Sideloading Apps on Android TV (Guide)

Android TVs have become extremely popular over the past year, thanks to a growing number of manufacturers offering smart TVs in different price segments. However, while there are some good apps for Android TV, the selection is not good enough. And thanks to the struggle between companies like Google, Amazon, Netflix and TV manufacturers, sometimes consumers have to miss out on some essential apps. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use these apps and more on your smart TV. The beauty of Android TV is that you can easily sideload apps. So, if you’re looking for ways to try and run your favorite apps on your TV, here’s how to sideload apps on Android TV.

Sideload Apps on Android TV in 2020

In this post, we talked about multiple ways to sideload apps on your Android TV. First, let’s see how we can sideload apps wirelessly Via Android smartphones and computers (Windows and macOS). Then we will show you how sideload apps via a thumb drive. But before that, we need to activate a toggle from the Settings page and download a file explorer on Android TV. Here’s how it goes.

1. Open Play Store on your Android TV and Search for Solid Explorer (Free, offers in-app purchases). After that install the app.

2. Next, go to Settings -> Device Preferences -> Security & Restrictions -> Unknown Sources ->. Enable toggle for “Solid Explorer”. After doing the preliminary steps, now let’s move on to the wireless method.

Sideload Apps on Android TV in 2020

  • Sideload Apps Wirelessly on Android TV

In this wireless part, we will use Send Files to TV app to send Android apps from Android and Windows device.s. And for macOS we will use a native route (SFTP) to connect to Android TV. Following that, we can easily install apps on Android TV using Solid Explorer. Now, without further delay, let’s get started.

  • Sideload Apps on Android TV using Android Smartphone

1. Launch Play Store on your Android TV and Android smartphone and Install Send Files to TV app (FreeOffers in-app purchases).

1. Sideload Apps on Android TV using Android Smartphone

2. After that, open the Send Files to TV app on both your devices. Now, tap “Send” on your smartphone and select the APK file you want to send. On the next screen, your Android TV will appear. Now tap on it and in a few seconds the APK file will be sent to your Android TV.

Note: Both your Android TV and Android smartphone must be connected to the same WiFi network and the SFTV app must be open.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using Android Smartphone

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3. Now, Open Solid Explorer and navigate to the “Downloads” folder. Here you will find the transferred Android APK. Open it and select the “Package Installer” option.

1. Sideload Apps on Android TV using Android Smartphone

4. Now, Click “Install” and the app will be sideloaded on your Android TV. You can find the installed application in the “Applications” section. This is how you can sideload apps on Android TV.

1. Sideload Apps on Android TV using Android Smartphone

  • Sideload Apps on Android TV using Windows PC

You can do Install Send Files to TV app on your Windows PC as well. The developer recently released the Windows app and it works flawlessly. Here’s how you can wirelessly send Android APKs and other files from your Windows PC to Android TV. After that, you can sideload apps from Solid Explorer.

one. download and install the Send Files to TV application on your PC. After installation, the application will sit in the system tray.

2. Now only Right click on it and select “Send File”. As I said above, for this to work both your Android TV and Windows PC must be connected to the same WiFi network and the SFTV app must be open.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using Windows PC

3. After that, Choose your Android APK and then a window will open where it will display your Android TV. Select your TV and click the “OK” button.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using Windows PC

4. If the transfer fails the first time, try again and it will definitely work. You can also try sending files by right-clicking on the system tray icon and selecting “View Transfers”. There, click “Send File” and select your APK file.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using Windows PC

5. Finally, the file will be sent to Android TV and you can continue the installation using Solid Explorer. Open Downloads -> Android APK -> Package Installer -> Install. You’re done.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using Windows PC

  • Sideload Apps on Android TV using macOS

Sideloading apps on an Android TV using a Mac isn’t a very difficult task. All you need A file explorer that can connect to SFTP servers on your Android TVand an SFTP Server running on your Mac. Both of these can be accomplished fairly easily using Solid Explorer and the macOS locale. So just follow the steps below:

Note: Both your Android TV and Mac must be connected to the same WiFi network.

  • Open System Preferences on your Mac and then “Sharing.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using macOS

  • In the left column, “File sharing” and “Remote loginAllow access for ” and “All users“. Here “ssh @You will find something in the ” lines. Make a note of your machine’s username and IP address.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using macOS

  • Now launch Solid Explorer on your Android TV and open the hamburger menu. Here, click on the 3-dot menu next to the gear wheel and then Storage Manager -> Click the Plus sign in the bottom right -> SFTP.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using macOS

  • Now add the details for your secure FTP server. In the remote hostname field, Enter the IP address we noted above on Mac. Besides that, keep everything as is and click “Next”.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using macOS

  • Now enter your Mac username and password. The username must be the same as what we specified in the Sharing section above. and password is your Mac login password. After that, click “Next” and keep everything as default on the next few screens.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using macOS

  • Finally, the server will be created in Storage Manager. Click on it and it will basically open your Mac on Android TV. All your APK files and folders will be here to copy and install. You will find all your data in the Volume\Date\Users\YourUsername folder.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using macOS

  • Now you can Download the APK files to your Mac and they will be available in Solid Explorer. You can always find your Mac Server under the hamburger menu. Go to the APK file and open it directly to install the app. No need to copy and paste into your internal storage. This is how you can sideload apps on Android TV using a Mac.

How to Sideload Apps on Android TV macos?

  • Sideload Apps on Android TV using USB Flash Drive

One of the easiest ways to install apps on your Android TV is to use a flash drive. Simply copy the APK file of the app you want to install to the USB flash drive and then plug it into your Android TV. To do this, simply follow the steps given below:

  • On your Mac or PC, Download APK file for the app you want to sideload. You can use websites such as APKMirror For this. We will be sideloading “Netflix” for this tutorial. After the APK is downloaded, copy to a USB drive.
  • Plug the USB drive into the Android TV box and Start Solid Explorer. Here, locate the USB drive under the hamburger menu and open it.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using USB Flash Drive

  • Go to the location where you saved the APK fileand just click on it to start installing on your Android TV.

Sideload Apps on Android TV using USB Flash Drive

  • Some companies also add a File Browser to their Android TV and you can use this app like Solid Explorer to sideload APKs to your smart TV.

xiaomi built in explorer interface

That’s basically it. You have now successfully installed Netflix on your Android TV using a USB drive. If for some reason you can’t use a USB drive to sideload apps, you can use the wireless method we mentioned above.

Sideload and Run any Android App on your Android TV

There are lots of TV compatible apps in the Android TV Play Store. So if you don’t sideload apps on your TV you will miss out on many great apps like Google Chrome, Skype, Google Drive or Dropbox. While you can install almost any Android app by installing it on your Android TV, keep in mind that some apps will not work properly as they are not optimized for large screens. In my testing, media apps tend to work best. That’s all for us, let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

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