How To Sideload Apps


Alright guys, listen up. Android is a system built around apps. We use apps to do everything on our phones and we usually have a few that we use every single day. For me, that’s Pocket Pony and Bratz Fashion Match. Sometimes your favorite app will get pulled from the Play store or sometimes it will be listed as being incompatible with your device. Whatever the reason, there is a simple work around. Every Android device will have the ability to install apps without using the Play store. I’ll show you how. Take my hand, bro.

Android apps come in the form of a file called an APK. Let’s say you want to get an APK of the Google Play store. If you have an Android TV device, it will have a very limited version of the Play store if it even has one at all. So what you’ll want to do is find an APK file of the Play store, transfer it to your android TV storage, then install the app. Let’s take that step by step to see how it’s all done.

Download the APK

There are many different places where you can find APK files. Most of the time you’ll find them on the XDA forums. We also have an app called XDA Labs that hosts a library of APK files. Zomg it’s great.

XDA Labs

Transfer the APK to your device

If you didn’t download the APK directly to your device you’ll need to transfer it. This can be done by using a USB drive, connecting your phone to your computer, Bluetooth or a cloud service. The method that I prefer is have a folder on my dropbox where I store all of my APKs. Then as soon as I log in to dropbox from a new Android device I’ll have access to all of my APKs.

Install the APK

By default Android will block the installation of non-Play store APKs. They do this to prevent any malicious apps from being installed under your nose. So first we will tell android to allow apps from unknown sources. To do this, go to Settings > Security > Unknown sources


Now we will use your file explorer to navigate to the saved APK and launch it.


Select Install


If you are overwriting an existing app like I am here, hit Install again.


If the app is compatible with your device it will install just fine from this point on.

And that is how you sideload an app onto your android device. The best part about this is your device does not need to be root or modified in any way. Everything will work right out of the box.