What is a .APK file
APK is android package. The APK file format is developed by Google and it is categorized as an executable file. It is in the zip format also.
It has grown in popularity over time since these APK files permit the easy download of certain mobile applications that cannot be downloaded to Android devices via Google Play Store.
In this write-up, we will learn more about this unique android package suffix, type, format, features and related software.
How to Open Apk Files on Android
Android is a mobile operating system for Google and was created to work on Android devices. When you buy a new Android mobile device, it usually comes pre-installed with many apps and files.
If you need an app that does not come pre-installed, you can visit Google Play to download such an app in APK format.
Once you download an app from Google Play, it gets installed automatically on your Android device with the .apk extension.
If you download apps from a source different from Google Play, you will have to follow a manual installation procedure before the app from an outside source can be available for use on your mobile device.
You can find many websites out there offering a direct APK download for the benefit of android users that may want to install the apps following the manual procedure.
If you prefer the manual installation procedure, you will have to trust their party sources or platforms to install the app and files.
It is important to be watchful of the external source from which such an app is downloaded. Since some of the eternal sources cannot be trusted. Some of them may introduce malware or spyware to the mobile device.
Do not download the app from an external source except you can trust the source. They can distribute malware just like .exe files and Windows.
How to install APK files on the android device
Follow the instructions provided below to install it. Before you start the installation or download process, make sure the website or external source can be trusted.
Android permits the free installation of third-party apps, which is one of the major features that differentiate the Android operating system from iOS.
However, apps downloaded from a third party source will not be installed automatically unlike apps downloaded directly from Google Play.
The third party apps are saved on your mobile device as .APK and await your manual installation before it can be available for use.
Allowing the installation
Your Android mobile device is automatically set not to permit the download of third-party apps. You are, therefore, required to permit the download before you can proceed. Follow the steps below to permit the downloading and installation:
- Go to the Settings screen on your phone
- Click on Security and this will lead you to Android Security Settings
- Click on the checkbox opposite “Unknown Sources” to allow installation of apps from unknown sources.
- A dialog box then shows that warns you about the risk of installing apps from unknown sources.
- Click on Ok to start the downloading.
This setting allows you to download any app from an external source without ever visiting Google Play for the same purpose.
How to install
- You can either save the file as an attachment to an email or download it from the web. If you got the APK as an email attachment, just click on Install to get it to your mobile device.
- When you find it from the web, check the Download folder on your mobile device for the APK.
- Then click on it to install.
- If your device is set not to permit installation from an external source, you may be asked to permit the third party installation before you proceed with the installation.
- After the installation completed, a confirmation message will show a confirmation message to tell you that the installation is completed.
- After this, you can open the files on your mobile device.
How to open APK files on PC and laptop – Programs
These are some programs that you can download for free and use to manage edit, view, open and convert in windows PC, laptop, mac, linux, android and apple devices.
You can do it as described below. By default this apps can’t be run. You have to download an install an emulator, free installer.
Choose the operating system and select one of the free download programs to view apk in a PC, MAC or mobile.
These are the generic instructions:
- Search and find your .APK file.
- Double click on it on a PC or laptop. Tap on it or an Android mobile device.
- In the open with program select an Apk opener from the list below.
- View the android package format files.
How to run and view it in Windows 10 on PC and laptop
Which is the best app? The android package files cannot run on a windows 10 PC or laptor by default. You have to download apk file opener for pc or laptop to do it. Some android emulator programs will work.
To run and view it on a Windows 10 operating system or older versions on PC use any of the apk file openers for free download:
Noxplayer Nox: The Noxplayer program is an apk opener for games, so Noxplayer opens this package format.
- Price: Free
- Free Download link: https://noxofficial.com/nox-for-pc/
Genymotion: Genymotion is another apk opener. It is an android emulator program for PC that opens APKs. You have 1000 minutes free of charge with Genymotion.
- Price: Free for personal use. 412$/year for business. 136$/year for freelancers.
- Free Download link: https://www.genymotion.com/download/
Bluestacks is another option of android emulator for APK games. Just download the Bluestacksinstaller from bluestacks.com and double click on it to install it in your PC.
- Price: Free
- Free Download link: https://www.bluestacks.com/
- WinRAR 5
- Corel WinZip 23
- File Viewer Plus
- Google Android SDK
Programs that open it In Mac
You can also run it on a Mac operating system using any of the MAC openers programs below:
- Google Android SDK
- Nox Player Nox
- Apple Archive Utility
- Smith Micro DtuffIt Deluxe 16
Opening in IOS
It is not possible to open Apk in IOS. There is not any app that can do it.
Opening In Linux
You can equally access them on the Linux operating system. The two android package file openers programs you can use or this purpose are:
How to do it in Chromebook
Chromebook doesn’t support by default these type of files. You have to download an install an android file manager, for example Solid Explorer to emulate, run and view these on your Chromebook.
Please note that to download the app you have to check the option “unknown sources”. This is only available in the developer mode.
Problems Opening or can’t open
If you get some problems opening android package format files just try the following:
- Ensure you have admin privileges in your computer PC, MAC or mobile device.
- Upgrade to the lastest version of the opener you are using.
- Try different openers.
- Reinstall the android emulator software.
How to convert APK files
You can convert them to .BAR This is to use the android package with your blackberry.
The conversion to ZIP is easy. Just rename the apk file from the suffix .apk to the suffix .zip and you are done.
Is it safe to Delete?
It is safe to delete .apk for your computer. But don’t do it in your mobile if you are not sure. Make sure you backup the files first. If not you will not be able to recover it.
Problems Opening APK Files or it won’t open?
If you have problems opening, viewing, editing or reading .APK format try the following:
- Make your you own admin privileges. If not, log in as an admin.
- Download the last version of the software or update it.
- Try to convert this .apk format to another.
- Run an antivirus on your computer or mobile device.
- Try a different software opener or emulator from the suggested list.
Contents of an APK File
APK stands for Android Packages and it contains every essential file for an android program. Check below for a list of folders and archives you can find in this format:
- META-INF/: It contains a list of resources in the archive, including the signature and the manifest.
- Lib/: It contains native libraries running on given device architectures
- Res/: It contains resources not added to resource.arsc, like images
- AndroidManifest.xml: It describes the name, contents, and version.
- Classes.dex: It is a compilation of Java classes that should be run on the device .DEX.
- Resources.arsc: It is the compilation of resources required by the app (ARSC), as strings.
How to View the contents
APK files are saved on mobile device in .Zip format. You can use any zip de-compressor tool to run and extract them.
Also, it is possible to rename it as .zip if you want to check the content you can also use a zip application’s open dialog box to access the content.