Downloading Android apps outside of the official Google Play Store can be a bit of a gamble depending on where you go. Although Android will permit you to install an APK from essentially any website, you should be careful when selecting a source for those files. Because APKMirror is a company we are familiar with and can rely on, we suggest it. This article will demonstrate how to “sideload” or install APKs onto your Android smartphone or tablet via the platform.
How to install and download applications via APKMirror
These days, Android supports both standard APKs and split APKs, sometimes known as app bundles. Although they save storage and bandwidth usage, app bundles make it difficult for users to share apps with one another outside of the Google Play Store. This is due to the fact that each Android phone model uses a slightly different app. However, that issue is resolved with APKMirror and the APKMirror Installer software.
The first step is to download and install the APKMirror Installer. You can get it from the Play Store or from the APKMirror website — both are fine, but the Play Store is easier.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, installing apps from APKMirror is simple and nearly equal whether you’re downloading an App Bundle or not — there’s no need for a separate guide for the two processes.
Go to APKMirror and look for the app you want to install. It’s important to note that APKMirror does not have every app available in the Google Play Store.
As you search for what you’re looking for, you can browse apps by APK names, app names, and developer names. When you’ve found the app you’re looking for in the version you require, simply tap the download icon on the right side of the app’s listing.
If you end up sorting by app or developer rather than APK, you’ll need to decide on the version of the app you want — if you don’t care or don’t know, the most recent non-beta version should probably be sufficient. Scroll down to “All versions,” select the one you require, and then tap the download icon to the right.
Scroll down to the “Download” section on the App listing, which can also be accessed by tapping “See available APKs and Bundles.” There may be more than one option available here. If that’s the case, you’ll need to check the FAQ and do some research to figure out which version is best for your phone. Tap the colourful label for the variant you want to download.
Install the desired app by downloading it.
Scroll down to the Download APK or Download APK Bundle button on the next page; both buttons do the same thing. Your browser may prompt you to save the file, and you may receive a warning that the file format/extension is potentially dangerous. You can allow it if you’re willing to trust APKMirror as a source.
Launch APKMirror Installer and navigate to the downloaded app.
After you’ve downloaded the file, you’ll need to figure out how to open it. If you’re using Chrome, you can tap the download notification at the bottom of the screen, but depending on your browser, you may need to tap a download notification in your status bar or navigate to where you downloaded the file with a file manager and open it manually.
If prompted, launch APKMirror Installer to open the file. The APKMirror Installer app will load the APK and prepare everything.
Install the application using APKMirror Installer.
Split App Bundles (on the left) provide a more detailed installation screen than standard APKs (right).
If you’re installing an APK Bundle, APKMirror Installer will give you a tonne of information about the app you’re installing — your best bet is to trust the app’s judgement, though you can tweak things if you run into trouble and have to reinstall later. If you are not installing an APK Bundle, the prompt will be simpler. Tap Install app to continue.
You may encounter difficulties the first time you try this. As an easy toggle, you’ll be prompted to allow the APKMirror Installer app as a source for app installations on recent versions of Android. While we do not recommend enabling this setting for any app, we are comfortable granting access to APKMirror. However, the warning is there to protect you from apps that may install malware, so you must decide whether you are comfortable approving APKMirror.
Your phone will ask you (again) if you want to install the app after APKMirror has prepared the installation, with slightly different wording depending on whether it’s an update to an existing app or a completely new app for your phone. You’re essentially done when you tap Install to continue.
You’ll be asked to open the app after APKMirror Installer has finished installing it, but it should already be running the version you installed.
The APKMirror Installer will let you know if there are any issues by spitting out a sizable warning if the app installation fails for any reason. Therefore, if you choose an x86 APK by mistake and your phone is arm64 (like 99.9% of all recent phones), it most likely won’t work.