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Although your Android device comes equipped with the Google Play Store app, there are reasons you might want to manually download and install it. One, you might find the latest version not to be in your liking so you have to roll back to the previous stable version. Another reason is that you love tinkering with your phone and like to play with various updates. Either way, you would need to manually download and install Google Play Store.

Checking the version you have

Before doing anything with your Play Store app, it’s best to check what version you have on your Android phone. Doing so is fairly simple as well. Here’s how to check the current version of your app:

  • Locate your Google Play Store app and open it
  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll towards the bottom until you get to the About section
  • Check what’s listed under Build version (as of this writing, the current version is 6.2

Getting a Google Play Store APK

An APK stands for Android application package. This is the file format used by devices using the Android operating system for distributing and installing mobile apps. Essentially, you are installing an APK on your device every time you download and install an app from an official source (in this case, Google Play). Another way to understand an APK is to liken it to an EXE file on your computer.

In order to install Google Play Store manually, you have to download an APK from a trusted resource (these include trusted Android sites and tech blogs). It’s always best to go for this option because you always want to get an APK that is signed by Google.

There are two ways you can download an APK: downloading it to your device or downloading it to you computer.

Enabling Unknown Sources in Settings

When Unknown Sources is disabled, users are prevented from installing applications outside of Google Play Store; this also goes for other apps. Since you will be downloading an APK from an outside resource, you need to change the default value of this security resource. Here’s how:

  • Head to your device settings
  • Go to Security
  • Tick the Unknown Sources box. A box will pop up which you have to read to be clear with everything. Once you’re done with that, click OK.

Locate the APK using a file manager then install

Unless you remember where the download is located, you can use a file manager to make your life easier. One of the recommended file managers is the ES File Explorer. Here’s what you do after firing up your file manager:

  • Locate the APK for Google Play Store
  • Click on the downloaded file. In case a box pops up asking which app you want to use, pick “Package Installer”
  • Read the permission changes detailed in the next screen
  • Click install

Disabling Unknown Sources

Although we enabled Unknown Sources earlier on, leaving the box ticked after you’ve downloaded and installed the APK opens up your device to security threats. This is why you have to disable the option once you’re done with everything. And if you ever need to manually install an application again, all you have to do is tick the box once again.

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