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How To Install Third-Party Apps Without The Google Play Store!

  Photo of Google Chrome's warning to install third-party apps
Android is an open-source platform. Therefore, you have more options than with iOS. One of these freedoms is the ability to install third-party apps outside the Google Play Store. We do not recommend this approach because the Play Store has so many security measures. For some reason, you would like to install something from another location. We can definitely help with that.

There are two ways to install third-party apps without the Google Play Store. The first is through third-party app stores like F-Droid, Amazon App Store and others. The second method is to find APKs from websites and install them manually. We'll go over both methods in this tutorial.

  A photo of the installation permissions in Android Pie

Installing APKs

Another popular option is to install APKs from websites. This is by far the most dangerous way to install apps. However, there are some sites we do not mind, including APKMirror. The process is quite simple and you should not have too many problems with it.

  A photo of Android Pie's permission dialog

This is how APK installations look on Android Oreo and above.

Android 8.0 Oreo and [19659010] later

Google changed the way APK installations work in Android 8.0 Oreo. It has not changed since then, even if Android Q brings a little nuance to it. To install APKs on all modern versions of Android:

  • Download the APK you want to install.
  • You can either navigate to the download folder using a file browser app or start the installation by clicking "Finish". Download it from your mobile browser.
  • Android prompts you to give permission to the file browser or your web browser to install the app. Give permission and it should return you to the installation screen. If not, navigate back to the download folder after giving permission to try again.
  • The app should be installed safely.

It works like any other app you download. You can find the icon in the app tray, open the app, and do whatever you want. There are some apps that may not be installed on your device for compatibility. Additionally, for many apps with Internet permissions, you can download the latest version from the Google Play Store before you can use the app. There is not much you can do about it.
  Installation App Permission Photo

Install method from unknown sources

Before installing Android Oreo, users had to enable Install from unknown sources Install third-party APKs on their devices. Otherwise, the process remains largely the same.

  • Download the APK you want to install.
  • Navigate to your phone's settings and then to the security settings. Activate the option "Install from unknown sources".
  • Use a file browser and navigate to your downloads folder. Tap the APK to begin the installation.
  • The app should be installed safely.

Everything that we said earlier is still true here. Some apps may not be installed for compatibility, and apps may make you get the updated version of the Play Store before you can use the app. This method works only on devices running an older Android version than Android Oreo.

  A photo of Amazon's Appstore is launched

Third Party App Stores

Third party app stores are another popular way to get apps without a Play Store. There are some good ones, including F-Droid for open source fans. The App Store from Amazon is also decent. You can see our list of the best third-party app stores by clicking here.

  • Select the desired third-party app store and download the APK.
  • Follow the steps above to install the APK on your device. [19659013] Once the store is installed, open it and browse the apps you want. Download and install it like any other App Store.
  • On devices running Android Oreo or later, make sure you allow the App Store to install apps to avoid problems. For older versions of Android, make sure that the option "Install from unknown sources" is checked or the installation fails.

You should be able to open your new third-party app store, download apps, and install them without worry. Most of the apps found in most third-party app stores are already available in the Play Store. However, there are some exclusive offers here and there. In addition, F-Droid in particular is a decent place for some power-user tools and the like.

You should get APKs and third-party app stores now easily install. If we missed something, let us know in the comments!

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