How to install non-Google Play Store apps on Chromebook

Sometimes the Android app that you want to install on your Chromebook might not be available on the Google Play Store. This could either be because it’s not compatible, or because the app’s developer has flagged it as such since the experience on your device isn’t exactly how they’d like to present it.

While it’s impressive, you might just want to install the darn thing so you can use it – bugs and all. Today, I’ll show you how you can install apps from outside the Play Store on your Chromebook without having to switch to developer mode.

A quick note on this – if you do, you are likely to put yourself at risk with bad actor app bundles, so please proceed with caution and only install apps you know from developers you trust! Well, let’s continue.

What will you need

To get started, you’ll need a Chromebook (of course), and you also need to have Linux enabled on your device. You can do this via By following our quick tutorial. Once you start that up, just go ahead and grab whatever app you want to install. We recommend going exclusively to Mirror APK Because all of their downloads have been checked and approved for safety. However, if you are trying to install fortnite Or something like that, you can download other apps from their source website.

This is a very useful thing to know as a Chromebook owner looking to take advantage of the different apps on your laptop, especially since many game developers aren’t porting their experiences to larger screens. We’re looking at you, Apex Legends! Unfortunately, I tried to install Apex, and it still wouldn’t work because the developers forced the game to check Play Store integration, so your mileage may vary.

Android debugging setting

Well, you’ve set up Linux support and you also have your app to install. First thing’s first, you’ll need to go to the Files app and rename it to something simple. Make sure to leave “.apk” at the end of it as that is the extension. Next, drag and drop this file into the left sidebar of the Files app in the “Linux Files” folder.

Go to the Settings app on your Chromebook and click on the “Linux (Beta)” section. Next, click on Android App Development and hit the blue button that appears in the pop-up dialog. It should say “reboot and continue”.

Your device will restart, after which, you will see the following screen confirming whether you want to “Enable ADB Debugging” or not. This is usually for developers who want to install early beta versions of their apps locally before distributing them to the masses, but we’ll use it to aggressively install apps for our own needs.

Of course, you will press the blue “Confirm” button to continue. Even though a red message appears at the bottom of your sign-in screen that says “This device may contain apps that haven’t been verified by Google,” you can sign in as normal before we move on. Again, only install apps you know from developers you trust and that won’t be a problem!

Now for the technical part. Open the “Terminal” app from the Chromebook launcher and type “sudo apt install adbPress Enter on your keyboard and wait. You may be asked to confirm the installation of ADB by typing the “Y” key and pressing Enter again.

The next thing you will type after you finish installing ADB is “adb connect arcThis will connect you to the Android debugging tool so you can tell it to install the .apk file that is currently being put on hold in the Linux files folder in the Files app.

You should get a quick popup asking if you want to “Allow USB Debugging”, and you should obviously say OK. Here’s the last step – going back to the Terminal app, type the following, and replace what’s in parentheses with the name of your app in your Linux files (don’t include the parentheses either).

install adb [name of your app].apk

Write this for ARM processor hardware

Install adb -s emulator-5554 [name of your app].apk

Type this Intel or AMD processors

This is it! You should receive a message that your application has been installed. Once done, you will find the app freshly installed along with its icon in your Chromebook launcher. I would like to hear in the comments what app you need or decided to install and whether or not it has Play Store protection and won’t launch because a key is needed. Again, Apex Legends obviously didn’t work for us, but I imagine many others would do just fine.

I just want the steps!

1. Activate Linux support On a Chromebook
2. Download Any application file (APK) you want to install
3. Open the Files app And the Rename the application file (Leave “.apk.” at the end!)
4. Drag and drop application file inLinux files
5. Open the Settings app and go toDevelopers
6. Click “Linux Development Environment”
7. Select “Android App Development”
8. Leave your Chromebook Restart and let ADB debugging
9. Sign in again and open”hall” Application
10. Write “sudo apt install adband hit Enter
11. Write “sand hit Enter To confirm the installation
12. Write “adb connect arcand hit Enter
13. Write “install adb [name of your app].apk
14. If that doesn’t work, write “Install adb -s emulator-5554 [name of your app].apk
14. Open your new app From the Chromebook player!