How to Use APK on Chromebook

How to Use APK on Chromebook

This guide will tell you everything about how to use APK on Chromebook. Downloading Android apps on Chromebook is easy with the help of the Google Play Store. But some Android app APKs are not available on the play store.

To download these Android APKs, you’ve to use different methods. You can download APKs using the Developer Mode on your Chromebook but enabling the Developer mode costs you your laptop’s security.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to use the Developer mode method; we can try another but safe way of downloading APKs on your Chromebook. It’s possible to download APKs on your laptop without using the Developer mode.

But for this method, you must set up ADB (Android Debug Bridge) on your Chromebook. It will allow us to download APK files on our Chromebook without the help of Developer mode.

We’ll cover both (Developer mode method & ADB method) to download APK files on your Chromebook. Let’s start with the first method, ‘how to use APK on Chromebook via Developer mode.’

Also: Are you looking to change APK version with the help of APK editor, read the guide.

How to Use APK on Chromebook via Developer Mode

APK on Chromebook in developer mode

You can enable the Developer mode if you want complete control over your Chromebook operating system. Enabling the Developer mode allows you to “run developer commands,” “install software,” and “run another operating system.”

But enabling the Developer mode can become problematic; for example, your Chromebook’s security will be compromised. Another big issue is that when you enter the Developer mode for the first time, you’ve to delete everything from your device.

The issues with enabling Developer mode keep increasing, but if you still want to enable it, we won’t stop you. Let’s start with our step-by-step guide on how to use APK on Chromebook via Developer mode.

  • Before you enable the developer mode, back up all your data because everything will get deleted once you enter the Developer mode; remove all the external devices attached to your Chromebook.
  • Now, you’ve to enter Recovery mode. To do that, hold the Esc + Refresh keys while pressing the power button. Once the recovery message comes on your screen, let go of the Esc and Refresh keys.
  • Press the Ctrl + D, enter the Developer mode on your Chromebook, and press Enter when prompted. Your device will restart, and you’ll successfully enter the Developer mode.
  • You’ve to sign in everywhere again after entering the Developer mode.
  • Now, you can download APKs on your Chromebook from the context menu with just a single click.

We’ll warn you again that entering the Developer mode may benefit some, but it comes with several risks. So, that’s how to use APK on Chromebook via Developer mode. Let’s discuss the safe method (ADB method).

How to Use APK on Chromebook via ADB Without Developer Mode

Now, let’s learn how to use APK on Chromebook much more safely than the Developer mode. For this method to work on your Chromebook to install APKs, your device must have the Google Play Support & Android app.

Your Chromebook needs to be at least Chrome OS 86. Make sure that no Developer mode is enabled. Set up ADB on your Chromebook, and you’re ready to download APKs on your Chromebook.

How to Set Up ADB on Your Chromebook?

set-up ADB on Chromebook

If you want to install APK on your Chromebook, ADB set-up on your device is required. So, follow the steps on how to set up ADB on Chromebook. After this, we can proceed with ‘how to use APK on Chromebook.’

  • Open Chromebook Settings and enable Linux (Beta) from the left menu.
  • After enabling Linux on your Chromebook, again go to Settings.
  • Now, click on Linux and under Develop Android Apps, enable ADB Debugging.
  • After this, restart your device.
  • Once rebooted, you’ll receive an ADB prompt. You’ve to click the Allow button. Restart again if ADB needs to be fixed.
  • Find the Terminal from your apps and to install ADB platform tools, type this command”sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb -y.” (Only type what’s written in bold, make sure to remove the full stop and quotation marks from the command).
  • After completing the installation, you must connect the ADB with Linux on Chrome OS and type the following command in the Terminal. “adb connect” type this but make sure you’ve got a stable connection.
  • Now, you’ll be asked to allow USB Debugging. Click on Always Allow, then select OK.
  • Go to the System page and open the Developer Options. All there’s left to do is enable ADB Debugging.

ADB set-up is complete on your Chromebook. Now, installing APKs on your device is the last step. We’ve finally reached the main course of our dish, or should we call it the topic ‘how to use APK on Chromebook.’

How to Install APK on Chromebook?

ADB set-up is all done! So, let’s start discussing our main topic on ‘how to use APK on Chromebook.’ follow these steps to learn how to install APKs on your Chromebook.

  • First, download the APK files and save them into your Linux Files in My Files.
  • Type “adb install filename.apk” in the Terminal to sideload the Android application. Replace the ‘Filename’ with the APK file name in the command.
  • “more than one device/emulator,” if such an error pops up on your screen. Then enter this command in the Terminal “adb -s emulator-5554 install filename.apk.”
  • You are now eligible to access your Android app on your application drawer.

Voila! There you have it; you’ve learned how to use APK on Chromebook. You can install APKs of the applications which aren’t available on the Google Play Store.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use an APK file on Chromebook?

To open APK file on Chromebook, go to ‘settings > Developers > Linux Development Environment (BETA), then toggle ‘turn on’ button. On the next window, click Install and follow the prompts. As installation finishes, launch the app.

How to open a .apk file?

APK files are compressed in nature, hence you would need a zip decompression tool to open it.


In this article, we gave you a detailed guide on how to use APK on Chromebook. We hope our guide was helpful and easy to understand. So, start downloading APKs on your Chromebook with or without the Developer mode.

We’ll again warn you that enabling Developer mode is a significant risk to your device. So, follow our guide carefully to avoid mistakes. Be safe and Enjoy!

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