How to Sideload Android Apps on Chromebook without Developer Mode

Following the recent announcement, Google has finally brought the ability to install Android apps on Chromebook without Developer Mode. This is truly great and path-breaking for both developers as well as the Chrome OS enthusiast community. You can finally install Android APKs on your Chromebook which are not available on the Play Store, and for that, you don’t have to sacrifice your security. So without any delay, let’s go ahead and learn how to sideload Android apps on Chromebook.

Note: Want to learn how to sideload Android apps on Android TV? Follow our linked guide to find out.

Sideload Android Apps on Chromebook without Developer Mode in 2021

Before we begin, make sure your Chromebook is updated to Chrome OS 86 or above. You can update your Chrome OS build from Settings -> About Chrome OS. Apart from that, note that you don’t need to move to any other update channel or Developer mode. The ability to sideload Android apps on Chromebook has already moved to the Stable channel.

Set Up ADB on Chromebook

1. Open Settings and turn on Linux (Beta) from the left menu. If you don’t know how to do it, follow our guide and learn how to set up Linux on Chromebook.

8 How to Install Android Apps on Chromebook Without Developer Mode

2. After setting up Linux, open Settings again and navigate to Linux -> Develop Android Apps -> Enable the toggle for ADB Debugging. Now, restart your Chromebook and an ADB prompt will come up after the reboot. Click on “Allow” and you are done.

Note: In case, ADB toggle is not turning on then you will have to reset your Chromebook. A similar thing happened with our machine and power washing the Chromebook resolved the issue.

How to Sideload Android Apps on Chromebook without Developer Mode

3. Now, open Terminal from the app drawer and execute the below command to install the ADB platform tools.

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb -y

4 How to Install Android Apps on Chromebook Without Developer Mode

4. After the installation, run the below command to connect the Android system with Linux on Chrome OS. Remember, your Chromebook should be connected to a WiFi network for this to work.

adb connect 100.115.92.2:5555

How to Sideload Android Apps on Chromebook without Developer Mode5. A window will instantly open up to “Allow USB Debugging”. Enable the checkbox for “Always allow” and then click on the “Ok” button. By now, you have successfully set up the base.

7 How to Install Android Apps on Chromebook Without Developer Mode

6. If you are getting an error saying “can’t connect to 100.115.92.2:5555 connection refused” then open Settings -> Apps on the left pane -> Google Play Store -> Manage Android Preferences -> System -> About Device. Click on “Build number” for 7-8 times continuously. It will enable the Developer Options.

developer options

7. Now, go back to the System page again and open Developer Options. Here, enable “ADB Debugging”.

enable adb debugging

8. If the Terminal shows “Permission Denied” or “Command Not Found” error then run the below command and then try again with the adb connect command mentioned above.

adb start-server

adb start server

Install Android APK on Chromebook

1. Now that you have set the foundation, go ahead and download the Android APK that is not available on the Play Store and move it to Linux files. For example, I have downloaded the Firefox APK to install on my Chromebook without Developer Mode.

Note: Rename the downloaded APK to something shorter, just so you can easily type it on the Terminal.

2 How to Install Android Apps on Chromebook Without Developer Mode

2. Open the Terminal and type the below command to sideload the Android app on Chrome OS. In your case, you will have to change the app name in place of firefox.

adb install firefox.apk

How to Sideload Android Apps on Chromebook without Developer Mode

3. If you are getting an error saying “more than one device/emulator” then run the command in the below syntax. Here, you need to change the firefox part.

adb -s emulator-5554 install firefox.apk

multiple emulator

4. Now, open the app drawer and you will find the Android app that you just installed. Keep in mind, the Android app is using its ART (Android Run Time) framework and not running in a Linux container. So, the performance is great and similar to other apps downloaded from the Play Store. Enjoy!

