How to Install Third-Party Apps On A Samsung Smart TV

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How to Install Third-Party Apps On A Samsung Smart TV

One of the most valued features of any smart TV is the ability to add and remove applications that you wish to use on your TV. Most smart TVs come preloaded with applications and an onboard app store where the user can find applications for use with their device.

Unfortunately, some restrictions are typically put on the type of applications that you can manually install on your device. Your Samsung Smart TV for example does not allow third-party applications to be installed natively on your device.

Your Samsung Smart TV has an app store called Smart Hub where you will find all the applications that are natively installable on your device. These restrictions can be frustrating to users who want to make full use of their Samsung Smart TV and all the functions that it is capable of.

Luckily, there are several ways that you can bypass these restrictions and load third-party applications onto your Samsung Smart TV. This guide will walk you through these methods in detail and also answer many common questions that you may have about the installation process.

Towards the end of this guide, you can use the troubleshooting methods listed to help solve any installation problems that you might encounter.

Can I Install Third-Party Apps On Samsung Smart TV

You cannot install third-party applications on your Samsung Smart TV directly. To install third-party apps on your Samsung Smart TV you will need to use one of the methods listed below to bypass the restrictions that your TV has regarding applications from outside sources.

These restrictions are put in place to help discourage users from downloading and installing software that could potentially harm their devices. That being said, there are many applications out there that are designed to work with your Samsung Smart TV.

The step-by-step guide below will walk you through the different ways that you can install third-party apps on your Samsung Smart TV.

Does Samsung TV Have Google Play?

The Google Play application is not available natively on Samsung Smart TVs. The only applications that are readily installable on your TV are generally streaming applications that have been optimized for use on your Samsung TV.

Samsung smart TVs use a different engine for finding and installing applications called the Smart Hub. There you can find all of the apps that are currently available on your Samsung Smart TV.

Even if you were able to install the Google Play application on your Samsung Smart TV, it would likely be rendered obsolete after completing the rather complex methods that would be required to install it.

These restrictions are not ideal but are put into place to keep users from adding any potentially damaging apps to their TV. That being said, there are some methods that you can consider for bypassing these restrictions which will allow outside applications to be installed on your Samsung Smart TV.

The method to install applications on your Samsung TV will be detailed below. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions so that you do not risk damaging your device’s software in some way inadvertently.

Can You Install Instagram On A Samsung Smart TV?

The popular social media application Instagram is not currently available to natively download and install on Samsung Smart TVs.

As previously mentioned, the only applications that are readily installable on your TV are streaming applications that have been optimized for use on your Samsung TV and are available in the Smart Hub.

These restrictions are not ideal but are put into place to keep users from adding any potentially damaging apps to their TV. That being said, there are some methods that you can consider for bypassing these restrictions which will allow outside applications like Instagram to be installed on your Samsung Smart TV.

The method to install applications on your Samsung TV will be detailed below. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions so that you do not risk damaging your device’s software in some way inadvertently.

Things To Remember Before Installing Third-Party Apps On Your Samsung Smart TV

There are a few things that you should consider before installing third-party applications on your Samsung Smart TV. The most important things to keep in mind have been listed below:

1. Not All Applications Will Be Compatible With Your Samsung Smart TV

Not every application that you could potentially install using the methods laid out in this guide will function on your Samsung Smart TV. While you may potentially be able to install some applications successfully, you could run into compatibility errors when trying to use the app on your TV.

It is always wise to research the applications that you are planning on adding to your Samsung Smart TV to make sure that it has been designed to function on your TV. Most third-party applications have compatible information listed on their download page.

Applications that can likely be installed but not function properly are Google Play and other various app stores that need to be on their native software to function correctly. Avoid using applications that run on a specific OS and you will run into fewer compatibility issues.

2. Some Applications Could Potentially Harm Your Device

You should always verify the legitimacy of any third-party application that your download and install on your Samsung Smart TV. One of the main reasons that Samsung places restrictions on third-party applications is the risk of potentially downloading and installing a malicious application.

These types of malicious third-party applications could be harmful to your device and even put your data at risk. For this reason, you must choose the applications that you add to your Samsung Smart TV carefully.

When choosing applications to download, be sure to read any user reviews that might be available to get a gauge of how-to app functions and whether or not users are experiencing problems that could turn out to be malicious.

While your Samsung Smart TV cannot catch a virus as a typical computer can, it can still be affected by the presence of a malicious third-party application.

