How to find and install old versions of Android Apps

In tech, we advise people to always try and use the latest version of apps, of operating systems. This is a good habit as bugs and security loopholes that might leave your device vulnerable are patched using these updates. However, the latest version of apps might not exactly be the best for you. For instance, when an app developer overhauls the overall look and feel of the application, users might get thrown off, and be forced to learn and get used to the new layout. Also, new updates are often pretty buggy and unstable.

Android is a pretty flexible platform. If you have your Play Store auto-update all your apps immediately you get connected to WiFi or immediately the updates are posted, you aren’t necessarily stuck with the new version. There are a couple of ways you can downgrade these apps. Let us look at one of them. To downgrade the version of an app, follow these steps.

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Uninstall the App

The first step would be to get rid of the newer version of the app and Android does not allow you to install an older version of an app on top of a more recent version. To uninstall an app, follow these steps.

  1. Select the Settings app from your app drawer or home screen.
  2. Tap Apps or Applications.
  3. Scroll down the list until you find the app you want to remove and tap it.
  4. Select Uninstall.

Get the APK file for the app you want to install

The next step involves getting the actual installation file for the app. For Android, these have the .apk file extension. There are tons of places where you can get these apps, some more legit than others. These are the sites we would recommend as they do have systems in place to vet the apps being posted.

Install the downloaded APK file

Step 1: To get started, you need to allow installation of apps from external sources on your sources. To do it, navigate to Settings > Security, and enable the ‘Allow installation of unknown apps’ option under Device administration sub-setting.

Step 2: Now copy the downloaded APK file to your Android smartphone if you downloaded it using your PC. If you downloaded it onto your phone, navigate to it via the file explorer, and the smartphone will automatically recognize and install the app.

Step 3: Even when you successfully install the older version of an app, it’s possible that the automatic update option in the Google Play Store will bump it to the latest version. To prevent this from happening, go to Google Play Store > Settings > Auto-update apps, and select the ‘Do not auto-update apps’ option.

Featured Image courtesy of WindowsCentral

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