We all know that feeling when our phone’s storage is bursting at the seams. Every megabyte counts, and we’re looking for any way to free up space without sacrificing your favorite apps.
Enter APK files—the Android Package files that hold the keys to installing apps on your device.
You might have downloaded some apps outside the official Google Play Store, meaning you’ve dealt with APK files directly. Here’s the thing: once you’ve installed an app from an APK file, that file technically becomes redundant.
But hold up, before you hit that delete button and declare victory over storage woes, there are some things you need to know. Strap in because I’ll tell you if it’s okay to delete apk files after installation or not?
What Happens When You Install an App from an APK File and Delete APK File After Installation?
When you install an app from an APK file, it’s like you’re taking matters into your own hands. You’re bypassing the usual route of the Google Play Store and saying, “I got this.” Here’s the lowdown on what goes down when you hit that install button on an APK file:
The Installation Process: When you tap on an APK file, your device kicks into gear. It checks the file for anything that might harm your system (we’re talking viruses, malware, and all that jazz). If everything checks out, the app is installed on your device.
Where the APK File Goes: Once the app is installed, the APK file doesn’t just vanish into thin air. It’s still there, lurking in your device’s storage. You can think of it as the blueprint for the app—it’s what your device used to construct the app in the first place.
App Independence: Here’s the crucial part—once the installation is done, the app is now an independent entity. It doesn’t need the APK file to run anymore. You can think of the APK file as the instruction manual for building the app, and once the app is built, the manual becomes redundant!
Benefits of Deleting APK Files: Deleting APK files can free up valuable space on your device. These files can range from a few megabytes to several gigabytes, depending on the size of the app. By removing them, you’re reclaiming that space for other apps, photos, or whatever else you need to store.
You’ll Have to Keep Certain Risks in Mind and Make Some Considerations!
Now that you know the deal with APK files and app installations, let’s talk about the risks and considerations when it comes to deleting those APKs.
Security of Your Smartphone
When you download an APK file from a reputable source like the Google Play Store, you can generally trust that it’s safe. That’s because Google vets apps for malware and other security threats before they’re allowed on the Play Store.
But when you download incredibly sketchy APKs from other sources, you’re taking a risk. These APKs might contain malicious code that could harm your device or compromise privacy.
Here’s the thing: once you’ve installed an app from an APK file, that file becomes a potential security risk if it’s left lying around. If your device is ever compromised, hackers could use those APKs to install malicious software without your knowledge.
Deleting APK files after installation reduces the potential attack surface on your device and minimizes the risk of security breaches.
Problems with Storage of Your Phone
Another consideration is the clutter factor. Let’s face it—our devices can quickly become digital junkyards if we’re not careful. APK files might seem small on their own, but if you’ve installed many apps from APKs, they can add up.
Deleting them can free up valuable space on your device, making room for more important things like photos, videos, and, of course, more apps.
Backup Issues? Anyone?
What about backup? Some users might argue that keeping APK files is a form of backup in case they need to reinstall an app later. While this might seem valid, it’s not entirely necessary. When you install an app from the Play Store, Google records your app installations.
This means that even if you delete an app and its APK file, you can always re-download it from the Play Store without needing the original APK. Plus, many apps store your data in the cloud, so even if you reinstall an app, your settings and preferences are often restored automatically.
Exceptions You Need to Know
There are some exceptions to consider, though. If an app is no longer available on the Play Store or any other app store, keeping the APK file might be the only way to reinstall it.
Additionally, suppose you’re using a modified (modded) version of an app that’s not available through official channels. In that case, you’ll need to hold onto the APK if you want to reinstall that specific version.
In these cases, keeping the APK file is more of a necessity than a clutter concern. However, being cautious about the sources from which you obtain such files is still essential.
Best Practices for Managing APK Files
Now that you’re well-versed in the ins and outs of APK files let’s talk about the best ways to manage them like a boss. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your APK game:
Regular Cleanup Sessions: Just like you clean out your closet occasionally, it’s a good idea to do the same with your device’s storage. Set aside some time every few months to go through your installed apps and delete any APK files that are no longer needed. This keeps your device clutter-free and ensures you only hold onto what’s necessary.
Use a File Manager: Most Android devices have a built-in file manager that allows you to browse your device’s storage. Use this tool to locate and delete APK files manually. Look for a folder named “Downloads” or “APKs” where these files might be stored.
Backup Important APKs: If you’ve downloaded APKs for apps no longer available on the Play Store or have specific versions you want to keep, consider backing them up to a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. This way, you can access them if needed without cluttering up your device’s storage. Or, you can copy important files to your android data folder. I linked a guide on how to do it as well.
Check for Regular App Updates: When you download an app from an APK file, you might miss out on automatic updates from the Play Store. Periodically check for updates for these apps manually to ensure you’re running the latest versions with security patches and new features.
Stay Safe: Only download APK files from trusted sources. The Play Store is the safest bet, but if you venture outside for apps, ensure you’re getting them from reputable websites or developers. Avoid sites that seem sketchy or offer pirated apps, as they can pose significant security risks.
Consider Alternative App Stores: While the Play Store is the go-to for most Android users, other legitimate app stores like Amazon Appstore or Samsung Galaxy Store exist. Suppose you prefer not to sideload APKs from the internet. In that case, these stores offer an alternative way to access apps outside the Play Store.
Frequently Asked Questions about Deleting APK Files
Alright, let’s address some burning questions about APK files and app installations. Here are some FAQs that might be on your mind:
What is an APK file?
An APK (Android Package) file is the package file format used by the Android operating system for distributing and installing mobile apps. It contains all the necessary components of an app, including its code, resources, and manifest file.
Is it Okay to Delete APK files to After Installation to Save Space on My Device?
Yes, once you’ve installed an app from an APK file, the APK file becomes redundant and can be safely deleted to free up storage space on your device.
Will deleting APK files affect the apps installed on my device?
No, deleting APK files will not affect the functionality of the apps you have already installed on your device. The apps will continue to work as usual without any hiccups.
Can I reinstall an app if I delete its APK file?
Yes, you can reinstall apps from the Google Play Store or other app stores without needing their original APK files. The app stores record your installations, allowing you to redownload apps when required.
However, in cases of modded versions or apps discontinued from the play store, you’ll need the APK in question.
Are APK files safe to download and install?
APK files downloaded from reputable sources like the Google Play Store are generally safe. However, downloading APKs from unknown or untrusted sources can pose security risks, as these files might contain malicious code.
Deleting APK files after installing apps is safe and can free up space on your device. Just download APKs from trusted sources and regularly clean up your device. So, APK files? You got this. Install, use, delete. Keep it clean, keep it secure.