Mobile applications and games can be installed from the Play Store or some other directories and using APK, XAPK, or APKM installation files. Let’s consider what cases this can be useful and how to do it.

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 app code. Developers of applications and games upload these files to the Google Play Store, and in the future, users can install these applications on their smartphones and tablet.

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

Currently, APKs are available 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 multiple architectures but is larger. If you open the app’s page in the Play Store, you’ll see the version number and size of the app for your device. Older app versions may be offered on older devices if an update isn’t supported or hasn’t already been released for your device.

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

Why install apps using APK files?

Sometimes, installing using the APK is the only way to get an app or game on your device. For example, the app doesn’t comply with Google’s policies and isn’t available. In such cases, they can be downloaded from the sites and forums on which they were posted by the author and installed manually.

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In some cases, you’ll want to use an older version of the app, for example, if the newest version lacks or doesn’t work correctly, or 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 the Play Store offers only a new one.

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

Experienced users or mobile device maintenance specialists may need to install an antivirus on an infected device, and often an APK file may be the only option to run a system scan and disinfect. Many viruses for Android 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 for treating the system.

How do I install apps and games using APK files?

Since APK is the standard format of applications in the Android operating system, their installation is simple and does not require additional programs. You 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 limitation that can prevent installation is that the operating system blocks applications from unknown sources. In this case, follow these steps:

In Android 7 and below:

  1. In any file manager, click on the APK file.
  2. In the warning window “Installation blocked“, 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“.
How to install mobile apps and games using APK, XAPK, and APKM files

In Android 8 and above:

  1. In the 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 slider “Permission for this source” or “Allow the installation of applications“.
  4. Go back and click Install.
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Note that your device may be vulnerable after allowing installation from unknown sources. We recommend disabling this option every time after installing applications using APK files.

What are XAPK and APKM files?

Due to some of the restrictions introduced by Google for publishing applications to the Play Store, the size of the Android application cannot exceed a specific size. Developers of large applications, such as mobile games, can use additional files with resources necessary for the operation of the application or game and will be downloaded after its installation and first launch.

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

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

How do I install apps and games using XAPK files?

There are several ways to install mobile apps and games using XAPK files. Let’s look at three options.

Option 1 – Use mobile apps.

You can use the APKPure mobile app for Android to install XAPK.

Download APKPure for Android

To install XAPK using APKPure for Android:

  1. Open the APKPure app for Android.
  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 want and wait for the cache files to be unpacked and copied.
  5. After that, the installation of the extracted APK installer will begin. Confirm the action by clicking “Install” and follow the AKP installation instructions written above.
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How to install mobile apps and games using APK, XAPK, and APKM files

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

Option 2 – Use a USB cable and a computer.

You can use the Pure APK Install app for Windows to install XAPK.

Download Pure APK Install

To install XAPK using Pure APK Install:

  1. Enable USB debugging on your mobile device (Go to Settings > About Phone > Tap 7 times on Build number. You will now see a new menu in Settings- Developer Options).
How to install mobile apps and games using APK, XAPK, and APKM files
  1. Connect your mobile device to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Open the Pure APK Install app on your computer.
  3. Drag and drop the .xapk or .apk file to the Pure APK Install program window, or use the “Open APK file” button and specify the path to the file.
  4. Information about the selected application will appear: name, version, size and minimum requirements. Select the place to install the application: internal storage (Internal android memory), memory card (External SD card) or leave “Auto select“.
  5. Click the “Install” button.
  6. On your mobile device, wait for the message and confirm access from your computer.
  7. Wait for the installation to complete and click “OK“.
How to install mobile apps and games using APK, XAPK, and APKM files

Option 3 – Extract the APK file from XAPK.

Download the XAPK file you want and open it with an archiver such as WinRAR or 7-Zip. For convenience, you can pre-change the file extension from .xapk to .zip.

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

How do I install apps and games using APKM files?

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

Download APKMirror Installer for Android

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

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


I hope this guide on How to install mobile apps and games using APK, XAPK, and APKM files was helpful. If you face any issues, please comment down below.


Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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