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These are many ways of extracting an .apk file from your android device.

The story behind this mini-tutorial is that I help a bunch of people upgrade their Android devices periodically, as part of the upgrade process I often have to wipe them and a nandroid backup doesn't always work (like if you move from one firmware version to
another) and with the wiping some important things are lost, like: APN settings, Hebrew fonts, keyboard and other necesesary/important apps.I have to install the keyboard, fonts,and other apps every time on every device; right, you can get these apps from the market but to use the market you need to do the setup wizard to add your Google account, and since sometimes the owners of the devices aren't around to input their passwords, I need to have access to the.apk files without having to download them from the market.

Hence, I had to figure out a way to extract the .apk files from my device so I could install them on others.

Here are a few ways to do it::

  • Using a file manager like "EStrongs File Manager" or "ASTRO File Manger", or
  • Manually extracting .apk files through the Android SDK.

Method #1 - Using a file manager

Using ES File Manager

  • Open ES File Manager
  • Click on the menu button of your device
  • Click on "Manager"
  • Click on "App Manager"
  • Long press on app you want to extract
  • Click on "backup"
  • Extracted .apk files will be placed on the "backups" directory of your sd card

Using ASTRO File Manager

  • Open ASTRO File Manager
  • Click on the menu button of your device
  • Click on "tools"
  • Click on "Application Manager/Backup"
  • Choose apps to backup and click on "backup" to finish
  • Extracted .apk files will be placed on the "backups" directory of your sd card

Method #2 - Using the Android SDK

Prerequisites:

  • Download and install the Android SDK
  • Make sure your computer has the drivers for your device and that it recognizes it.

To extract a .apk file from your device using the Android SDK:

  1. Plug your “Rooted” Android device into your computer via the included USB cable.
  2. Open a command window (Win + R, type "cmd" and press enter).
  3. Go to your adb command line (usually C:\android-sdk-windows\tools\) and type “adb shell“ and press enter.
  4. Switch to root user, type “su“ and press enter.
  5. Type “cd data/app“ and press enter.
  6. List all the installed apk files, type “ls“ and press enter (find the one you want to extract).
  7. In another command window, "pull" (extract) one of the .apk files from the device to your computer by typing:

“adb pull /data/app/application.apk name.apk” and press enter

Example:

“adb pull data/app/com.mauri.aplikeishon.apk aplikeishon.apk”

adb pull explanation:

You can find the extracted "aplikeishon.apk" file in the /tools/ directory of your SDK (usually C:\android-sdk-windows\tools\)

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