I cannot open a APK file. What should I do? Help!

Virtually anyone has encountered some problems with opening unknown files while working on a computer. It can be very frustrating. Yet such problems, not only with APK files, can be addressed in a standard way. Follow the steps below and we can guarantee that your problem with opening APK will be resolved!

APK File Extension

  • File type Google Android Package Format
  • File developer Google
  • File category Executable Files
  • File popularity rating
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What is a(n) APK file?

The executable file with the extension .APK is characteristic for applications designed for Android smartphones that need to be installed manually, i.e. those that have not been downloaded from the official Google Play store. APK contain .ZIP compressed files, including the manifest file, graphics, libraries, and other resources used by the application. Keep in mind that these files can be harmful to your computer.


How to open APK file?

If given user account does not have necessary permissions to open files with APK extension, it is highly probable that no program that supports given files is installed on the users’ system. Below is a list of actions user should pursue in order to resolve most common problems.

Step 1. Download and install application that supports APK files

After the application has been installed, the system should automatically open APK files with given application. Below is the list of relevant programs along with operating systems they are available for:

Programs that support APK files

Step 2. Verify whether APK files are associated with appropriate software

It is possible that an application that supports APK files is not associated with such files. In such case, the program should by manually associated with APK files (right-click on the file icon → PropertiesGeneral Tab → In submenu "Open with" and click on "Change" button. System will display a list of suggested programs that support APK files. Choose the application by checking the box "Always use the selected application to open this kind of files". System will store this information in its registry and use it to open APK files with the selected program.

Changing APK file association in registry

File association for APK files can be edited manually by editing appropriate entry in Windows System Registry. However, it is discouraged as it may introduce errors to registry if not done properly and may even damage the system.

Step 3. Check APK file for other errors

  • APK file was not copied properly from storage medium.
  • Antivirus application prevents opening APK files. In that case it is recommended to exercise extreme caution and recover or delete infected APK file. It is also advised to scan the entire system for malicious software and viruses with antivirus software.
  • For APK files downloaded from the internet it is advised to check if the file has been downloaded completely and is not corrupted. If not, the file should be re-downloaded.

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