I used a Nexus 7 for a couple of years and got a Nexus 10 earlier this year. I installed a number of kids books/games on the 7 and wanted to transfer them to the 10. Now I can't find some of them at the store. Would the APK files still be located on the 7?


6 Answers 6


Try ES file explorer

Under settings select App Manager and select all apps. And select backup on the action bar below.

A backup of all apps apk is created to your SD card probably under backups folder(or check /set backup folder on your es file explorer, settings-> directory settings )

Now you've got all apps apk.. You can either transfer them through Bluetooth/Wi-Fi /USB connection

You can select system apps too if your phone's rooted

  • 4
    These instructions have changed a bit. You now have to click on Library, then APP, then long press the app you want, and then click backup.
    – gsgx
    Mar 8, 2015 at 2:10
  • I can confirm that Library>APP>Select All>Backup worked for me on an unrooted HTC One M9 - Android 6.0. Thanks @gsingh2011 Dec 21, 2016 at 20:56

If you are rooted you can go to /data/app in your file manager and can copy the files. If you are not rooted you can use any one of the following app

  • 1
    No, you don't need root to fetch an apk from /data/app/, see other answers, like ES File Explorer.
    – Alex Cohn
    Mar 17, 2014 at 20:43
  • Sorry the rythm file manager which I am using does not show /data/app if you did not give root permission
    – samnaction
    Mar 18, 2014 at 3:59
  • @user32750578: you are right, this directory cannot be listed (ls) by non-elevated user. But APK files in that directory are publicly readable. Which means that you can copy any of them if you know the name. You can use the package manager to find the name of APK you care about, or use application that takes care of that for you. Personally, I like the way ES File Explorer handles this.
    – Alex Cohn
    Mar 18, 2014 at 12:52
  • BLUETOOTH APP SENDER <= Accurate and ease to use
    – user34654
    Mar 6, 2015 at 13:15

I strongly recommend using AppMonster (or rather AppMonster Pro) not only for this issue, but in general. It can create backups of all your installed apps, and the Pro version even offers to do so automatically on each install/update. That way you cannot only transfer .apk files to another device (as in your current case), but also have a fall-back available in case an update breaks stuff (or removed features): As AppMonster keeps multiple backups (one per install/update), you can easily revert to any version previously installed. Saved my day more than once.

  • Thanks for the recommendation. I tried Bluetooth App Sender and it didn't work.
    – user56347
    Mar 17, 2014 at 12:39
  • I'm using AppMonster for years, it never let me down. Dev is quite responsive and active, so I can recommend it by heart.
    – Izzy
    Mar 17, 2014 at 15:22

Everything you've bought or installed from the Play Store is listed under your account. A lot of the time apps that have been withdrawn from the Store are still visible to people who've used them before in this list:


If you look down that list then you should be able to see the apps that you've installed before and push them to any of your devices.


If you're root, use any root browser and go to the path: /system/app/, there you'll find the apk files.

  • The APKs here are not the user-installed APKs, they are in /data/app. These are the preinstalled APKs. Oct 10, 2014 at 6:44
  • I have copied some apk from /system/app/ to multiple devices and they install and run fine. Oct 10, 2014 at 19:43

Download the app "ShareApps" from playstore and then share all the apps which you want from the older phone to the new phone using any of the sharing methods such as bluetooth, etc...

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