4 Ways You Can Install Apps from PC to Android

Daisy Raines

Jan 11, 2024 • Filed to: Manage Device Data • Proven solutions

android and windows logo

Many users find Android very attractive due to it being more customizable. One of the great perks Android offers to its users is the ability to install apps directly from APK files. Instead of using that official Play Store app on your phone, you can have apps installed on your phone via your PC.

How do you install apps from PC to Android, then?

Below you can find four reliable methods to install Android apps from a PC. The best thing about each one is that you will be able to do it even if you’ve never done it before.

Part 1: Why Install Apps From PC to Android?

Why would you want to install apps from PC to Android in the first place? The most common reason to do it is due to apps being removed from the App Store. In case you need a very specific app, and you find out that it was removed from the store, you will have no other option but to download it from a website and install it from your PC.

Some of the Android apps are region-locked. If you don’t live in the specific geo region, you won’t be able to access the app via Play Store and install it.

Then, there is mobile data traffic. If you want to save mobile data traffic, then it would be best to install Android apps from a PC, especially the ones that measure hundreds of MBs in size.

Part 2: Why Can Benefit From Installing Android Apps From PC

Installing Android apps from a PC comes with several benefits. First, you have version control. Play Store always distributes the latest version of an app. However, if you find a particular app version more stable and faster, the only way to get it is to manually download it and install it via PC.

Another benefit is bypassing restrictions. You can install an Android app even if it’s forbidden on Play Store or removed from it. Simply find the APK file online, and you are ready to go.

Finally, it’s easy to do it, and there are four methods you can use. The variety of methods means that you can learn about each one and then can choose the best one for yourself.

Part 3: 4 Ways You Can Install Apps to Android From PC

You can install Android apps from a PC by using Wondershare Dr.Fone, ADB, Google Play, or Sideloading. Wondershare Dr.Fone is the most reliable way to do it, not to mention how easy it is to use it. However, before you can install apps from a PC, you need to set up your Android phone.

settings on android phone

  • Step 1: Go to Settings>Security and Privacy.
  • Step 2: Tap on Install unknown apps.

security and privacy settings on android

  • Step 3: Select the source you want to install unknown apps from. You can select your Drive or My Files, or any other folder to which you’ll copy your apk files.

install unknown apps on android

Now, your phone is properly set up, and you are ready to install apps from your PC.

1. Install Apps From PC to Android With Wondershare Dr.Fone

Wondershare Dr.Fone is a specialized app for smart Android transfer and management. While you can use it to streamline data management on your Android phone, you can also use it to install apps from your PC. It’s incredibly reliable and the easiest method to use on the list.

  • Step 1: Complete the Wondershare Dr.Fone installation

Follow the Wondershare Dr.Fone installation wizard instructions to complete the installation. After the installation is complete, start the app.

dr fone manager installation wizard

  • Step 2: Connect your Android phone to your PC

After you install and start the Wondershare Dr.Fone app, connect your Android phone to your PC via USB or USB Type-C, depending on which phone model you have. You will see the following screen if the app doesn’t recognize your phone.

Follow the on-screen instructions, take your phone and go to Settings>About phone> Software information, and tap on Build number seven times. Then go back to Settings>Developer options and enable the “ON” and “USB debugging” options.

user interface of dr fone manager

Once you complete the on-screen instructions and enable USB debugging mode on an Android phone, you will get the following screen.

dr.foneconnected to a phone

  • Step 3: Transfer the APK file from PC to Android

Navigate to Files>SD>Download (or any other folder on your phone you find convenient). Click on the Add File button in the top menu, and navigate to the folder where your APK file is.

dr fone manager file transfer

Select the APK file and click open. Wondershare Dr.Fone will transfer the file to your phone. Find the APK on your phone and tap it to install it.

dr fone manager APK file selection

2. Install Apps From PC to Android Using ADB

ADB is short for Android Debug Bridge. It’s a command-line tool that enables you to directly communicate with your Android phone and have it perform various actions, including installing an app from PC. This is a bit harder than the previous method, so bear with us.

  • Step 1: Download and Unzip Android SDK Platform Tools ZIP file for Windows

Once you download the Android SDK Platform Tools ZIP file for Windows, unpack it in a separate folder, such as platform-tools.

android sdk platform tools

  • Step 2: Connect your phone and open PowerShell (command prompt)

Connect your phone to your computer and open command windows. Hold shift while right-clicking and select “Open PowerShell here”.

opening powershell

  • Step 3: Launch ADB daemon and install APK from PC to Android

Launch ADB daemon by typing the following command in the command prompt:

./adb devices

You will be able to see your phone connected to your PC.

adb connection to phone

Copy the APK file you want to install to the “platform-tools” directory and enter the following command to install it:

./adb install file-name.apk

installing apps from pc to android via adb

3. Install Apps From PC to Android Using Google Play

You can also install apps from the Google Play website. The only limit is that you will be able to install only the apps that are officially available on Google Play. Here is how to do it.

  • Step 1: Go to Google Play Website

Open your browser and go to the following address: play.google.com. Log in to the Google account you are using on your smartphone. Make sure to select the phone icon in the top menu.

google play website

  • Step 2: Search for the app your want to install

Click the search button in the top right corner and find the app you want to install.

searching for apps on google play

  • Step 3: Select Install

Once you find the app you want to install, click on the Install button.

install button on the app page on google play

  • Step 4: Select your phone from the options and install

Once you click the install button on the app page, you will get the window asking you to select your device. Select your phone from the drop-down menu and click Install.

selecting the phone for app install

4. Install Apps From PC to Android Using the Sideloading Method

Sideloading method refers to installing Android apps on your device without using the official Google Play app. Here is how to complete it.

  • Step 1: Connect your phone to your PC and allow access

Connect your Android phone to your PC and tap Allow to allow access to phone data.

allow access to phone data

  • Step 2: Copy the APK file to your phone

Start File Explorer and navigate to the folder where your APK file is. Right-click the file and select Copy.

copy apk file

Now navigate to your phone under “This PC” and paste the APK file.

selecting phone in windows file explorer

  • Step 3: Install the app

Take your phone, and use the My File or other relevant mobile apps to navigate to the folder where your APK file is stored. Tap the APK file and install it.

safe Downloadsafe & secure


While all these four methods to install apps from PC to Android provide the same results, they are not the same in terms of ease of use. We have prepared some more content you may be interested if you want to check more about Android App Installer,but for people who don’t have any previous experience installing apps from your PC to your Android or technical expertise, you should try using Wondershare Dr.Fone.

It’s the best choice by far if you factor in user-friendliness. It’s such an easy app to use, plus you get to reap the other benefits it offers, such as easy phone data management, data recovery, screen unlock, phone backup, and many others.

Daisy Raines

staff Editor

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