6 How to Install Android Apps on Chromebook Without Developer Mode

Install Any Android App on Your Chromebook

So that was our guide on how to sideload Android apps on Chromebook without Developer mode. While the solution is not that straightforward, it’s immensely helpful for geeks. Also, once you set up the ADB, you just have to download the APK, and then it can be installed via the adb install command.

So that was all from our side. If you want to learn more hacks about Chromebooks and Chrome OS then stay tuned with us as we bring some interesting guides for you in the coming days. As for now, we have covered the best Chrome OS apps and Chromebook games in detailed articles so check that out.

123 Comments

  1. Hi, somebody has this kind of error message? adb: failed to install kindle.apk: Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_DUPLICATE_PERMISSION: Package com.amazon.kindle attempting to redeclare permission android.permission.ACCESS_ALL_DOWNLOADS already owned by com.android.providers.downloads]
    Some help,pls….

  2. Worked for me Had to read the article several times. Unfortunatley the App I wanted to sideload does not have the required CPU libraries.

  3. hello,
    am not able to install it atlast it says error: no devices/emulators found
    adb: error: failed to get feature set: no devices/emulators found
    – waiting for device –

  4. I had to change to the Dev channel, as well as the development mode. But this worked, and I have sideloaded some apks successfully.
    Now if I go back to the stable channel, and the chromebook will powerwash, and reinstall everything. I wanted to know if it will reinstall the sideloaded apps also or not?
    thanks

  5. Help! I’m have downloaded the app and it’s in my downloads folder. How do I move it to my Linux files?

  6. Get an error at step 3 says uknown command: sudo

    Am on lenovo ideapad 3 chrombook manfacture date 12/20

    1. You don’t need developer mode to use ADB debugging, you just have to turn on Linux on your chromebook. If you don’t have the option then your chromebook isn’t compatible with it.

  7. I am a complete PHD chromebook user (ie Press Here Dummy)…. I have no experience with anything “behind the scenes”…
    I followed your amazingly clear instructions and managed to successfully install the Cinema HD apk on a new Chromebook.. worked first time.

    Thank you very much!

  8. worked perfectly fine. just needed on more reboot when received refused connection.

  9. i have a question. so i got minecraft bedrock using this, and wanted to import worlds into it. then i realized, how can i do that if i cant access the files!? so basically i need to know how to access the files, i tried for a bit but cant figure it out

  10. All i’m getting is simply: ”[INSTALL_FAILED_NO_MATCHING_ABIS: Failed to extract native libraries, res = -113]”. Any help would be extremely appreciated… Several other people has gotten the same issue and haven’t got any help at all… so i’m guessing i won’t get any help either.

  11. So… when i try installing an app with the ”adb -s emulator-5554 install APPNAME.apk” command it just tells me ”adb: failed to install Edge.apk: Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_NO_MATCHING_ABIS: Failed to extract native libraries, res=-113]”. I’m trying to install Microsoft Edge, thus the app name is called Edge.apk. Anyways, i have absolutely no clue what that failure means… Any help… pls? This is my first time messing around with Linux so… help would be appreciated.

    1. I got Edge to work. You need to find the APK built for X86 Architecture.
      I now Have Edge on a chromebook and it is Managed by MAM. the best part is it accepts all my Config policies and can get past conditional Access.

  12. In my case I accomplished the side-load and apk install with way less steps, also want to state that Im using a Lenovo Chromebook 500e. Hope this help for the ppl that are having issues.

    Set Up ADB on Chromebook
    Steps 1-5 and Step 8
    (I think in step 5 my Chromebook ask me to restart the system. My recommendation will be that even if it doesn’t ask you for the restart when you reach step 5 go ahead and do it manually)

    Install Android APK on Chromebook
    Step 1 only

    Install Any Android App on Your Chromebook
    adb -s emulator-5554 install APPNAME.apk

  13. E: Type ‘new’ is not known on line 4 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    E: Type ‘new’ is not known on line 4 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.

    Hey mine is the same fix?

