How to Install an Unsigned Android App

By Shawn Farner

Some businesses develop their own Android applications in-house for employee use only. These apps are not listed in the Google Play app store but instead need to be installed as unsigned third-party apps. If you need to install such an app for your Android device, you can still do so, but you'll need to enable settings inside Android that enable you to install unsigned third-party apps. These settings are located inside the Android Settings app.

Open the Settings app on your Android device.

Tap the "Security" option in the Personal section.

Tap the check box next to Unknown Sources. This enables your device to install unsigned, third-party apps from sources other than the Google Play app store.

Open your app's APK file to install it on your Android device. You can transfer the APK file to your device by connecting it via USB to your PC and transferring the file over. You can also email the APK file to yourself and open it as an attachment. If the APK file is stored online, you can open it from its remote location and install the app on your device.


Some unsigned third-party apps can contain malware or other types of threats. Be cautious when installing apps from sources other than the Google Play app store.