Top 5 Ways to Extract APK File of Any App on Your Android Phone.
There are many ways to extract an APK file from an Android device. Some are as easy as copying and pasting a URL, while others require you to root your smartphone. But why choose a difficult route if there are easier ones? So, here are five easy ways to extract APK files from your Android smartphone and tablet.
But before we get started, let’s get down to the basics first.
What is an APK file? An Android app package file (or .apk for short) is the format we use to distribute software on Android. Simply put, an APK is an installer for Android apps. Just like .exe for Windows and .dmg for MacOS.
However, when you install any app from the Play Store, you don’t see the actual APK file. Instead, the Play Store will perform an internal installation without giving you access to the actual APK file. It’s a lot like installing apps from the App Store on macOS or the Windows Store on a PC. But if you’re installing apps from outside the Google Play Store, you’ll need an APK file.
You can use an APK file for the following purposes:
1. Transfer apps to other Android devices that don’t have an Internet connection.
2. Back up your favorite applications and save it to your computer.
3. Save phone memory by backing up less used applications. Whenever you want to use an app, all you have to do is install them on your device. When you’re done using it, you can uninstall the app.
4. Installing applications that are not on Google Play. For example, most Android tablets can launch WhatsApp without any problem. But you cannot download it from the Play Store. Hence, you need to install such applications directly using the APK file. The same applies to geo-restricted applications.
Extract the APK file of any Android application
The logic is simple – back up your apps. By backup, I don’t mean a full backup (which also includes app data), but a regular backup that will only include the APK file. Alternatively, you can also download APK from third party sources. We’ll cover both methods here.
1. Use the assistant for Android
This is the most popular backup method. And the best thing about the Android Assistance app is that it uses very few system resources and the file size is only 1MB.
So this is how it works. Install the Android Assistance app from the Google Play Store and open it. Then go to Tools Backup & Restore.
Now check the box next to the applications whose .apk file you want to extract, and then click on the “Backup” option at the bottom.
That’s it, it will start the backup process and save all APKs to SD card in Android Assistance App Backup folder.
Use any file manager to follow this path.
2. Use File Explorer
On Android, you can easily back up all of your apps with a free file management app called File Explorer, a popular app for managing all your files and folders. If you haven’t installed yet.
Download File Manager from Flashlight + Clock on the Play Store. Once installed, launch it from the menu.
From the home screen, tap on the “Apps” option. Here all applications will be listed by the explorer.
Now press and hold the app you want to back up. You can even select multiple apps if needed. Once selected, click on the “Backup” option that appears in the bottom navigation bar.
This action will create a backup copy of the selected applications, click on the “Open” option to see the backed up applications.
This action will take you to the backup storage on your Android device.
Related: 10 Best ES File Explorer Alternatives
3. Use AirDroid
This is the best way if you want to keep the APK on your computer. Since it is a browser based service, it is platform independent and works on all platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, or whatever if you have a browser.
AirDroid is a free application that allows you to control your Android device using your computer’s browser. Moreover, you can also use it to back up your installed apps.
Start by installing AirDroid from the Google Play Store. After installation, open the app. You will be prompted to sign in, this is optional, and your computer and Android are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, you will need to create a free Airdroid account. In this case, my phone and computer are on the same network, so I’ll click on the Skip option in the upper right corner to skip the login process. After that, give it all the permission you need.
Follow the simple instructions to connect your Android device to your computer’s browser. Typically, if your computer and Android are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you will see the IP address when you open the app.
Enter the displayed IP address in the address bar of your computer and press Enter to connect and open AirDrod on your computer.
Once connected, click the Applications icon, select all applications that you want to back up on your computer, and click the Download button. As soon as you click the button, AirDroid will extract the APK files of all the selected apps and download them to your computer as a single zip file.
This is it. It’s that easy to extract the APK from an app using AirDroid.
4. Extract APK directly from Google play
Unlike other methods on this list, which extract APK files directly from installed apps on your Android device, this method allows you to extract APKs directly from the Google Play store.
To get the APK file, go to this web tool, copy and paste the app URL on Google Play, and click the Generate Download Link button.
As soon as you click the button, the web app will download the APK file and provide you with a download link. Just click on it to download the APK file.
Since the APK file is downloaded directly from the Play Store, you don’t have to worry about infected files. However, you may run into some issues on the site due to annoying pop-up ads. But overall, I have been using this online tool for several months and it always works flawlessly.
More: how to extract apk directly from the Google Play store
5. Download from online sources
Guess if you want an APK, you don’t have to extract it from the app. You will most likely be able to find this APK on the Internet. Just do a simple Google search with the app name and “APK”. This method will save you time if you only need one APK file.
There are many sources on the Internet that combine APKs of popular apps with malware. So make sure you only download the APK from legitimate sources. Sites like APKmirror are good places to look. The good thing about these online repositories is that you can find whatever version of the app you want, even if it’s two years old.
How to find APK files on an Android phone
If you have a rooted Android device, you don’t need to download third-party apps to extract APK files. Just open the file manager on your Android device, give it root access and navigate to the following directory depending on which Android phone you have. 1. / data / app 2. / data / private app 3. / system / app /
Overall, these were some of the best ways to extract apk from Android phone. If you want to unzip the APK to your Android smartphone or tablet, use the file explorer method. If you want to transfer the APK to your computer, use Airdroid. So what’s your favorite method to extract APK from Android phone? Share in the comments below.
Related: 8 Google Play Store Alternatives