Whenever I open the app store…
I feel like a kid in a candy store.
“I want this. I want that.”
But we can’t always have everything we want.
There are some apps that we can’t use on our Samsung TV.
Or can we?
Stay tuned to find out:
- Where you can find the App Store on Samsung.
- 5 reasons why your Samsung won’t install apps.
- What is sideloading, and how you can do it to install apps.
- 6 steps on how to install 3rd party apps on your Samsung TV.
- And so much more…
- How to download apps on Samsung Smart TV?
- 6 steps to install (3rd party) apps on Samsung Smart TV
- Why can’t I download apps on my Samsung TV? 5 causes & fixes
- Frequently asked questions:
How to download apps on Samsung Smart TV?
You can download apps on your Samsung Smart TV using the app store. But, if the app is unavailable, you can sideload it using an Android streaming device. Download the app’s APK and then transfer it to your TV. Then, with Android OS, you can open the APK and install it.
6 steps to install (3rd party) apps on Samsung Smart TV
Step #1: Check your app store
The essential step to installing an app?
Check your app store.
To do this, all you have to do is:
- Press the ‘Home’ button on your remote.
- Go to ‘Apps.’
- Press the search icon in the upper-right corner.
- Type the name of the app you want to install.
If it’s there, simply press ‘Install’ to get the app.
But, if it’s not, you have no choice but to sideload it.
Step #2: Buy an Android streaming device
Sideloading is just a tech term for installing 3rd party apps.
And, to sideload apps on your Samsung TV, you’ll need to spend a little cash.
Let me explain…
Samsung TVs run on Tizen OS.
As of today, you can only sideload apps with a specific file format. (More on that format later.)
And Tizen can’t install files with that file format.
But, you know what can?
Android TV OS.
And that’s how we’re going to bypass Samsung TV’s 3rd party app restrictions:
By buying a streaming device.
Since you’re going to use this streaming device while using your app…
You might as well buy the best, right?
Here are my recommendations for the best Android streaming device:
Already got one? Great.
Now, connect that to your Samsung and then change the input.
And, voila. Android OS on your Samsung TV.
You can now proceed to…
Step #3: Download a file explorer on your TV
You’ll need a file explorer to install 3rd party apps.
A file explorer allows you to modify or view apps on your TV.
And those are some things that you’ll need to do later.
So, to install one, just follow these 6 easy steps:
- Press the ‘Home’ button on your remote.
- Go to ‘Apps.’
- Select ‘Google Play Store.’
- Click the ‘Search’ icon in the upper-right corner.
- Look for any file explorer app.
- Select the app and press ‘Install.’
As for which file explorer you should get, Android Authority recommends the following:
- MK Explorer.
- Root Explorer.
- Solid Explorer.
- MiXplorer Silver.
- CX File Explorer.
- FX File Manager.
- Total Commander.
- Amaze File Manager.
- X-Plore File Manager.
Note: While you’re in the Play Store, look for the app you want to install. Tizen’s app store is different from the Android TV Play Store. If you’re lucky, your app might be available for the Android TV OS.
Still no? Go to step #4.
Step #4: Download the app’s APK
At this stage, we need to talk about APKs.
As mentioned earlier, you can only sideload apps on TV that have a specific file format.
And that format is APK or Android Package.
Now, to download your app’s APK, you just have to:
- Open your laptop or PC.
- Go to Google.
- Search the name of your app, then add “APK” at the end.
- Look for a website that has your APK, then download it.
It’s that easy.
Warning: Be careful where you download your APK. There are a lot of sites out there that have fake apps.
To steal your data or spread malware.
If you’re looking for a reputable website to download APKs from, go to:
Step #5: Transfer the APK to your TV
The next step is to transfer your APK to your file explorer.
To do that, you have 3 choices:
- With an app.
- By flash drive.
- Using your TV.
And here’s how you can do each of them:
Using an app
For this method, the first thing that you need to do?
Make sure that your TV and your laptop are connected to the same network.
- Go to your Google Play Store.
- Look for the app called ‘Wi-Fi File Manager.’
- Select and install the app.
- Open the app. You should get a notification with an IP address on it.
- Next, open the laptop or PC that has your APK.
- Launch your web browser and go to the IP address.
- Drag and drop the APK to the ‘Upload File’ section.
And you’re done.
The only downside of this method is the extra time and storage you’ll need to install the app.
If this seems too hectic for you, do this instead…
Using flash drive
Do you have a spare USB lying around somewhere?
If so, use that to transfer your files with these steps:
- Open the laptop or PC where you downloaded the APK.
- Insert a flash drive to your PC.
- Copy and paste the APK file to the flash drive.
- Next, plug the drive into your Samsung’s USB port.
- Wait for a few seconds to give your TV time to read your drive.
A pop-up notification should appear when your TV recognizes the flash drive.
Note: You can also download the APK on your phone and connect it to your TV with a USB-C cable.
Using your TV
Alternatively, you can download the file directly to your TV.
You won’t need to transfer the APK from another device by doing this.
