How to Get Source Code from APK: 2 Surefire Ways

How to Get Source Code from APK? We sometimes lose data due to some reasons. These can be devastating, particularly when the file is a really important one. Good thing, we can easily extract APK file and get its source code. Open APK File will teach you how to get source code from APK.

how to get source code from APK

What is the APK file?

The Android Package File (APK) is used to deliver and install application software on the Android operating system. It also consists of all the required data for an Android application to run. This may include codes, photos, contents, recordings, programs, and documents. Android packages contain .dex files, resources, assets, certificates, and manifest files. How to install APK files is just an easy process, which you can also learn in You may also learn how to open XAPK file and how to run APK files on PC without emulator.

What you need

To extract source code from the APK file, you would need some tools. Check the list below to see how they work:

  • dex2jar – This is used to convert the file to a readable class format for the user to view. With this tool, you may view the source code of an application as a Java code and the output file will be apk_to_decompile-dex2jar.jar.
  • java decompiler – This is a special type of decompiler, taking a class file as input and produces Java source code as output. As the name says, decompilation is the reverse process of compilation.
  • Apktool – This can be used for reverse engineering Android applications resources (APK). We can decode APK resources to almost the original form using APKtool. Also, we can modify the source code on the fly and rebuild the decoded resources back to APK.
  • Apkinstall – You can view the icons of APK files in the Windows Explorer using APKInstall. 

How to Extract source code from APK

In this article, you will learn how to convert an android APK file into source code. Android .apk file is a compressed form of a file containing Java classes (in .dex form), XML files, and other important files. We will teach you how to get XML source file using apktool and apkinstall tools.

Get Java files from APK

We will first learn how to get Java Source File from android apk using dex2jar and Java decompiler tools. To get the source code from APK file, you may follow these steps:

  1. Rename the .apk file into .zip file. For example, change the SharedPr.apk into
  2. Next, extract the .zip file and copy classes.dex file from the extracted folder.
  3. Extract the and paste classes.dex into the dex2jar folder.
  4. Then, you must open the command prompt and change the directory to dex2jar folder. Write dex2jar classes.dex and press enter. Now, you will get classes.dex.dex2jar file with a single folder.
  5. Click twice on jd-gui (Java decompiler) and click on the open file. Then, on the same folder, open classes.dex.dex2jar file. Now, you will get class files and you just need to save all these files by src name.

Get XML files from APK

The following is the process of how to extract XML files from APK. Follow these easy steps, so you can get the source code you need.

  • Extract apktool and apkinstall in a folder. You may open a New Folder for these files.
  • Put the SharedPr.apk (your apk file) in same folder.
  • Open the command prompt, then go to the root directory.
  • Type this command on command prompt: apktool d SharedPr.apk
  • This will generate a folder of name SharePr in the current directory (or the New Folder you created) and all XML files will be in res->layout folder.
  • You have just extracted the source code. Good job!

How to Get Source Code from APK: Conclusion

Regardless of what your purpose is in getting the source code from an APK file, we hope this tutorial has taught you effective ways to do it. If you have any queries, please leave a comment and we will get back to you soon. You may also share this article to help others as well.

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