Install APK Files on Chromebook without Google Play Store

how to install apk files on chromebook

If you are using an older generation Chromebook computer and are stuck on how to install apk on Chromebook computer that doesn’t have Google Play Store pre-installed on the computer. And, I assume you are someone who doesn’t want to be bound by the limits of a computer.

So, in this guide, I’m going to guide you on how to install apk on Chromebook without Google Play Store.

Before we continue on the steps, make sure you download the apk files from trusted websites like APKPure, F-Droid, APKMirror, Aptoide, and the list continues. Also, make sure you hide your IP in order to stay protected online by using VPNs like iTOP VPN or FastestVPN.

As of now, you have already downloaded the APK file that you want to install on Chromebook. If done already follow the steps below to prepare your Chromebook computer for installing apk files:

How to Install APK on Chromebook without Google Play Store

First and foremost, we will have to enable developer mode in order to make this method work.

Step 1: Enable Developer Mode

If you are an Android user or not, you might already know about the term Developer Mode. If you haven’t heard, Developer mode basically allows users to access advanced features of the device such as tweaking with device performances like GPU, Animation, and more.

Note: Enabling developer mode on your Chromebook will wipe out all the login credentials and locally stored data. I highly advise you to take a complete backup of your computer.

Here is how to enable developer mode on a Chromebook computer:

  • Press and hold escrefresh key, and the power button.
  • Now, you will get an error message “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please insert a recovery USB stick or SD card” as shown in the image below.

Press CTRL + D to Skip it.

How to fix Chrome OS is Missing or Damaged on your Chromebook
IMG Credit: XDA-Developers

Also, check out our blog on How to Get get water out of your phone (Android & iPhone) here!

Step 2: Enable Unknown Sources

This is the crucial step, as we are going to sideload apk on Chromebook without google play store. Follow the steps below to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources.

  • Launch Settings and click on App Settings under Android Apps.
enable android apps to run on your chromebook
IMG Source: HowToGeek
  • Under the Personal tab, tap on Security.
  • Finally, toggle the switch to allow installation from unknown sources.
enable installation from unknown sources on chromebook
IMG Source: HowToGeek

Meanwhile, you can also check out our related article on how to install WhatsApp on Chromebook using simple steps.

Step 3: Install the APK file

Now you have to just download the APK file of any app you want to install on Chromebook from any of the third-party websites. After downloading the apk file from the website, make sure to scan it with antivirus online or offline.

And here’s a catch, you will have to install a separate file manager as the built-in file manager won’t let you access the package installer that installs the app on an android device. Either way, you can use an alternate method ie; setting up an ADB and installing the file manager. If your Chromebook has play store pre-installed download a separate file manager.

  • Open the newly-downloaded file manager and look for the APK file that you have just downloaded.
  • Tap on the APP and select Package Installer (If Prompted).

Wrapping Up

So, this is how to install apk on Chromebook without Google Play Store. If you have any doubt about the aforementioned steps do let us know in the comment section.


No, Chromebooks aren’t designed to run executable (EXE) files. This is the reason why Chromebooks are more secure.

You can install apps on Chromebook without developer mode by setting up ADB on Chromebook.

Related Posts