How to download APKs from Google Play to your computer

EVOzi download apksIf you’ve ever had a friend send you a link to an awesome game that wasn’t available yet for your device, or you’re setting up a batch sideload for an Android setup project, you may have wondered if there was an easy way to download APKs directly from the Play Store, instead of installing them on one device and then pulling them using ADB to the computer. There is.

Before I get into how to do it, the reason I ran across this was due to an app for a piece of hardware that should have worked on my wife’s phone telling me it was not available for her device, but not giving any reasons why. After downloading the APK and installing it via ADB, I at least got the answer to why her phone wasn’t compatible, even though it was listed on the manufacturer’s website as compatible (it simply was she was running an older version of the stock software).

We got the error on ADB that the framework was too old, realized there have been a few updates, and managed to fix it by installing Sprint’s updates.

If you want to just download APKs to your computer, or to the downloads directory on your Android device for install at a later time when you might not have internet access, go to the Google Play website in a browser and find what you’re wanting to download – for example, Candy Crush.

You’ll have a URL in your address bar that looks like: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.king.candycrushsaga. Make note or copy the “com.king.candycrushsaga” part, as you’re going to need that in the next part.

Go to Evozi’s APK downloader. In the section that says Package name or Google Play URL, slap in “com.king.candycrushsaga”, click the Generate Download Link button, and now you can simply download the APK for install later. If you’ve downloaded it on your Android device, you can browse to the folder it saved to later using something like ES File Explorer, and install from there. If you’re on a computer and have ADB installed you can simply ADB install packagename.apk.

For me, it was incredibly useful as I got the error message as to why it wouldn’t install as opposed to Google’s “not compatible with your device.” If you’re deploying a large number of Android devices, this could also be useful to get your apps together.

It’s also useful for when you’re going to want that app when you don’t have internet available, but don’t want it running hogging resources. You can even download to your computer for later use in an Android emulator, if that’s what you’re into.

Have fun!

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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5 thoughts on “How to download APKs from Google Play to your computer

  • Avatar of Fifth313ment
    January 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm
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    Holy crap, thanks a million Paul! I’ve been wanting to do this for years! There are some games which say not compatible on my EVO LTE but are on my OG EVO?! WTF?! So this would bypass the stupid compatibility issues. LOL, I wish there was a thanks button!

    5th

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      January 28, 2014 at 10:36 pm
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      I’ll write a guide when I’m feeling a bit better on how to transfer APKs from one device to another…got the cold or flu blues today and can’t believe how many errors I made trying to write one article.

      Reply
    • Avatar of Fifth313ment
      February 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm
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      Is there anyway to get paid apps to work?

      Reply
      • Avatar of Paul E King
        February 14, 2014 at 12:07 am
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        I think there is – not to bypass a license check though… lemme check on how to do it…

        Reply

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