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[GUIDE] How to easily edit/modify .apk files! (Simple, Noob Friendly)

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littlejoelgriffo

Senior Member
Dec 13, 2012
276
1,549
Hey Guys an' Girls!
Anyway, so when I first learnt how to decompile, modify then recompile .apks I found it was a rather slow process and figured out a far faster way.I searched google and xda many times and couldn't find my method anywhere. So without further ado, let's go through an easy, simple, step by step guide on how to modify .apk files!

Step 1 - Getting the .apk

Firstly, of course, you will need to obtain the .apk file that you want to edit. There are two methods to do this:

a) If you have the recovery flashable zip for the rom you are currently on, simply open it up, navigate to the file you want to edit (in my case system -> app -> settings.apk) and drag the .apk file onto your desktop.

b) Using root browser or a similar app on your device, navigate to the .apk you wish to edit and copy it onto your sdcard. Then connect to your computer and copy the file from your phone to the computer.

Step 2 - Editing/Modifying your .apk

Now is the important part. Install Winrar by clicking the link. http://www.win-rar.com/download.html?&L=0 Then open the .apk by right clicking the file -> open with -> WinRar. Now you can look around the .apk file. Find a file inside the .apk you wish to edit. (In my case I'm going to navigate to res -> mipmap-hdpi -> ic_launcher_settings.png). Just drag the file from the .apk and edit to your liking.

NOTE: It is recommended never to completely take everything out of the .apk and then put it all back in. Just do one file at a time.

Then when your finished, select the old file in the .apk and press the delete button. Now drag in the new edited file into where you found it. Easy!

Step 3 - Putting the new .apk back where it belongs

Now of course, your going to have to put it back on your device to see the changes in effect, there's no point having it on your computer! There are two ways to go about this:

a) Open up your rom and navigate to the place where you took your .apk file from. Click on the old .apk file and press the delete button. Now drag your new edited .apk file into the zip. Then connect your device to your computer and drag the rom onto the sdcard and flash it via recovery. Now reboot the system and see your change/s in effect!

b) Copy your new .apk file from your computer to your device. Then, using Root browser or a similar app, navigate to the old .apk file and look at the permisions. (eg. RW--r--) Now delete the old file and replace with the new, but make sure to set the permissions the same as they were before. Now Simply reboot and see your change/s in effect!

NOTE: For some .apk files (eg. Framework-res.apk) there might be missing folders inside the .apk (eg. Values).
 
Last edited:

littlejoelgriffo

Senior Member
Dec 13, 2012
276
1,549
This is an easy way to edit the images only(icons,wallpaper,etc),not XML files,Smali's and such.I do this using the kitchen,easy way if you theme alot.

You don't have to use this guide just for images. That was just the example. You can use it for almost any file inside an .apk. I was just saying that SOME folders aren't there.
 

tendyfish

Senior Member
Sep 14, 2011
119
18
i tried to modify a 3rd party app e.g whatsapp and when i tried installing i got an error which said "the app is not signed", may u kindly assist!
 

ravefolk

Senior Member
Oct 31, 2009
57
1
I want to change values on touchwiz launcher on my note 3, to use it in 440 dpi. When I use it there is so much margin on all sides, and I need to reduce. I need to add a new icon row as well. Can I do that just by modifying the app?

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
 

kunjar

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2010
215
41
Hi,

I would like to modify the tinychat.apk so that i can find how to change my device info/platform from android to something else, like pc or whatever. I dont want to be identified as using an android device. Is this possible?

Regards.
 

nabobcoffee

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2006
705
118
Modify JAR files

Hey Guys an' Girls!
Anyway, so when I first learnt how to decompile, modify then recompile .apks I found it was a rather slow process and figured out a far faster way.I searched google and xda many times and couldn't find my method anywhere. So without further ado, let's go through an easy, simple, step by step guide on how to modify .apk files!

Step 1 - Getting the .apk

Firstly, of course, you will need to obtain the .apk file that you want to edit. There are two methods to do this:

a) If you have the recovery flashable zip for the rom you are currently on, simply open it up, navigate to the file you want to edit (in my case system -> app -> settings.apk) and drag the .apk file onto your desktop.

b) Using root browser or a similar app on your device, navigate to the .apk you wish to edit and copy it onto your sdcard. Then connect to your computer and copy the file from your phone to the computer.

Step 2 - Editing/Modifying your .apk

Now is the important part. Install Winrar by clicking the link. http://www.win-rar.com/download.html?&L=0 Then open the .apk by right clicking the file -> open with -> WinRar. Now you can look around the .apk file. Find a file inside the .apk you wish to edit. (In my case I'm going to navigate to res -> mipmap-hdpi -> ic_launcher_settings.png). Just drag the file from the .apk and edit to your liking.

NOTE: It is recommended never to completely take everything out of the .apk and then put it all back in. Just do one file at a time.

Then when your finished, select the old file in the .apk and press the delete button. Now drag in the new edited file into where you found it. Easy!

Step 3 - Putting the new .apk back where it belongs

Now of course, your going to have to put it back on your device to see the changes in effect, there's no point having it on your computer! There are two ways to go about this:

a) Open up your rom and navigate to the place where you took your .apk file from. Click on the old .apk file and press the delete button. Now drag your new edited .apk file into the zip. Then connect your device to your computer and drag the rom onto the sdcard and flash it via recovery. Now reboot the system and see your change/s in effect!

b) Copy your new .apk file from your computer to your device. Then, using Root browser or a similar app, navigate to the old .apk file and look at the permisions. (eg. RW--r--) Now delete the old file and replace with the new, but make sure to set the permissions the same as they were before. Now Simply reboot and see your change/s in effect!

NOTE: For some .apk files (eg. Framework-res.apk) there might be missing folders inside the .apk (eg. Values).

That's very helpful thank you for sharing. Is there a way to modify JAR files the same way?
 

N!KE26

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2013
554
175
Hey Guys an' Girls!
Anyway, so when I first learnt how to decompile, modify then recompile .apks I found it was a rather slow process and figured out a far faster way.I searched google and xda many times and couldn't find my method anywhere. So without further ado, let's go through an easy, simple, step by step guide on how to modify .apk files!

Step 1 - Getting the .apk

Firstly, of course, you will need to obtain the .apk file that you want to edit. There are two methods to do this:

a) If you have the recovery flashable zip for the rom you are currently on, simply open it up, navigate to the file you want to edit (in my case system -> app -> settings.apk) and drag the .apk file onto your desktop.

b) Using root browser or a similar app on your device, navigate to the .apk you wish to edit and copy it onto your sdcard. Then connect to your computer and copy the file from your phone to the computer.

Step 2 - Editing/Modifying your .apk

Now is the important part. Install Winrar by clicking the link. http://www.win-rar.com/download.html?&L=0 Then open the .apk by right clicking the file -> open with -> WinRar. Now you can look around the .apk file. Find a file inside the .apk you wish to edit. (In my case I'm going to navigate to res -> mipmap-hdpi -> ic_launcher_settings.png). Just drag the file from the .apk and edit to your liking.

NOTE: It is recommended never to completely take everything out of the .apk and then put it all back in. Just do one file at a time.

Then when your finished, select the old file in the .apk and press the delete button. Now drag in the new edited file into where you found it. Easy!

Step 3 - Putting the new .apk back where it belongs

Now of course, your going to have to put it back on your device to see the changes in effect, there's no point having it on your computer! There are two ways to go about this:

a) Open up your rom and navigate to the place where you took your .apk file from. Click on the old .apk file and press the delete button. Now drag your new edited .apk file into the zip. Then connect your device to your computer and drag the rom onto the sdcard and flash it via recovery. Now reboot the system and see your change/s in effect!

b) Copy your new .apk file from your computer to your device. Then, using Root browser or a similar app, navigate to the old .apk file and look at the permisions. (eg. RW--r--) Now delete the old file and replace with the new, but make sure to set the permissions the same as they were before. Now Simply reboot and see your change/s in effect!

