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Open APK File

APK file extension is used by Android operating system to store application packages. APK file is an archive which contains multiple folders and files where executable code, images, icons, resources and other application information is stored. APK files is created by the application developer and is used to distribute an application to the end user. Typically, distribution is done seamlessly and hidden from the user and Android operating system downloads necessary data from the Google Play store. After that Android OS opens APK file and installs the application to the device. In this scenario device user won’t even see the APK file and will not need to find ways to open it.

Another scenario is when user downloads APK file from the internet and needs to install it to the device. This is when it is necessary to know how to open APK file on Android device and install the app inside it. Below are steps required to install the APK file on the end user device:

  • Download the file using web browser on your Android device. You can also download APK file on your computer and transfer it to your Android device using USB connection or Google cloud.
  • When the file is downloaded, tap on it to start the installation process.
  • Android OS will open APK file and verify it contents. It may ask you to go to the device settings in order to enable APK packages installation from unknown sources (Google Play store is a known source while everything else is unknown)
  • Tap “Install” to install the app
  • You should see your app installed and available in a list of your apps on your Android device
  • When app is installed it is safe to delete the APK file

Opening APK file and installing the app directly from it typically is considered more dangerous then download the app from the Google Play store. The app which is stored in the package could be malicious and cause many problems for the user. That is why you need to make sure that the package is safe before you open APK file.

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File Extension Info
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Extension Details
  Dynamic Link Library
Identifying Characters
  Hex: 4D 5A
Opens with
  Text Editor
  Microsoft Visual Studio
  Microsoft Disassembler

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