How to Open APK File on Android and PC (Windows 10/8/7 & Mac)

In this article, we’ll show you how to open APK file. Android users are bound to be familiar with the APK file, but the same cannot be said about those using devices based on other operating systems.

Knowing what an APK file represents could help you utilize apps on the Android platform and exploit the operating system beyond the limits possible through Google’s Play Store.

Here, we intend to provide you with everything you need to know regarding APK files, including what they are, possible sources of such files, and ways to put them to use on multiple platforms, not only Google’s Android operating system.

What is an APK File Extension?

An APK file extension is the app format on the Android platform. Android apps, as they are popularly called, can be installed through Google’s Play Store or external sources, though you might have to undo the security restrictions to make the latter possible.

Unsurprisingly, many Android phone users have never come across APK files despite installing several apps on their devices. By downloading the app through Play Store or similar markets, installation occurs without seeing the APK file.

For those looking to install APK files directly, some websites make this possible. But there’s a reason why the Android platform comes with a security block against the installation of android apps from third-party sites: you can’t trust them. There have been reports of downloaded APK files with malware capable of corrupting mobile devices.

Open APK File

How to Open APK File on Android

As reiterated earlier, you can open APK files from external sources on your Android device. It’s risky, but not impossible.

To open an APK file on a device running on the Android platform, getting the application from Play Store or a supporting website is compulsory.

You can’t install every APK file obtained through just any website due to the security parameters included in the Android platform. Luckily, it’s easy to get around this security challenge through the steps below:

  • Proceed to the ‘Settings’ section of your Android device
  • Click on the ‘Security’ option.
  • Locate the ‘Unknown Sources’ among the list
  • Check the box or tap the toggle switch on the same line as the ‘Unknown Sources’.
  • Depending on your gadget’s brand, you might need to click on ‘Ok’ to affirm that you are aware of the implications of your actions.
  • Then proceed to install and run the application on your Android device.

How to Open APK File on PC (Windows 10, 8, 7)

Your android device isn’t the only possible place to install the APK file. A computer running on Windows can as well be used to open an APK file extension.

To do this, you’ll need to install specific emulators for Android. BlueStacks is one of the more reliable emulators. Considering the app is developed by Google, you shouldn’t be surprised.

Here are the steps to run an APK file on your Windows PC using BlueStacks:

  • Download the BlueStacks app

Visit filesharing platforms for Windows such as or just visit the BlueStacks website on to download the app.

  • Install BlueStacks app

Once the emulator has been downloaded, installation starts immediately. And it takes a while as the app is unpacked into your computer.

If the process is completed without any problems, you’ll get a prompt asking you to allow BlueStacks to ‘Run’ or ‘Cancel.’ Choose ‘Run’ and allow the emulator boot.

  • Register/Login to your Google

To run an Android app on the BlueStacks emulator, you’ll need to download it through Google’s Play Store. And to do this, you’ll need to register a Google account or login if you already have such an account.

  • Install/open the selected app

When you have found the Android app you want, click the ‘Install’ button. Immediately, the download process should commence. Then click the ‘Open’ button that’s now visible on the app’s page in Play Store.

How to Open APK File using your Mac Computer

Not all computers run on the Windows operating system. If yours belong to this category, that is, it uses the Linux operating system, you can still open an APK file on the PC.

Want to Open the APK File on your MAC Computer? Here is a list of steps to follow:

  • Get the right permit

Linux, Apple’s operating system for the Mac, isn’t as flexible as Microsoft’s Windows. You’ll need to disable the security setting to allow the installation of apps from anywhere else than the Apple App Store. This can be achieved by doing the following:

  1. Open the ‘System Preferences’ on the Mac computer.
  2. Click the ‘General’ option from the ‘Security and Privacy’ section.
  3. Next, go down to the ‘Allow apps downloaded from’ section and tick the ‘App Store and identified developers’ option.
  • Download the BlueStacks app

Download the BlueStacks app for your Mac computer by visiting the BlueStacks website. Select the emulator that’s designed for Mac and click the relevant link.

Before the download starts, you will be alerted to ‘Allow’ BlueStacks to load in the security & Files segment.

Once done, the download starts, and it shouldn’t take too long.

  • Install BlueStacks app

Once the emulator has been downloaded, double-tap the file and select the package that is to be installed. Just ensure you stick to your preferred installation location and others.

  • Open the BlueStacks app.

Head to the ‘Applications folder’ on your Mac and select the BlueStacks app by double-clicking the emulator’s logo.

You can also opt to open APK files through the ARC Welder, an extension on the Chrome browser. You’ll need to download and install the extension on the browser, then proceed to open Android applications.

This isn’t a worthwhile approach as the ARC Welder is susceptible to the influx of malware compared to the BlueStacks app.


How do I open APK files on iOS?

You can’t run APK files on iOS devices. But you can open the APK file to see the component items using extraction applications like 7zip or similar.

What is the difference between an app and an APK?

An application is a generic name for software that can run on any operating system, but each platform has the file extension they are compatible with. The APK file is made to be installed on an Android operating system.

What apps open APK files?

Your PC can open APK files through the input of platforms like BlueStacks. With this emulator, you can install and run just about any APK you can think of.

What is APK in full?

APK is the abbreviation for Android Package, and it’s the app format for running things on the Android system.

Are APK files legal?

Laws on copyright touch every sphere of our existence, including the use of the APK file. While you can probably get the apps free, some could put you in a legal battle if you try to obtain an APK file without the right permission.

Final Thoughts

Opening an APK file on your devices isn’t a difficult task. Depending on the platform such as Windows and Mac, third-party platforms are necessary. Hopefully, this piece can assist you in making this happen.

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