Install an Android App without the Google Play Store Using APK

Here are two scenarios when you might need to install DataWinners or another Android app without going through the Google Play Store:

  • Your Android devices aren’t connected to the Internet (either to save money, or because there is no connection available).
  • The app you need is not available on the Google Play Store. For example, our Smartphone Forms to SMS Submissions (SP2SMS) which we deliver to our partners as an APK file attached to an e-mail message.

Copy the APK File to the Device

To deploy an app using the APK file, start by copying the APK file to the Android device. You can use a USB cable connection, Bluetooth, or a removable SD card.


Here is how to install an Android app from an APK file after it has been copied to the device:

  1. On the Android device, open “File Manager.”
    File Manager
  2. Navigate to the location where you dropped your APK file.
  3. Select your file.
    Select APK
  4. A warning message will pop up saying “Install blocked.” Tap on “Settings.”
    Install Blocked
  5. Select “Allow install on non-Play Store applications,” and then tap “OK.”
    Unknown Sources
  6. Tap on your APK file again
  7. A warning will pop up “Do you want to install this application?” Tap “Next” and then “Install.”
  8. You’ll get a confirmation message and the will be added to the device.


Do not install Android apps from untrusted sources. Some Android apps obtained outside the Google Play Store can be dangerous. Just like with desktop operating systems, people write malicious apps and distribute them on the Internet.

Learn more about our Smartphone Forms to SMS Submissions (SP2SMS) app >>