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How to extract the APK of a system application on Android

26 mayo, 2021

The vast majority of manufacturers pre-install some applications on their mobiles to give added value to the user or offer additional options. These are installed on the system and, generally speaking, “cannot be uninstalled or managed.” But the truth is that yes. In fact, the installation file can be extracted to use it on other mobiles or share it.

These applications come in APK format (Android Application Package or Android application package, literally translated into Spanish) and are located in the internal memory of the device. Accessing and extracting them is quite simple if we use the appropriate application, and that is precisely what we are going to do today.

How to extract an APK, even from the system


The truth is that there are several ways. The long and complicated is search for it ourselves using a file explorer as Solid Explorer, go to the root folder of the mobile memory, access the “app” folder and search, one by one, the APKs of the applications that we want to export. Very tedious.

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The simple one is using an application like Skit. Its operation is extremely simple and allows extract the APK from any app and share it. The steps to follow are those:

  1. When you open Skit, swipe right and select “System.”
  2. In that list you will see all the applications that the manufacturer has installed in the / system folder of your ROM. Unlike the previous method, you will identify apps faster at a glance.
  3. Find the app you want to export, in our case the MIUI time, and click on it.
  4. You will see that in the lower right corner a compass icon appears. Click on it.
  5. You now have two options. If you just want to save it, click on “Extract” and the APK file will be moved to the “Skit” folder on your mobile’s internal memory. If you want to share it, press the share button and select an app like Telegram, Drive, WhatsApp or Gmail.

In the free version you cannot export applications in batch. In order to do so, you will have to pay 2.49 euros for the premium version. However, the conventional app is more than enough to export one or two applications or, if you are patient, all you want one at a time.

The extracted APK files do not have to work on all devices on the market

Keep in mind that the extracted applications may not be compatible with all devices. In other words, the time application extracted from a Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 does not have to work on a Samsung Galaxy S10 +, for example. It will depend on how the application, architecture or device variant was developed.