[Tip] Install Apps Offline (Sideload) in Google Android Devices Without Internet Connection and Play Store

Yesterday I faced an interesting problem with one of my tablets which resulted in creation of this topic. It was a low cost tablet manufactured by Micromax company and the model number was Micromax Pro P500. This tablet doesn't come with any SIM card slot so 3G Internet connectivity is not possible. You can only access Internet using its Wi-Fi feature.

The tablet was working fine since long time but yesterday its Wi-Fi feature stopped working. The Wi-Fi status stuck at Off and it was not turning On. I tried with a hard reset (restore to factory settings) but it didn't help. I also tried to reinstall its original firmware using LiveSuit tool but it also didn't work. It looked like some kind of hardware issue in the tablet.

Now I can't connect to Internet on this tablet. Since there is no Internet connectivity, I can't download and install apps, games, etc using Google Play Store.

That's why I decided to post this topic. Imagine following situations:

  • You have a Google Android device but you don't have Internet connectivity
  • You have Internet connectivity but you don't have Google Play Store in your device
  • You have Google Play Store but you don't have a Google account to sign in
  • Your desired app is not compatible with your Android device
  • Your desired app has been removed from Google Play Store
  • You can't download your desired app due to any other reason

In any of the above mentioned situations, you won't be able to download and install apps in your Google Android device whether its a mobile phone or tablet. It might be possible that you purchased an Android mobile or tablet which didn't contain Google Play StoreĀ (e.g. Nokia X) or it might be also possible that you don't have a Gmail account and you don't want to create a new Google account to sign into Play Store.

Now the question comes how would you install apps in your Android device if you don't have Play Store or Google account or Internet connection in your device? The answer is using Sideloading feature.

Sideload an application means offline installation of the app without using Google Play Store in your Android device. In this way you won't need Google Play Store, Google account and Internet connection in your Android device.

With the help of sideloading feature, you can directly install any desired app in your Android mobile phone or tablet just like you install a software in your Windows PC.

That's what I did with my Micromax tablet. I downloaded all desired apps and installed them in my tablet using sideload feature.

If you also want to learn this method to install apps offline in your Android device, just check out following simple steps:

STEP 1: Download Apps from Internet

First of all you'll need the .APK file of your desired Android app. Actually all Android apps come in form of a .APK file (Android Package file). When you install an app using Play Store, your Android device automatically downloads and installs its .APK file.

Since you don't want to download apps using Play Store, you'll need to download the .APK file of your desired app from Internet.

If you can access Internet in your Android device, then you can download the .APK files using a web browser. If you can't access Internet in your device, then you'll need to download the .APK files using a computer with Internet connection.

There are many websites offering .APK files of free apps for download. You just need to search for "App name APK file" on Google and you'll get several websites containing the .APK file of your app. For example if you want to download Angry Birds game's .APK file, just search for "Angry Birds APK file" and you'll get many download links.

Also there are a few websites which allow you to paste the Android app's official web URL taken from Google Play store and they'll automatically generate a direct download link of its .APK file. Just search on Google for APK downloader and you'll get them.

STEP 2: Copy .APK File to SD Card of Android Device

Once you grab the .APK files of your desired apps, its time to copy those .APK files to SD card (memory card) of your Android mobile or tablet.

You can either attach the SD card to your computer using a card holder and copy .APK files to it or you can connect your Android device to your computer using data cable and then copy .APK files to its drives using My Computer window.

STEP 3: Enable "Apps Installation from Unknown Sources" Option

By default your Android device doesn't allow sideloading feature which means you can't install apps from your SD card but you can enable this feature with the help of following easy steps:

1. Open Settings page in your Android device and go to Security settings.

2. Now look for "Unknown Sources" option which contains following information:

Allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store

OR

Allow installation of apps from unknown sources

The option is not enabled by default, just tap on it to enable the option. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it.

Install_Android_Apps_Unknown_Sources.png

You may also want to disable "Verify Apps" option which disallows or warns you when you try to install apps from unknown sources.

After changing options, exit from Settings page.

STEP 4: Run .APK File Using File Manager

That's the final step. Now you can install the apps directly using the built-in File Manager app in your Android device.

Just look for File Manager, My Files or similar apps in your Android device and then navigate to SD card and tap on the downloaded .APK file.

It'll ask for confirmation, tap on Install button and it'll start the installation process.

Sideloading_Android_Apps.png

It'll take a few seconds and your desired app will be installed in your Android mobile phone or tablet without need of Google Play Store and Internet connection.

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This method also helps when you have more than one Google Android mobile phone or tablet and want to install same apps and games in those devices. With the help of this method, you just need to download those apps only once and then you can install them in multiple devices without any need of downloading them again and again in all devices. It'll save your time and money.

That's it guys. Make sure you download the .APK files from reliable websites and never try to download paid app's .APK file, it might contain viruses.

