How to Fix the App Not Installed Error on Android Phones

by Mayank

Android phones have gained a lot of fame since the Android platform was launched in 2008. In fact, according to Google’s 2017 report, Android had about 2 billion active monthly users. A big reason for such a massive public outreach is the wide selection of android apps you can choose from. The Google Play Store has over 4 million applications!

Although most users prefer installing an app from the Play Store, there may be a number of reasons why you need to download an app from external sources and then install it manually. Now, most of the time you’ll be able to install the app successfully, but sometimes you might get an error like “App Not Installed” when you try to install the app.

I know this error is really frustrating, and finding solutions on the internet to fix this error can be even more frustrating, because there may be a number of reasons why you were greeted with a “App Not Installed” error. In this article, I’m going to give you the various reasons that could be causing the error, and I will also provide you working solutions to fix this error.

Causes for the App Not Installed error and some easy fixes

As I stated earlier, there may be several reasons why you may encounter this error. Here are some of the most common reasons and their fixes:

The application is corrupted

This is probably the most common reason why users face the App not installed error. It’s because the downloaded apk file is corrupt on its own. This happens either because some data packets were missing when you downloaded the app (because of bad internet connection etc) or the apk file on the site itself was corrupted.

Steps to fix this problem:

  • First, to prevent such problems, make sure you download the app from a trustworthy and secure source. Don’t dive deeper into the search results as you may encounter a malicious app that can damage your phone.
Always make sure you are downloading an app from a trusted source
  • Sometimes (especially in older versions of Android) installing an app from an SD card or from the inside of a directory may cause problems during installation. So, all you need to do is transfer the apk file you downloaded to your device’s root directory (within internal storage and not in any folder). Then try installing the app again.
Make sure the app you want to install is on the root of your Internal Storage
  • If the above step didn’t work for you, the problem is with the apk file itself. Download and install the application from another source (APKMirror, APKPure are some of the best and most trusted sources).

Insufficient Storage

Another common reason for the App not installed error could be that there is not enough free memory on your device’s internal storage. Most users think that the size of the apk file is the actual size of the app. But this is not the case. Actually the apk file is a packaged version of the application itself. When you install the app, the package installer expands the apk file and copies the additional files to your device.

What I mean is that if the apk file size is 1 GB, make sure you have at least 2 GB of memory on your internal storage.

Steps to fix this problem:

  • The solution is obvious, you need to free up your device memory.
  • To do this, remove some applications that you don’t use frequently. Go to Settings>Apps & Notifications>Apps>Tap on the app you want to remove>Hit Uninstall.
  • Move large files from the device storage to your SD card or to some other storage media.
  • Also, clear app cache from your device’s Phone Manager. If your device doesn’t have a preinstalled Phone Manager, install one from the play store.
  • After you have sufficient storage space available on your device, install the app again. It should install without any errors.

Incompatible Version of the Application

When you download an app from the Google Play Store, it installs the most stable version of the app for your device. But when you download an app from external sources, you may download the version that your phone does not support (due to CPU or GPU incompatibility etc.). Hence, you might end up installing an app that your device does not support. This may also cause the App not installed error.

Steps to fix this problem:

  • There’s no serious tweaking required to solve this problem. Just download an older version of the app and try to install it. It should install without any problems.
As you can see there are various versions of the Facebook app. You can download an older version of the app and install that on your device.

Unsigned Application

Apps which aren’t available on the Play Store are called unsigned apps. By default for security reasons, every device blocks the installation of unsigned apps downloaded from third-party sources. You can install unsigned apps to your device even if they are blocked by default.

Steps to fix this problem:

  • To install third-party apps to your device, navigate to Settings>Lock Screen and Security.
  • Turn On Unknown Sources.
  • Now you can install the application.
So, were you able to solve the problem? No? Don’t worry it’s not over. These were just easy fixes. Now, let’s get to some real technical fixes.

Miscellaneous Fixes for the App Not Installed error

Under this section, let’s dive deeper into fixing this frustrating error. I’ll list the best technical solutions to solve this issue here. By going through forums, I gathered these solutions where users found them helpful and were able to get past this error. Hopefully one of these solutions works for you too.

Disabling Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect is a feature in the Google Play Store that helps keep your device safe and secure. It carries out a security test on applications before installing them from the Play Store. The Play Protect feature also scans your device for potentially harmful applications downloaded from other websites, and tries to block installs from third parties on your system. This feature can also be the reason why you might be facing the App not installed error.

Steps to disable Google Play Protect:

  • Open Google Play Store on your device.
  • Tap Menu (The hamburger icon on the left)> Play Protect> Settings.
  • Turn Scan Apps with Play Protect off.
  • Now again try installing the app you downloaded.

Resetting App Preferences

Reset App Preferences is a proven and effective solution to use when your apps are malfunctioning. Resetting app preferences clears default apps, resets app permissions, resets background data restrictions, and re-enables disabled apps. Remember that this is not going to affect your photos, files or other data in any way.

Steps to reset app preferences:

  • Navigate to device Settings.
  • Go to Apps & Notifications>Apps.
  • Tap the three dots labeled More on the bottom and reset your app preferences.
  • A pop-up displaying a warning message will appear.
  • Tap Reset.

Note: The option of resetting app preferences could be at a slightly different location on your device. It will still be under Apps & Notifications.

Clearing the data of the package installer

Sometimes the package installer can be the problem itself. Due to some undefined error, it may fail to install the app. So, you need to clear the data of the package installer itself.

Steps to clear data:

  • Navigate to device settings.
  • Open Apps & Notifications>Apps.
  • Make sure Show System Processes is enabled.
  • Look for Package Installer.
  • Open it and go to Storage>Clear Data.
  • Again try installing the app.

If any of the above methods did not work for you, the error is probably not fixable. Perhaps the reason is that your device is incompatible with the app, or that your device is running a really old version of Android (most app developers stop maintaining their apps for older versions of Android). So, you are left with the following options:

  • Wait for the application to appear on the Play Store and download it from there.
  • Contact the developer of the app (You’ll get the contact details of the developer in the description of the app).
  • Install an alternative to that application. The Google Play Store has millions of apps that you can choose from. So, you’ll definitely get a better alternative to the app you ‘re trying to download.

So, were you able to fix the “App not installed” error? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you faced a problem with the above solutions, please comment below. If you have found another solution to this issue and want to share it with others, please contact me and I will include the solution in this article.

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