How to Transfer Apps between Android Phones via Bluetooth

Bluetooth is as important and fashionable as ever right now and is currently entering its fifth iteration which promises to make it faster and more stable. That means more data can be transferred using the wireless technology quickly.

So it’s a better time than ever to learn how to transfer apps from one phone to another via Bluetooth. Maybe you and a pal are in the middle of nowhere and want to play a game together, or your phone’s about to run out of battery and you want to transfer a useful GPS map onto another device. Here’s how to do it.

For this process you’ll need a handy, lightweight little tool called APK Extractor which converts installed apps on your device back into compressed APK files which can then be re-extracted and installed again on someone else’s device.

Download APK Extractor, open the app and scroll down the list to the app that you want to Bluetooth-beam over to another device. Long-tap it, and checkboxes will appear, along with the familiar share and download icons at the top of the screen. At this point you can select as many apps as you like to compress and share via Bluetooth by using the checkboxes next to them.


Once you’ve made your selection, tap the “Share” icon at the top of the screen, then select “Bluetooth.” Make sure that the Android device you’re sending the app/apps to has its Bluetooth switched on and that it’s discoverable.

If the above conditions are met, on the “Choose Bluetooth device” screen (on the device sending the app), the receiving device should appear in the list. Tap it and the receiving device should receive a notification where they can choose to accept the app/APK.

Once the APK has been transferred via Bluetooth, it should be accessible through the recipient’s pull-down notification menu, but if it was accidentally closed, you can find the file in your “Download” or “ExtractedAPKs” folder using your device’s file manager.


Once you’ve found the APK on the receiving device, just tap it, then tap “Install.” Note that you’ll need to enable “Unknown sources” for this to work, as the APK is being installed from outside of the Play Store.


And there you have it! The app will now be installed on both devices.


Internet access is something we take for granted, so it’s always good to remember that Bluetooth is an excellent means of transferring files and apps between devices locally. Bear in mind that if you have a fully-paid app, then the version that the recipient will get will only be the free version (if one exists). So don’t think of this as a cheeky means of getting paid products for free because that would be illegal, and we don’t condone that here at Make Tech Easier.

Robert Zak
Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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