So you stumbled across an application that you can’t find in the Play Store? Don’t worry… we’ll help you install it.

This is actually a pretty common way of publishing your Android app. Sometimes Google doesn’t want the app in their store, or sometimes there are other reasons holding developers back from publishing them.

Take note – If an app isn’t in the Play Store, it might be for good reason. It could be potentially harm to your device, and there isn’t really much you can do to test that out without installing it. Make sure the app you’re about to install isn’t harmful in any way and proceed with caution!

KEEP IN MIND: Not all Android phones are the same. Some will have more steps required to complete each task, others will have less. At AndroidGuys, we will do our best to walk you through each task as well as we can.

In our example, we’re going to download a Twitter client called Falcon Pro. The app was kicked out of the Play Store because of Twitter’s new rules and regulations, and we know that this app is completely safe to install.

Unknown sources

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First, you’ll need to enable ‘unknown sources’ on your device. To do this, head to Settings, then choose Security. Scroll down until you see ‘unknown sources’, and make sure the box is checked. This enables you to install .apk files that aren’t in the Play Store.

Download the application

Unknown apps 1

Next, we’ll need to download the application. If you need to download it from the Internet, head to the web page and find where to download it. You should see something along the lines of “Download (blank) version now” or “Click here to download the .apk file”. Once you click the download button, your device will give you this warning:

Unknown apps 2

This is only Google trying to protect you. If you’re sure you still want to install the app, choose “OK”.

If you already have the file downloaded and it’s not on your device yet, you can simply email it to yourself, put it on an SD card, or upload it to the cloud so you can access it on your device.

Install the application

Once the .apk file is on your device, click it. If you’ve just downloaded it, there should be a notification reading “download complete”. If you don’t see a notification, head to your Downloads app and find it there. Click on the file, and your device will give you the application’s permissions that need to be approved. Once you’ve read through, choose Install.

Unknown apps 3

That’s it! You’ve successfully downloaded an app that’s not in the Play Store!

Still having trouble? Head to the comments and we will do our best to help you out! If there is anything you would like to suggest to AndroidGuys or to any other readers, feel free to use the comment section below!

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  1. I have a OnePlus 1 and I am in China now. Google is blocked. Do I have any options for downloading apps? Will I have to wait until I return to the US? Are any of them going to work here after when I return to China?

  2. Yeah, I’m still having trouble. When I click the “install” button, nothing happens. My tablet has disabled the install button on non-Play apps, so even turning on “allow apps from unknown sources” doesn’t help. Turning off “Scan device for security threats” in Google Settings doesn’t work either.

    I’ve looked high and low for answers to this problem and can’t find anything useful. All the information just keeps repeating the same instructions, and it never works.

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