How to Sideload Apps on Android Phone

Because Android is open, you can get apps from places other than the Google Play Store. This is called “sideloading.” Some people might wonder why you bother when you can just download apps from the official shop. But there are many reasons why you might not be able to get an app from the Play Store. For example, you might want to get an older version of an app that was taken off the Play Store. This guide will show you how to safely sideload Android apps the whole way through.

What is Sideloading?

When you sideload apps, you get them from places other than Google Play or the main app store for your device. You personally install an APK (Android Package Kit) file when you sideload an app instead of downloading it from an app store.
The APK file has everything you need to run the app on your Android device. You can think of them as the executables of Android.You can use EXE files for Windows apps or.DMG files for installing Mac apps.

How to Sideload Apps on Android Phone

How to Sideload Apps on Android Phone

Sideloading apps may be a little different based on your Android version and the brand of your device, but here are the general steps:

Step 1: Enable Installation from Unknown Sources

By default, Android blocks installation of apps from unknown sources for security reasons. You’ll need to enable this option before you can sideload apps.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to the Security or Privacy section (the exact wording may vary).
  3. Look for an option labeled Unknown sources or Install unknown apps and turn it on.

Toggle the switch on to enable the installation of apps downloaded using the Chrome browser

On newer Android versions (8.0 Oreo and later), you may need to grant this permission on a per-app basis. For example, if you plan to sideload apps by downloading APK files through your web browser, you’ll need to allow the browser app to install unknown apps.

Step 2: Download the APK File

Next, you’ll need to obtain the APK file for the app you want to install.

  • APKMirror: One of the most popular and trusted APK download repositories is APKMirror.
  • Uptodown: Another well-known APK hosting site with a large collection of apps.
  • Developer Websites: Some app developers offer direct APK downloads from their official websites.

Tap on APK files to begin installation process | How to Sideload Apps on Android

Step 3: Install the APK

  1. Open your device’s Downloads folder or file manager app and locate the APK file.
  2. Tap on the APK file to begin installation. You may see a warning about installing blocked sources – tap Install Anyway or the equivalent option.
  3. Android will show you all the permissions the app requires. Review them carefully, then tap Install if you’re okay with the requested permissions.
  4. Wait for the installation process to complete. The app should then be available in your app drawer or home screen.

Install APK files with the help of ADB

Recommended: How to Recover Deleted Notifications on Android

If you know how to sideload android apps then you can add apps to your phone that are not available on the Google Play Store. But it also introduces some risk. If you have any queries or suggestions do let us know in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “How to Sideload Apps on Android Phone”

  1. I was Finding this Problem on Google they refer me to your site I have read your post which is too helpful and easy to understand. my finding would stop here with your appreciative article so keep it up further and let you solve our problem with new technologies which is round the corner.

  2. Avatar photo
    Roger Phillips

    I downloaded the Telegram app from the Telegram site and unzipped it. However, it hasn’t installed on the phone. What do I do next?

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