Android apps are packed and distributed as APK packages. When you download an app from the Play Store, you’re basically downloading an APK file even though you won’t see it in your downloads folder. There are tons of APK files scattered all over the internet that you can install too, although you shouldn’t. You may even have come across some modded APK files usually for games. APK files are basically archives like ZIP or RAR and can be unpacked similarly. After that, if you’re knowledgeable enough, you can make changes and modify it, repack it and install it or share it. Today, we’ll see how you can decompile and recompile APK files using APK Easy Tool.
APK Easy Tool is a “lightweight application that enables you to manage, sign, compile and decompile the APK files for the apps you are working on.” It’s developed by evildog1, the same developer who earlier brought us the command line based APK Tool. Decompiling and recompiling APK files is pretty much the same thing as unpacking and repacking a ZIP file. It shouldn’t have to seem like a daunting task with all those commands. Just to be clear, it is not a difficult process at all. Some people aren’t as comfortable with the command line, however. Hence, the need for the GUI based APK Easy Tool.
Decompiling an APK lets you view the content inside and you can then modify various aspects of an app or game. For example, you can change the color of the Facebook app or enable and disable features. We’ve featured many YouTube mods which are made similarly by decompiling the YouTube APK, modifying it, and then recompiling it. Devs have been able to enable dark modes, Picture-in-Picture, background playback and several other features only available with YouTube Red. APK Easy Tool makes the decompiling and recompiling job much easier than it used to be, the modding part is where you can do your magic.
With APK Easy Tool, decompiling an APK is as simple as selecting the APK through the tool. It then decompiles the APK into a folder where you can modify things. Recompiling it again into an APK is also as easy as clicking a button. The interface also displays information about the APK such as package name, version, minimum SDK version and version code. Here’s a full list of features currently included with version 1.5 of the tool.
- 7z Compression-level 0-9
- APK information with icon
- Background workers to get rid of lags
- Remember window position (SHIFT + Q to reset window position)
- Advanced log viewer, with .txt file selection
- Extract APK / Zip APK
- Switch between apksigner.jar by Google and signapk.jar by bootstrap online
- Quick help
- Full environment path support
- Adb process kill
- Apktool.jar version selections
- Decompile APK
- Compile APK
- Sign APK after compile
- Sign selected APK (It will clone the selected APK, and sign it), compiled APK (If you forgot to sign your compiled APK, you can sign it), APK (signapk.jar v1.0)
- Remember path when closed (config will reset if EXE file was moved to somewhere else)
- Framework installer (uses apktool.jar’s commands)
- Logs tab
- Drag and drop file support
- Full options of decompiling and compiling
- Cancel button in wait dialog box
- Clear logs on exit
- Allow path changes in the textbox
- Java heap option. Default 512m
- Options to rename the apk file
- Options to select apk tool version.
- Enable/Disable check for updates
- Enable/Disable tips and ToolTips
- Signing APK with keystore. Must be enabled in options.
- Remember password of keystore. Password will be AES encrypted on exit
- Option to disable news and log
- Mass signing (drag and drop on Sign APK button)
- Stuck when decompiling Google Maps
- Windows 7 or newer (This tool will not work for Windows XP)
- .NET Framework 4.5 or newer
- Java SE/JDK. If you don’t have Java installed, you can only use Sign APK, Zipalign, Extract APK, Zip APK or Install APK. Decompiling and compiling can only be done when you have Java installed on your computer. You can download and install Java SE/JDK from this link.
How to use APK Easy Tool
- Download either the portable zip version or the setup zip version from the download links above. Extract the zip file and run the MSI setup file if you downloaded the setup version. You’ll need to install it. The portable version needs no installation, all you need is to extract it.
- Launch APK Easy Tool from the extracted folder or the shortcuts created after installation. Launching creates an APK Easy Tool folder in your Documents folder which is where your decompiled APK will be stored.
- Click on Select APK and then navigate your way to the APK you want to decompile and select it. You can also simply drag and drop the APK onto the tool.
- Once you’ve selected the APK, select Decompile from the available actions. Once decompiled, you’ll find the contents of the APK file in APK Easy Tool\1-Decompiled APKs inside the Documents folder.
- When you’re done modding, recompile APK by clicking on the Compile button.
- You can similarly Sign an APK, or perform any of the other actions with a simple click of the button.
You can also Install the APK directly to your device by clicking on the Install APK button as long as you have USB debugging and Unknown sources enabled. You’ll also need to connect your device to the computer with a USB cable.