3. You Should Change Internal Settings On Your Samsung TV Carefully

Some of the methods that you can use to install third-party applications on your Samsung TV involve using the command prompt or other third-party software to bypass restrictions placed on your TV.

When using these methods, you can sometimes run the risk of damaging the software that your Samsung Smart TV depends on the function correctly.

You should pay close attention to the step-by-step guide instructions so that you can avoid making any errors that could potentially cause your TV to function correctly no longer.

What to Do to Prepare

To prepare for the installation of third-party applications on your Samsung Smart TV, you will need a few things depending on the method that you choose. For all the methods listed here, you should make sure that you have a stable internet connection before you begin.

Attempting some of the methods used to load third-party applications to your Samsung Smart TV without an internet connection could cause them to fail.

You will also need the proper APK files for the applications that you wish to download and install on your Samsung TV. These can be found on the internet and added to a USB drive or disc format.

If you choose to use the command prompt method, you will need access to a computer that is connected to the internet. Most of the methods listed below require access to a PC to successfully download and install the correct files.

You might also require a firestick if you choose to upload APKs to your Samsung Smart TV that way. This way bypasses adding the third-party applications directly to your TV and instead adds them to the Amazon Firestick device for use.

Once you have looked over the list of installation methods below you will have a better idea about what materials you will need to get started with the installation process.

How To Install Third-Party Apps On A Samsung Smart TV

The next part of this guide will focus on the many ways that you can bypass the restrictions placed on third-party applications by Samsung. Keep in mind that you should follow the instructions carefully so you do not risk damaging the software of your Samsung Smart TV.

Should you encounter any errors while installing your third-party applications using any of these methods, you can find detailed troubleshooting solutions at the end of this guide.

1. Check For The App On Smart Hub First

Before moving on to some of the more complicated means of installing applications on your Samsung Smart TV, you should first check in the Smart Hub and make sure that it is not available there.

The Samsung Smart Hub is the native app store on your TV. You can navigate to the Smart Hub from the homepage of your Samsung Smart TV or by pressing the Smart Hub button on your remote.

There you will be taken to the Smart Hub main page where you can search for any applications that you wish to install. You will also see app recommendations based on what is currently featured and your user watch history.

You can search for an app by selecting the search bar at the top of the screen. If the app is available for download you can choose to install it and the Smart Hub will automatically add it to the list of your installed applications.

Keep in mind that the number of apps that you have access to will be greatly limited to what you could find on the Google Play Store. The method to install a much greater variety of different applications will be detailed below.

2. Enable Unknown Sources To Install Applications On Your Samsung Smart TV

To install third-party applications on your Samsung Smart TV, you will need to first enable the Unknown Sources settings. This will allow permission for applications from outside of the Smart Hub to potentially be installed on your device.

To do this, you must first navigate to the Menu from your Samsung Smart TV’s homepage. You can also press the menu button on your remote to automatically display the Menu.

There you should enter into the Settings menu where you will see the Personal tab. In the Person menu, you will see the Add-Ons tab. Enter into the Add-Ons menu and you will see the option to toggle on Unknown Sources permissions.

This will allow any third-party applications that you download using the methods listed below to be added to your app list successfully.

3. Use The Developer Mode To Install Third-Party Apps On Your Samsung Smart TV

In addition to enabling unknown sources using the steps listed above, you will also need to enable Developer Mode on your Samsung Smart TV.

Developer mode will give you access to control features that you would not have otherwise. This includes adding and removing software that may be natively restricted.

To do this, enter the Settings menu from the home page of your Samsung Smart TV. Once there, enter into the Smart Hub menu. Next, you should enter into the Apps tab. You will be prompted for a pin in the Apps menu which is 12345. This is the default pin code for all Samsung Smart TVs.

After the code has been entered successfully, you will see the Developer Mode menu popup. There, you can toggle the Developer Mode setting on and off. In the Developer mode menu, you will see a place to enter the IP address of the PC that you are going to be using to add your applications to your Samsung Smart TV.

You can find your PC’s IP address in the network settings on your PC or by using an online tool that displays your IP automatically.

Once you have found your IP address and entered it in the Developer mode menu text prompt, restart your Samsung Smart TV and you will have successfully enabled Developer Mode.

You will need to complete both of the steps above related to loading third-party applications on your Samsung Smart TV before you can successfully utilize the next few steps.

