Take the 2-minute tour ×
Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for enthusiasts and power users of the Android operating system. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I can't download apps from the Play Store on my Android device (maybe due to a network issue), so I'm wondering how could I download the APK file of an app on my PC from http://play.google.com/store?

share|improve this question
    
I'm sure this is a dupe of another question, but I can't find it. It must be badly named, so I don't blame you for not finding it either :P –  Matthew Read Aug 11 '11 at 15:25
2  
@MatthewRead Do you meant this one? Even if the other question was asked before I think the other should become a duplicate of this. Here are more answers. –  Flow Oct 14 '11 at 14:10
    
I'm not sure that's the one I was thinking of, but I agree. –  Matthew Read Oct 14 '11 at 15:15

10 Answers 10

up vote 21 down vote accepted

There is no easy way to download an APK file. However, redphoenix89 has found a way to download the APK with a Chrome extension. bexton did some cleanups and the result including a guide is available:

The guide mentions that you need to disable SSL warnings, but I could download APKs even without disabling SSL warnings (Chromium 21.0.1180.81 on Linux) An updated version that works with Chromium 23 is available on https://github.com/Lekensteyn/apk-downloader.

After installation and configuration, there will be a new button in the location bar for the Android Market as can be seen below. It even works if you are not logged in on the page itself since you have entered your credentials in the APK Downloader options screen.

APK Downloader in location bar

The Chromium extension is completely open-source (in the sense that you can unzip it and check the Javascript files) and I have not found anything suspicious.

Also note the note on the end of the guide:

Legal Note / Disclaimer

Finally, please note that the use of this Chrome extension is violating Google's Play Store TOS! You've been warned.

share|improve this answer
    
It doesn't work on my latest chrome version 24.xxx any idea why? –  Sisir Oct 24 '12 at 18:44
    
@SisirKantiAdhikari define "does not work". If you get ERROR: - Please disable SSL error warnings - Check your account information ( email and device ID ), then try removing your account and add it again. This works for me. –  Lekensteyn Oct 24 '12 at 19:37
    
Did all that couple of times. Not much details on the error. It says "Error : cannot download this app". BTW: ssl warning is disabled. –  Sisir Oct 24 '12 at 20:04
    
Is it a paid app? For support questions please post to the linked thread. –  Lekensteyn Oct 24 '12 at 21:13
1  
@SisirKantiAdhikari 23> broke this extension, for a fixed version, see github.com/Lekensteyn/apk-downloader –  Lekensteyn Dec 9 '12 at 15:42

As far as I know, you cannot download directly from the web Market, but you can find many apps on other app sites.

share|improve this answer
    
which ones, for example? –  kokbira Feb 24 '12 at 18:50

You cannot download apk files from http://play.google.com/store.

There are other ways to get apps (alternative markets, developer sites) and you can install them manually provided you can turn on the "Unknown sources" setting.

share|improve this answer

One thing you could potentially do is get the android market on the android emulator (which I don't think your supposed to be able to do, but some people have done it in the past), and download the apk onto the emulator. Then, you can find the data in /data/app/-.apk on the emulator. Pull it off with adb, and install it on your device with adb.

But like the other answers, I would recommend finding other stores (or developer websites) to buy the app first.

share|improve this answer

As many others have said, you cannot download directly from the market.

Android Phones with Google experience maintain a connection to Google's servers; it is over this channel that Google tells your phone to download & install the APK.

Alternative markets & websites are certainly options - please note it can be hard to determine if the application has not been modified from the market version. You can also use USB networking or wifi. USB networking may require root.

If you have to pay for the application on the market, but don't on the other website, that's a sign that the application is probably not supposed to be there: it is at best an illegal copy and at worst loaded with malware.

(Amazon's "free app of the day" and 'getjar gold apps' promotions are example of exceptions to this.)

share|improve this answer

You can't download apk from market.android.com . But getjar has lots of app and you can download it to your PC.

share|improve this answer
    
And they even have "Gold" paid apps for free.. nice –  Power-Inside Nov 7 '11 at 7:13
    
Getjar no longer seems to allow you to d/l the apk's to your PC. Or it is only certain select applications. –  Nicholi Apr 16 '12 at 2:50

There have been times that I haven't been able to install an app from the Market on the phone but I have been able to get it to download by using the Market site on my computer bt telling it to install the app. Usually the app starts downloading almost immediately. That won't work if the router/network you are using is blocking access for some reason but the app should install as soon as you are on a network that will allow downloads.

