplish this by following the steps below:
- Open the Settings screen.
- Tap Security.
- Tap the checkbox next to “Unknown sources,” where it says “Allow installation of apps from unknown sources.”
- A warning will appear stating that it’s risky to install unknown applications. Tap OK to confirm.
You may now install apps from APK files without going to the Google Play store once you’ve enabled this option. However, there are many modified Android OS versions from different phone manufacturers. If you are not able to locate the setting via the instructions above, make sure to consult the instructions from the manufacturer.
Installing an APK File
APK files can be obtained from the internet or downloaded as an email attachment. Simply click the attachment to install the app on your tablet or smartphone if you receive an APK file in an email and desire to do so. If you’ve downloaded an APK file from the web, it’ll be in your Downloads folder. To begin the installation, simply locate the APK file and tap it. You may be asked to grant certain permissions in order for the installation to finish. When you unpack and install an APK file, you should receive a confirmation message. From your Home screen, you may now launch the newly installed app.
How to open APK files on PC?
Windows 11 is the first Windows version to officially enable APK file installation. Users may manually install APK files using the Windows Subsystem for Android with Android Debug Bridge or WSATools on Windows 11. As of early 2022, this capability is only available to members of the Windows Insider Program. It also necessitates that users turn on Hyper-V and the Virtual Machine Platform settings in Windows settings. If you are interested in installing APKs on your PC, be sure to check out our guide on how to install Android apps on Windows 11.
How to view the contents of an APK file?
An APK file is saved in a compressed ZIP format, which can be opened by any Zip decompression tool. As a result, if you want to examine the contents of an APK file, change the file extension to “.zip” and open the file, or open the file straight through a Zip program. Android packages contain all of the files necessary for a single Android program. The following is a list of some of the most important files and folders that they generally include:
We hope that you enjoyed this article on how to open APK files, whether it be on Android or Windows. If you did, you might want to find out how to install Android 13, or that Google secretly released a “Switch to Android” app for iPhones.