How to manually install app updates with APK files [Android 201]

Waiting for app updates can be a drag, especially if other phones are receiving the update before you. Automatically updating your apps through the Google Play Store is the standard and most reliable way, but sometimes you have the option of updating apps by downloading the update file from a 3rd party site, such as the popular APKMirror.com. The file we are referring to is called an APK file, or Android Application Kit. These are the types of files on your phone that are the base of applications.

AndroidGuys will typically post important app updates such as Google Chrome, Hangouts, Play Store, etc… and include the link to APKMirror to download them, but if there is a different app you’re looking to update, Googling it will definitely give results.

  1. Find the app update article you’re looking for, or go right to the APK website that holds it (such as APKMirror)
  2. Once there, be cautious that the file you are attempting to download is legit by checking the version number and app description.
  3. As with any download from an unfamiliar site, finding the right download button can be a chore. It’s just the way the internet is. APKMirror presents the download button with a bold, teal button labeled ‘DOWNLOAD’
  4. Your phone should confirm with you whether you want to download this file. Make sure you at least see the name of the app in the file name you are trying to download.
  5. Once downloaded, tap the file to bring up the installation prompt. This should show you permissions the the app wants, if applicable. Hit the install button.

Warning: You’ll have to do a small bit of research before installing an APK file if you’re using an older phone, as the update may not be compatible with your device or version of Android. Worst case scenario is the app will simply not open.

  • Justin Cronkright

    When was this written… you should clearly define the date within the article especially when discussing that older phones probably won’t be able to handle such APK prompts to install. My phone is old, but it’s been updated regularly and I don’t think that old that this process is beyond it. Since I get a prompt but can only click cancel but install is unclickable.

    • Vyra Love

      Going by the URL, this was written in Oct 2015.