If you are Android user and tried installing an application from Outside of Google Play, the chances are you have come across this problem at least once. So lets find out How we can fix app not installed error on your Android Phones. Its a rather simpler problem to solve when compared to other issues you might have faced while using Android.
“Application Not Installed” This annoying messages comes, when you try to install some .apk files that you downloaded from the internet. It can be due to many reasons. We will be going through each of them and see how to fix them.
Not everything in this world is perfect. No Operating system is perfect in every aspect. Android is no exception. There are tons of issues that exist in the Android ecosystem. But when compared to iOS, Android is having more problems.
Why does the App Not Installed Error occurs?
This error can occur due to a number of reasons as I mentioned earlier. The error is not that descriptive. It just says that the app that we are trying to install is having some issues which prevents it from installing it to the device. This can be due to the problem with the Android App itself or due to some issues with your device.
#1. Corrupted/Modified APK File
This is the number one reason which causes the error. An Android app is shared in the form of .apk file. When we try to install an app from Google Play, we can’t see the .apk file as it is not exposed to us. So the chances of getting the App is not installed error when installing from Google Play is rather less compared to installing the .apk files downloaded from outside of Google Play.
The internet is not a safe place. The Android applications that you are downloading from the internet an be modified or sometimes contain malicious code. When an applications is modified , there are chances that it can get corrupted. So when you download these apk files and then try to install it on your phone, you might get the App Not Installed error.
#2. Insufficient Storage Space
This is very common in phones which have less Internal Memory. When your phone has 8GB Internal memory, the full 8 Gigs is not available for us to use. The space is used by the device for the Operating System itself which can take upto 5 GB. This leaves you with 3 GB. Again the applications installed on your phone out of the box ie the System apps will take up another gigabyte of storage.
And when you have some media or other files on the storage, its very obvious how much less space is left on the phone. And in this scenario, when you try an application…we might see the App is not Installed error on the screen.
#3. Corrupted Storage/Mount Points
This is not very common, but you could corrupt your phone storage. When this happens, any apk you try to install will give you this error. If your installation location is SD card and you have a corrupted Card, then it pretty sure, you are going to see this error message.
Sometimes, you play around with your phone a lot by installing custom ROMs etc, the chances of corrupt storage or unmounted storage points can occur. If there are no mount points, the error can occur.
#4. Trying to install a wrong variant of App
Android operating system can run of different architectures like x64, x86, ARM etc. Some of the applications will have separate packages for these platforms. When you try to install an application from Google Play, it automatically selects the right package for your phone and you don’t have to worry whether it will support the device or not.
So this can be another reason why you see the App is Not installed message.
#5. App doesn’t support your device
When creating an Android application, the developer is prompted to choose the minimum SDK version for the application. This means that the application will only support Android OS Version from the minimum version and above.
Say the app developer has set the minimum SDK version to that of 7.0 Nougat, but your device is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, then you will not be able to install the application on the device.
How to Fix App Not Installed Error
Now that we have discussed about the reasons why you get the App is Not Installed error message when you try to install and apk file to your phone, we can start fixing the problem. The above mentioned reasons can be due to which the error comes. We will also see some advances reasons why the app might fail to install on your phone.
Installing from Verified Sources
If you see the first issue we have discussed, it is about the application package being corrupted. It can be of many reasons. If you download the application from Unknown sources, the chances of getting a corrupted file is high. An application is build and signed by the developer to make it secure. So if someone tries to decompile the application and modify the files, the application can become corrupted. If someone doesn’t know what they are doing, its very easy to corrupt the package.
So when you are in need of some applications, go to some known and verified sources. Make Google Play the first choice when searching for applications. If you can’t find the application on Google Play Store, the official website is the place to check. Still you can’t find the one you are looking for, search in websites like APKMirror which provides the original unmodified apk files which you can install with confidence.
Uninstall and Reinstall
This error message can occur when you try to install another version of an application which is already installed on the device. The android packages or applications are identified by their unique package id (eg: com.whatsapp is the package id of WhatsApp). So for updating applications, Android checks the id of the application and updates is if everything is OK.
Say you have WhatsApp installed on your device. You have downloaded to some Modded version of WhatsApp from the internet and try to install it over the official WhatsApp, it might show the App is Not Installed error, because the there exists an app with the same package id. So you can simply uninstall the Official WhatsApp and then try installing the modded version of WhatsApp like FM WhatsApp and it will be installed.
Un-singed applications will not be installed by Android. So if you some applications which is modified and un-signed, you can sign it yourself. Once it is signed, the application can be installed without any issues.You can follow the steps below to sign an application apk file from your phone:
- Install apk-signer from Google Play.
- Click on Edit icon.
- Choose the application apk to sign.
- Select the path to save the signed version.
- Wait for the application to sign and align the application.
Note: You can also try the ZipSigner application. It works, but the software is really old.
Making Changes to the APK
This is not recommended, but you can try to change the values of the application like the vesrion, Minimun SDK version or storage location etc.
You can use the APK Editor for doing the same. You can then open the application which is throwing the Not installed error. Try changing the application values and sign the application. Try installing the newly modified and signed application and hope it works 😁.
This is a simple thing to do and might actually fix the issue for you. As i told you there is no accurate description about what caused the error. So you’ll have to figure it out.
You can reset the app preferences and then try installing it again. To clear the app preferences:
- Go to Settings > Applications
- Click on the Menu and select Reset App Preferences.
A very simple fix to a lot of problems is restarting the device. It can fix many problems. I used to say this to my friends, whenever there is a problem with their phone or laptop, a restart can be the fix.
Also clear the data of Package Installer:
- Go to Settings > Applications
- Find Package Installer.
- Clear the Data of the application.
Download the Correct Version/Variant
See this FAQ from APKMirror, it clearly mentions about different CPU versions:
Is it OK to install arm64 apps on an arm device? What about arm apps on an arm64 device? Likewise, for x86 and x86_64?
Since 64-bit operating systems are backwards-compatible with 32-bit apps, but not vice versa, it’s safe to install 32-bit apps on both 32-bit and 64-bit OSes, but not the other way around.
32-bit APKs installed on 64-bit devices may not be as optimized, so if you have a 64-bit device, install a 64-bit APK when it becomes available, if it exists at all. Many developers simply don’t bother building 64-bit-optimized APKs.
- arm on arm device: OK.
- arm64 on arm device: Nope.
- arm on arm64 device: OK
- arm64 on arm64 device: OK
Same for x86 and x86_64, mips and mips64, etc.
Make sure you check for the APK version while downloading from the Internet as it can cause the Application is not installed error. Also if one version of the app is giving you trouble, try with an older version.
So we have seen some of the most common problems that leads to the App not Installed error on Android and its solutions. I haven’t gone into other solutions which are not proven to be effective in this scenario.
The App is not installed error can be caused due to many reasons and its not very clear what caused the exact problems. So you will have to try the solutions one by one until you can find the right solution for you.
As always, feel free to comment down your thoughts and share it among your friends and foes.