Tips: How to install apk files on Android Emulator

Posted on 19 January 2008 by Hatem Ben Yacoub

If you are new to Android and looking for a way to test some of the currently available Android applications, here is how to proceed :

  1. First get the Android SDK and unzip it somewhere on your hard drive
  2. Add SDK_ROOT to your system variables pointing to /tools folder under the sdk
  3. Run the emulator
  4. Copy the apk file to /tools folder
  5. Change directory to /tools and run from commandline $adb install your_application.apk
  6. Now check applications list in the emulator and you should see the new application installed and ready.

Some pointed me to the error message when running adb on windows : * deamon still not running * error: no device.

In this case try to shutdown adb server and start it manually using :
$adb kill-server
$adb start-server

You can test if deamon is working by running $adb shell

The uninstall procedure is

$adb shell rm your_application.apk

Hope this help, enjoy !

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16 Comments For This Post

  1. Durand Says:


  2. Chris Says:

    Is there any way to install the apk app files directly to the G1 handset?

  3. niki Says:

    how do I install apk file in my G1 phone?

  4. Chrisy Says:

    Thank you!! :-D

  5. Akshay Sura Says:

    Thank you, these were really good instructions.

  6. Says:

    I can not to remove the application on emulator!

  7. Mike Says:

    To the commenters above, if you want to install the APK in your phone, I believe you can do so by putting it on a server somewhere, and then by browsing to the file on your phone. From there, it will allow you to install it.

  8. Nils Says:

    I think you should write adb instead $adb !
    My computer didn’t recognize the $adb command.

  9. Nils Says:

    I think you should write adb instead of $adb.
    My computer didn’t recognize the $adb command.

  10. Dj Says:

    Thanks it really wrking fine….

  11. דירה למכירה להשקעה להשכרה בחיפה Says:

    Thanks for the tuturial.

  12. jonas Says:

    I was able to install it by using above method, but to remove it I used this tutorial, hope it will help you

  13. anjes Says:

    I’m trying to run a sample android app on the emulator on windows without eclipse. The installation of my HelloWorld.apk was successful. But when i try to uninstall it from the emulator using the command

    \tools>adb shell rm HelloWorld.apk
    rm failed for HelloWorld.apk, Read-only file system.

    Can someone get me a solution for it? Thank you in advance.

  14. anjes Says:

    Got it to work by the below method:

    $adb shell
    $cd data
    $cd app
    $ls //Lists all the applications install on the emulator
    $rm com.myfirst.helloworld-2.apk

  15. amutuala Says:

    I am able to install the apk file and can only find in the Menu-Application-Manager.
    But can not find the installation in the menu / desktop (no way to run the apk).

    Please help

    ** I am using Android 2.2 , Android ADK r6

  16. HelloWorld Says:

    I could install apk file on emulator but uninstall process failed. I am using Ubuntu 10.04.
    This is the error when i try to remove apk file:
    ./adb shell rm my_pro.apk
    ->>rm failed for my_pro.apk, Read-only file system even I used
    chmod 777 my_pro.apk
    How do I fix it?

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