Want to explore more content or new things on big screen Android TVs? It is possible with Android apps. There are different ways to install apps on Android TV, the easiest and traditional way is, using the Google Play Store for installing apps. But sadly, Google Play Store on Android TV doesn’t feature all apps that we’ve on Android smartphones. For instance, there are only a few web browsers available on the Google Play Store. While the next method is, you can sideload apps on Android TV. It is a bit complex but possible with few methods. Here you will find a step-by-step guide on how to sideload apps on Android TV manually.
Every smart TV as well as the Android TV set top box features a select number of preloaded streaming and accessibility apps. But you can do a lot more on your Android TV, you can read PDFS on your TV by sideloading the MS Office, customize the screen saver of your TV, and other stuff as well. One of the best things about Android OS is, it allows you to easily sideload the apps. But sideloading the apps on Android TV is not as quick as it on Android smartphones.
What is Sideloading?
Sideloading is a way by which you can manually install apps on your device (in this case it’s your Android TV). Yes, if you want to use beta version of the app or if the app is not available on the Play Store, then you can sideload apps manually on your device. Luckily, the Android TV allows you to sideload apps manually.
Before moving to methods, make sure to enable sideloading apps by enabling install apps from Unkown Sources in settings. Let’s check the steps to enable unknown sources on Android TV.
Enable “Unknown Sources” for sideloading apps on Android TV
Android OS allows you to sideload apps manually by enabling unknown sources no matter which device you are using. Yes, enabling this option also allows you to sideload third-party apps on Android TV manually from different sources. Here’s how you can enable it.
Note: The following screenshots and steps are taken from Android 10 TV, the steps are same on most Android-based TVs.
At first, you can tap on the Settings icon listed on the top right corner of your Android TV home screen.
Now tap on Device Preferences, then scroll down a bit and tap on Security & restrictions.
Then tap on Unknown sources > enable the app from which you want to sideload the app.
For eg. in this article we’re using ‘File Commander’ and ‘Send Files to TV’ apps. That’s it, now you are all set to sideload apps on Android TV.
In this article, we are going to share three easy methods which help you in sideloading apps on your Android TV. So, let’s dive right into the steps.
How to Sideload Apps on Android TV using Android Smartphone
Android smartphone users can easily sideload apps on their Android TV by using a third-party app dubbed as Send Files to TV. Luckily, the SFTTV app is available on the Google Play Store for free. So, all you need to do is, install the SFTTV app on both devices. One of the best things of Send Files to TV app is, you can also use it for sharing apps from your Windows PC, yes, you can also sideload apps on Android TV with PC.
As I said earlier, sideloading apps on Android TV is not as fast as it on Android smartphones. So, you can first download the app on your smartphone, one of the most trusted sources for downloading Android APKs is the APKMirror, you can simply open APKMirror on your smartphone’s web browser, download the APK of your choice, then send it to your TV. Here are the steps on how you can send apps to your TV and sideload it manually.
At first, you need to download Send Files to TV app on your TV as well as on your smartphone. You can click on the link mentioned above to install the app on your device.
After downloading the app, open it on your smartphone and TV. In this case, you’re sending the app from your smartphone, so tap on Send on your smartphone and Receive option on your TV.
Locate the app you want to send to your TV and tap on it, then it will show your TV in the available devices list, tap on your TV name.
Now after sending the apk on your Android TV, simply click on the app name, then select open option. And next click on the install option. That’s it.
Note: In case you’re not able to open it from Send Files to TV after sharing, then you can head over to the File Explorer then locate the file and sideload it on your TV.
Fortunately, Google Play Store on Android TV has a wide range of File Explorer apps, you can install any app you want, in this case, I’m using File Commander, you can freely download File Commander from Play Store.
So in case you skipped installing after sending the apk, you can find the apk on your file explorer to install the app later. Find the apk on file explorer and open it. You can find shared files in the Download folder.
Now tap on the app name and then tap on the install option, the app will be sideloaded on your TV within a few moments. When you see the app is installed on your Android TV screen, then you can open it, by tapping on the open option. That’s it.
How to Sideload Apps on Android TV using Cloud Storage
File Commander is one of the best file explorers available for Android TV, the app is freely available on the Google Play Store. The app also allows you to connect Cloud storage from various popular cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, or Box. Yes, you can simply upload the application on your Google Drive or any other cloud storage app from your smartphone or PC, then easily sideload it on your Android TV. Here’s how you can setup Google Drive in File Commander on Android TV. You can use other cloud services as well.
At first, you need to open the File Commander app on your Android TV. Now, tap on the three dots/lines menu icon, then tap on Add Cloud option.
After tapping Add Cloud, you can choose the cloud service of your choice, in this case, I’m using Google Account for connecting Google Drive.
Now enter the credentials if prompted, then allow access to the File Commander app. You can now see the contents available on your Google Drive, find the location where you’ve uploaded the file.
Now tap on the app name to sideload it manually on your Android TV.
How to Sideload Apps on Android TV over ADB
If you want to transfer files from your PC to your Android smartphone or TV, then ADB (aka Android Debug Bridge) is one of the best options. Although the tool is a part of Android Studio, you can also install ADB fastboot on your PC within a few clicks. After installing ADB on your Android TV, you can follow the below steps to transfer or sideload apps from your PC to TV. Make sure to connect your PC and Android TV to the same WiFi Network.
For connecting your PC to Android TV, you need to open Settings > Device Preferences > About. Now scroll down to Build number, then click on build (seven times) or until you see “You are now a developer!” message on your screen.
Once done, head over to Settings > Network & Internet > tap on connected Wi-Fi network, here you can see the IP address.
Now it’s time to connect the PC with Android TV for sharing the file, for this, open Command Prompt on your PC, then type this command.
adb connect IP address
To check the list of connected devices, then you need to enter adb devices command in the command prompt.
Finally, it’s time to install the app (APK) on Android TV from a PC, for this you’ve to enter the below command in the command prompt. Remember to replace the name and path of the apk in the command.
adb install C:/Users/Haneet/Downloads/Chrome.apk
That’s it, within a few seconds the app will be sideloaded to your Android TV.
How to Access Sideloaded Apps on Android TV
To find manually sideloaded apps, you need to head over to the Settings > Apps, then tap on the name of the app and open it on your Android TV, or you can install Sideload Launcher on your TV. It will show you all apps available on your Android TV. You can simply tap on the app icon to open it. That’s it, now you can use the app on your Android TV.
You May Also Like – How to Transfer Files from Android Smartphone to TV
You can use any of the afore-listed ways to sideload apps on Android TV manually. If you’ve any query then make sure to leave it in the comment section. Also, share this article with your friends.
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