A tool to extract a phone app from an old phone?

I need to get one single app from my old (still working) phone.
No configuration, no files, nothing, just that one .apk file.

What do you people suggest I use?

A few years ago I would had used MyPhoneExplorer, but now I’m on Linux and I doubt it works on Wine. Is there a way to get to that .apk nevertheless, so I can install it on my FP4?

(Warning: As I said elsewhere, I’m somewhat computer-savvy, but a complete noob on all things Android.)

Well what app is that ?

Have you search the web ? There are dozens of guides ~ ideas

Are you familiar with adb (Android Development Bridge) ?

No, I did search this forum though, and found a couple suggestions, some pointing to dead links, but none which apparently applied to me. I don’t want to backup my phone, just get hold of a specific application.

I’ve heard of it… (Not always good things though…)
The page you linked seems comprehensible enough, I bookmarked it and will try it. Thanks!


  • First enable Developers mode (acheived believe it or not by tapping 10 times on the Build number via Settings > About phone last entry
  • You should now have Developer options under Settings > System > Advanced
  • Then enable USB debugging (Developer options > First one in second section)
  • Install the ADB on a PC
  • A run through how I installed ADB on a Rasberry Pi

That’s already done. Needed it to be able to copy stuff to my SD card using USB.

I have downloaded it (or at least I think I have - Got a thing named “platform-tools_r33.0.3-linux.zip”), but I didn’t try to install it yet, busy with real work for a change. :sweat:
Will try it when I have a couple hours to lose wondering what went wrong… :grin:

Hm, that sounds different from the link you gave me above. That guy ran “adb devices” and the daemon started all on its own at tcp:5037. I presume both work and the port is unimportant as long as it is above 5000?

With my downloaed ZIP, in Windows, once unpacked/extracted I could then just execute the file adb.exe then do the dirty

Haven’t tried in Linux

So slightly different access to adb with each OS platform.

But once adb is running via the command terminal it can be used to find the apks etc.

Great, thanks, I’ll try it some time next week (yes, normal people don’t work on weekends, unfortunately I’m not one of them…).

There are no ‘normal’ people, just some have common characteristics like two legs, it’s the work you’ve laid out for yourself :slight_smile:

I’m self employed in the fields and in this weather being a gnome at the desk just happens a bit more.

Good luck for the rainy days ahead that are on your horizon.

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SAI should be able to do that (not only for split APKs). (F-Droid / Play Store)

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I use the Total Commander for that. Just go to the folder with the apps and copy the app that you want

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On Linux, platform-tools is normally in the distribution packages :slight_smile:


Unfortunately “Requires Android: 5.0 and up”… The phone is on 4.4 (or some such). :slightly_frowning_face:
Thanks nevertheless.

Can it extract apps (copy them to a attached computer)? The description only mentions “List of installed Apps”.
Anyway, Total Commander should work on that phone, I’ll give it a spin. Thanks!

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Indeed, but as usual it’s an old (ancient?) version (2.2.2_3), I got me the latest one (33.0.3).

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I use “package manager” from Sarangal. Worked for me.

This depends on your distro, I suppose Ubuntu (and the ones based on that) has more recent packages. Fedora is also a very good distro with recent packages: Overview - rpms/android-tools - src.fedoraproject.org

But switching distro just for ADB makes no sense, and you probably already know this info. In that case, this is just general information for future generations :nerd_face:

I have used APKExtractor for such tasks:

It generates a file which you can transfer (email, USB, …) and install on the new phone.

Simple app to install, no adb worries.

Danke & Grüße von

Yup this is exactly what I’ve used. Works flawlessly for 99% of all apps

Sounds good, I’ll have to check if it runs on Android 4.x. Thanks!

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