Locating and Sharing APK Files from Your Android Device

Locating and Sharing APK Files from Your Android Device

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Users often want to share the APK (Android Package) files of their favorite apps with friends or back them up for future use. While the process isn’t straightforward due to security and privacy reasons, there are legitimate ways to share APK files without resorting to piracy.

Using Third-Party Apps for APK Sharing

One of the most user-friendly methods to extract and share APK files is by using a third-party application called MyAppSharer. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Download and install MyAppSharer from the Google Play Store.
  2. Open the app and search for the application whose APK you wish to share.
  3. Select the app, check the box for ‘APK’ and choose ‘Share’.
  4. Wait for the app to build the APK file. This may take a few moments.
  5. Once the APK is created, it will be stored in /sdcard/MyAppSharer.
  6. You can now share the APK via Bluetooth or any other file-sharing method.

This method does not require rooting your device and can only be used for apps that are currently installed on your phone.

Accessing APK Files via File Browsers (Root Required)

If you have a rooted device, you can access the APK files directly from the file system. Here’s how:

  1. Use a file browser that has root access capabilities, like ES File Explorer or Root Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the /data/app/ directory, which contains all user-installed APK files.
  3. Locate the desired APK file. Note that the file names may not clearly indicate the app’s name.
  4. Copy the APK file to the SD card or any other storage area.
  5. Transfer the APK to your computer or share it directly from the SD card via Bluetooth.

Keep in mind that paid apps may check their license online, making it impossible to share them using this method. Additionally, installing APKs this way may not link them to Google Play for updates.

Backup Function in File Browsers

Some file browsers, like ES File Explorer, offer a backup function:

  1. Long press the app you want to back up.
  2. Select ‘Create backup’ from the options that appear.
  3. The APK will be saved, which you can then share or store as needed.

Integrating Automated Testing with Repeato

Sharing APK files can be particularly useful for testers who may need to install various versions of an app for testing purposes. In such scenarios, tools like Repeato, a no-code test automation tool, can significantly streamline the testing process. Repeato allows you to create, run, and maintain automated tests for your Android and iOS apps with ease, thanks to its computer vision and AI capabilities. It supports numerous app frameworks, including React Native, Flutter, and Unity. Moreover, Repeato comes with ADB onboard, enabling the execution of ADB commands via script steps, which can be a boon for testers managing different APK versions.

For those looking to delve deeper into ADB and APK management, we have a range of articles that can guide you through various aspects:

Understanding how to manage APK files and automate testing can significantly improve your development and testing workflow. With tools like Repeato and the knowledge of APK file management, you’ll be well-equipped to handle a wide range of testing scenarios.

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