Warning: Use the browser on the Android streaming device, not the browser on Tizen.
Step #6: Install the app
Finally, it’s time to add the app to your TV.
And this won’t even take long…
You just need to do these 4 simple steps:
- Open your file explorer.
- Look for the APK.
- Press it.
- Select ‘Install.’
And, there you go. You’ve now successfully installed a 3rd party app.
Now the only thing left to do is use it.
Warning: Just because you’ve installed your app doesn’t mean it will work properly.
Developers make APKs for mobile devices.
And that’s why some of these apps:
- Can only be viewed in landscape mode.
- Can’t use some of your TV’s functionalities.
- Can’t be moved without touchscreen controls.
There’s a reason why some apps aren’t available for your Samsung TV…
It’s because modifying apps to be compatible with a television device can take years.
And millions of dollars in research and development.
Why can’t I download apps on my Samsung TV? 5 causes & fixes
#1: Outdated firmware
First, try to update your firmware.
Outdated firmware can cause your software to malfunction.
Including its app store.
There are two ways to update, depending on your choice:
Settings are the easier option.
Just grab your remote, and do these:
- Press the ‘Settings’ button on your remote.
- Go to ‘Support.’
- Select ‘Software Update.’
- Press ‘Update Now.’
Now, wait for a few minutes.
You’re good to go once you receive confirmation that the TV is now up-to-date.
Note: Alternatively, you can also enable Auto Update. Just return to the Software Update interface, then toggle Auto Update on.
Via flash drive
This method is for those people who like to go analog.
And for those who like making things harder for themselves.
Note: You’ll need your TV’s model number.
You can find this in your About section.
Or at the back of your TV.
Step #1: Download the update
- Open a laptop or a PC.
- Launch your browser.
- Go to the Samsung Support Page.
- On the search bar, enter your TV’s name or model number.
- Once you find your TV model, press ‘Download.’
Step #2: Install the update
- Right-click your download.
- Select ‘Extract All.’
- Plug a flash drive into your PC.
- Copy and paste the extracted file into your drive’s root folder.
- Next, turn your TV off.
- Insert the flash drive into its USB port.
Are you still confused? Don’t worry.
You can watch this video instead:
#2: Not available on Samsung TV
Unfortunately, not all apps are available on Tizen OS.
No matter how many times you press the search button on the app store…
It’s just not there.
How to fix it
You have to think outside the box.
If it’s not available on Tizen…
Then maybe a different OS can install it.
That’s the reason why you’ll need a streaming device.
And here’s what we recommend for each OS:
- Apple TV 4K.
- Roku Streaming Stick.
- Chromecast with Google TV.
You might ask:
“Isn’t it a waste to buy a streaming device just for one app?”
And the answer to that is…
Not at all.
Even with smart TVs, investing in a good streaming device is wise.
Why? For these reasons:
- Better performance.
- Wide range of apps.
- More frequent updates.
Note: Gaming consoles also have their app stores.
So, before buying anything, make sure you check them first.
Now, what if you can see them on your app store…
But it’s greyed out.
What that means is that the app is incompatible with your device.
And this is most likely caused by an outdated Samsung TV.
How to fix it
Buy a new TV.
Or, if you’re cheap like me, buy an Evolution Kit.
An Evolution Kit updates your old Samsung TVs.
Complete with a more modern interface and up-to-date firmware.
#4: You need to factory reset the TV
Were you able to install new apps in the past?
If so, it’s better to factory reset your TV.
To get rid of any malware that’s affecting your Samsung.
Or remove any settings change you’ve made that may be causing your error.
How to fix it
You can reset your Samsung with these 5 steps:
- Open your ‘Settings’ menu.
- Go to ‘General.’
- Select ‘Reset.’
- Enter your PIN. By default, it’s 0000.
- Press ‘OK’ to confirm.
#5: It’s just not in the mood
Sometimes your TV just isn’t working.
For no reason. At all.
Smart TVs are complex.
And there are a million processes inside it that we can’t understand as laymen.
And, if that’s the case, what can you do?
How to fix it
You power cycle it.
A power cycle is a complete restart of your TV.
Restarting your device would remove any residual charge on your device.
Then, it triggers your mainboard to reset.
Which then unclogs any processes that are creating your error.
And to do this, you must:
- Turn your TV off.
- Unplug it from the socket.
- Wait 30 seconds.
- Turn it back on again.
BONUS: Contact Samsung
Have you tried everything but, still, nothing works?
Samsung Support is here for you.
Frequently asked questions:
Where is the App Store on Samsung TV?
The App Store on your Samsung TV is on its Home screen.
Simply press the Home button on your remote twice.
Then go left until you find the Apps section.
These steps should take you to the App Store.
Can you download different apps on Samsung Smart TV?
You can download different apps on Samsung Smart TV.
But it won’t be easy.
The easiest method is to go to your App Store and download the app.
However, not all apps are available to you.
In that case, you have to sideload the 3rd party app.
And, to sideload apps, you’ll need a separate Android TV streaming device.