When it comes to installing 3rd party apps on Chrome OS, certain aspects like security, data access, and scam can be quite concerning. We can understand that technology is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s not that difficult either once you get familiar with it.

For example, many people have loads of queries regarding the installation of apps on Chrome OS, but you don’t need an expert to do it as you can do it on your own as well. 

If you are also looking forward to learning how you can install 3rd party apps on Chromebook, keep reading this article. We are going to tell you the perfect way to install third-party apps on your own! 

Why download APKs on Chromebook?

Though the Google Play Store now allows Chromebooks to download and use Android apps, not all Android apps (especially APKs) are available on Google Play.

There are only a few apps that are available as Android Application Package (APK) files, and you require a certain amount of technical knowledge to download and install such APKs on Chromebook

But, always keep in mind that you can do this only when you have a Chromebook that supports Android applications and Google Play. So, before you decide to do this, make sure that your Chrome OS supports Google Play.

Installing 3rd party apps on Chrome OS: Ways to do it

When Google Play has access to your Chromebook, it means that you can get a lot of useful apps from there. But, you might come across some apps that need to be downloaded as APKs and can be downloaded somewhere else other than Chrome.

You need not worry in such situations as there are two ways available through which you can install those 3rd party apps. Although only one of them is safe, we are going to tell you about both of them. 

Install 3rd Party-Apps on Chrome OS: Linux method

This is the best way to install APKs on a Chromebook, as it doesn’t compromise the safety of your device. The best part about using Linux on Chrome OS is that you can continue to be in the stable mode, and you’ll still be able to install the 3rd Party APKs.

The only requirement for this method is that you need to have Linux on your Chrome OS. Now let us have a look at the steps through which you can do it.

  • Open the Linux Settings on your device and choose the “Develop Android apps” option.


  • To enable the ADB debugging, click on “Restart and continue” and let it get rebooted.


  • Once your device gets restarted, it will ask for a confirmation by asking whether you want to enable ADB debugging; here you need to click on confirm.


  • Before you sign in, you will get a warning saying that there might be some non-play store apps.


  • Sign in and download the APK you want and rename it. 


  • After this, go to your Linux terminal and type “sudo apt install adb”, press the enter key, and type “adb connect arc”. 
  • Now, you will be asked whether you want to enable USB debugging, so tick the box and click on “OK”.


  • Go back to your Linux terminal and type “adb install [name of your].apk” (in case of ARM processor) and “adb -s emulator-5554 install [name of your].apk” (in case of AMD processor).
  • If you don’t type the emulator part, you will see an error saying “more than one device”.


  • When you follow all the steps right, you can see if you were successful in installing on your terminal or not. 

Install 3rd Party-Apps on Chrome OS: Developer Mode

As mentioned earlier, using Linux on Chrome OS is the safer way to install APKs on your Chromebook, and it is quite obvious that using the developer mode can be harmful to your device.

It is generally not advised to use this method as it can make your device more vulnerable, and you might even lose all your storage and data once you enter the developer mode

If you are an android user, you might be aware of the fact that you need to enable “unknown sources” if you want to download and install apps that are not available on the Play Store.

But, this feature is not generally visible until you enter the developer mode. Anyway, let us have a look at the steps you need to follow if you want to use this method to install APKs. 

  • You need to press the Esc, Power, and Refresh buttons simultaneously to enter the developer mode.
  • Once you enter that mode, you will see a warning message on your screen and go past it. You need to press CTRL+D.


  • After that, you will have to wait for some time as your system will get prepared for the developer mode, and it might take a few minutes.


  • Now, you need to enable “unknown sources,” and to do that, go to your Chrome OS settings, and tap on “App settings” under the “Android Apps” option.


  • A window will pop up, where you need to click on the “Security” option.


  • Now, you will find the option of “Unknown sources” under the “Device administration” section, and you need to enable it. 


  • After you enable it, you will get to see a warning asking you to be careful while downloading and installing anything. 
  • If you don’t get to see the “Unknown sources” option, it means that your Chromebook is not in developer mode, so make sure that you follow the steps carefully.
  • Once you enable the “Unknown sources”, you can download the APK you want to your Chromebook and save it. 
  • You will need an Android file management app if you want to download APKs through this method, or else your APK won’t work, and you will get to see a message informing you about the same.


  • So, download the file management app, open it, go to “Downloads”, and open your APK file. Now, choose the “Package Installer,” and you can install your APK easily and use the app. 


Final thoughts

We know that there might be situations when you want to install an app, but it’s not supported on Google Play. But, when you use the methods we told you about, you can easily and successfully download and install such APKs.

Always keep in mind that there are myriads of ways to use technical hacks, but you should never ignore the safety factor. 

The Linux on Chrome OS method is quite safe to download APKs. But, when you decide to do it by using the developer mode method, remember that you are doing it at the cost of your device’s safety and security.

When you enter the developer mode, you simply make your device more vulnerable to viruses and lose your data as well. So, we can just say that your safety depends solely on you as you are the one to decide. 

We hope that all your queries about downloading 3rd party apps are clear now. If you have any more tech-related queries, you can get the solution at The Unbox Review. We are the one-stop destination for providing you with the right solutions and answers to all your tech-related issues and queries. 

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