Mobile applications are special cases. You download them with a few, fast taps from the Google Play Store, but you do not really see the connected files or have straight access to what is installed. To simplify things for us, our operating systems save us the stress of going through the complicated inside workings of app installation and takes full charge of everything that has to do with files.
It is not a negative thing. Several smartphone users do not necessarily have to view app files or be aware of where these assets can be found. But once in a while, there will always be an exception — such as when you switch to a brand new smartphone and immediately realize that an app you loved from your former phone has been removed from the Google Play Store.
Not to worry. Android makes it simple to locate and save app files from a device and then have them transferred to a different phone for you to install them manually. You only require the knowledge that will direct you on how to go about it, which I am about to provide.
What Is An APK?
Before anything else, the file that stores an app on Android is named APK or Android app package. This is what is downloaded by you when you install an application from the Google Play Store, and that is what is required to locate, save and share in order to transfer an application from one mobile device to a different one.
Before I continue, an important caveat: If an application is no longer available in the Google Play Store, any update on it will stop and this can expose you to certain risks. And as you know, making use of an app that is not properly updated is not really wise pls installing apps in a manual manner is something you need to do carefully. Therefore, continue with this if you are fine with the risks you are about to take.
This is how to begin:
On Your Former Phone:
- Get APK Extractor Pro downloaded from the Google Play Store. You pay nothing for it but it comes with advertisements. If you hate the ads, you need to pay 99 cents to get rid of them.
- Launch APK Extractor Pro, ensure all terms are accepted and all permissions are granted for it to access files on your phone.
- Locate the application you wish to save and click the three-dot menu icon close to it.
- Choose “Share,” and then choose a destination that can be accessed on your new smartphone — a destination like Google Drive or an email to yourself.
On Your New Phone:
- Locate the file you shared by accessing Drive, your email, or wherever it is saved. It should have a lengthy name beginning with the app’s title and ending with “.apk.”
- Click the file to open it. When you reach this stage, your smartphone will warn you that it should not be installing unknown applications.
- Here, things can get confusing. If you own Android 8 (Oreo) or newer, simply click “Settings” and you will be redirected to a screen where this particular app can be authorized to install unknown applications. On more ancient versions of Android, after clicking “Settings,” you will be redirected to a screen where your permission must be granted to aid the installation of unknown applications on a system-wide level. You are allowed to head back to Settings to undo the permissions when this is done.
- Tap “Back” and then adhere to the instructions to instal the new application.
- After installation of the app, it will be visible in your drawer and your smartphone will show you how the app can be launched instantly.