4 Steps to Install APK on Android from PC

Installing Android apps directly on your phone from the Google Play Store is easy and convenient. However, there may be times when you need to install an APK file from your computer onto your Android device. An APK (Android Package) is the file format used to distribute and install apps on Android. Installing an APK from your PC allows you to access apps not available on the Play Store or try out early versions of apps before they are officially released. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to install an APK on your Android phone or tablet from your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

Step 1: Enable Unknown Sources

By default, Android blocks the installation of apps from outside the Google Play Store for security reasons. To allow your device to install unofficial APK files, you need to enable a setting called Unknown Sources:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device
  2. Tap on Security (or Lock Screen and Security)
  3. Scroll down and toggle on the option for Unknown Sources
  4. Tap OK to confirm you want to allow installs from other sources

Be cautious about what APKs you install and only enable this setting when needed, as it could make your device vulnerable to malware.

Step 2: Connect Your Android Device

Next, connect your Android phone or tablet to your computer using a USB cable. Make sure your device is recognized:

  • Windows: Look for your device in the File Explorer under This PC
  • Mac: Open Android File Transfer and see if your device shows up
  • Linux: Check if your device appears in the file manager

Your device may prompt you to select a USB connection type. Choose File Transfer or MTP mode. You should now be able to access your Android device’s internal storage from your computer.

Step 3: Transfer the APK File

Now you need to copy the APK file you want to install from your computer to your Android device:

  1. Locate the APK file on your computer that you downloaded
  2. Select the APK file and copy it with Ctrl+C (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+C (Mac)
  3. Open your phone’s internal storage folder on your computer
  4. Paste the APK file anywhere, such as the Downloads folder, using Ctrl+V or Cmd+V
  5. Safely disconnect your Android device

The APK file should now be accessible from your Android device’s file manager app.

Step 4: Install the APK on Android

Finally, open the APK on your Android device to install the app:

  1. Open your Android device’s file manager app
  2. Navigate to where you transferred the APK (e.g. Downloads folder)
  3. Tap on the APK file to open it
  4. Review the app permissions it requests and tap Install
  5. Wait for the app to finish installing, then tap Open to launch it

The unofficial app should now be installed on your Android device. If you encounter any errors, make sure the APK file is compatible with your Android version. You may need to uninstall the app first if you are updating an existing version.


Installing Android apps from outside the Play Store by transferring APK files from your computer is a straightforward process. It allows you to access a wider selection of apps and install them on your device in just a few steps. The key things to remember are to enable Unknown Sources, connect your device to your PC, transfer the APK file, and then open it on Android to install.

However, for security reasons, it’s best to install APKs from reputable sources that you trust. Unofficial apps can potentially contain malware or spyware that could harm your device. Make sure to disable the Unknown Sources setting again after installing the APK. With these precautions in mind, you can safely leverage the flexibility of installing any Android app from your computer when needed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *