How-To: Unpack and repack .apk files

Formatter app

You got yourself an Android smartphone or tablet and want to hack your way to few additional features. Heck you may want to know how some app is made and learn a trick or two from its (app’s) respective developer. Thanks to the XDA-Developer Forums‘ user despotovski01, it’s not that complicated to unpack and repack .apk files.

First of all, you’ll need some sort of an archive manager that can handle RAR files like WinRAR. Plus, there’s despotovski01’s own Formatter app for Windows PCs which can be downloaded from here (and here’s the mirror at MediaFire if the original link is too slow for you). Once that is set, do the following:

Unpacking .apk files:

  1. Open Formatter.
  2. Click the “Choose File” button and select your apk file.
  3. In the first text box, enter “.rar” (without quotes) and your desired name for the .rar archive.
  4. Click the big “Rename!” button.
  5. Go to the folder where your .apk file was and you should see the resulting .rar archive, which you can extract with the archive manager app.

Repacking .apk files:

  1. Compress the extracted files in a .rar archive.
  2. Open Formatter.
  3. Choose the .rar archive.
  4. Set the format to .apk
  5. Set name.
  6. Click the big “Rename!” button.

That’s it! I told you it’s not complicated, quite the contrary…

  • Pwnageisgood

    Thanks before I read this I didn’t know how to repack apk files 😀

  • Essjayar

    I didn’t even know an apk file was an archive! Makes sense though, based on linux, so kinda like a linux “tarball” or .gz from the repositories…

  • Mirzairbaig

    Thanks….. Wonderful Tools

  • Taniguchi

    well its works thanks i have download way to many prog trying to unzip and the winrar works lol….tty again

  • Smallo92

    You don’t need this software to do this. Just rename the files extension to .zip or open the .apk with winrar thats fine.

  • BiggerJeans

    Hi! I know this post is quite old.. but there is a problem which occurs once i repack the .rar into .apk
    once my phone tries to install the apk, a problem arises related to parsing.. what is that? please help.

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