Also Check:

[Tip] Hidden Secret Features of Samsung Galaxy Mobile Phones





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Posted in: Gadgets & Internet


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Comments

  • Hi VG ! :)
    That's a good post but this trick is a well known one ! :) I think you should try out backing up apks of the installed apps and installing them in other devices. It will be helpful in scenarios like when your friend has a awesome photo editing app in his mobile and you don't have access to internet. Then you can create a apk from his app which can be later transferred via Bluetooth to your device and you can start using the app easily :D You can use the following tools :
    1) Astro File Manager or
    2) Clean Master

  • This is the simplest thing that everyone does! all over india who owns Android phone users creates A special folder called "apps" and there they keep all useful .APK and installes them this way.

  • even a small kid know this wastage of bandwidth

  • I think It should be mentioned that sideloading apps can be dangerous as well as most apk's you download from the internet using a web browser are "Pirated" apps. Also when you sideload apps you cannot update them without finding the updated app and downloading it from the internet again. The sideloading of apps is really only meant for developers to test apps on a real android device.

    This has been a PSA brought to you by trm96!

  • Thank you so much VG. I did not know about it. It will be very useful for me because I have one tablet for home use and one smartphone for office use and I usually install same apps in both devices. This method will come handy for me. Thanks. :)

  • Thanks for the article. A little "too late" for me, but it's so useful...

  • VG, can you verify this method to work on Android x86? I'm getting an error when I try to run installed apps.

  • @aportz19
    It's because the apps you are trying to run do not run under the x86 platform. You need apps that were made to run under x86.

  • Or you could create an update.zip file to be flashed by recovery in order to directly push apps in /system/app

  • Hi VG,

    Please make a tutorial about - "How to connect to the internet on my android device via pc (using pc's internet connection ie reverse tethering) ?"

    I found many tutorials on the internet but all the tutorials are only for Rooted Devices...and I dont want to root my device just for that reason. So Please think about that and make a tutorial for normal android devices.

  • I installed the 1st ever app on my device , using this method ... !!
    This method i've been using since i had my first phone cos i always like to debug my device which comes cluttered with unnecessary apps from the company; so i have to root+debug+alter them , which requires a lot factory resetting ...hence i need my Fav apps again and again...hence i prefer this method as the default.....plus "App Monster" for managing and backing those that i install from play store .

  • Hello,
    i have this apk file in small size, but then it downloaded more than 100 MB again; my question is can i backup this additional download files too? so that i can use it on other device, without downloading the 100 MB process again. Please help me.
    Thank you very much. GOD Bless.

  • VG

    ^^ It depends upon the app functionality. May be the app is downloading some kind of database to function. Sorry but nothing can be done.

  • I cannot find any file browser installed on my android (4.0) phone (Sony). So I cannot perform step 4 in your instruction. What should I do? Thanks!

  • VG

    ^^ Double-check again. It should be present with a different name. Or you can install a file browser app using Play Store.

  • Excellent help ...... I love it... VERY VERY VERY HELPFUL

  • MORE HELPFUL DISCOVERIES GRACE TO U GUYS. U HAVE REALLY SAVED ME A LOT OF CASH ON DOWNLOADINGS-EXTERNERLY

  • I Cant wait to try this. Thanks

  • Dood in which age r u living -.- is it really something that u "just" discovered and shared lol there r other ways too better than copying opening file manager and installing -.- u sounded like stone age sry bro

  • @Arie there is way to back up all data with apk if ur rooted use titanium back up app or just find manually by going in android folder and folder which is created by app u wanted there is all data that , that app downloaded or it may be in obb folder

  • VG is there any way of sideloading app in android x86 os installation done with vbox ?

  • VG

    ^^ I have not tried but did you try to attach a USB drive containing APK files?

  • Yes usb attachment methpd worked . Thanks for reminder VG . Can we backup app while installing ? As with symbian runinstallservernotfromrom patch of rom patcher does it. Isn't there any way ?

  • I downloaded but when I opened the game loads and gets force stopped it exits in its own plz help!!!!

  • I dont get it, lol - I would like to be able to play these offline, how can I do that?

  • hi i already did these and its working but the app i installed need to updated and its going to the google play to make an update. how can i update the app without using the googleplay. it always said when i go to the google play " your device is not compatible with this version"?

  • How to Install Apps Offline in Google Android Devices Without Internet Connection and Play Store if i don't
    hav File Manager using usb or sd card

  • No app is installing in tab, there is more spce, what's the problem.

  • nothing is happening until there is more space

  • Does not help. there is no file manager on my Android phone so I can not use the phone to install the apk so we need a way to install a file manager apk offline without being able to install it from the phone.

  • I have the LG Fuel

  • Hey @Aries W -
    you would be glad to know that the additional files downloaded within the app gets stored in in a folder named 'obb' which lies in the "Android" folder besides the folder named 'DATA'.
    And the next time when you uninstall an app which needs additional data , save the additional data by copying it to another folder whichever you like , but dont keep the file there itself.

    The simple thing is the file gets deleted as soon as you uninstall the app.
    Hope your search ends here!!

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