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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?

16 Answers 16

33

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.

  • 1
    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
  • 1
    @SisirKantiAdhikari 23> broke this extension, for a fixed version, see github.com/Lekensteyn/apk-downloader – Lekensteyn Dec 9 '12 at 15:42
  • 1
    @Lekensteyn Will you please add apkbucket.net/apk-downloader to your answer? I have worked on this project for a longer time and now it is working flawlessly. It emulates an Android device and uses my provided device ID, login to fetch the original APKs. Users simply need to provide the package version of Google Play URL of the app. I hope you add this to your list. – Rehmat Dec 18 '16 at 17:06
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+25

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 Appstore 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

  • 8
    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
  • And in case you use ADB, enabling *Unknown sources" is not needed: simply adb install <filename.apk> does the job then. – Izzy May 24 '16 at 11:32
10

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.)

10

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

  • 1
    which ones, for example? – kokbira Feb 24 '12 at 18:50
9

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.

9

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

  • And they even have "Gold" paid apps for free.. nice – Irfan Nov 7 '11 at 7:13
  • 1
    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
8

You can e.g. use Raccoon for that – a phantastic Java app I'm using:

Raccoon
Raccoon (source: Tutonaut; click image for larger variant)

The app requires credentials of a Google account (you can either use your own, in which case you also can access apps you've bought – or use Raccoon's companion-app DummyDroid to create an alternative profile, including fake-device, to also access apps otherwise "incompatible with your device"). Works wonderful and fast. Not only for downloading apps, but also for checking their Metadata (description, permissions, size, last update): details load much faster than using GPlays overloaded web page ;)


UPDATE: As development goes on, there are new locations:

  • Raccoon v4 has its Github repo here
  • the Raccoon Website (with downloads etc.) can be found here
  • Does it download split APK? Or does it download full APK? I'm very curious. – Shayan Aug 6 at 13:44
  • Also, when I wanted to download the latest version (3.7) there was only source code available, no .jar file, and racoon v4.x requires dummydroid which is such a pain to configure and use (android ID etc.) – Shayan Aug 6 at 14:08
  • 1
    @Shayan I rarely use it, so I cannot tell. But if you found v3.7 as "latest", you must have looked in the wrong location. I use 4.x for more than a year (or two). Last one I downloaded was the *.jar of 4.7 (in April this year). If you talk about Raccoon, that is :) – Oh, I see what you mean, the Github repo stopped updating with v3. Here's the one for v4, and here are the downloads (will update my answer). – Izzy Aug 6 at 21:13
7

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.

  • Well, you can; see e.g. gplaycli and Raccoon :) – Izzy Aug 11 '16 at 16:14
  • @Izzy: Sure, there are tools that'll let you get APK files, but you still can't directly download from the Play Store. – ale Aug 11 '16 at 17:54
  • Not without 3rd party tools, if you mean that – true. But those 3rd party tools do exactly that, via the playstore API. Looks like we meant the same but express ourselves differently ;) – Izzy Aug 12 '16 at 6:34
5

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.

  • 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
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    @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
5

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).

5

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.

  • 2
    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 '14 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 '14 at 19:15
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    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 '14 at 21:13
2

Yalp Store

Available on F-Droid.

On starting the app will ask to log in. Use fake Yalp Store account:

different login methods

After logging in, you'll see the updates available. There is a search button available to search apps. You can also browse apps through categories from more options. Clicking on App will provide a button to download.

package view

Clicking on Download will download application in Downloads directory and ask to install the APK.

0

I've found one apk-downloaders.com from which we can download apks which appearance is similar to Apk Downloader (I found sometimes Apk Downloader shows an error).

Example:

  1. Enter package name:

    step-1

  2. Get Details & click to download apk:

    step-2.1

    • At the bottom of information, you will find button for downloading apk: step-2.2
  3. Get apk: After clicking on download button you will see the page saying: step-3

    • And downloading will be started soon (within a minute): step-4

Another (quick) way is to directly apply package name in following address:

http://apk-downloaders.com/download/dl.php?dl=<package-name>

Example: http://apk-downloaders.com/download/dl.php?dl=jackpal.androidterm

  • 1
    How safe is that site? Any reference that it can be trusted, and doesn't ship "enhanced versions" of the .apk files offering "additional features" one certainly does not want (backpacked trojans and the like)? – Izzy May 24 '16 at 11:37
  • @Izzy Considerable point. This is only working site, No reference for trusting, Use with caution at your responsibility. (I recommend not to use such site for the apps which have privacy & security concern) +1 – Pandya May 25 '16 at 1:59
  • A pity. I was hoping for some "good references" as indeed, sometimes an .apk available there cannot be found elsewhere. But I always hesitated using it as I couldn't find any reputation pointed out for it. – Izzy May 25 '16 at 6:02
0

Google Play seems to use some non-standard port to access the site. Some modem/router/gateway firewalls block this port by default. This is why Google Play does not work in some LANs.

  • Racoon is a desktop Google Play client that can download APK files from the Play store. It is a platform-independent Java app.
  • Total Commander (a file manager app) allows you to copy APK files of apps already installed in a device. Just copy them them to a SD card and move them to any device where the apps need to be installed.
  • Android Police maintains an archive APK files at http://www.apkmirror.com/. It is clean.
0

You could also install an Android emulator on your desktop and then use APK Extractor to extract the APK.

0

I would suggest APK Downloader extension for Chrome as it is far more convenient. You log in with your Google Account, input some data from your phone and it will add a simple "Download APK" button to all apps on Play Store website.

If you are conserned giving your credentials to some 3rd party app, its not possible to download APK's otherwise as any tool needs to be able to identify itself as a phone with google account to get the APK. You can build a tool yourself to be sure, but that probably is not an option right now.

  • Might be "more convenient" – but a) doesn't work without Chrome (which I'd never use), and b) is closed-source. I rather trust an open-source tool with my credentials. And well, if c) the tool does harm me, I can go see the dev (same country and not too far region ;) // D) "its not possible to download APK's otherwise": lacks the restriction "from Google play". You can well download it from other places as e.g. F-Droid or Aptoide – my app lists often even include the links to safe sources :) – Izzy Dec 3 '15 at 19:57
  • Of course, it depends on the users needs. But for me it was a few clicks that lets me later download APKs from a trusted source also in a single click :) – Chapz Dec 3 '15 at 20:50
  • I didn't say it's not an alternative – we've all different preferences :) Still, you might want to update your too sharp restriction concerning the credentials ("if you want to download from Google Play"). – Izzy Dec 3 '15 at 21:00

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