I would like to know if its possible to convert a split-apk user app to a system app. One example is the google messaging app, it has a couple of apk files, lib and oat folders and base.dm file in its own /data/app/ folder. I tried copying everything to /system/app without success.

This question has already been asked here, but it hasn't been answered.

I'm using Android 10 rooted with Magisk. I already tried moving a regular .apk file to /system/app without any issues.

1 Answer 1


Figured it out after a bit of troubleshooting. Done using Root Explorer.

Copy "base.apk" and "lib" folder from "/data/app/xyz" to "/system/app/xyz" and set the permissions. Make sure to not delete the files from /data/app/xyz after copying!

Example with Google Messages:
- Create a folder called "GoogleMessages" in "/system/app"
- Remount "/system" as read-write when warned
- Copy "base.apk" and "lib" folder from "/data/app/com.google.android.apps.messaging-xyz" to the new folder
- Rename "base.apk" to "GoogleMessages.apk"
- Give respective permissions to the folders and files.

Permissions for folders -> rwxr-xr-x
Permissions for .apk and files inside lib -> rw-r--r--

I can't guarantee that this will work on every device, just make sure to have a proper backup ready if something breaks or just use the file manager in recovery to delete the created folder.

  • How were you able to do this? From what I understood, Androd 10 simply does not allow writing to the system partition.
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 26, 2020 at 0:23
  • That was what I thought too, but it apparently works. I'm not going to question it as long as it works on my device. That's exactly why I said that I can't guarantee that it will work everywhere.
    – Terrails
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:53

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