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How to sideload apps on Android devices?

Sideloading apps on Android devices allows users to install applications that are not available on the Google Play Store. This process can be useful for accessing apps from third-party sources or testing beta versions before they are officially released. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of sideloading an app on your Android device.



Before proceeding with sideloading, it’s important to note that installing apps from unknown sources can pose security risks. Ensure that you trust the source and the app’s legitimacy. Additionally, Android devices often have security settings that prevent the installation of apps from unknown sources, so you’ll need to adjust these settings before sideloading.


Step 1: Enable Unknown Sources

  • Open your device’s “Settings” app.
  • Navigate to “Security” or “Privacy,” depending on your device.
  • Look for the “Unknown sources” option and enable it. A warning message may appear, acknowledging the potential risks associated with installing apps from unknown sources. Confirm your decision to proceed.


Step 2: Download the APK File

  • Locate a reliable source for the APK (Android Package) file of the app you want to sideload. Be cautious and download from reputable websites to avoid malware.
  • Once downloaded, the APK file may be in your device’s “Downloads” folder or a designated folder for downloaded files.


Step 3: Install the App

  • Open a file manager app on your device.
  • Navigate to the folder where the APK file is located.
  • Tap on the APK file to initiate the installation process.
  • A confirmation screen will appear, detailing the app’s permissions. Review this information and click “Install.”


Step 4: Adjust Security Settings (if necessary)

  • Some Android devices have additional security measures, such as Google Play Protect, which may block the installation of apps not from the Play Store.
  • If prompted, go to “Settings” > “Security” > “Google Play Protect” and disable the “Scan apps with Play Protect” option temporarily.


Step 5: Complete the Installation

  • Once the installation is complete, you’ll see a confirmation message.
  • You can now access the sideloaded app from your device’s app drawer or home screen.


Step 6: Revert Security Settings (optional)

  • For security reasons, it’s advisable to re-enable any security settings you disabled during the sideloading process.
  • Go back to your device’s “Settings” > “Security” or “Privacy” and re-enable any security features you turned off.