There are over 2 million Android apps on Google’s Play Store and the number will only continue to grow over time.
Android users will have so many apps to choose from in various categories such as productivity, fitness, gaming, education, and more.
But with millions of apps to choose from, there’s got to be a handful of favorite apps that we all need to have across devices or when we upgrade to a new phone.
For most cases, the only way to do this is to reinstall them from their source. It would be easy to do so if they all originated from Google Play Store but this would be difficult if internet connectivity isn’t readily available.
The way to do this is to get the APK files of the apps that you want to save offline.
APK is short for Application Package File which is the executable file similar to .exe files on a windows computer. You’ll identify APK files with an extension of .apk along with a filename.
Below I outline four ways to extract APK files of any app on an Android phone.
1. APK Extractor
The first method of extracting APK files is through the use of an APK Extractor app. This app can be found via the Google Play Store and once it’s installed, it’ll be easy to extract the .apk files of the apps you want.
- Download and install APK Extractor.
- Open the app to see all the installed apps on your phone.
- Look for the app you want to extract and tap share.
- APK Extractor will save the .apk file in a designated folder in your device.
This simple process is all it takes to extract the .apk files from your android phone. Once you’ve extracted them, you can share them or copy them to separate storage for safe keeping.
This can even save you some storage space because apps that aren’t installed can be kept in a different storage location.
2. File Manager Back Up
One other method to extract the APK files is through the use of a File Manager App. This app collects all the data on your phone and shows you the directories to access.
This app acts much like a Windows or Mac operating system and shows you folders and directories in your phone.
If you use this process, you don’t need to download or install another extractor app.
- Open your file manager app. In this case, I’m using ES File Manager.
- Tap on App in the file manager. If you’re not using Es File Manager, you’ll need to find the folder that contains apps.
- Select the App you wish to get the .apk file.
- Select back up. Then the APK file will be saved in the device’s back up folder. In this case, I’m backing up the 30 Day Fitness app.
The .apk files can be saved offline in the phone and can be accessed via the same file explorer app. This comes in handy when transferring via removable storage devices like SD cards
3. APK Downloader
The third way to get the APK files is to go through an APK downloader. These are available via the links below and works as easy as the method suggests.
For the Chrome APK Downloader, the tool works as an additional plug-in if you’re using Google Chrome as your web browser.
- Copy the app link from the Google Play Store. You can choose any app from the Google Play Store and you’ll have to make sure it’s copied to your clipboard.
- Paste the link in the APK Downloader extension.
- Click Generate Download Link. Your download will be available once you’ve clicked the link.
- You can find the APK file where your downloads are saved.
This method can also be done on your phone. Simply access the downloader link and get the app links from play.google.com via a mobile web browser.
4. Download from Online Sites
The last way to easily get APK files is to download them from online sources. Apkpure allows direct downloads of APK files straight to your laptop or phone.
Simply click the link and be directed to the site’s main page.
Search for the app you want and click on the Download APK button.
This will automatically direct you to a link that will download the APK file on your laptop or phone.
This type of method works when you have a web browser and a working internet connection.
It’s also a good way to immediately save the APK files before installing them unlike the process of Google Play Store when you download and install the app, the APK’s are placed in a folder directory called data and there is a small chance of getting access to them.
For whatever type of Android device you’re using, extracting APK files can be done with ease without necessarily rooting the phone.
It can help you save space if you’re only using some apps on occasion while most users, like me, extract APK files to store offline in the computer.
This way I have a stable copy of the app an can easily install it on a new or a factory restarted phone.
Most of all, APK files save you the trouble of having to download them via the Google Play Store whenever internet connectivity is an issue.