If you see the aforementioned anytime you try side-loading an APK file, don’t be confused. Your browser is only trying to let you know that the file is not from a trusted source and can harm your device.
This is because the app is not gotten from the Google Play store, but packaged in a file from another website. The APK file is not properly vetted to see if it is safe enough to be installed on your device.
However, below are the steps to download and install APK on your device.
How To Install APK Files On Your Android Device
1. Enable Installation From Unknown Sources
If you want to install APK files through a browser, follow the steps below to enable it.
- Step 1: Go to Settings on your device or tap the gear icon.
- Step 2: Navigate to “Apps and notifications”, then tap it. If you are using a Samsung galaxy, you are to tap “Biometrics and security”
- Step 3: Tap “Install unknown apps”. Do note that this option is not the same for all android devices.
- Step 4: Select the browser you would like to use when downloading the APK files.
- Step 5: Toggle on the “Allow from this source” switch.
- Step 6: Tap “OK” when prompted.
You may want to install the APK files from your file manager. Here, follow these steps.
- Step 1: Tap “Apps”
- Step 2: Select the file manager app.
- Step 3: Toggle the “Allow” switch or you will be required to check the box.
- Step 4: Tap “OK” if prompted.
2. Install APK Files
To install from your browser:
- Step 1: Go to the browser for which you enabled installation from unknown sources.
- Step 2: Go to the website you want to download the APK file from. Another option is to search for the name of the APK file.
- Step 3: Select all file you want and tap the “Download” button.
- Step 4: Tap “OK” when prompted to begin the download process.
- Step 5: If the download has completed successfully, tap “Open”
- Step 6: Tap “Install”
To install from your file manager:
- Step 1: Go to your browser and download the APK file if you haven’t.
- Step 2: Select the file manager you enabled installation from unknown sources.
- Step 3: Select a default storage location for your device.
- Step 4: Tap “Downloads”
- Step 5: Select the APK file.
- Step 6: Tap “Install”
- Step 7: Click “Done” when prompted.
Pros And Cons Of Downloading APK Files
Below are the risks and benefits of downloading APK files.
- New applications are leaked ahead as APK filed so you can get access to them.
- You can get to download apps that are not available in your country of residence.
- Access to app updates before they are available on the Google play store.
- If you can’t access the play store from your device, then APK files are your best bet.
- You can download an older version of apps through APK files. That is if you don’t like the latest version.
- You can download a pirated copy of apps which is an illegal activity.
- Some APK files may contain viruses. Which can cause harm to the data on your device.
- Hackers may add extra apps to the APK file. When downloaded, this will lead to the theft of your personal information.
How To Ensure That An APK File Is Safe
Even though there are many risks of downloading APK files, the majority of them are safe. Below are the ways you can determine a safe APK file.
1. Scan The APK File
There are 3 major software tools you can use to scan APK files.
- You can use a “MetaDefender” to scan your APK files. All you have to do is upload the file on the web tool. Note that the maximum file size must be 140 MB.
- Another APK file scanner is “Nivisio”. With this software tool, you can scan APK files of any size.
- Finally, “Virustotal” one of the popular software tools for scanning APK files. However, the maximum APK file size you can upload for scanning is 128MB.
2. Download Through Trusted Sites
You can search online for trusted sites that host APK files. By downloading through them you are guaranteed that the APK file is safe.
3. Download Through The App’s Official Website
Another option is to go to the official website of the app developers. You will find a download link there.
4. Read Reviews And Comments
Before you download an APK file from a website, try to read reviews and comments left by other users. This will let you know if the app is safe for you to download.
Downloading APK files can prove to be a great risk since it comes from an unknown source. It is equally important for you to know that most APK files are safe. All you have to do is take precautions.