How to install mobile apps and games using APK, XAPK and APKM files

Mobile applications and games can be installed not only from the Play Store or some other directories, but also using APK, XAPK or APKM installation files. Consider in what cases it can come in handy and how to do it.
  • What are APK files?
  • Why install applications using APK files?
  • How to install apps and games using APK files?
  • What are XAPK and APKM files?
  • How to install applications and games using XAPK files?
  • How to install applications and games using APKM files?

What are APK files?

APK file (Android Package) is a standard format for Android applications. Essentially, an APK file is a compressed archive that includes resources and mobile application code. App and game developers upload these files to the Google Play Store, and then users can install these apps on their smartphones and tablets.

For one application of a certain version, there can be several APK files available, each of which is designed for devices of a certain architecture, operating system version and with different screen resolutions. The more options of APK files the developer provides, the less data will be downloaded when installing or updating the application, since the file will be downloaded without code and data intended for other devices.

Currently, APKs are released for four architectures: armeabi-v7a (arm), arm64-v8a (aarch64), x86 (i386) and x86_64. Many developers also release a comprehensive installation file that includes support for several architectures, but is larger. If you open the app page in the Play Store, you will see the version number and size of the app for your device. Legacy devices may offer older versions of the app if the update is not supported or has not yet been released to your device.

Why install applications using APK files?

Sometimes, installing using an APK is the only way to get an app or game onto your device. For example, the app does not comply with Google’s policies and is not available on the Play Store. In such cases, they can be downloaded from the sites and forums where the author posted them and installed manually.

In some cases, you will want to use an older version of the app, for example if the newest version is missing or doesn’t work properly, or if you don’t like the new design. Or, after updating the application, it does not start at all, and you will need to roll back to the previous version, while only the new one is offered in the Play Store.

Also, some apps may not be available in your region and you may not be able to install them from the Play Store.

Advanced users or mobile device repairers may need to install an antivirus on an infected device, and often the APK file may be the only option to run a system scan and disinfection. Many Android viruses can fill the screen with advertising banners or block the Internet, and in this case, in order not to resort to resetting or flashing the device and losing all data, installing an antivirus for Android using an APK file will be a good option to treat the system.

How to install apps and games using APK files?

Since APKs are the standard application format in the Android operating system, their installation is simple and does not require any additional software. You just need to download the file to your smartphone or tablet, find its location in any file manager, click on it and select “Install”.

The only restriction that may prevent installation is the operating system blocking the installation of applications from unknown sources. In this case, follow these steps:

On Android 7 and below:

  1. In any file manager, click on the APK file.
  2. In the “Installation blocked” warning window, click “Settings”.
  3. In the settings window that opens, find the item “Unknown sources” and activate the slider.
  4. In the confirmation window, click “OK”.
  5. Go back to the APK file and click “Install”.

On Android 8 and above:

  1. In a file manager or browser, click on the APK file.
  2. In the warning window, click “Settings”.
  3. In the settings window that opens, activate the “Permission for this source” or “Allow installation of applications” slider.
  4. Go back and click “Install”.

Please note that after allowing installation from unknown sources, your device may be vulnerable. We recommend disabling this option every time after installing applications using APK files.

What are XAPK and APKM files?

Due to some restrictions imposed by Google on publishing apps on the Play Store, the size of an Android app cannot exceed a certain size. Developers of large applications, such as mobile games, can use additional files with resources that are necessary for the application or game to work and will be downloaded after it is installed and launched for the first time.

The community of developers and users have come up with new formats for distributing mobile applications that allow you to store all the necessary resources and files in one file. XAPK and APKM files are archives that can include multiple APK files and additional resources (cache). These formats are gaining popularity on software portals like and, especially for downloading mobile games.

How to install applications and games using XAPK files?

There are several ways to install mobile applications and games using XAPK files. Let’s consider three options.

Option 1 – use mobile applications . You can use the APKPure Android mobile app to install XAPK.

To install XAPK with APKPure for Android:

  1. Open the APKPure Android App.
  2. Go to the main menu by clicking on the icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Switch to the “Manage APK/XAPK” tab.
  4. The application will scan the device’s memory and display a list of found APK and XAPK installation files. Click “Install” next to the application you need and wait for the unpacking and copying the cache files.
  5. After that, the installation of the extracted APK installer will begin. Confirm the action by clicking “Install” and follow the instructions for installing AKP written above.

Also, after installing the APKPure app for Android, the .xapk files will be associated with the APKPure app, allowing you to install them in a few clicks by clicking on them in any file manager.

Option 2 – using a USB cable and a computer . You can use the Pure APK Install app for Windows to install the XAPK.

To install XAPK using Pure APK Install:

  1. Enable USB Debugging on your mobile device (check the web for instructions for your version of Android).
  2. Connect your mobile device to your computer using a USB cable.
  3. Open the Pure APK Install application on your computer.
  4. Drag the .xapk or .apk file into the Pure APK Install window, or use the “Open APK file” button and specify the path to the file.
  5. Information about the selected application appears: name, version, size, and minimum requirements. Select the application installation location: built-in storage (Internal android memory), memory card (External SD card) or leave “Auto select”.
  6. Click the “Install” button.
  7. On your mobile device, wait for the message and confirm access from your computer.
  8. Wait for the installation to complete and click OK.

Option 3 – extract the APK file from XAPK . Download the XAPK file you need and open it with an archiver such as WinRAR or 7-Zip . For convenience, you can first change the file extension from .xapk to .zip.

Extract the .apk file from it and install it following the instructions above. Also, copy the contents of the “Android” folder, which contains the application’s cache, to the appropriate folder on your device.

How to install applications and games using APKM files?

To install mobile applications and games using APKM files, the official mobile application from the developers of this format is available – APKMirror Installer.

Install the APKMirror Installer mobile application and download the necessary APKM files to any folder on the device or on the installed memory card. The APKMirror Installer app will scan your mobile device and display a list of APK and APKM installation files found. For most APKM installation files, installation options are available, such as architecture, languages ​​included, and screen resolutions.

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