The File Extensions Database


.APK File Extension

Developer by: Google Category: Executable Files Format: Zip

What is an .APK file?

.APK is Android Package File

An APK file is an app created for Android, Google's mobile operating system. Some apps come pre-installed on Android devices, while other apps can be downloaded from Google Play, APK Downloader or APK Downloader Extension. Apps downloaded from Google Play are automatically installed on your device, while those downloaded from other sources must be installed manually.

APK file open in Windows Explorer after extraction

Typically, users never see APK files because Android handles app installation in the background via Google Play or another app distribution platform. However, there are many websites that offer direct APK file download for Android users who want to install apps manually themselves. In this case, you should be careful that you trust the source of the APK file, because malware can be distributed in APK files, just as it can in the case of Windows and .EXE files.

How do I install an APK file on my Android device?

You can install APK files manually by following these instructions. Make sure that you trust the source of the APK file.

What does an APK file contain?

Android packages contain all the necessary files for a single Android program. Below is a list describing the most prominent files and folders:

  • META-INF/: Contains the manifest file, signature, and a list of resources in the archive
  • lib/: Native libraries that run on specific device architectures (armeabi-v7a, x86, etc.)
  • res/: Resources, such as images, that were not compiled into resources.arsc
  • AndroidManifest.xml: Describes the name, version, and contents of the APK file
  • classes.dex: The compiled Java classes to be run on the device (.DEX file)
  • resources.arsc: The compiled resources, such as strings, used by the app (.ARSC file)

How do I view the contents of an APK file?

APK files are saved in a compressed .ZIP format and can be opened by any Zip decompression tool. Therefore, if you would like to explore the contents of an APK file, you can rename the file extension to ".zip" and open the file, or you can open the file directly through a Zip application's open dialog box.

How do I create APK files?

Android apps are developed using Android Studio, the official IDE for Android software developers. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it allows users to develop apps and prepare them for upload to a distribution service, such as Google Play. When apps are ready, developers can build them into APK files and sign them for release.

Programs that open Android Package File
Windows
File Viewer Plus
Google Android SDK
BlueStacks
Corel WinZip 23
7-Zip
WinRAR 5
Genymotion
NoxPlayer Nox
Mac
Google Android SDK
Apple Archive Utility
Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 16
Genymotion
BlueStacks
NoxPlayer Nox
Linux
Google Android SDK
Genymotion
Android
Google Android

How to solve problems with APK files

  • Associate the APK file extension with the correct application. On :
    Windows: Right click on any APK file and then click "Open with" > "Choose another app". Now select another program and check the box "Always use this app to open *.APK files". Mac: Right click (or Ctrl-click) the APK file, then click "Open with" > "Other...". Then choose another program and check the "Always Open With" box. Linux: Right click on the file, and select "Open with" and choose another program. iPhone: Tap the file. If you do not see an app to open the file, then tap Share "Share" and choose an app. Alternatively, save the file. Then open the Files app Files app. There long-press on the file, then release your finger. You will see a black menu bar. Then tap "Share" and select an app. Android: Tap the Settings icon on your smartphone, then tap on the Apps section. There tap the Options icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen to change the default apps.
  • Update your software that should actually open .APK is Android Package File. Because only the current version supports the latest APK file format. Search, therefore, e.g. on the Google manufacturer website after an available .APK is Android Package File update.
  • To make sure that your APK file is not corrupted or virus-infected, get the file again and scan it with antivirus software.

Browser by category

3D Image Files Audio Files Backup Files CAD Files Camera Raw Files Compressed Files Data Files Database Files Developer Files Disk Image Files Encoded Files Executable Files Font Files GIS Files Game Files Misc Files Page Layout Files Plugin Files Raster Image Files Settings Files Spreadsheet Files System Files Text Files Vector Image Files Video Files Web Files eBook Files