Have you ever tried to download an app you were very excited about only to get the notice that the app is not available in your country? Many users have, and it can be very annoying and frustrating since the app you tried to download could have been one you needed for something very important. Here we show how you can download Android apps that are not available in your country.
Why can’t you download Android apps?
Android developers often restrict the availability of their applications to certain geographies or countries. There are several reasons why this might be done, including local laws and regulations. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, has a long list of compliance requirements for app and website developers. Smaller developers that cannot comply with these requirements often choose to exclude users from certain regions until they can devote their time to the issue.
Also, due to copyright laws, localized partnerships, and shipping unavailability, many services automatically block your access when they detect your location.
Fortunately, there is a way around these restrictions: using a VPN service. A Virtual Private Network serves as a bridge from your location to the service/website you want to access. This way, you can circumvent geo-blocking by masking your location. When you select a country from a VPN’s list of supported servers, your request to access online content will then appear as if it is from the selected country instead of your own.
In addition to accessing the previously blocked site, using a VPN may even save you money for an option that has suddenly become available. This could range from a price tag, hotel pick, or a car rental to online streaming services such as HBO GO, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, or Spotify.
How to Install an Android App Not Available in Your Country
To get started, you first have to install a VPN app. There are plenty of them in the Play Store, and some of them offer a free feature with restriction. For this tutorial, we use Proton VPN, the VPN service offered by the ProtonMail company.
1. Download and Install Proton VPN
From Google Play Store, download and install the ProtonVPN app. After you launch it, you will be required to sign in with your account. If you are already using ProtonMail for its native PGP email encryption, then use that account. Otherwise, you would have to create a new account first.
After you have opened the ProtonVPN app, tap on “SKIP” and enter your login info. Don’t forget that you can use a password manager to both generate a very strong password and store it in a military-grade encrypted vault.
2. Select Your New Online Country
ProtonVPN app consists of three tabs: Countries, Map, and Profiles. The first two give you a selection of servers to choose from the globe, so it is a matter of preference. Profiles simply save your browsing and server choices, with which you can experiment. For now, tap on the “Countries” or “Map” tab.
On the map, each green triangle represents the available server based on your pricing plan. As a free account, you will have limited countries/servers available, as with any other VPN solution. However, the key country to circumvent most geo-restrictions is there – United States – consisting of multiple free servers.
Once you tap on “United States,” a drop-down menu with available servers will unfold. Next to the name of the server, you will also see percentages. These represent how occupied they are by users. The closer to 100 percent it is, the more its resources will be strained, which is why you see all the percentage dots colored in red.
Tap on the first available server under the “FASTEST SERVER” category. ProtonVPN automatically calibrates this based on your connection to their service. Next, tap on the green “Connect” button.
Now, what was previously blocked will be unlocked!
ProtonVPN will continue to work in the background, and you can switch to the app at any time to see how much traffic you used, at what speed, for how long, and to disconnect. If you are not happy with the speed, there is always an upgrade option, which is exceedingly generous compared to every other VPN service on the market.
Force Stop and Clear Cache for Google Play
Before you download the app you want to use, you have some clearing to do.
Open “Settings → Application → Application Manager” or “All Applications → Locate Google Play Store → Clear Cache → Force Stop.” Do not press “Clear Data” – you want to leave this part alone. The next time you open Google Play, you may see its Terms of Service. If you do, just tap on “Accept” as long as you see that key icon like in the image above.
Remember only to use a VPN when you want to download a free app and not a paid one. If you do try to buy an app, Google could think that your account is being hacked, and you could end up freezing your own account. You will need to activate ProtonVPN every time you want to download an app that is not available in your country.
With a working VPN, there will not be any apps not within your reach, and you will not be left with that empty feeling of not being able to enjoy all that the Internet has to offer. Now it is time to troubleshoot your phone when Android apps are not working.