The best alternative to downloading apps without Google Play

Google Play is the main app market for installing apps on any android device. This service can be accessed via a browser, where users can pick apps to download and install them on their phones, but the main way to access Google Play is by opening the pre-installed app on your phone. This app was formerly known as Android Market, if your app still displays this name, you should update the app.

While using Google Play to download apps is the regular and preferred method for installing apps on millions of Android devices, some users can’t install apps by using this method. If this is your case, there is no need to worry, since installing apps via Google Play is not the only method to install apps on your phone, and there are alternative methods to do this.

How can you install apps without using Google Play?

When you install apps by using Google Play, all of the processes are completely automatized. Be it that you hit the install button on the Google Play website or the app, this app downloads and installs the app automatically, making sure the installation is successful.

If you cannot install an app by using Google Play, there is an alternative method, by installing the app manually. To do this, you need a file working as a package installer, like the one you use to install programs on a computer, only on your Android device. These app package installers are called Android Packages or APKs, and they are used to install practically any app on your device.

How to install APK files on your Android device

Installing an APK file on your Android device is a relatively easy thing to do. To do this, you need to follow these instructions:

  1. Download the APK file
  2. Open the APK file.
  3. Select the Android Package Installer.
  4. Follow the installation steps.
  5. Now you’re done! Your app should be installed, and you can access it by opening the app like you would with any other regular app.

If this is the first time installing an APK file, you might find that your Android phone alerts you that you are not able to install apps from external sources. If this is the case, do not worry, and follow these steps to enable app installation from sources other than the Google Play app:

  1. Go to the Settings.
  2. Select the Security & Privacy
  3. Hit the More Settings
  4. Choose the Install apps from external sources
  5. Finally, enable the Allow app installs option on your phone.

Alternative sites to download APK files

Finally, at this point, you might be wondering how you can download APK files. This is an easy one to answer. Currently, there are several secure websites that can be trusted, providing the service of delivering APK files to users, so they can download the APK file and install the app on their phones. Here are some of the most popular websites providing this service:


Uptodown is an app market service with over 130 million active users, with over 4 million available APK files. This website started in Spain, delivering secure APK files to users in the country, but currently, users located in countries with over 15 different languages, access this service to download safe APK files.

This site organizes apps by different categories like the Top 2021 apps, the latest apps, top download, and several other categories. In Uptodown, you can download social networks, lifestyle, games, and many other apps, with entirely safe APK files.

APK Mirror

APK mirror is a similar service to Uptodown. This site shows the latest added apps, and the most popular ones in the last 30 days, but you can also look for any app that you want to download. When you find the app that you want to download, you can see the different variants. The variants show the architecture of the app, the version of the file, and the minimum Android version where you can install this app.

When you find the right version of the APK file, you only have to hit the download button. Here you will be able to read the details of the app, including the type of app, available languages, size of the app, and several other details. If you are sure this is the APK you want, just hit the “Download APK” option, and download the file, so you can install it on your Android device.