  14. What is the link to the firefox apk?
    that sure doesn’t look like the crappy mobile version
    Thanks!

  15. Please consider updating your guide with this information:

    Problem: I was an able to toggle a ADB debugging on my pixel book even after a power wash. What I didn’t realize is that it had the first to be enabled at the primary chrome account and it automatically cascades to all other accounts.

    I was trying to enable ADB debugging on a secondary account on my pixel book. My chrome OS version is 88 and stable channel. What I had to do was to go into the primary or the first account that I set up on the chromebook and install the Linux Beta container on it and then enable ADB debugging for this account.

    Once I did that, the toggle was automatically enabled for all other accounts that were set up on the Chromebook.
    Then it was a matter of following the guide and installing the Minecraft APK 🙂

  16. If you follow Arjun’s instructions TO THE LETTER, this works perfectly. I’m stupid, so it took me a couple of tries. I have a Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. My key takeaway: if the apk file you download has upper and lower case letters in the file name, it is critical to duplicate it EXACTLY it looks when you move it to the Linux folder.

    Cheers! ?

    1. I feel like a complete idiot! I didn’t even think about it being an issue with upper and lower case, thank you so much for having common sense, because it worked!

  17. I can’t do 4th step. Terminal says “unable to connect to 100.115.92.2:5555: Connection timed out”. I tried to connect with wi-fi and mobile data and nothing changed

    1. nope it wont work, says to do so will require chrome OS developer mode turned on (the old way)

        1. help. What is the old way? I need help with this tech stuff. I still don’t understand this article. Also, Linux does not install for some reason now.

    1. no sadly. It just says you need dev and you cant download it in this way because aptoide doesnt give you a file or link to download.

  18. Will this reset your Chromebook and lose all your data/downloads that isnt backed to the cloud?

  19. Will this reset your Chromebook and lose all your data/downloads that isnt backed to the cloud?

  20. I did everything but it can’t find my device and the usb debugging thing won’t pop up.
    what happened: tempv@penguin:~$ adb devices
    List of devices attached
    (and it shows nothing)

    it would say daemon successfully connected and then say it couldn’t connect to the server when i did adb start-server.

    when i try to install the apk, it just does this.
    tempv@penguin:~$ adb install wine.apk
    error: no devices/emulators found
    adb: error: failed to get feature set: no devices/emulators found
    – waiting for device –
    (and it stays like that for forever)
    Please help me

  21. i did this and i keep getting ‘adb: failed to stat steam.apk: No such file or directory’ i dont know what to do?

      1. Done all the following instructions so when I click the enter button all I get is unable to locate package android,unable to locate package tools.Whats the problem?

  22. Got all the way to the install then this. Any ideas?

    gh@penguin:~$ adb install WS_0_5.7.0.534.apk
    error: more than one device/emulator
    adb: error: failed to get feature set: more than one device/emulator
    – waiting for device –
    error: more than one device/emulator

    1. There is a comment way below that saved me from this as well – I copied it for you.

      In that case, you can define the emulator like this:

      adb -s emulator-5554 install firefox.apk

  23. Everything word great as described above, but when I tried to open the app, I got message that tells me to open the Chrome OS Developer mode to install apps from sources other than the Play Store ??? That was the point of doing this exercise, to avoid using developer mode ? Any suggestions ? Thanks

  24. Everything went exactly as described above, except when I launch the app, instead of it opening, I get the message “Turn on Chrome OS Developer Mode to install apps from sources other than the Play Store”.
    Hmmm….I thought that was the purpose of sideloading the app…so I wouidn’t need Developer Mode ?
    Any suggestions ? Thanks.

  25. Worked flawlessly for my lenovo chromebook duet. At first i got an error “more than one device/emulator”. I googled the error and turned out i need to specify the device first.
    ad devices #gives the active devices or emulators, in my case it was emulator 5554
    adb -s “emulator-5554” install “name.apk” #This command worked for me and I got success as output and apk as installed

    1. I’m confused… how’d you solve it? Like what command did you actually type? Because that emulator-5554 command doesn’t work for me… i just get ”adb: failed to install Edge.apk: Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_NO_MATCHING_ABIS: Failed to extract native libraries, res=-113]”. I’m trying to install Microsoft Edge, thus the app name is called Edge.apk.

