DIY: How to install Android apps from locations other than the Market

Out of the box, most Android devices do not allow the installation of apps from any location other than the Android Market. Learn how to work around this issue.

A question I get asked quite often is: How do I enable the installation of applications from outside the Android Market? The answer is pretty simple, as long as you know where to look for the setting.

You have to enable untrusted sources in order to install from anywhere outside of the standard location. This even applies for apps you've developed, or .apk files you have received or found. Here's the solution:

  1. Tap the Menu button.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. If the check box for Unknown Sources is unchecked, check it.

You should be able to install apps from anywhere. Warning: Do not install an application from a source you do not trust. Just because this application promises to do everything you've ever needed your tablet or smartphone to do, it doesn't mean it isn't malicious. Of course, there are applications in the Android Market that are malicious, so use our best judgment when installing apps. Ask Jack: If you have a DIY question, email it to me, and I'll do my best to answer it. (Read guidelines about submitting DIY questions.)


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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