Open APK File: Practical Tips and Guide

An APK file is an app created for Android, Google’s mobile OS. Some apps come pre-installed on Android gadgets while others can be downloaded from Google Play. Apps downloaded from Google Play are automatically installed on your gadget while those downloaded from other sources must be set up manually. Nevertheless, how to open the APK file can be tricky.

apk file

This article will discuss details about the APK file download, how to install it and open at various platforms. Read on to learn more. 

What is an APK file?

APK files are used by the Google Android working system to save facility package for applications. APK package stores aggregated Android application. It also consists of all possessions which are required for an Android application to run. This may include organized code, photos, content, recordings, programs, statements and some more. For generic standards on the most skilled method to open APK files and view what is within it follow this guide.

Android packages include all the needed apply for a single Android program. Following is a list of some files and folders: 

  • META-INF/: This contains the lists of resources, signatures and manifest files.
  • lib/: Library files that run on specific device architectures.
  • res/: This is where the file resources such as images, audio, and video are located.
  • AndroidManifest.xms This describes the name, version, and content of the APK file
  • Classes.dex – Java classes that are compiled to run on the device
  • resource.arsc – This is the compiled files inside res/:

How to install APK?

APK is designed to run specifically in an Android device, therefore it can only be installed inside an Android OS. However, Windows can use third-party software that emulates an Android OS.

One of the most popular Android emulators is Bluestacks App Player. It is an executable file that allows you to install a virtual Android device on your PC. Once Bluestacks is installed and setup, you can now view, install and run APK file through your Windows machine.

Typically, an APK file runs in the background after downloading it via Google Play. Yet, some websites let you download APK for manual installation. Please take note that downloading APK files outside Google Play is risky. Those files may contain malware that may harm your device. Sometimes it collects important information stored on your device to be used for personal gain. So make sure to download files through a trusted source.

See how to install APK file.

Install APK file manually

You may also choose to manually install an APK file. The following is a step by step guide on how to do so:

  1. Make sure that the option to install an application from an unknown source is enabled in your device. This can be done by going to Settings-> Security and check Unknown Sources.
  2. Go to your trusted website and download the APK file and store it in your local storage.
  3. Double click the .apk file and follow the onscreen instructions.

How to Open

There are different ways on how to view the content of the APK files. It all depends on the operating system that you use. To open the APK file and view specific files from it, you can use an application, which represents the drawn-out file format. A few of the resources like images, manifests, and XML files might be easily seen with your default Windows or Mac software application. But some like put together source code, libraries and certificates will need particular applications targeted for these file extensions.

APK files can be opened on some operating systems, but they are mainly used on Android devices. Nevertheless, APK files might not be opened on iOS gadgets. Below are some of the known OS that can open APK files.

How to open APK file on Android

To open an APK file on your Android device, you just download it like any file, then open it when asked. However, those APK files from other sources outside of Google Play store might not install right away because of a security block.

To bypass such restriction and install APK files from other sources, you need to go to Settings > Security (or Settings > Application on older devices) and then tick the box next to Unknown sources. Finally, confirm this action with an OK.

If the APK file doesn’t open on your Android, try browsing for it with a file manager like Bluestacks. You just need to download the app and install it.

How to open APK on PC

You may also open an APK file in your computer. However, the process differs based on the operating system you use. Follow the instructions below:

Windows OS

To view the content of APK file using Windows OS, simply change the .apk file extension to .zip and open using file compression tools such as WinZIP and WinRAR. Take note that these files can only be viewed and will not run in Windows OS.

If you want to install the APK file in your PC, you can download third-party software that emulates an Android Operating System such as Bluestacks. When using BlueStacks, just go into the My Apps tab, then choose Install APK at the bottom right corner of the window.

Mac OS

To open the APK file in MAC OS, you can use Arc Welder. It is a Google Chrome extension that is meant for testing Android applications in Chrome OS but works on any other OS like Windows and Mac. Therefore, once Arc Welder is installed on your Mac computer, you will be able to view the APK file content.

Using A File Extractor

Meanwhile, you can also open an APK file in any other desktop operating system with a file extractor tool. Since APK files are simply archives of folders and files, you can unzip them with a program like 7-Zip or PeaZip to see the components.

However, this does not let you use the APK file on the computer. You would need an Android emulator like BlueStacks, which essentially runs the Android OS on the computer.

Why I can’t open apk file?

There are times when a dialog box appears saying “Cannot open this file type” as you open a .apk file. This is mainly because of the missing Google Android Standard Development Kit in your Windows OS. Without this SDK, your operating system does not know how to read this type of file.

In some cases, Android applications would require a newer or older version of the Google Android SDK for it to run properly. Thus, it is important to check the Android SDK requirement of the application you are trying to open or install if this kind of error ever occurs. To check the version of the APK file, right-click on it then check “Properties” (Windows) or “Get info” for Mac OS.

FAQ:

How to open an APK file on Windows?

To view the content of APK file using Windows OS, simply change the .apk file extension to .zip and open using file compression tools such as WinZIP and WinRAR. Take note that these files can only be viewed and will not run in Windows OS.
If you want to install the APK file in your PC, you can download third-party software that emulates an Android Operating System such as Bluestacks. When using BlueStacks, just go into the My Apps tab, then choose Install APK at the bottom right corner of the window.

How to open an APK file?

There are different ways on how to view the content of the APK files. It all depends on the operating system that you use. To open the APK file and view specific files from it, you can use an application, which represents the drawn-out file format. A few of the resources like images, manifests, and XML files might be easily seen with your default Windows or Mac software application. But some like put together source code, libraries and certificates will need particular applications targeted for these file extensions. While APK files can be opened on some operating systems, they are mainly used on Android devices.

Which software can open an APK file?

APK files can be opened on some operating systems, they are mainly used on Android devices. To open an APK file on your Android device, you just download it like any file, then open it when asked. However, those APK files from other sources outside of Google Play store might not install right away because of a security block.
To bypass such restriction and install APK files from other sources, you need to go to Settings > Security (or Settings > Application on older devices) and then tick the box next to Unknown sources. Finally, confirm this action with an OK.

Conclusion

APK files are designed specifically for Android Mobile devices. Opening it is mostly for accessing the files that are necessary for the application like installation files, images, and videos. Removing a certain application or modifying will result in failure in the application. We should also be very careful in opening such APK files. Make sure to download this kind of files from trusted websites and application distributors. In this way, we will avoid being victims of malware and security breaches. 

We have provided you necessary details on how to open APK files. Do you have any questions? Leave a comment and we’ll get back to you soon.

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