How to allow installation of apps from unknown sources on Android.
While using a mobile phone, the user installs a lot of applications on the mobile device. Normally, official stores like Google Play Market are used for this. However, not all programs are available there. So if you don’t find any in the Google Play Market, you will have to install it manually. To do this, you will have to allow apps from unknown sources to be installed on your Android operating system.
What is included in the unknown sources
Before enabling installation from unknown sources, it is necessary to define what those “unknown sources” are. These are applications whose security cannot be checked by Google’s built-in tools.
Usually, the installation of games and programs from unknown sources appears to be nothing more than a software installation via APK file. The user downloads the installation package from a theme website and then opens it to complete the installation.
Risks of installing from outside the Play Market
By default, installing apps from untested sources is prohibited. And for good reason. As Google, owner of the Android operating system, cannot guarantee the security of these applications, their installation is blocked.
Thus, if you install software through an APK file downloaded from an unknown source, it increases the risk of your mobile phone getting infected with viruses and the consequent loss of sensitive information. Here are some examples where permissions have had irreparable consequences:
- The APKPure app store, which allows installation of software via APK files, was infected with a Trojan and began spreading malware on its own.
- Scammers uploaded a cryptocurrency APK file with the name of a famous Cyberpunk game online
- Criminals spread the Loapi virus under the guise of antivirus, the ads of which were displayed on banners on the Internet.
No doubt, these kinds of examples make you reconsider your opinion about the safety of installing software from unverified sources. However, if you download the APK file only from known sites and install an antivirus on your mobile phone at the same time, serious consequences can be avoided.
How to allow installation from them
Now it’s time to talk about how exactly permission to install software from untrusted sources is granted. The activation principle will directly depend on the version of the Android operating system, as well as the type of firmware. Therefore, we suggest that you consider all available options and choose the one that suits the specific features of your mobile phone software.
For Android 7 and below
The option to allow installation from unknown sources appeared quite a while ago and has not been changed until Android 7 inclusive. If your mobile phone has an older version of the operating system, you will have to activate the function:
- Open the mobile phone settings.
- Turn on the slider next to “Unknown sources.”
As a side note. If you want, you can avoid going to the settings and activate the option directly during the installation if a warning appears on the screen after launching the APK file.
If done correctly, you will only need to open the APK file and click the “Install” button, which will appear in a pop-up window, to complete the installation. You can then disable the option, if you wish, by following the same instructions.
For Android 8 and above
With the release of Android 8, the permissions to install third-party apps and games have changed on mobile phones. Previously, the option was enabled for all applications at once, but later it was enabled only for individual utilities.
Thus, while in Android 7 it was possible to open an APK file through both the Explorer and Google Chrome after activating the function, as of Android 8, the option has to be activated for the Explorer and for Chrome separately. In general, you will only need to grant permission for a file viewer:
- Open device settings.
- Go to “Security” and then to “Install apps from external sources”.
- Select the desired software.
- Move the slider to the right.
As in previous versions of the operating system, in Android 8, Android 9 and the most recent builds, the installation can be activated through a pop-up window that appears when opening the APK file.
For Xiaomi (Redmi, POCO, Black Shark)
Although the mobile phones of the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi are based on the Android operating system, the names of some elements are different from those of pure Android. If you can’t find the section you’re looking for, use the instructions:
- Open the mobile phone settings.
- Go to “Privacy” and then to “Advanced Settings”.
- Move the slider to the right next to “Unknown sources.”
Also, no one forbids the user to give permissions through a pop-up window when launching the APK file. You will just have to click on the “Settings” button and then activate the corresponding slider.
For Huawei and Honor
Other Chinese brands such as Huawei and Honor may also allow installation of software from unverified sources, but the algorithm will be slightly different:
- Launch phone settings.
- Go to “Security” and then “Advanced Settings”.
- Open the “Install apps from external sources” tab.
- Issue the corresponding permits.
The names of some menu items may be different depending on the Android OS version and EMUI brand shell. If you run into problems, we recommend that you read through to the end of this material to learn basic troubleshooting methods.
Finally, if you have a South Korean Samsung mobile phone with OneUI firmware, you will need
- Open device settings.
- Go to “Lock and protect the screen”.
- Turn on the “Unknown Sources” option.
The changes will take effect immediately, after which you will be able to install any software without problems, regardless of the source that was used to download the APK file.
Generally, the permission process to install third-party software is not difficult for ordinary users. However, sometimes even such a simple operation cannot be carried out without problems. Let’s see the main ones and propose a solution:
- Can’t give permission in settings. On some mobile phones, there is really no “Unknown Sources” option in the device settings. In this case, the permissions are granted directly through the pop-up window that appears when opening the APK file.
- Once the permissions are granted, a message continues to appear on the screen indicating that the installation is not allowed. If you’re using a device running Android 8 and above, the problem is most likely due to permission being granted to another program. It is recommended to activate the option again, but now directly through the dialog when opening the APK.
- The app does not install after granting the permissions. Most likely, you have downloaded a faulty APK file or downloaded it incompletely. Try to download the installation package again and repeat the installation.
Most likely, you will be able to fix the problem and eventually install the app you are interested in. If the problem persists, contact the developers of the software for advice.