Access APK files on your Android, iPhone, Windows and other operating system

What is an APK file and how do you open, extract and install it? Find out here

Android packages, also known as APKs, are a popular format for packaging and distributing Android application files. This APK file is available on the Google Play Store, but in a downloaded form. But when you download this from a third party website, you need to install it properly. APK files are packaged in .zip format, which makes extracting them difficult. So we will discuss what an APK file is and how to open, extract and install it. Let’s see how we do this.

What is an APK file?

APK stands for Android Packaging Kit and is a file format used to package Android applications. It has all the content necessary for the program to function properly. Some of the contents include AndroidManifest.xml, classes.dex, and resources.arsc files. APK files have the .apk format and are stored in .ZIP format. This file can be downloaded from Google Play Store or other websites. Although apk files can be downloaded on any device, they are mostly used on Android phones.

Software to open APK files

Basically, APK files are compressed in .zip format ,so to open them you need a tool that can extract and install them. Here is a list of some software that can be used for APK files.

For Windows and Mac

  1. Google Android Studio
  2. BlueStacks
  3. WinRAR (Windows only)
  4. NoxPlayer Nox
  5. Genymotion

For Android

  1. Extract APK installer
  2. ES File Explorer
  3. Google Files

How to open an APK file?

On Android:

Downloading APK files to Android devices is easy, but installing them is not. To do this, you need to disable some restrictions. Here’s how to do it.

Go to Settings and then Applications.

Click on an application and select the application that you regularly use to download the APK file. For example, we use Google Chrome to download and select apps.

Then go to advanced and tap install unknown apps.

Go to Allow option from this source.

On Windows:

APK files use other .EXE packages for Windows PC. Still, there is an indirect way to access APK files on Windows laptops. For this you need to install BlueStacks or another Android emulator. Now download the APK file from the trusted website and enter the location folder. Now, right click on your mouse and Open with BlueStacks APK Installer. The file will be installed on the PC via Bluestacks in the My Game section.

On Mac

Unzip the APK file on your Macbook or other computer running macOS, you need to download BlueStack and follow the instructions above for Windows PC. And run it with the installer. The apk file will be installed on BlueStack.

On iPhone:

APK files are designed specifically for Android phones, not iOS devices, so you can’t open them on an iPhone. iOS is not compatible with APK files and saves files in a different format called .ipa.

How to install an APK file?

If you are using an Android smartphone, you can install the APK file by following the steps below.

Open Google Files or the File Manager app on your phone.

Now, go to the Applications section and then the APKs section.

Find the file you copied and click on it.

A prompt will appear, click Install and it will be installed.

How to extract an APK file?

Any file extraction tool can extract APK on Windows or Android operating systems. Also, there are several online tools that you can use to extract APK files, such as Ezyzip or Archive Extractor. To do this, just click on the APK file and click on extract and select the folder. The file will be extracted and the contents can be viewed.


1) Why is the APK file not opening?

The APK file you downloaded may be corrupted, or the application you downloaded may not be allowed to install.

2) What apps can the APK open?

APK can only be unzipped with any Zip file decompression tool on a smartphone.

3) Can APK files damage my device?

Most APK files are harmless, but if you download your file from the wrong source, it can contain all kinds of viruses.


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