There are plenty of reasons you’d want to download APK files to your device and only install them later. You might want to avoid certain country restrictions, or you simply could be low on disk space.
Regardless, you can always download and store lots of APK files on your hard drive or a cloud storage service and return to your collection whenever you need to actually install an app. In this post we’re going to explain to you how this is done.
There are basically two methods of downloading a Google Play APK to your computer. You can either use a browser extension, or go to a website which will provide you with a link to do this.
How to download an APK file using a browser extension
This is the way to go if you think you will download lots of APKs, and one of the best tools out there is CodeKiem’s APK Downloader extension version 2, which is available for both Firefox and Chrome, two of the most popular browsers in the world right now.
First, download the extension for Chrome or the extension for Firefox. After doing this, you will have to enter your email address, which will then be stored in the Chrome extension associated with your Google Play account, as well as your device ID (for later requests).
In order to get your device ID, you have to download an app called (unsurprisingly) Device ID, which will display your Android ID when you open it. Also, you should use one of the e-mail addresses listed in Device ID, together with its associated password, in order to log into APK downloader.
After going through these steps, you can simply go to the Google Play Store and look for apps you would like to download to your PC. Now, a ‘Download APK’ button appears next to the ‘Install’ or ‘Buy’ button – click it in order to download the APK of the app you’re interested in.
How to download APK files from Google Play using a website
If you don’t plan on downloading too many APKs you probably won’t need a browser extension, so you can use a website which generates APK download links when you need them.
To do this, first go to the Google Play Store, find the app you want to download and copy the page’s URL address. Then go to a website like Evozi’s APK Downloader and simply paste the URL address you’ve just copied (or the app package name, if you prefer) in the box at the top of the page.
Finally, click the blue button to generate the download link and then save it to your PC. Now all you have to do is install the APK to your mobile device, as we are about to show you.
How to install APK files on your Android device
First of all, you’ll have to enable ‘Unknown sources’ in your phone’s security settings. To do this, simply go to Settings -> Security –> Unknown sources. Now you’ll be able to transfer APKs from your PC to your mobile device.
Next connect your phone to your PC via a USB cable. The necessary drivers usually get installed automatically and the phone will appear as a USB storage device.
After doing this, copy the APK file you’ve downloaded from your PC to your mobile device. You can place it anywhere, but probably the best location is in the Downloads folder, when you can access it easily. The go to that folder using File Manager and tap on the APK you’ve just transferred. After requesting your permission, it will install itself to the device.
After completing this process, it’s a good idea to disable ‘Unknown sources.’
You should also be aware of the fact that using these methods to access APK files from the Google Play Store might not be entirely OK – so you proceed at your own risk! According to the Google Play terms of service:
“3.3 You agree not to access (or attempt to access) Google Play by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Google, unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with Google. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) Google Play through any automated means (including use of scripts, crawlers, or similar technologies) and shall ensure that you comply with the instructions set out in any robots.txt file present on the Google Play website.”