How to install and open APK files on Android

We are going to explain how to install APK files on an Android device. But before we get into it, there are two essential prior steps to be carried out whenever you want to install an APK that doesn’t come from Google Play. The first is to give the operating system permission to do so if you’re using a version of Android lower than 8.0. Go to Settings on your phone or tablet (bear in mind that the aspect of the menus may vary on different phones).

Access Android’s settingsAccess Android’s settings

Go the the Security section.

Search for the Security entry amongst the settingsSearch for the Security entry amongst the settings

Search for the entry titled Allow installation of apps from unknown sources (or any similar option) and turn on the function with a tap.

Switch the Unknown Sources toggle to the rightSwitch the Unknown Sources toggle to the right

If your phone or tablet is running Android 8 or higher, you won’t need to carry out this prior configuration. The operating system itself will require permission when you download the APK file and try to install it.

The second is not essential but recommended - turn off Google Play Protect. This function analyzes apps in search of security issues and could impede the installation of certain apps due to being hyper vigilant in safeguarding our security. To turn it off go to the app Google Play Store app and in the top-left corner tap on the icon with three horizontal lines.

Options menu of Google Play’s appOptions menu of Google Play’s app

Select Play Protect.

Play Protect entry amongst Google Play’s optionsPlay Protect entry amongst Google Play’s options

Tap on the gear icon in the top-right corner.

Open Play Protect’s settingsOpen Play Protect’s settings

Turn off the Scan device for security threats by moving the toggle switch to the left.

Disable Play Protect’s threat scanDisable Play Protect’s threat scan

Confirm the modification in the pop-up window by pressing OK.

Confirm disabling Play ProtectConfirm disabling Play Protect

This way you can make sure that any app that is not from Google Play can be installed normally. However, always download your apps from reliable sources in order to avoid security issues.

To install an app on Android, download the file of the app you want to install. You can go to a range of sources, including our own website. Just go to the page of the app you are interested in and press the green Download button.

Button to download an app’s APK from MalavidaButton to download an app’s APK from Malavida

Confirm the operation in the next window pressing the same button.

Confirm the download of the APK by pressing DownloadConfirm the download of the APK by pressing Download

When the download is complete, you will have the file available in your download folder. Find it and click on it to launch installation. If you are quick, you can also launch the installation straight from the system notification that will appear at the top of the window when the download is complete. Press Open.

Press Open to run the APKPress Open to run the APK

Tap on the Install button in the bottom-right corner. Remember that if you’ve never installed an app using the web browser before, the operating system will request you to grant permission to your browser to install applications. It’s a configuration that you’ll only have to modify the first time and you can always go back from Android’s settings.

Start the installation by pressing InstallStart the installation by pressing Install

After a few seconds, the installation will be complete. An icon will be created in your app menu but you can also launch your new app from this window pressing Open.

APK installed successfully on AndroidAPK installed successfully on Android

From then on, whenever you want to open an app, all you have to do is go to the icon in your operating system’s installed apps menu.