File Extension Library

.APK File Extension

  • Developer by: Google
  • Category: Executable Files
  • Format: Zip

What is an .APK file?

.APK file extension is created by Google. .APK has been classified as Executable Files. The format of .APK file is Zip.

.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. 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.

Maybe you don't have a compatible device, but youre're pretty sure an old device could handle it still. Or the app is not available in your country? APK Downloader or APK Downloader Extension will allow you to download an APK and OBB file from the Google Play directly to your desktop and your device.

List of all softwares that can open the Android Package File
File Viewer Plus
Google Android SDK
Corel WinZip 23
WinRAR 5
NoxPlayer Nox
Google Android SDK
Apple Archive Utility
Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 16
NoxPlayer Nox
Google Android SDK
Google Android

How to Open .APK file on different platforms

Open .APK File on Windows

  • Right-click a .APK
  • Left-click "Open With" > "Choose another app"
  • Select the program that opens .APK file and Select check box "Always use this app to open .APK files" Press "Ok"

Open .APK File on Mac

  • Right-click (or Ctrl + Left-click) the .APK file
  • Click "Open With" > "Other.."
  • Then choose another program from the app list and press "Open"
  • Select check box "Turn on" for "Always open in app"

Open .APK File on Linux

Right click on the .APK file, choose "Open with" and select a program from the list above

Open .APK File on iPhone

Select a file. If you don't see an application to open the .APK file, tap "Share" and choose the right app.
Method 2
Save the file. Then open the app «Files». Touch and hold the file, then release your finger. You will see a black menu bar. After that tap "Share" and select an application.

Open .APK File on Android

Tap the Settings icon on an Android smartphone, then select «Applications». Click the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the screen, to change the default apps.
If you want to open, edit, save or even convert .APK files on Android, then your best bet is to download one of the dedicated apps available on Google Play.

How to fix problems with .APK files

  1. You need to update the application that you normally use to open .APK files. Only the latest version of the software supports the current .APK file format
  2. You need to check the .APK file for viruses. To do this, you need to scan it with a popular antivirus (Norton, Nod32, Kaspersky, Dr.Web, etc.)