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How can I force the installation of a programme, specifically "Simple Sidebar-1.2" in place of "Simple Sidebar-1.3", in android 4.3, on a Samsung Galaxy GT-I9300. When I try to install it now it has a long read-in and then just stops saying that it is not installed.

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You can't "downgrade" an installed app to an older version. First you need to uninstall the app from your device, and only after that can you install the older version from the APK.

  • And that is what I've already done, but its still refusing to allow me to re-install v1.2. I have uninstalled V1.3 by dragging its icon to the trash can and then just say "Uninstall". But I'm left with being unable to re-install v1.2. – boudiccas Jul 27 '14 at 7:47
  • Could you just double-check by looking for it in the list of all apps in Settings → Apps? – Dan Hulme Jul 27 '14 at 9:26
  • @DanHulme not exactly true. I downgraded apps a lot of times (I have one specific app where only every 3rd update works correctly ;) – Izzy Aug 1 '14 at 14:27
  • PS: @boudiccas what you did was probably just removing the shortcut from your homescreen. To really uninstall, either see my answer – or follow up to the place Dan mentioned (but that would remove the app's data as well). – Izzy Aug 1 '14 at 14:34
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If you've got ADB ready (see: and its tag-wiki for details), there are multiple ways to achieve it. My examples assume you've got the .apk file on your computer, and are operating from the very same directory it resides in. Further, let's call the file foobar.apk:

# trying to downgrade directly:
adb install -r foobar.apk

# if that fails, we've got to uninstall the app first.
# Let's try to do so without losing its data:
adb uninstall -k com.foobar
adb install -r foobar.apk

If the latter still fails, you might have to say "goodbye" to your data, and run uninstall without the -k ("keep data") option. You could also try backing up data first, and restore it after a successful install (adb backup -f foobar.ab -noapk com.foobar and later adb restore foobar.ab).

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