How to install a Google Play Store APK on your Android device

For various reasons, you may run into a situation where you will need to be able to install the latest (or and older) version of the Google Play Store. As daunting as this may sound, it’s actually pretty easy. Below are instructions on how to install the Google Play Store APK to your device:

Installation

Prerequisites

  • Make sure you have the Google Play Store APK that you want to install to you device, downloaded. You can find a list of available APK’s here.
  • Have the drivers installed to you computer that are needed for it to recognize your Android device
  • You’re going to need a file manager installed on your device. Some devices will come with one pre-installed. Personally, I like to use Astro File Manager.
  • Next, you’re going to need to enable ‘Unknown Sources’ access on you device. To do this, go to Settings>Security
    • Scroll down until you see an option titled “Unknown Sources”
      • You will not be able to sideload an APK to your device unless you have this option enabled.
    • Click Unknown Sources to enable it
    • After enabling Unknown Sources, a warning will appear saying that your phone will be vulnerable with Unknown Sources enabled. Hit ‘OK’.

Screenshot_2016-04-12-15-35-00

Time to Download

The process I follow involves more steps than some how to’s, but I believe this is the method for installation that involves the least amount of risk. Because we are being very deliberate about where we put the file, we can help lower the risk for things to go wrong.

  • Assuming that all of the prerequisites have been met, connect your phone to your computer.
  • Once your computer recognizes your phone and mounts it as a device, open the phone so that you can see the file system and storage.
    • On a PC, for example, you would access your phone using My Computer. Your Android device would be visible as a Drive, and you would double click it to access its storage

*If you have an SD Card, I would recommend using it in the following steps. If you do not have an SD Card, that’s okay.

  • Find the APK file on your computer
  • Copy it
  • You are going to want to place the APK file in the Download folder on your Android device’s SD Card (or in the Download folder on the device’s internal storage if you do not have an SD Card)
  • Once you have placed the File on you Android device, eject the device on your computer so that you can safely unplug it
  • Using your File Manager of choice, navigate to the Download folder you placed the APK file in.
  • Click the APK file
  • On the pop up that appears (it may vary from device to device), choose to install the APK
  • Once installation is finished, you’re all set.
  • The last step is to go back into settings and disable Unknown Sources

Congratulations! You have installed a Google Play Store APK on your Android Device! The cool thing is, this same process will work for other APK’s that you may want to install in the future!

Links to previous and popular APK versions of the Google Play Store