Common Android APK Installation Errors and Solutions

Read this article to know about the most common Android APK installation errors that come when you install apps from stores other than the official Android Google Play Store. Know the problems and their specific solutions in this article.

The Android app store is packed with apps, games, utilities, and more, many free to download and use. Some people look for more though and head towards the unofficial apps, such as AC Market third-party app store. Regardless of whether you opt for official or unofficial sources for your apps, there are a few problems that you may come up against while installing unofficial apps like the AC Market AppStore. While error messages can be daunting, on most occasions, they are fairly easy to fix. Below, we discuss some of the more common Android app errors and their fixes.

Problem Parsing the Package

If you get the error message telling you that "there was a problem parsing the package", don't panic. This is the APK parser, and the likelihood is there is an error in the programming. Parsing is all about reading and analyzing strings of digits, symbols, and characters – these strings must follow a specific format and, if they don't, they can't be read. You might also get this message if:
  • The app file didn't download properly or is corrupted in some way
  • The app just isn't compatible with your Android device or firmware version
  • Your security settings could be set to stop the app downloading
While this all sounds very technical, you don't need to worry about this being difficult to fix – it isn't. We have a couple of ways, just start at the top and follow each method until one works for you:

Method 1: Check Manifested APK File

Some people, when they download an app, will extract the APK file and customize it, removing ads, for example, saving the new file as the Manifest file. This could be the cause of the error if this is something you have done and fixing it is done like this:
  1. Locate the APK file on your device and open it
  2. Find and tap the androidmanifest.xml file and return it to its default settings.
You should also look at the file name – if it were renamed, that could also be the cause of the problem. And, if you do know what you are doing with coding, you could look at the app code and see there is anything obvious.

Method 2: USB Debugging

This method has been successful for many:
  1. Open Android Settings and tap the About Device option
  2. Where it says Build Number, tap on it 7 times in a row
  3. A message will appear telling you that 'you are now a developer."
  4. Back to Settings, tap Developer Options
  5. Where is say USB Debugging, ensure the box beside it is checked
  6. Close Settings, you should be able to install the app without error

Method 3: APK File Corruption

On occasion, a corrupted file could be the problem, and the best way to resolve this is to remove the app completely. Try downloading it again. If you are installing unofficial apps, make sure you are only using the official app source – the file will have been checked to ensure it is not corrupted.

App Not Installed

This is an irritating error but easy to fix with four different methods. Start with the first and work through – one of them will work:

Method 1: Clear Package Installer Cache and Data

  1. Open Settings and tap on Apps (it may be Manage Apps)
  2. Look for the Systems option and tap on the Package Installer option
  3. Tap on Clear Data and Clear Cache buttons – look under Storage if you use Android v6.0 (Marshmallow) for these options.

Method 2: Enable Unknown Sources

If you are trying to install unofficial content, this option must be enabled:
  1. Open Settings and go to Security Settings
  2. Tap the Unknown Sources option and make sure the box next to it is checked
  3. Close settings and try installing the app again. If it still doesn't work, delete the app, reboot, and reinstall, ensuring that Unknown Sources is still enabled

Method 3: Rooted Devices Only

This is more advanced and only for rooted devices
  1. Download a reputable root explorer app onto your device
  2. Open the app and copy the app APK file
  3. Go to System>App and make sure App Permissions are enabled
  4. Close Settings and the app should be installed

Method 4: Clear Space

If you don't have enough space on your device, the app can't be installed. Remove all your media files and place them onto an external storage device. Delete files and data that are no longer needed and uninstall apps you don't need anymore. Then try installing the app again, and it should work.

App Stopped Working

This is another common issue that is easy to resolve:

Method 1: Reset App Preferences

  1. Open Settings and tap on Apps/App Manager
  2. Tap the menu beneath the All Apps option
  3. Tap on Reset App Preferences
  4. Tap on Reset Now when the confirmation message loads
  5. Try the app again

Method 2: Clear Package Installer Data and Cache

  1. Still, in Android Settings, tap on Apps/Manage Apps
  2. Under System Apps, tap on Package Installer
  3. Tap on the Clear Data and Clear Cache in turn
For Android Marshmallow users, the options are under Storage

Method 3: Enable Unknown Sources

Again, this is only for unofficial apps:
  1. Open Settings and tap on Security
  2. Find and enable the Unknown Sources option
  3. Close Settings, try using the app again, and it will work
If it doesn't, delete it from your device. Reboot, check that Unknown Sources is still enabled and install it again.

Hopefully, you won't face any of these errors when you use your Android apps but, if you do, these steps should fix the issue for you. Most problems tend to arise when you try to use unofficial apps or app installers, but the official ones from the store are not immune.

Most Android problems are simple to fix, and these are the most common ones. Let us know if you face any others, and we'll try to find the answer for you.


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