APK files: what they are, what they are for and how to delete them

APK files are useful for Android smartphone and tablet owners because they allow the installation of certain applications and the customization of the device

Do you have an Android device? Well, then you should definitely know what APK files are. In fact, you need these files if you are going to download applications or customize your device. In this guide, we'll help you understand what APK files are, their usefulness, how to install them, when to delete them and everything else you'll need to get the most out of your Android device.

What are APK files and why to install them

First of all, let's see what we mean by APK. It is the file format used by the Android operating system for distributing and installing mobile apps. Therefore you will see that the files will have the extension .apk.

The APK files are often released early by Android and allow you to preview all the new features that you might not otherwise use. App updates can take a very long amount of time to arrive automatically wirelessly. Getting the latest APK of your favorite apps allows you to do it faster. Also, if you don't have access to the Google Play Store from your Android device, APK files may be the only way to install apps on your device.

How to Install APK Files on PC

It's easy to find APK files on the web, so be careful and only choose sites you trust.In fact, it is possible that some APK files contain malicious software that can compromise your smartphone's security. That's why it's better to be cautious before downloading or installing apps from outside the Play Store.

Once you've found the APK file you want, download it to your PC. However, before installing it, you need to make sure that your device is allowed to install apps from sources outside the Play Store. Therefore, go to Android Settings and select the gear icon from the list of apps installed on your device. Then select the Security item from the menu that appears. Then scroll down to the bottom of the screen, activate the toggle found next to the Unknown Origins option and press the Ok button to save the change and allow your smartphone to install apps that don't come from the Google Play Store.

Beware though that Android 8 Oreo behaves a bit differently.Instead of generically checking for app installation from unknown sources, it asks you if you want to allow the browser or file manager to install APKs on first installation.

Now to install APK files on PC you have to open the Download folder where you downloaded just the APK files, select them one by one and follow the app installation wizard by pressing Next, Install and Finish buttons in sequence. That's it

If you can't find the link to the downloads folder in the app menu of your smartphone (or tablet), you can install the free ES File Manager and use it to navigate to the downloads folder on your device. To do this, launch the app, press the hamburger icon in the top left corner and select the Downloads icon from the bar that appears at the side.

Then, press the icon of the APK file you are interested in, press the Install button and complete the operation by pressing the Next, Install and Finish buttons, and the installation is finished.

How to install an APK from your Android device

You can also install APK files from the browser on your Android smartphone or tablet. Open the browser, find the APK file you want to download and tap on it. You should now see the file as it downloads in the top bar of your device. Once downloaded, open Download, tap the APK file and tap on Yes when prompted. The app will start installing on your device.

When you can delete APK files

You can delete APK files from your Android smarphone when you no longer need them. This way you can free up space on your device. To do this, you can use apps that allow you to rid your device of APK files.