Android TVs have the same operating system as an Android phone, which means you can access the Google Play Store and download apps to your TV. In addition, it is possible to install applications that are not available in the Google Play Store. This can be done by transferring APK files, and the term for this process is "sideloading".
Not only does it give you the ability to install different apps, but it can also be done in multiple ways. This article will talk about installing APK files on your Android TV using different devices and approaches.
How to install an APK
Regardless of the approach you choose to install an APK file, the first step is always the same. You must enable the installation of apps outside of the Google Play Store. Follow these steps to do so:
- Open "Settings" on your TV by clicking the gear icon in the bottom row.
- Scroll down until you find "Security and Restrictions".
- Enable "Unknown Sources".
- A pop-up warning will appear; click on “Accept”.
The next step is to download the APK file to your computer. There are many websites where you can find APK files; the most popular is APK Mirror. Select the file you want and download it to your PC.
Using Google Drive or Dropbox is an easier approach. However, you will need to install a file manager on your Android TV if you don't have one. You can do this by simply opening Google Play Store and searching for ES File Explorer. Follow these steps from there:
- Upload the downloaded APK file to Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Open Es File Explorer on your Android TV.
- Look for the "Network" option and select "Cloud".
- In the upper right corner, click on "New" and choose the cloud platform you are using (Google Drive or Dropbox).
- Log in to your cloud account.
- Select your cloud storage when it appears on the screen.
- Navigate to your APK file and click on it to start the download.
- Once the download is complete, an installation pop-up window will appear. Select "Install".
How to install an APK from a USB flash drive
Installing an APK file from a USB flash drive is quite simple. You will first need to download the APK file on your PC and have a USB port on your TV. Follow these steps:
- Connect the USB to your PC.
- Transfer the APK file from your PC to your USB drive.
- Connect the USB to your Android TV.
- When the file appears on the screen, click on it.
- The installation will start automatically.
Install APK from Phone
This method requires your phone and Android TV to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It's convenient because you don't need any additional hardware like a USB or SD card. However, you will need the Send Files to TV app from the Google Play Store. The application must be installed on both the phone and Android TV.
Also, you must have a file manager installed on your Android TV. You can use ES File Explorer here too. The APK file must be downloaded to your phone before starting the process.
Follow these steps to continue:
- Open "Send Files to TV" app on Android TV and phone.
- Follow the instructions that will take you to the app's home screen.
- Press "Send" on your phone and select the APK file.
- Select Android TV as the receiving device.
- The file will be sent to the TV and stored in the "Downloads" folder by default.
- Open the file manager you installed earlier on Android TV.
- Select the "Downloads" folder and click on the APK file.
- You will be asked if you want to accept an installation from an unknown source. Select "Accept" to begin the installation.
Android TV Impossible d’installer l’APK
It's not uncommon for an error to appear while installing an APK file on your Android TV, and it can happen for many reasons. However, we will discuss some methods that can help you fix this issue.
Not all APKs can be installed using Android Package Installer. Many APK files are bundled and you will need an installer to install them. Some of them are dangerous and it is not recommended to use them unless you know where they come from.
By looking at the name of the extension, you should be able to tell the difference between split APKs and regular APKs. Extensions for non-regular APKs include APKM, XAPK, and APKS. If you want to sideload an app with these extensions, be sure to use apps that can install them. To do this, you can use the Split APK Installer.
As mentioned earlier, installing APKs from unknown sources can lead to difficulties. There are many websites that sell dangerous modded software. They are also frequently corrupted and will not work, or if they do, they are unstable.
It is recommended to stick to trustworthy sites like APK Mirror which keep the software in its original state. They also verify that each program published by contributors is in its original state. All of this translates into secure and reliable apps that don't give you trouble installing or, in the case of bundles, require you to download an installer to load them onto your device.
If you are still unable to install the APK files on your TV, your system is probably faulty, which you can fix by restoring it to factory settings.
Another way is to reinstall apps instead of restoring the system. Updating or downgrading apps with an APK is usually a great option. You can either downgrade to a supported but less than optimal version or get the latest builds without having to wait for the official Google Play Store update. However, both options can sometimes lead to more problems. An even better option is to remove the original software and do a clean install instead of upgrading an app.
Of course, this does not apply to some system software that cannot be removed. In this case, you must remove the updates and then upload an APK to restore them. So, instead of updating and downgrading an app, do a clean install using an APK.
Lack of storage capacity is probably not the most common reason for causing this error, but it is still possible. Check that you have enough storage space.
You can use an SD card for media files such as music, photos, and movies to free up space. Another way is to clear your apps cache. Remember that this will reset your settings and login credentials, but it will provide you with additional storage space. You can also uninstall any apps that are no longer in use.
Finally, check if you have enabled the installation of apps from unknown sources. The steps to do so are already described above.
Android TV Installer APK without File Manager
This approach requires that you have Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) installed on your PC. If you are not a coder, it is better to use a third-party installer. You can use 15 seconds ADB installer on Windows or Nexus Tools on Mac or Linux.
This method is a more complex way to install APK files, but it may be more convenient for some. The following steps enable developer options on your Android TV.
- Open "Settings".
- Scroll down until you find the "About" option.
- Click several times on the “Build” option. A notification will appear telling you how many clicks are needed to activate developer mode.
- In the configuration menu under "Preferences", the "Developer mode" will be visible. Click on it.
- Enable “USB Debugging”.
Now you need to connect your TV and PC with a USB cable. Follow these steps to continue:
- Open the folder where your APK file is and press Shit + right click.
- Select "Open command window here".
- Type the following and press Enter:
- Once the devices are connected, type:
adb install apkname.apk
- The installation process will begin and “success” will appear when complete.
Note that while the flexibility of installing apps for your Android TV is great, it comes with a risk. Not only can suspicious APKs cause installation issues, but they can also contain harmful malware and damage the operating system. To avoid this, always use reliable sources. Additionally, you can use antivirus software to scan the file before transferring it to your Android TV.
Have you ever installed an APK file on your Android TV? What is your preferred installation method? Let us know in the comments section!