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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

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41 Responses to How To Allow And Install Apps From Unknown Sources On Android

  1. somsaK December 19, 2010 at 9:12 am #


  2. NP December 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    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.

  3. george December 29, 2010 at 6:46 am #

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

  4. pete December 31, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

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

  5. Erica January 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    life is good when u have The Most High

  6. Masud January 10, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    Playing games in cellphone is perfect for relaxing.

    • MrGroove January 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

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

  7. MW January 15, 2011 at 1:06 am #

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

  8. gitch January 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm #


    • MrGroove January 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

      Groovy – I assume this helped you out?

  9. boncarlo January 26, 2011 at 3:53 am #

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

  10. Vincent barone January 30, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Thanks for the easy step by step procedures of downloading.

  11. demi March 9, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    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 March 24, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    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 March 29, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    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 April 18, 2011 at 10:57 am #

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

  15. roselyn April 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Hello this us a good option

  16. Veronica May 21, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Is this a trusted web site

  17. Disne June 7, 2011 at 3:10 am #

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

    • MrGroove June 7, 2011 at 7:38 am #

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

  18. Shamika July 8, 2011 at 3:52 am #

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

  19. Beverly Lewis July 20, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    Would I to add as a friend

    • MrGroove July 20, 2011 at 8:21 am #

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

  20. Boogielee August 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

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

  21. preetam September 10, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    game is funy

  22. dasrath671 September 11, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    tolking cat,s/free game/
    new in mobile

  23. ahmad zaki September 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm #


  24. aly December 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Cool thankya ig

  25. Ashleigh December 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    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!

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