Some Android apps are not available on the Google Play Store. This can occur for various reasons, such as geo-blocking, adult content, or the app being removed by its developer.
However, there are alternative methods for installing an app on your device when it’s not accessible through standard channels. You’ll need to obtain the APK file to sideload it.
Several websites specialize in providing APK files for download. Some are more reliable than others, so continue reading to learn about the top sites for safely downloading APKs.
Selecting a Secure APK Website
APK stands for Android Package Kit and is the primary format for distributing and installing Android apps. When you download an app from Google Play, you’re essentially downloading and executing an APK file in the background without having access to the file itself.
Since APK files install apps on your system, they can pose a significant security risk. A malicious code could tamper with the APK before you install it, using it as a Trojan horse to install and run malware.
Therefore, when downloading APKs outside of the Play Store, it’s crucial to choose a trustworthy website. Google’s Play Protect security system will scan any sideloaded apps. Still, the sites you download from should also rigorously examine all APKs and have a strong track record of security and reliability.
Be Careful When Using an APK Download Site
Regardless of where you download your APK file, always take responsibility for ensuring no hidden surprises in the code. Refrain from downloading paid apps for free, as it is unethical and the most common way malware ends up on people’s phones.
Several services scan APK files for malware. We recommend the drag-and-drop MetaDefender and VirusTotal tools. While antivirus software on Android is usually unnecessary, it may be worth installing protection on your phone if you frequently download APKs.