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Enable Unknown Sources App Installation [All Android Versions]

Enable Unknown Sources App Installation
Written by Hassan Abbas

Enable Unknown Sources App Installation: Downloading apps from third-party unknown sources rather than Play Store is not a good idea. But, In some cases, we can’t install any Android app. In those situations, we’ve to download the apps from third-party sites. But, In default, Our Android mobiles are restricted to download those apps. Also, we’ve to modify the settings to enable the installation. However, based on the Android version, the method to allow the Unknown Sources installation may vary. Here I will elaborate on the Old and New Android settings. Once you install, It is wise to disable the choice again. Because once you install some third-party app store, they will sideload the apps in the background.

If your device is running older Android versions of the OS (5.0, 4.0, 3.0, and 2.0) simply click on the checkbox beside the “Unknown Sources” options on the device settings menu. Also, you can install any apk file on your Android device. But, on latest Android devices, the “Unknown Sources” options are no more. However, Google has taken it away, and now you’ve to play around the settings menu to sideload APK files on Android devices.

What are “Unknown sources?”

Any app that is not installed from Google Playstore on Android is flagged as an app from an “Unknown Source.” As your mobile can’t check who is the Developer of the app and where you find this app. Also, it can’t analyze the trust of the app that you are going to install. Thus, while installing APK files from third-party app stores such as APKmirror of other sites, you must activate “Unknown sources” on your device once you can install the app.

How to activate “Unknown sources” App Installation on Android devices?

Google also adds security measures in every Android version. In old Android versions, the process is quite simple. You’ve to allow the option in Security settings. In the latest Android versions, they separated the permissions. Compare with every Android version, Android 10 has a vast set of security measures added by Google.

Old Android versions (4.0, Lollipop 5.0, Marshmallow 6.0, Nougat 7.0)

Make sure if your device is running on Android version 7.0 or an earlier version, follow the steps below to activate “Unknown sources” on the device.

Step 1:

Firstly, go to your device’s settings.

Step 2:

Now scroll down and click on Security.

Step 3:

Now, look for the choice “Unknown sources“.

Step 4:

Click “OK” on the prompt message.

That’s all! However, you can only view the “Unknown Sources” option on Android devices using version 7.0 or older versions.

Also, if your device runs on Android version 8.0 (Oreo) or 9.0 (Nougat), then you should follow the steps below.

New Android Versions (Oreo, Pie, Android 10)

Google has now taken away the “Unknown Sources” option on the latest devices. As part of its security measures to conflict the installation of malware in the form of mobile apps. Now, you’ll have to enable installation from the specific app you’re trying to use and download an APK file into your Android device.

In other words, while installing an APK from the “Xender App,” you need to enable installation from “Xender.” Similarly, if you’re downloading an APK file from your “File manager app,” you’ll also enable installation from your file manager app.

However, here’s how to enable various apps on your device to let you sideload APK files on the latest Android devices.


Step 1:

Firstly, Navigate to your device settings menu and choose “Apps & Notifications.

Step 2:

Now tap on the “Advanced” row or tap on the “three vertically arranged dots.”

Note: This choice varies by device. Some users will view the “Advanced” option, while some will have to tap on the dots at the top-right-edge of their screen

Step 3:

Now tap on “Special App Access.”

Step 4:

Choose “Install Unknown Apps.”

Step 5:

Now, mark the apps you want to allow access to sideload APK files on your Android device.

However, you can also revoke this permission at any time you want simply by turning off the access (following the same steps above).

That’s all! Follow these steps, you can allow permissions to some apps on your Android to install APK files.


It’s quite a good security measure from Google. But it doesn’t change any critical fact that you can still install doubtful apps unknowingly on Android mobiles. Also, some Play Store update problems don’t enable us to install and update the app properly. But, Don’t worry. Google Play secure will scan the apps even once you install it from other sources.

Many Old Android version users facing “Keep loading” issues in the Play Store. In this case, simply install the app using these methods. I will not encourage those methods. But, If there is no way, it can help you. Also, you should be more careful while installing from third-party sites. Whatsapp and other sites enable users to install the applications directly from their website if they can’t update the app using Play Store.

Here’s all about “Unknown Sources App Installation”. Did you face any problem when you install the Play Store? Or else these methods sort out your issues?

Let us know in the comment section below!

Till then! Stay Happy 🙂

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About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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