I need to get the apk file for an app from a development device (Galaxy Nexus). I've had very little contact with Android before.

I know the name of the app and have tried to search the "internal storage" that shows up in explorer when I connect it but no apk file with the app name shows up.

I also tried logging into the shell using adb, but I have no "find" command and no permission to list "/data/" where the apk files are supposed to be.

I'd really appreciate if someone could help me out here! Thanks!


3 Answers 3


I found this to be the easiest way:

adb shell pm list packages

find my apps package "my.package.name"

adb shell pm path my.package.name

adb pull /data/app/my.package.name

Thanks for your answers though!


Using another App

You could try installing an app from the Play Store to backup the apk file. Some examples (which don't require root) are Helium and App Backup & Restore (There are many others though).

Using ADB

It is also possible to use adb to retrieve the apk file using the adb pull command (you know the full package name of the app, not just the app name).

Connect your device to your computer then shell into it via adb shell

Type pm -lf to get a list of all packages installed on the system and their associated APK file path.

Scan this list for the application you want

Exit adb shell and type adb pull <path to apk>. This should save the APK in your current folder.


Install this application Es File Exlporer then follow the steps,
1. open left side panel by clicking on left top icon
2. select Tools - App Manager
this will load all installed application in your mobile. Simple select your app and do backup :)

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