How To Allow And Install Apps From Unknown Sources On Android


Usually it’s a good idea to get your apps from the Android Marketplace.  But, sometimes you might want to download an app that isn’t on the Marketplace yet, such as SWYPE or maybe you are developing your own app and need to test it out.  By default, Android doesn’t allow apps to be installed if they aren’t from the Market, and Google has openly included a groovy setting that will instantly unlock that.  Let’s do it!

Note: These screenshots were taken using a Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G.  Actual menu locations and annotations may vary depending upon your device manufacturer but they should be similar.

How To Allow Installation Of External Apps On Your Android Phone

Step 1

Access the settings menu on your Android phone.

Most phones have an external menu button that when pressed allows you to Select Settings. However, you can always access settings from the app drawer.

settings from app drawer androidormenu button settings android

Step 2

Tap Applications*

*On HTC devices applications may be known as Programs.

application settings on android

Step 3

Tap Unknown Sources.

allow install of non market applications from unknown sources

Step 4

An Attention pop-up will appear. It is just warning you that third-party apps can sometimes be unsafe or contain viruses, but as long as you only install them from trusted developers you should be fine.

Click OK.

android non-market warning


Android is now set up to allow install of non-Market applications!  Now you can install any app from anywhere that you want, but do use common sense and make sure you do some background checking when downloading from an unknown source.

android unknown sources setting



  1. somsaK


    • Dasaka(gottaSayImDrunkATM)

      where is the reply button for the article blog or whatever?

  2. NP

    Some stock phones DO NOT HAVE THIS OPTION. Thank you to the author for including a screen shot of each step. After spending 30 minutes fiddling with my phone trying to figure out why I couldn’t find the option to allow unknown sources (sideloading I guess), I realized that AT&T’s stock Captivate ROM does not allow sideloading, and this option is entirely missing from the applications menu.

    • Tim

      I have an unlocked Moto Z Play and Nova launcher, can’t find that option either.

      • Tim

        Settings, Applications gives you a list of all applications.

  3. george

    Will these Android apps also work on my new Coby tablet pc?

  4. pete

    I also would like to know if it is possible to use these on Android Android tablet with a 2.1 .

  5. Erica

    life is good when u have The Most High

  6. Masud

    Playing games in cellphone is perfect for relaxing.

    • MrGroove

      Agreed… If I need to chill for a minute, breaking out the phone helps…

  7. MW

    Your evplanation and pictorial is good, but my Samsung Galaxy S does not have that option… what else can I do?

  8. gitch


    • MrGroove

      Groovy – I assume this helped you out?

  9. boncarlo

    How to log in adroid application?to download art of war

  10. Vincent barone

    Thanks for the easy step by step procedures of downloading.

  11. demi

    My phone already was in this settin but it still doesnt let me download games and apps, my phone is an lg optimus

  12. Beth

    Yes, but what do you do if you go to your settings > applications and “unknown sources” is not even THERE. How do you get around that?

    I have the Samsung Captivate, a Galaxy S phone.

  13. bpogula

    I have a samsung captivate with Android 2.1 In settings–> Apps, I do not see ‘unknown sources’. How do I get it.

    I download the apk file and is in Sd card already. Also I have the app installer downloaded.

  14. Amy

    I too have 2.1, and this option is unavalible. Is there a way to get around it? Or possibly another way?

  15. roselyn

    Hello this us a good option

  16. Veronica

    Is this a trusted web site

  17. Disne

    I cant get market i have the same pass word for years, what do i need to do it want except my password

    • MrGroove

      @Disne – Are you saying you cannot get into Market? Your password is not working?

  18. Shamika

    I cant get my phone to download any of the games from the web

  19. Beverly Lewis

    Would I to add as a friend

    • MrGroove

      @Beverly? Sorry, I don’t follow. Say that again?

  20. Boogielee

    I have downloaded a game to my phone and can not find it.Where would it be?

  21. preetam

    game is funy

  22. dasrath671

    tolking cat,s/free game/
    new in mobile

  23. ahmad zaki


  24. aly

    Cool thankya ig

  25. Ashleigh

    Hi. I have the Pandigital Ereader, whitch is an Android tablet. I have done this at least a million times, and it keeps saying that it can’t be installed on my tablet. Can I do anything so I an download them? I really need help. Thanks!

  26. cream flower

    will anyone hack into my phone
    if i let other apps in

  27. motherklucker

    I have a Samsung Captivate and under “Applications” there is no “Quick Launch” or “Unknown Sources”. Someone mentioned I may have to root my phone, is this true?

  28. Ley

    Hi Groovy Post

    Can you tell me how to get Flash player 11 on my Cruz T301. Cruz is not supported on Android Market. Thank you.

    • Austin Krause

      Hi Ley, I don’t personally have a Cruz T301. But, please feel free to post your question in the free Answers community where I’m sure one of the community experts will see your question and help you get an answer.

      Your question also has a MUCH better chance of being seen by other groovyPost writers from the Answers forum as well.

  29. Kebab

    Just to let others know, on three Samsung Galaxy S 3 it’s a bit different – settings > Privacy and that’s were you find the option.

    • Steve Krause

      Ah — thanks Kebab!

  30. Ashley B

    Please help, I have done these steps. As soon as I exit out of the settings, my phone automatically unticks the allow from unknown sources, I go back in, switch it on again, it gives me the warning, and then I go to install the App and it comes up with it again and tells me to turn it on. I have also tried switching my phone off and on after turning on the “allow from unknown sources'” it still .. turns it off.. help please

    • Austin Krause

      Hi Ashley. What model phone are you using?

  31. JJ

    I have a samsung galaxy note tablet 10.1 (not the newest version), and even when I do this, I can’t install 3rd party apps. I’ll get to the install screen, but I cannot confirm the install – only cancel. (I can mash on the confirm button all I want, but it doesn’t do anything..)

  32. Huda

    Hello, I was wondering how the heck that could happen with iPhones. Or if it’s possible at all for iphones at all to have this option?

  33. Sadiq

    I have already enabled the unknown sources on my Samsung galaxy j7, when open the apk I can’t hit the install button

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