NOTE: For some .apk files (eg. Framework-res.apk) there might be missing folders inside the .apk (eg. Values).

Thnax for great guide but,my gopro app has a update and I have changed the icon on it but the app store dosent show me the update button. How to fix so I can update?
 

daddybux

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2012
65
3
tijuana
What do I need to change in an app to substitute it for another app?

OK so I've installed a new ROM and it comes with a kernel setting app preinstalled. This app has been integrated into the system settings portion of the ROM. I want to replace this kernel settings app with one of my choice but I want to be able to integrate it into the system settings like the original app is. I tried disguising the new app by changing the name of the app and .apk files but that didn't work. Closest I got was being able to convert my app to system app but even though I changed the name, the app, when installed goes back to it's original name. Or what permissions or files do I need to change to allow the integration of my app into the settings interface. Thanks ahead of time, it's appreciated.
 

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  • 253
    Hey Guys an' Girls!
    Anyway, so when I first learnt how to decompile, modify then recompile .apks I found it was a rather slow process and figured out a far faster way.I searched google and xda many times and couldn't find my method anywhere. So without further ado, let's go through an easy, simple, step by step guide on how to modify .apk files!

    Step 1 - Getting the .apk

    Firstly, of course, you will need to obtain the .apk file that you want to edit. There are two methods to do this:

    a) If you have the recovery flashable zip for the rom you are currently on, simply open it up, navigate to the file you want to edit (in my case system -> app -> settings.apk) and drag the .apk file onto your desktop.

    b) Using root browser or a similar app on your device, navigate to the .apk you wish to edit and copy it onto your sdcard. Then connect to your computer and copy the file from your phone to the computer.

    Step 2 - Editing/Modifying your .apk

    Now is the important part. Install Winrar by clicking the link. http://www.win-rar.com/download.html?&L=0 Then open the .apk by right clicking the file -> open with -> WinRar. Now you can look around the .apk file. Find a file inside the .apk you wish to edit. (In my case I'm going to navigate to res -> mipmap-hdpi -> ic_launcher_settings.png). Just drag the file from the .apk and edit to your liking.

    NOTE: It is recommended never to completely take everything out of the .apk and then put it all back in. Just do one file at a time.

    Then when your finished, select the old file in the .apk and press the delete button. Now drag in the new edited file into where you found it. Easy!

    Step 3 - Putting the new .apk back where it belongs

    Now of course, your going to have to put it back on your device to see the changes in effect, there's no point having it on your computer! There are two ways to go about this:

    a) Open up your rom and navigate to the place where you took your .apk file from. Click on the old .apk file and press the delete button. Now drag your new edited .apk file into the zip. Then connect your device to your computer and drag the rom onto the sdcard and flash it via recovery. Now reboot the system and see your change/s in effect!

    b) Copy your new .apk file from your computer to your device. Then, using Root browser or a similar app, navigate to the old .apk file and look at the permisions. (eg. RW--r--) Now delete the old file and replace with the new, but make sure to set the permissions the same as they were before. Now Simply reboot and see your change/s in effect!

    NOTE: For some .apk files (eg. Framework-res.apk) there might be missing folders inside the .apk (eg. Values).
    45
    Just hit the thanks button, he doesn't bite your finger! ;)
    12
    i tried to modify a 3rd party app e.g whatsapp and when i tried installing i got an error which said "the app is not signed", may u kindly assist!

    You also have this tool
    Easy Apk Dissassembler

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=14049173
    6
    This is an easy way to edit the images only(icons,wallpaper,etc),not XML files,Smali's and such.I do this using the kitchen,easy way if you theme alot.
    3
    This is an easy way to edit the images only(icons,wallpaper,etc),not XML files,Smali's and such.I do this using the kitchen,easy way if you theme alot.

    You don't have to use this guide just for images. That was just the example. You can use it for almost any file inside an .apk. I was just saying that SOME folders aren't there.