Enable Unknown Sources or Install APK Files on Android Oreo

Many Android users never knew that Android allows users to install apps from sources other than Google Play. Google Play is good enough for them, but if you’re here, you’ve probably downloaded Android apps before. Activated Unknown sources might be one of the first things some of you might do after getting a new phone. Prior to Android Oreo, to install APKs that weren’t downloaded from Google Play, you could simply select “Unknown sources” in Setting -> Security. Google made the process safer in Android Oreo and renamed the setting to Install unknown apps and change the position of application. More, unknown source or install unknown app or APK file instead of having the page dedicated to itself.

Why? Well, once you allow the installation of APKs from other sources on Android Oreo versions, it becomes a potential breeding ground for malware. You may have allowed this while installing an APK from a developer or source you trust. Maybe it’s the third-party app marketplace that you have the setting enabled. However, there is no way to guarantee that some other application will not take advantage of this situation. Let’s say you installed an app from Google Play which is pretty safe. Now there is no way to guarantee that this secure app won’t install apps other than from Google Play. With Android Ore, only the apps you grant permission install unknown apps new can actually install other apps.

For example, if you download an APK from Chrome and tap the download notification to install, you’ll have to give Chrome permission to install unknown apps. Now if you use your file explorer to install that APK or any other APK, you will have to give that file explorer the same permission again. It sounds annoying, but it really isn’t. You don’t often install third-party APK files from a number of different apps. Other than this, no application that you have not authorized can install malware or any other application. How do you grant unknown sources or install unknown app permissions?

Allow installation of unknown app permissions on Android Oreo

This happens randomly on Android Oreo. There is no settings page that you can access and simply enable permissions for any installed apps. You must grant this permission as soon as you choose to launch the package installer from the application. For example, when you tap an APK from your file manager, or a download notification from Chrome.

  1. Regardless of what app you’re trying to install the APK for, Android will tell you that said app isn’t allowed to install unknown apps for your security.
  2. Choose SETTING from the window
  3. You will then be redirected to a page where you can allow the app to install unknown apps. Just turn on the switch on the side Permission from this source.
  4. Hit the back button and you’ll notice you can now SETTING APKs.

Revoke permission to install unknown apps on Android Oreo

Maybe you haven’t fully trusted an app yet in your adventurous spirit, you decide to allow it to install unknown apps. You quickly realize it was a bad decision, but how do you go back and revoke permission? You’ll realize that simply pressing the back button on the package installer won’t do the trick. Lucky for you, there’s a dedicated Settings page where you can manage this permission for apps that have requested it once or another.

  1. Go Setting .
  2. Click Apps and notifications. This is a new category in Android Oreo that was previously divided into two different categories.
  3. At the bottom, press Advanced to expand the list of where you will find Special App access. Click here.
  4. At the bottom is the entry Install unknown apps that you must choose.
  5. Here you will find a list of all the apps that have been allowed or disallowed.
  6. Just tap on the app you want to revoke permission and disable the switch.
  7. Similarly, you can allow previously blocked apps.


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