How to install an APK file on an Android phone

Have you ever wondered what an APK file is and what it is for? Today we show you what they are, what they are for and how to install APK applications on an Android phone.

Applications are one of the great advantages that smartphones have and allow us to do new things that we couldn’t even imagine before.

And, although Google Play is the reference store in terms of these needs, users have the ability to install apps from any source, but for this, they have to perform a special procedure.

In this article, mainly oriented towards less advanced users within the Google mobile platform, we will show you how to install APK on Android.

In addition, we will also explain what it is used for and what are the advantages of installing applications using this procedure.

In summary, what we have prepared is a simple guide to customization on Android.

What is an APK?

Let’s start with the basics. An APK is a type of file packaged in a format suitable for installation on Android and works similarly to a computer’s.exe files.

Android is able to read APK files to install them on our system quickly and easily. Similarly, when we want to backup an application, the APK format can help us extract it without complications from the mobile phone.

The reasons for installing APKs can be very different. To the question Why should I install an application with an APK?

There is no single answer, but there are several reasons for doing this and the most common are the following:

  • You want to try an application that isn’t on Google Play.
  • You want to install an application backup.
  • You want to go back to an old version of an application.
  • You want to update an application without waiting for that version to reach Google Play.
  • You want to try third-party apps that aren’t available on Google Play.

Is installing an APK safe?

The biggest dilemma when installing an application from an unknown source is security. Is it safe to install apps from a location other than Google Play? On numerous occasions we have advised to keep your phone safe, it is better to go only to official sources, but this does not mean that if we install APK from a place other than the Google store, our phone starts to have problems.

There are websites that maintain good prestige with regards to applications in APK format and in them we can acquire completely legal applications with a security equal to Google Play

It is also true, of course, that there are pages of questionable morality that could infect our phone. Our recommendation in these cases is not to overdo it, and if you find free paid applications, it is better to suspect.

Yes, that free paid application may not contain anything malicious, but most users who become infected with malware do so because of this type of free payment application.

Where can I download APK

Where can I find APKs that are reliable and free of charge? On the Internet, we can find a large number of sites where APKs can be downloaded for free, securely and, in some cases, without registration. Here is a list where you can see what our favorite sites are while downloading the APK.

  • Up To Down: a great app store with a great variety.
  • APK Mirror: a website that offers all versions (old and new) of the most popular Android applications.
  • XDA developers: a forum where developers and users share experiences on Android and applications.
  • Fossdroid: an Open Source application repository.

How to install an APK on Android

Before we start, we need to allow the system to accept the installation of applications that are not from Google Play.

To do this, we will go to Settings-> Security. In this submenu, an option called Unknown sources will appear, which we will have to activate. 

Upon activation, a warning will appear on the screen informing us of the risks of installing applications that do not come from the Google Play Store. We will have to accept them even if we remember that everyone is responsible for the applications installed alone.

Once you download an APK file to your phone, the next thing we will have to do is install it on our system.

We will go to the download folder of our device and click on the APK file that we want to install. In doing so, we will see a menu that summarizes the permissions required by the application. Once you accept these permissions, the application will be installed and will already be available on our Android phone.

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