Tip: What is Side Loading and How To Side Load on the Galaxy S II

Posted on Jan 5 2012 - 2:10pm by Brian

Hey there guys and gals, often times we see ourselves using terms and methodologies that might not be all too familiar for the genera Android user, so today we will be going over one of our most frequentlyused and asked terms: Side Loading.

What is Side Loading?

Wikipedia defines sideloading as the practice of

Transferring data between two local devices, in particular between a computer and a mobile device such as a cellphone, smartphone, PDA, or portable media player.

In practice this is used regarding loading and installing Android applications to your smartphone while circumventing conventional methods such as the Android market. The process is as follows:

  1. Find and download .apk file on your computer
  2. Load .apk to phone
  3. Run .apk and install the application onto your phone

Simple right? Well, there are some small steps in between, and even an automated option that can make the process easier.

Side Load: Standard Method

If you already have the .apk file on your smartphone you can skip to step _____

1. Download the .apk file on your computer (You can practice with this Galaxy Nexus Wallpaper .apk)

2. Now the hard part–getting the .apk onto your phone. There are numerous ways to get the .apk on your phone:

  • USB file transfer [Easiest]: Hook up your your phone to your computer via USB and drag and drop the file into an appropriate directory (make sure USB debugging mode is off [Menu > Settings > Applications > Development])
  • Bluetooth file transfer: Read our full guide
  • Kies: Download and install Kies, then follow the steps for the USB transfer.
  • Kies Air: Read our full guide
  • Email the .apk to yourself as an attachment

3. Navigate to your .apk’s location using my files

4. Install the .apk

Side Load using Side Load Wonder Machine:


-Your Android phone
-Computer running Windows XP or newer
-Microsoft .Net 40 Framework
-Device USB drivers

Phone Setup

Enable USB debugging by going to Menu > Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging:

Computer Setup

Download and install Android Central’s Sideload Wonder Machine.


For this example I will be installing the Galaxy S II wind farm Live Wallpaper, ff you would like to install the windmill.apk as well, here is the download. Let’s begin:

1. Download the .apk to a location you can find later

2. Connect your phone and computer via USB cable

3. Launch the Sideload Wonder Machine

4. Select ‘Choose APK’ and navigate to and choose your .apk

5. Now it will remind you to hit the ‘Update existing app’ check box if that applies; hit OK.

6. Hit ‘Install’ and wait for the CMD to successfully install the .apk

Congratulations, you have successfully sideloaded the Galaxy S II wind farm wallpaper. For installation instructions, visit out ‘how to’ article here.

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

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