How to Install an APK on an Android TV
Android TVs have the same operating system as an Android phone, meaning that you can access the Google Play Store and download apps to your TV. Moreover, it’s possible to install apps that are not available in the Google Play Store. This can be done by transferring APK files, and the term for this process is “sideloading.”
Not only does this give you the option to install different apps, but it can also be done in many ways. This article will talk about installing APK files on your Android TV using different devices and approaches.
How to Install an APK
Despite the approach you choose to install an APK file, the first step is always the same. You have to enable installing apps outside the Google Play Store. Follow these steps to do so:
- Open “Settings” on your TV by clicking on the gear icon in the bottom row.
- Scroll till you find “Security & restrictions.”
- Toggle on “Unknown Sources.”
- A pop-up warning will appear; click on “Accept.”
The next step is downloading the APK file to your computer. There are many websites where you can find APK files; the most popular is APK Mirror. Select the file you want and download it to your PC.
Using Google Drive or Dropbox is a more straightforward approach. However, you’ll need to install a file manager on your Android TV if you don’t have one. You can do this by simply opening Google Play Store and searching for ES File Explorer. Follow these steps from there:
- Upload the downloaded APK file to Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Open Es File Explorer on your Android TV.
- Find the “Network” option and select “Cloud.”
- In the top right corner, click on “New” and choose the cloud platform you’re using (Google Drive or Dropbox).
- Log into your cloud account.
- Select your cloud storage when it appears on the screen.
- Go to your APK file and click on it to start the download.
- Once the download has finished, an installation pop-up will appear. Select “Install.”
How to Install an APK From a USB
Installing an APK file from a USB stick is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to download to APK file to your PC first and have a USB port on your TV. Follow these steps:
- Connect the USB to your PC.
- Transfer the APK file from your PC to your USB.
- Connect the USB to your Android TV.
- When the file appears on the screen, click on it.
- The installation will begin automatically.
Install APK From Phone
This method requires your phone and Android TV to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It is handy because you don’t need any additional hardware like a USB or SD card. However, you’ll need the Send Files to TV app from the Google Play Store. The app needs to be installed on both the phone and Android TV.
Also, you have to have a file manager installed on your Android TV. You can use ES File Explorer here as well. The APK file needs to be downloaded on your phone before you start the process.
Follow these steps to proceed:
- Open the “Send Files to TV” app on both the Android TV and phone.
- Follow the instructions that will lead you to the app’s home screen.
- Press “Send” on your phone and select the APK file.
- Select the Android TV as the receiving device.
- The file will be sent to the TV and stored in the “Downloads” folder by default.
- Open the file manager you’ve installed earlier on the Android TV.
- Select the “Downloads” folder and click on the APK file.
- You’ll be asked if you want to accept an installation from an unknown source. Select “Accept” to begin the installation.
Android TV Unable to Install APK
It is not uncommon for an error to appear when installing an APK file to your Android TV, and it can happen for many reasons. However, we will discuss some methods that can help you to fix this issue.
Not all APKs can be installed using Android Package Installer. Many APK files come in bundles, and you’ll need an installer to install them. Some of them are dangerous, and it’s not recommended to use them unless you know where they came from.
By looking at the extension name, you should be able to tell the difference between Split APKs and ordinary APKs. Extensions for non-regular APKs include APKM, XAPK, and APKS. If you wish to sideload an app with these extensions, be sure to utilize the applications that can install them. To do so, you can use the Split APK installer.
As mentioned before, installing APKs from unknown sources might lead to difficulties. There are a lot of websites that sell unsafe altered software. They’re also frequently corrupted and won’t run, or if they do, they’re unstable.
Sticking to trustworthy sites like APK Mirror that retain the software in its original state is recommended. They also verify that every program published by contributors is in its original condition. All of this results in secure and reliable applications that don’t give you installation issues or, in the case of bundles, require you to download an installer to sideload them on your device.
If you still can’t install APK files on your TV, your system is likely flawed, which you can fix by restoring it to factory settings.
Another way is to reinstall apps instead of restoring the system. Updating or downgrading applications with an APK is typically a great option. You can either go back to a supported but less-than-optimal version or receive the latest versions without having to wait for the official Google Play Store update. However, both options can sometimes lead to more issues. An even better option is removing the original software and doing a clean install instead of upgrading an app.
Of course, this does not apply to some system software that cannot be deleted. In this case, you need to delete updates and then sideload an APK to restore them. So, instead of updating and downgrading an app, conduct a fresh install using an APK.
Lack of storage capacity is probably not the most common reason to cause this error, but it’s still possible. Double-check that you have enough storage space.
You can use an SD card for media files such as music, photographs, and movies to free some space. Another way is to clear the cache of your apps. Remember that this will reset your settings and login credentials, but it will provide you with some additional storage space. You can also uninstall any apps that are no longer in use.
Lastly, check if you’ve enabled installing apps from unknown sources. The steps to do so are already described above.
Android TV Install APK Without File Manager
This approach requires you to have Android Debug Bridge (ADB) installed on your PC. If you’re not a coder, It’s best to use a third-party installation tool. You can use 15 Seconds ADB Installer on Windows or Nexus Tools on Mac or Linux.
This method is a more complex way to install APK files, but it can be more convenient for some. The following steps are to enable developer options on your Android TV.
- Open “Settings.”
- Scroll until you find the “About” option.
- Click on the “Build” option several times. A notification will pop up telling you how many clicks are needed to enable the developer mode.
- In the setting menu under “Preferences,” the “Developer Mode” will be visible. Click on it.
- Toggle on “USB Debugging.”
Now you’ll need to connect your TV and your PC with a USB cable. Follow these steps to continue:
- Open the folder where your APK file is located, and press Shit+Right click.
- Select “Open command window here.”
- Type in the following and press Enter:
- Once the devices are connected, type out:
adb install apkname.apk
- The installation process will begin, and “success” will appear when it has finished.
Note that even though the flexibility for installing apps for your Android TV is great, it comes with a risk. Not only can suspicious APKs cause installation issues, but they can also contain harmful malware and cause damage to the operating system. To prevent this, always use trustworthy sources. Additionally, you can use anti-virus software to scan the file before transferring it to your Android TV.
Have you ever installed an APK file on your Android TV? What is your preferred method of installation? Let us know in the comment section!