  26. got most of this to work, all the way to the apk installation.
    It took a minute, then returned with an installation failure, which looked like this:
    [INSTALL_FAILED_VERIFICATION_FAILURE]
    Any advice on this?

  27. I don’t have the “Develop Android Apps -> Enable the toggle for ADB Debugging” on my acer chromebook . What’s the deal with that? Would appreciate the help, thanks.

  28. So, the entire thing worked and it said success at the end, but I don’t know how to get to it after that, does anyone know.

    1. No, but if you try to go back to another mode it just says you need to powerwash it first.

  29. When I enter the adb connect command it gives me this error unable to connect to 100.115.92.2:5555: Connection refused please help

  30. I get this error:

    Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_NO_MATCHING_ABIS: Failed to extract native libraries, res=-113]

  31. Thank you! I have been trying to install Minecraft on my Chromebook Duet, and because Minecraft removed the app from the Play Store, I have had no idea how to install it until I read this article! I tried installing it and it worked. Thank you so much!

  32. Thank you so much for your very useful articles! I recently purchased a very cheap Chromebook just to see what they were like and am very pleased. Having done development in the past, I wanted to see what Android studio looked like (I know I can’t actually use it on my anemic CB) and I am pleased by what I see. However, installing it caused the “adb install” to fail because there’s now an emulator in my Linux tools. adb devices now displays two lines: the ip address you describe and the emulator on the second line. Can I run a variant of the original command ? If possible I would like to keep Android Studio . Thanks for any suggestions

  33. I don’t have the “Develop Android Apps -> Enable the toggle for ADB Debugging” on my Samsung chromebook plus. What’s the deal with that? Would appreciate the help, thanks.

  34. I tryed this but Develop Android Apps never showed up in linux (beta) on settings I changed my channel to dev channel,there are no updates to it,I power washed it 2 times,android apps work on it and its still not showing up.

    btw if it helps I got my chromebook last year and its a samsung chromebook 3

    1. Guys, rather than saying that you have the problem as well, why dont u guys actually answer that persons question? If you do have that problem, then try to find a solution and then comment it here.

  35. Today I tried to install an Android app on my Chromebook and got Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_NO_MATCHING_ABIS: Failed to extract native libraries, res = -113].
    Now I don’t know what to do.
    Please help me, thank you.

  36. I try to do as the steps, but it shows me Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_NO_MATCHING_ABIS: Failed to extract native libraries, res=-113]. Any apk is the same result, can you help me?

  37. im having a different kind of problem. “Develop Android Apps” isnt showing up when i go into linux beta and click linux. please help.

  38. Can i return to stable channel after the install of the apps that i want and they stay installed?

    1. did you have to stay on the dev channel for the installed apps to work? or can you go back to the stable channel?

        1. It depends on how long you have been in the dev channel and/or what you used in chrome. Sometimes, you can get off lucky and go back without a powerwash

  39. thank you thank you!!! I figured it out eventually, but it worked!! I can play minecraft now!!! UwU

  40. error: more than one device/emulator
    adb: error: failed to get feature set: more than one device/emulator
    – waiting for device –
    error: more than one device/emulator

  41. Great job, thanks.

    For me I had 2 devices:
    adb devices
    List of devices attached
    100.115.92.2:5555 unautherized device …
    emulator-5554 …

    So I had to type
    adb -s emulator-5554 install …

    1. Wow thank you very much had the same problem was struggling with it !!! And thanks to this articel!! Great job no developer mode Perfect!!!

  42. i cant seem to find the option to do whats required for step 2 there is no option to complete this step .there is no developer option. please an help would be much appreciated contact me at

    1. It didnt work for me first time, do the first few commands, then leave it for a day, come back and enter that command, then the menu should pop up, hope this helped 🙂

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