4. Use The Command Prompt

Once you have completed the steps above, you are now ready to download and install your applications on your Samsung Smart TV. Use your web browser to navigate to the location of the application that you wish to download and install.

If you wish to install using a USB device, then you should download the application to USB, making note of the .apk file for the app. Once you have done this, plug the USB into your Samsung Smart TV.

Find the .apk file on the USB drive and click it to install. Once the installation has been completed you can find the application you installed in your app list.

If you would rather install the applications directly from your computer using the command prompt, you will need the IP address of your Samsung Smart TV. You can find the IP address of your TV by navigating to the Settings menu from the home page of your Samsung Smart TV.

Once you are in the settings menu, enter into the Network tab. From there, click on the Information tab and you will see the IP address of your TV. Make a note of this so you can use it later on in the process.

Next, open the start menu on your PC and type cmd to bring up the Command Prompt. Once the command prompt has been successfully opened, type adb connect followed by the IP address of your Samsung Smart TV that you wrote down earlier.

You will see a notification indicating a successful connection. After this, you should enter the text install followed by the folder where the application is housed on your computer.

The full text you should enter to successfully install an application from your computer to your Samsung Smart TV is install -insert installation folder from PC here-\install.apk

This will begin the installation process on your Samsung TV. Your PC will communicate the data over Wi-Fi so a stable internet connection will be necessary for this method to work properly.

Once the installation is complete, you can find your installed application in your Smart Hub apps list. You can install a vast variety of different third-party applications using this method.

Keep in mind that you could still encounter compatibility errors when using third-party apps. You should always check the compatibility of any application that you wish to add to your Samsung Smart TV before beginning the installation process.

5. Use An Amazon Firestick To Access Third-Party Applications On Your Samsung Smart TV

Using an Amazon Firestick, you can access third-party applications that you have installed using your Samsung Smart TV. Jailbreaking your Amazon Firestick will give you more control over your device, including giving you the option of installing third-party software.

Just like your Samsung Smart TV, the Amazon Firestick does not support third-party application installation natively. Luckily, the Amazon Firestick is relatively simple to jailbreak, much more so than your Samsung Smart TV. The steps to jailbreak and allow the addition of third-party applications on your Firestick are listed below.

You can use the ADB utility software available in the Android SDK to enhance your level of control over your Amazon Firestick. This includes adding third-party applications for use on your Samsung Smart TV. This method can be rather complex and takes a few steps to get going but will give you access to a vast library of different applications for use with your TV.

The steps to setup ADB on your Firestick device are listed below:

Step One: Enable ADB Debugging on Your Amazon Firestick

The first thing that you will need to do is enable the ADB debugging mode on your Amazon Firestick. To do this, you must first navigate to the home screen on your device. From there, enter into the settings menu. In the settings menu, you will see the “My Fire TV” tab.

Click into the “My Fire TV” menu and click into the “Developer Options” tab. There, you will be able to enable the ADB debugging function on your device.

Step Two: Download and Extract the SDK Platform Tools To Your Computer

You will need the Android SDK platform tools to properly edit the internal programming of your Firestick. To install these on your Windows PC, you will first need the installation package found here.

Once you have downloaded and opened the file, you should extract it to a place on your computer.

Once you have done this, pull up your Start menu and type cmd then press Enter. Once the cmd prompt is opened, you will then need to navigate to your route directory by typing cd \ change directories.

Once you are in your root directory you will be able to navigate to the directory where the SDK installation files were extracted on your PC. This can be reached by typing cd followed by the name of the folder you extracted the SDK files to.

From here, you can connect your Firestick to your PC by using the command adb connect followed by the IP address of the device. This will be detailed more in the next step.

Step Three: Get Your Firestick IP Address

You will need the IP address of your Firestick device to connect it to your PC so that you can alter the settings in the command prompt. To get your device’s IP, you must first navigate to the settings menu on your Firestick device.

Once you are in the settings menu, click on the “About” tab. There you will find the “Network” menu where you can find the IP address of your device. Make a note of the IP address and move on to the next step.

Step Four: Open Command Prompt and Connect Your Firestick Device To The ADB Software

You will next need to connect your device to your PC so that you can issue commands to your device from the command prompt. To do this, open the start menu on your PC and type cmd to open the command prompt.

