Did you try to open an APK file on your Windows PC or Mac without success? Well, here is why and how you can open any APK file easily but should you open those APK files before considering the risks? Let’s find out.
What is an APK file?
APK is an abbreviation of Android Package Kit. APK files are used by the Android operating system to store packages that are needed for the installation of Android apps.
Everything an Android application requires to work is contained in the APK file, these include software code, images, text, animations, videos, certificates, security features and more depending on what the Android application does. APK files are built to run only on the Android operating system which is mobile based but there are ways to run APK files on Windows PC, Mac, iPhone iOS and other operating systems.
Is it safe to open APK files?
There are millions of APK files online and sometimes hackers add malware, adware and software viruses into free APK files which when installed on your phone or other device can lead to hackers gaining access to steal your information and even your money.
You can also become a victim of ransomware where your device and files are taken hostage and you have to pay some money usually in Bitcoin before your device can function again. Some hackers even go as far as blackmailing you with information stolen from your device which is why you must be extremely careful before opening any file whether APK or any others from untrusted sources.
So, before installing any APK file on any of your devices, check that it is virus free using antivirus scanners that you can find online. Also verify that the permissions the app is asking for cannot be used to gain access to sensitive information, you can check this by searching online for whether the permission the app is requesting for is safe to accept or not.
How to Open APK files
The easiest way to open an APK file is by downloading it on an Android device and clicking on it, usually your Android device will warn you about the risk involved in opening and installing an APK file from unknown sources, if you choose to continue, you will need to allow the installation of files from unknown sources in your phone settings app.
Once you allow installation from unknown sources, you will get a prompt to install the app when you open the APK file, you may need to grant the app some permissions depending on what type of app it is, be very careful not to grant permissions that will give hackers access to sensitive information and/or ability to take over your device and files.
APK file openers for PC – Windows, Mac
Opening APK files on your personal computer is more complex than doing it with an Android device because APK files are not built to run on Windows, Mac and other operating systems. To open an APK file on your PC whether Windows or Mac, you will need to download and install an Android emulator on your PC. There are many Android emulators available for free download such as Bluestacks, QEMU, NoxPlayer and others, once you install them on your PC, you will be able to open your APK file.
Once your emulator is installed, all you need to do is launch it and then click on file from the menu, then click open, a dialog box will appear prompting you to select the APK file you want to open and voila, your APK file will open in the emulator.
Best programs for opening APK files on PC
Bluestacks: This is one of the most popular apps for opening APK files on PC, it is available for free download and is very highly rated. It works on Windows PCs and Mac and enables users run any Android app virtually on their computer.
Bluestacks is reputable, safe to use and easy to use as well. As far as you download and install the bluestacks app from their website – bluestacks.com, you should have no problems with it. It is also completely legal to use so you don’t have to worry about lawsuits or copyright infringements. Many people use Bluestacks to play Android games on their Windows PC and Macs.
NoxPlayer: This is another popular Android emulator that you can use to open apk files on your computer, it is very good and is free as well. This app is is available for free download on Windows and Mac PCs.
Playing Android mobile games on your PC is the main thing this emulator is optimized for hence it has several features to make the mobile gaming experience enjoyable on desktop.
QEMU: This is a free emulator and visualizer program that can also run Android apps even though that is not what it was created for specifically. It requires more technical know how to successfully run Android apps on PC so it might not be the best fit for non-technical folks.
APK File Openers for iPhone iOS
You can also open APK files on your iPhone even though it uses the iOS operating system that doesn’t support APK files. You can do this by installing an Android emulator for iOS and then using the emulator to open the file.
There are many Android emulators for iOS both free download and paid download available for installation on the Apple app store. Some include iAndroid emulator, GBA4IOS emulator and so on.
Open APK files online
You can also open APK files online with APK file extractors, these extractors will unzip your APK file so that you can see all the files and folders that are in it. You can then download these files to your desktop or mobile phone. This method will only open the files for viewing but will not install them.
To find these online APK file openers, simply search for them using a search engine of your choice.