You might try cleaning your Market data and cache. When you fire up the Market you will have to accept the Terms again.

share|improve this answer
1  
The OP does not want to kickstart a download; OP wants the .APK on their PC desktop. –  Broam Nov 23 '11 at 16:17
    
@Broam The OP is looking for a workaround to network issues of the Market on their device. They wondered if downloading to the PC was an option; I really don't think they are refusing to consider other possible solutions. Classic case of asking how to implement the first solution they thought of rather than asking how to solve their real problem. –  Matthew Read Nov 24 '11 at 16:52

I spent a decent amount of time trying to figure this out because I don't feel like having the "google experience" and as far as I can tell, it isn't possible. I've worked around it:

The F-Droid repository and Amazon markets are both reasonably well maintained -- either will manage any apps you install, which is handy. That's where I start.

Otherwise, I track down and download the .apk outside of the google-run market. In many cases the Android market will point you to a developer's web page and contact information -- if they don't publish the .apk on their web page, you can always ask for it.

Two answers worth checking out:

Where can I find open source Android apps?

What are the alternative Android app markets?

PS. Don't forget: to install apps from .apk you have to turn on unknown sources (Settings > Applications > Unknown sources).

PPS. Once you have the .apk on your computer you know you need to turn on USB Debugging so you can copy the .apk to your phone, right? Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging

share|improve this answer
7  
USB debugging is not needed to install the apk unless you are using ADB to push it to the device. Otherwise, you can turn on USB mass storage mode to transfer it to the device and then install it via file manager app. –  Gautham C. Jan 4 '12 at 14:31

I've double-checked other related posts. But, It looks like no one has mentioned these yet. Actually, you can get the apk files.

Real APK Leecher:

AFAIK, This is an amazing app I've figured out just a week ago. But, The app is almost 6 months old. Real APK leecher is a java-written program to fetch the apk files (only the FREE apps) from android market.

  • You can have an overview at this app on its Author's page right away.

Basically - the main advantage of this app is, it doesn't require any other programs to make it work. Anatomically, It works similar to the Chrome extension (which other answers suggest).

When you open the program (specifically the first start), it asks for your gmail account info (i.e) your username and password, along with your own unique device ID (which you can manually get using a Device ID app, if you don't have it). Strictly speaking, there's no adware/malware associated with it. Googling for "APK leecher" throws a lot of results providing the reviews for the program.

It just gets the info because, it makes the android market believe that, "this program is a phone trying to get free apps" (thereby violating the terms).


APK TOP:

I figured out this site just 3 days ago. It is very good in providing .apk files. Also, it isn't a black market. For most of the free apps, it gives the info, review, market link along with its own link and also, a QR Code. Users can choose whatever they wish. The link also provides resuming capability while downloading the files.

While in case of paid apps, it displays the cost and the market link. Based on my 3-day experience, the site is very much useful for me. The site-developers post new apps (atleast 10-15 per day) or newer versions of apps.

The main advantage here is: Unlike many other blogs, this site uses its own link (so that they won't expire whenever they wish).

share|improve this answer

There is an online service called APK Downloader that lets you download APKs from the Google Play Store. However, this works only for FREE apps; paid apps are not supported because of piracy issues.

Have you ever wanted to get your hands on the latest game, only to find that the Google Play thought it wasn't compatible with your phone? Maybe you don't have a snapdragon device, but youre're pretty sure an old device could handle it still. Have a Kindle Fire and want access to more than just the Amazon AppStore?

Until now you've been stuck, but a new online service also come with Chrome extension called APK Downloader will allow you to download an apk file from the Google Play directly to your desktop rather than to your device.

share|improve this answer
1  
Note that the Chrome extension listed on that page is essentially a copy of the open-source APK Downloader that is mentioned in my answer, but with spyware added. As long as you use this webservice, that should be a smaller issue, but note the behavior with the extension. –  Lekensteyn Feb 11 at 20:19
    
@Lekensteyn What do you mean by "spyware added"? Is it not safe to use the on-line APK Downloader ? –  landroni Sep 12 at 19:15
    
I won't claim that the on-line APK downloader by Evozi is safe to use, you have to judge that yourself. But taking an open-source project, inserting code that tracks your activity and then publish it without references to the original work and without notice of this spyware code does inspire confidence. –  Lekensteyn Sep 12 at 21:13

protected by Matthew Read Nov 24 '11 at 16:48

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.