Once the command prompt is open, navigate to the directory where you extracted the SDK platform-tools by typing cd followed by the name of the folder where you extracted them. Once you have navigated to the proper directory, type adb connect followed by the IP address of your Firestick device.

This will bring up a prompt to appear on your Amazon Fire TV device asking you to allow the device to enter USB debugging mode. Check the option to “Always Allow From This Computer” and press “Ok”.

Once you have completed this process your Amazon Firestick will be successfully linked to your PC. This will allow you to access control options that you would not regularly have access to.

Once you have done this, you can simply add any third-party applications to your Firestick that you want through your PC. This will give you much more control over the things that your Firestick can do. Any applications that you have installed on the Firestick will be accessible through your Samsung Smart TV when you have the Firestick plugged in.

7. Use APKBuilds

APKBuilds is a downloadable third-party application that comes packed with apps that are designed specifically for use with your Samsung Smart TV. It provides many third-party applications to your media library that you can watch on your TV.

You can download APKBuilds at their website and add it to your Firestick device using the method above. Once you have done this, simply open the application on your Firestick when it is plugged into your TV.

How To Install Android Apps On Samsung Smart TV

You cannot install Android apps on a Samsung Smart TV natively. You must use one of the bypass methods listed above to successfully install any Android applications for use with your Samsung Smart TV.

Many Android applications are available for download on the web and can be loaded up to your Amazon Firestick or added to your Samsung Smart TV using one of the methods listed above. Keep in mind that Android applications were designed for a specific operating system. Using an Android-based application on your Samsung TV could cause compatibility errors.

How To Add Apps To An Older Model Samsung Smart TV

The easiest way to add apps to your older model Samsung Smart TV is to use the Firestick method detailed above or use the Smart Hub to install the applications available there. Older model Samsung Smart TVs might not have the same features that the newer ones have, so you might not be able to utilize some of these methods.

If this is the case for you, consider using a Firestick and the jailbreaking method above to utilize third-party applications on your Smart TV.

How To Fix Third-Party App Install Issues On Samsung Smart TVs

If you are experiencing issues while trying to install or access applications on your Samsung Smart TV the troubleshooting methods listed below could help resolve your problem.

1. Restart Your Samsung TV

You should consider restarting your Samsung TV if you are having problems with your app installation. Powering your TV on and off again will give it a chance to reconcile any potential run-time errors that could be causing issues.

A quick restart is often the best first approach to solving any type of problem that you are experiencing with your Samsung TV. A restart can also encourage any interference issues to resolve.

2. Update Your Smart TV

The most common cause of issues and general functionality errors is out-of-date software on your Samsung Smart TV. Your Smart TV depends on the most recent version of its software to function properly. These updates contain bug fixes and many quality-of-life optimizations for your device.

If you find that you are experiencing frequent issues with your Samsung TV, you could need an update. Your TV will automatically notify you of any updates available when it is connected to a valid internet connection.

The user will have to manually download the update and install it for it to be applied. This is a key step of the update process that many look over, so keep this in mind.

3. Contact Samsung

If you are experiencing persistent issues with your Samsung TV, you should consider contacting Samsung so they can investigate your issue further.

You should only consider this once you have attempted all of the troubleshooting methods listed here, as Samsung support will likely suggest many of the methods on this list.

You can contact Samsung Support on their website. There you will find detailed instructions on how to report your issue. First, you will need to provide a detailed account of your problem which will then be investigated by someone at Samsung Support.

Samsung Support will walk you through any troubleshooting methods that you might have missed and offer detailed suggestions on how to successfully solve your issue.

This method requires some patience, as dealing with customer service on the phone can be frustrating. Rest assured that Samsung Support will do all they can to get your application functioning properly.

4. Look In The Forums For More Information

The Samsung forums are a great source of information regarding all types of issues that you might experience while using your Samsung Smart TV.

There you will find an active community of users that come together to talk about problems they have encountered and work together to solve them. This includes other Samsung users who may be experiencing the same problems as you.

Final Thoughts

This detailed guide has broken down all of the ways that you can bypass the third-party app restriction on your Samsung Smart TV.

Using the knowledge provided to you in this guide you can now install any applications that you want and use them on your Samsung Smart TV.

Briley is a freelance writer and has been writing for over 10 years. The former journalist now content writer currently writes for Techzillo and focuses on consumer tech in general. His main interests include video games and consumer technology. He also writes for websites such as Lifewire, and Digital Trends. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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