APK File of an Installed App

How to Get the APK File of an Installed App

If you use Android, you might be wondering how to get the APK file of an app that is already installed on your device. The APK file contains an app’s code and can be used to install it on other Android devices. 

We’ll show you how to get the APK file of any app you install on your device, whether it’s a system app or one you got from the Google Play Store, in this blog post. Continue reading to find out how to do this quickly and easily.

Enable Installation of Apps from Unknown Sources

If you want to get the APK of an installed app, the first step is to make sure that your phone allows the installation of apps from unknown sources.

To do this, open up your settings app and select “Security”. Look for an option called “Install apps from unknown sources” and make sure to check it. This will allow you to install apps from outside of the Google Play Store.

Note that if you have a newer phone, the setting could be in a different location. For example, some phones have the “Install apps from unknown sources” option inside the “Advanced” section. If you can’t find the option, use your phone’s search function to locate it.

Once you’ve enabled the installation of apps from unknown sources, you can proceed with getting the APK of your installed app.

How to Extract an APK on Your Android Using APK Extractor

If you only need to extract one or two APK files, downloading apps with features you won’t use may seem unnecessary. As a result, using the APK Extractor app instead may be in your best interests. This app works by displaying a list of apps that have already been installed on your Android device.

Follow these steps to successfully extract an APK file on your Android device using this app:

1. On your Android device, launch the APK Extractor app.

2. Tap on the APK file to be extracted.

3. When prompted, press the “Save” button.

It’s really as simple as that. Other app features include multiple APK extraction, dark mode, sharing APK files, and more. The app displays multiple banner ads, which may be the only disadvantage of using this method. In exchange for removing ads for the day, there is a “watch reward video” option.

How to Extract APK on Your Android Using File Explorer

Another method for extracting APK files on Android is to use File Explorer, a free file manager app. This app is very popular among Android users who want to organize all of their files and apps.

This app is available on the Google Play Store. After you’ve downloaded it, follow these steps to extract APK files on your device:

  1. Open the File Explorer app on your Android device.
  2. Tap “Apps” on the app’s main page.
  3. Then, choose the APK file you want to extract. At this point, you can also choose to select multiple files.
  4. Select “Backup” from the bottom navbar.
  5. Navigate to “Open” to see the extracted apps.
  6. This action will direct you to the location on your Android device where your extracted apps and files are stored.

Decompiling the APK File

Decompiling an APK file means extracting an Android app’s source code and other resources from the APK file. This can be useful for a variety of reasons, including studying the app’s code to learn about app development and modifying the app to add new or remove unwanted features.

There are several tools available for decompiling APK files. Some popular ones are:

  • Apktool: It is a command-line tool that allows you to disassemble an APK file and convert the DEX bytecode in the APK file to a small, human-readable format.
  • JADX: A command-line and GUI tool that allows you to decompile an APK file and convert the DEX bytecode to Java source code.
  • Androguard: A python library that allows you to perform various tasks related to Android app analysis, including decompiling and disassembling APK files.
  • Bytecode Viewer: A Java-based tool that allows you to disassemble, debug, and analyze Java and Android app bytecode.

Before using these tools, please read the tool’s terms of service and usage policy to see if using these tools for commercial purposes or without permission is prohibited.

Decompiling an APK file may not always result in fully functional, readable source code because the original source code may have encryption to prevent reverse engineering. Furthermore, some codes written in the native language may not fully decompile.

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Recompiling the APK File

Recompiling an APK file refers to taking the extracted source code and resources of an Android app and building a new APK file that can be installed on an Android device. 

This can be useful for various reasons, such as modifying the app to add new features or remove unwanted ones, or testing changes made to the app’s code.

Recompiling an APK file typically involves several steps:

  1. Disassemble the original APK file using a tool, such as Apktool or JADX, to extract the source code and resources.
  2. Make the desired modifications to the source code and resources.
  3. Use the Android SDK and build tools (such as Gradle or Ant) to rebuild the app and create a new APK file.
  4. Sign the new APK file with a valid signing key to make it installable on an Android device.

The tools used to decompile the apk will also have the capability of recompiling it as well.

It’s important to note that recompiling an APK file can be a difficult and time-consuming process, and it may not work for all apps, especially if the original code contains encryptions to prevent reverse engineering.

Also, if there are any native code dependencies like C/C++ code, they would have to be rebuilt separately.

Also, before uploading the recompiled APK to the App Store or redistributing it, check the terms of service and usage policy of the original app, or seek legal advice if you’re uncertain about the legality of your actions.

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