How to sideload apps on Android

You're able to download apps via the Google Play store, however what about when you need to install an app outside of the store? Well, Android allows you to do this very simply with just a few configuration settings.

Note that since Android 8.0 (Oreo) the process has changed to enable this. Below we will show you both ways of doing it, starting with devices that have Android 8.0 (Oreo) or higher.

How to Enable Sideloading in Android 8.0 or higher

1) First start by going to your Settings page. You can usually find this by pulling down the notification section and tapping the gear icon

2) From there, tap on “Apps & Notifications,” then expand the Advanced menu.

3) Choose "Special App Access"

4) The bottom option here should be “Install Unknown Apps.” Tap this.

5) All apps that have the option available to download and install applications will be listed here. So, for example, if you click a link to download an application in Chrome then you need to enable Chrome in this menu to allow it to download and install the apps. As most Android users tend to use Chrome as their browser, and we'll be using a browser link to download the app to your device, let's go ahead and use the Chrome app in this example.

6) Once you open the app’s options, a simple “Allow from this source” toggle needs to be ticked. Turn that on, and you’re done. Now you can click on the link provided to download the app to your device and then it'll give you the option to install it. And don't forget to go back and switch the "Allow from this source" option off if you want to prevent other third party apps from being install in this way.

How to Enabling Slideloading on Android 7.0 and Below

1) Thankfully, this process is a lot simpler than above. First start by going to your Settings page. You can usually find this by pulling down the notification section and tapping the gear icon

2) From there, scroll down and tap on Security.

3) Scroll down this page until you see “Unknown Sources” - just toggle it to on

4) A warning will pop up letting you know what you’re getting into. If you’re cool with that, tap OK.  Now you can click on the link provided to download the app to your device and then it'll give you the option to install it.  And don't forget to go back and switch the "Allow from this source" option off if you want to prevent other third party apps from being install in this way.