Apk files are stored by default in Android’s data folder, [ file:///data/data/packagename ]. The location of the apk file is a bit tricky. The actual directory is a long hexadecimal string that looks something like this:
That means if you have an app called “com.example.app” and someone sends you the apk, it would be found in [ file:///data/app/com.example.app-1.apk].
As for where to find this file on your device, all versions of Android store apps in the same place, but different devices will have different ways of getting there. However, since this is such a common question, there’s an easy way to get that directory. Just go into your favorite file explorer and type in [ Android/data/packagename], replacing “package name” with the name of the package you’re looking for.
To clarify, each directory under /data/app contains all of the apps that are currently installed on that phone or tablet. So if you have multiple Gmail apk files installed because you use different accounts, they will be right next to each other in /data/app.
But what about other devices? If somebody sends me their phone’s apk file, how do I install it on mine? It really depends on which version of Android your device is running. For older devices, you’ll need to enable Unknown Sources in the Security section of your settings. This will allow you to install apk files from other sources, such as a USB drive or email attachment.
For newer versions of Android, the process is a bit different. You can either use the adb tool on your computer to push the apk file to your device, or you can use a File Manager app on your phone or tablet to open and install it that way. More detailed instructions can be found here.
Hopefully, this article has answered all of your questions about where apk files are stored on Android devices! If not, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.