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I removed a system app (com.android.mms) and I have the .apk needed to restore it, however it won't install through the standard channels (running the .apk gives me "application not installed"). What's the proper way to install a system app's .apk?

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You will need to push the .apk to the phone to the System partition to the folder "/system/app" using ADB. You can find more info about ADB here: http://android-dls.com/wiki/index.php?title=ADB.

Afterwards if the flags are not already set change the permissions. All System-Apps need to have the permissions rw-r--r--. You can also change them via ADB with the command "chmod 644 /path_to/your_file". Though it's quite old, this may help: Click

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Yea I figured this would be the way to go, tried it, says bad signature. I used the Mms.apk that is part of the .zip rom I used to install the current android running. –  Dmitriy Likhten Sep 13 '10 at 20:34
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note that when playing with adb you will install apps via their package file name (meaning, at the command prompt you will type >adb install myFile.apk)

but you will uninstall them via their package name (>adb uninstall com.this.that.otherthing)

You won't be able to install a package until you've uninstalled its predecessor.

It'll help to add adb to your PATH so that you can just go to the directory where the .apk file is and type adb install myFile.apk.

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Thanks! Didn't know about the uninstall mechanics :) –  Dmitriy Likhten Sep 13 '10 at 20:34
Have not tried with system apps, but for usual apps /system/bin/pm (Package Manager) utility worked for me. Like pm install -r myFile.apk (-r for "replace"). This way you don't need to uninstall and to know package name. –  Alexander Malakhov Jul 4 '13 at 4:29
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You need to have the Android SDK installed (or at least a tool that's called adb). Further you need to allow "Non Market installs" on your device.

After this is done you change to the folder that contains the file with a console. Then connect your phone (via USB) and run adb install appname.apk

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See other answers' comments. Already have non-market installs enabled since I had swype installed :) –  Dmitriy Likhten Sep 13 '10 at 20:35
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