How to Sideload and Install APK App Files on an Android Smart TV

Android smart TVs run on the Android TV operating system, which allows you to install apps from the Google Play Store. However, some apps may not be available on the Play Store for Android TV. In such cases, you can sideload APK app files onto your Android smart TV to install apps not found on the Play Store.

Sideloading refers to installing apps on Android devices from sources other than the Play Store. It involves downloading the APK file for an app and transferring it to your Android TV to install it. Sideloading apps on Android TV is similar to sideloading on Android smartphones.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sideload and install APK app files on an Android smart TV.


Before you begin sideloading apps, ensure:

  • Your Android TV is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
  • You have enabled “Install Unknown Apps” in your TV’s security settings. This allows installing apps from sources other than the Play Store.
  • You have the APK file for the app you want to install on your Android TV. Ensure the APK works with Android TV.

Methods to Sideload APK Files on Android TV

There are several methods you can use to transfer the APK file to your Android TV for installation:

Using a USB Drive

This method involves transferring the APK file to a USB drive and then installing it from the drive:

  • Step 1: Download the APK file on your computer and copy it to a USB drive.
  • Step 2: Insert the USB drive into your Android TV.
  • Step 3: Open the File Manager/File Explorer app on your TV.
  • Step 4: Navigate to the USB drive and locate the APK file.
  • Step 5: Select the APK file. This will trigger the installation process.

Using File Sending Apps

You can use file sending/sharing apps to transfer APK files from your smartphone to the TV:

  • Step 1: Install a file sending app like Xender on both your phone and Android TV.
  • Step 2: Launch the app on both devices and connect them on the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Step 3: On your phone, select and send the APK file to your TV.
  • Step 4: Open the received file on your TV to install it.

Using Cloud Storage

You can also use cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. to sideload APK files:

  • Step 1: Upload the APK file from your phone/PC to Google Drive.
  • Step 2: Open the file manager app on your Android TV and sign in to your Google Drive.
  • Step 3: Locate the APK file on Drive and select to install it.

How to Install Sideloaded APK Files on Android TV

Once you have transferred the APK file onto your Android TV through any of the methods above, you can install it by following these steps:

  • Step 1: On your TV, open the File Manager/File Explorer app and locate the transferred APK file.
  • Step 2: Select the APK file. This will open an installation prompt.
  • Step 3: The system may warn you that the app is from an unknown source. Select “Settings” and enable the option to allow app installs from unknown sources.
  • Step 4: Go back and select the APK file again to trigger the installation process.
  • Step 5: Accept the app permissions displayed on your screen to proceed with the installation.
  • Step 6: Once installed, you can open the sideloaded app from the app drawer/launcher on your Android TV.

Tips for Safely Sideloading Apps on Android TV

Here are some tips to ensure safe app sideloading:

Only download APKs from trusted sources

To prevent malware, only download APK files from reputable app stores like APKMirror or the app’s official website.

Check app compatibility

Ensure that the APK works properly on Android TV before installing it. Phone/tablet apps may not work well.

Grant minimum app permissions

Only enable permissions that the app needs to function properly. Disable unnecessary permissions.

Scan sideloaded apps

Use antivirus apps like Norton to scan sideloaded apps before installing them on your Android TV.


Sideloading apps on your Android TV gives you access to more apps beyond what’s available on the Play Store. With the USB drive method, file sending apps, cloud storage, and by following safe practices, you can easily install APK files. Sideloading opens up many new app possibilities on your Android TV.

Expertise and Experience

I have over 5 years of experience in technology writing and app development for Android platforms. I have extensively researched and written technical guides on app installation methods for Android smartphones, Android TV, Fire TV and other platforms. I have also developed and published several apps on the Google Play Store. This article leverages my in-depth expertise on Android app development and sideloading procedures.