The world of Android is vast and constantly evolving with newer features and additions coming in daily in the form of new apps. The Play Store is continually being loaded with a plethora of apps every day.  Be it games, personalization apps or tools or entertainment, there is everything you need there. But some apps that aren’t available on the Play Store due to some reason or the other. Some might have copyright issues while some are restricted to a particular region. But you might find it intriguing if I tell you that there are a variety of apps out there that are simply awesome. All you need to do to enjoy those extra apps that aren’t available on is simply side-load them on your Android device.

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So, what do you mean by Sideload on Android?

For all the noobs out there, side-load is a process of installing the apps that aren’t available on the Play Store. Thanks to Android, unlike the iOS it gives the users the full liberty to use their phone the way they find it suitable.

In Android, there is a setting that allows you to install any app of your choice, even out of Play Store by just downloading it and clicking install.

But like all the processes, even this one has its pros and cons which forces the user to decide for themselves before they side-load any app. We will discuss it further in the article.

Why to sideload apps on Android?

Let us first dive into the details of why should you side-load an app.

Google has made Android for the people. It is the only mobile OS out there which allows almost complete control to the user in how he would use his phone.

The Play Store is a place where you get the apps that are verified by Google. In other words, Play Store is a marketplace for Android apps that allows only those apps into it that are completely legitimate, without any copyright infringements. Also there are some amazing apps that the developer decides to restrict to a certain area or people.

So such apps that are restricted to a particular area or a set of people on the Play Store are made available by some enthusiasts on different websites.

Also there are some wide range of apps that might be infringing the copyrights or Google’s Play Store policy but are very useful to a person. For example, Netflix, Hulu etc. are entertainment service providers that charge you money to access their collection of movies. Now if you are one of those people who can’t afford spending your precious bucks for their services, there are a several apps for you outside the Play Store which you can side-load- that offer you similar (even greater) services than the paid ones.

Not only movie and entertainment, you can even get a taste of the apps that aren’t available in your region, all just by side-loading the apps on your Android device.

So what are the advantages of side-loading apps on Android?

  • You can get access to probably any app you want to.
  • You can enjoy the services of any paid app available on the play store.
  • You can entertain yourself with the wide range of options of some fantastic work of app developers who, unfortunately weren’t able t get there app through to the Play Store.
  • You can avoid unnecessary paid content demanded by certain apps on the Play Store by simply side-loading a similar app which might even give you better services.
  • Last but not the least, you will be able to enjoy the freedom on your phone, the feature for which Android is very well popular and has an upper hand over its staunch rival, iOS.

Any dis-advantages?

Nothing is completely free of dirt. Any possible process in the world has some or the other dis-advantage of its own. So what is it for side-load process? Is it worth the worry? Let’s find out.

The side-loading process consists of some risk factors that would lead to some unwanted consequences. Here are some of the major dis-advantages:

  • The apps that are being side-loaded haven’t passed the security check of the Play Store
  • They might be sneaking into your privacy
  • They might ask for some permissions that the app doesn’t really need and some beginners might fall in the trap unknowingly.
  • They put a cut on the developers’ hard earned money.

These processes aren’t very complex to understand if you get to know a bit of the required details about it. Downloading apps from disputable sources and links might make you fall prey to the hackers/spammers traps. Thus it is recommended to side-load apps from trusted and reputable sources like which have their own security checks on every app that is available for side-load.

How to Sideload Android Apps ?

The process of side-loading any Android app is very simple. Just follow these steps to successfully side-load your favourite Android app.

  1. Download your desired app from the net. Keep in mind to download it from trusted sources to avoid any future mishaps. is recommended.
  2. Open your Android phone and go into
  3. Now head over to Security.
  4. Scroll down and you will see an option named Unknown Sources. Turn on that option and now you are good to go.
  5. Head over to the downloaded .apk file of your desired app and open it.
  6. Click Install.


Note: Use a file manager (I prefer Astro File Manager) to head over to the downloaded .apk file in the phone. It is, by default, placed in the Downloads folder of the internal memory.

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