The open-source nature of Android is its greatest strength. While power user customization on Android may get pretty hard, installing an APK file is a nice example of something that doesn’t need any work.
APK files have been there since the beginning of Android, and they’re quite simple to install. Installing a XAPK file, on the other hand, is a little more difficult. This post will explain what a XAPK file is, how it differs from a regular APK file, and how to install one.
What Is an XAPK File?
After you figure out what an APK file is, it’s tough to comprehend the existence of yet another file type that serves the identical goal of installing an app on your phone.
To understand what a XAPK file is, imagine it as an archived file including a standard APK file plus a folder holding extra program data. Smaller programs may use a single APK file to carry all of their data, while larger apps and games need more APK files and folders to retain their data.
Developers have used this strategy in order to circumvent the 100 MB package size restriction imposed on all applications and games posted to the Google Play Store. XAPK files may be found in third-party app stores or elsewhere online, not on the Play Store. To summarize, a XAPK file is made up of an APK file and an OBB file containing extra data. In rare circumstances, XAPK files are also bundles containing several APK files, commonly known as Split APKs.
Although both file formats have the same end objective of downloading a working software, the Android operating system treats them quite differently. Simply stated, your phone doesn’t know what to do with a XAPK file and treats it as yet another file extension that it doesn’t recognize.
How Is an XAPK File Different From an APK File?
An APK file, on the other hand, is immediately recognized by Android as an installation file and allows you to sideload the software after being given the necessary rights.
So, the next time you come across an app in XAPK format that you really want to sideload, remember that you simply cannot install it using the usual Android Package Installer.
Fortunately, installing a XAPK file just requires a few more steps. There are third-party Android app shops that can accomplish it quickly, but we strongly advise against utilizing app stores that aren’t the Play Store unless you are completely aware of their integrity.
How to Install an XAPK File (APK + OBB)
To prevent being an open target, we also recommend that you only download APK or XAPK files from reputable sources.
Google has made it impossible for third-party file managers to make modifications within the Data and OBB directories on devices running Android 11 and above.
- Locate the XAPK file you just downloaded using your preferred file management tool.
- Long-press the file, then touch Rename to change the file extension from XAPK to ZIP. For instance, if the original file is called “app-name.xapk,” rename it “app-name.zip.”
- The file should now be recognized by your phone as a standard zipped folder. Long-press the file to extract it to a specified location.
- The extracted folder should include an APK file, an Android folder, and an unimportant PNG file.
- When you open the Android folder, you should see another folder inside it. This folder should be copied to Internal Storage > Android > OBB.
- After that, return to the extracted folder and install the APK file as usual—just touch on it. Allow the file manager to install programs from unknown sources if requested.
If you are unable to transfer the OBB folder using your Android phone’s file manager, you have two choices. You may try moving the OBB folder using your default file manager or the Files by Google app.
If everything else fails, connect your phone to a computer and transfer the files using File Explorer on Windows or Finder on macOS.
A split APK file installs an app in a different way than a XAPK file that is packed with an OBB folder. Developers often divide an app’s resources into two APK files. The primary file may contain the app’s code, while the other file may include libraries for a certain system architecture.
How to Install a Split APK File
If the XAPK file you extracted is a composite of two or more APK files, installing it will be more difficult. A split APK installation requires the use of a specialized tool. Split APKs Installer is our recommendation.
Get Split APKs Installer (SAI) (Free, in-app purchases)
That’s all! You should now have a brand new app in your app drawer.
To install an XAPK file containing split APKs:
- Launch Split APKs Installer and press the Install APKs button.
- Select one of the two file picker choices and go to the location where the XAPK file was extracted.
- Select the APK files that you want to use.
- This will open a dialog box with information on the Base and Configuration APKs you’ve chosen. Simply choose Install.
- When prompted, tap the Allow from this source toggle to let the app install the APK.
If you see an app misbehaving or requesting rights that it obviously does not need, we strongly advise you to uninstall it.
How to Uninstall XAPK Files
Uninstalling an app is as simple as going to Settings > Apps & Notifications, choosing the app, and touching the Uninstall button, or long-pressing the app icon and dragging it to the Uninstall label on your home screen. To be extra cautious, manually delete the OBB folder to remove any traces of the software.
As appealing as third-party programs might be, you should exercise extreme caution when dealing with installs from unknown sources. Remove the app as soon as you notice anything wrong with your phone after downloading it from a third-party source. Take advantage of Android’s expanding security features!
Enjoy Third-Party Apps in Moderation
As alluring as third-party apps can be, you should be extra wary of security and privacy while dealing with installations from unknown sources. Remove the app the instant you feel something off with your phone after installing it from a third-party source. Use Android’s growing security features to your advantage!
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