Installing Third-Party Apps without the Google Play Store

Android is an open operating system, which means you can use the Google Play Store to download apps, or you can go off the reservation and install apps from APKs. This process is not recommended because Google Play offers several ways of checking the validity of apps, which makes it much harder for malicious software to get through.

That said, some people may want to install third-party apps for various reasons. There are two methods for installing third-party apps without the Play Store. The first method is to use third-party app stores like F-Droid or Amazon’s App Store. We have a list of those here. The other method is to download the APK and install it yourself. You can find instructions on how to do that here.

Installing Third-Party APKs

Before we begin, let me tell you how Google keeps track of which APKs users install. You have to give permission for apps to install APKs, so if you find an app you want to install, you need to click a button that says “install.” After the app has been installed, Android will ask your permission to continue using the app. This process happens with every new app that you download.

The first step to installing an APK file is to locate the file itself. This can be accomplished by downloading the APK from the internet and waiting for the notification to appear on your device. Once the notification has appeared, click on it. You will see a box pop up at the bottom of your screen asking for permission to install the app. You need to click on the box with the app name in it that appears at the top of the screen, then click on OK.

Navigate to the Security menu on your Settings page and select the option to enable Unknown Sources. Find and select the app from Step 1 again and toggle Unknown Sources back on if it previously had been disabled. A prompt should appear, asking you to confirm the installation of the app.

Many apps are available in the Google Play Store. To use them, open the Play Store app and find the app you want to download. Tap Install, then Install again. If the app is not compatible with your device or has any issues, it will not install.

Revoking Installation Permissions

After you install a new app, you’ll usually get a permission request for the app to use your location information. When you choose to deny permission, the app won’t be able to use your location.

Open your phone’s Settings menu. Tap the search bar, type in “Unknown Sources” without the quotes, and press enter. A list of options should come up. Look for the option with this name and tap it. You can choose whether to turn off or on app installations from unknown sources on the screen that appears.

We recommend using the search function because the process is in every Android phone, but OEM customisations, such as Samsung TouchWiz or HTC Sense, may place the menu somewhere different, like in Settings > Lock Screen & Security > Other Security Settings > Installation of apps from unknown sources. Using the search function ensures you get there the first time.

If your Android phone has a screen lock PIN or password configured, the Unknown Sources setting will not be visible and will remain hidden until you remove it.


Overall, knowing how to install third-party apps will change the way you use your smartphone. You can get rid of obnoxious apps that come pre-installed, get free apps that don’t have a price tag, and try some apps that you wouldn’t know about otherwise.

If you are looking to download modded APK apps, look no further than our wonderful selection of apps here at Jim’s Techs. We make your android phone more awesome with our wide range of third-party apps and their modded counterparts. Check out our different categories and download the app that you need for free!

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