APK is the format that application files Google’s operating system, Android come in. APK files are typically found in the Google Play Store and sometimes on other websites. APK files are mostly saved in ZIP format before download, but generally, they are downloaded directly from the Google PlayStore.
An APK file has different contents within it, such as classes.dex, AndroidManifest.xml, res folder, resources.arsc file and META-INF. They all have their roles and functions.
APK files, though used mainly on the Android operating system, can also be used on other operating systems. Let’s check out how to open APK files on Android.
Open APK File on Android
To open APK file on an Android device, you just have to download the file from any source, and when you try to open it, follow the instructions on the screen. But most times, when you download an APK file outside the Google Play Store, you may need to remove some security restrictions from your device. You have to allow installation of apps from unknown sources, and you can do this by following these steps;
- Launch “Settings,” then navigate to “Security.”
- Find the “Unknown Sources” option and Enable it.
- Once you turn on the above option, Double-click on the APK file you want to install.
- Click on Install
- Wait for the installation to finish and once it is finished, click on Done.
- Now APK file is installed and you can open it.
Open APK File on PC Windows
APK files are designed to work on Android devices only, but in some cases, you may want to use some APK files on your Windows PC. While you can download APK files on your Windows PC, you cannot open them directly without using an Android emulator.
These Android emulators replicate the Android operating system environment on Windows OS, and once you install an Android emulator on your PC, you will be able to install your favorite APK files. Learn how to open APK files on Windows OS using BlueStacks emulator below;
- Go to www.bluestacks.com Official site.
- Click on “Download Bluestacks,” and the installation package for the program will begin to install.
- Once the file has downloaded, run the installation and wait for it to finish.
- BlueStacks will launch automatically and will prompt you to sign in to your Google account.
- Sign in to your Google account to activate the in-built PlayStore in BlueStacks.
- In Google PlayStore, you can download any application you want to download, and it will be installed successfully on your Windows PC.
This method also works for your MacBook if you ever want to install an APK file on your Mac.
How to extract APK Files
It is possible to open an APK file on your Windows PC using a file extractor such as 7-Zip or WinRar. Opening up an APK file will, however, not give you access to run the app on your PC. You still need to download an emulator to do that.
To convert your APK file to a ZIP file, you have to convert it to a ZIP file first by simply changing the extension .APK to .ZIP. This only works with APK files because they are ZIP files by default with another extension.
You cannot convert other types of files such as MP4 or TXT like these because these file types work on multiple platforms, unlike APK that is restricted to only Android devices.
To round up, these are the basics about APK files and how to open them across different operating systems. The bottom line is that APK files will not work except they are downloaded and installed in an Android environment.