How to fix ‘an error occurred while parsing the package’ in Android

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Although it is not common, you may occasionally encounter an error message when you install an application from its APK. But everything has a solution

Android Error Package Analysis

Android is very jealous when we want to install apps outside of Google Play. That is, from an APK file that you have downloaded from other websites. If you have set up your phone correctly, everything should be fine. The file is downloaded, analyzed by Android, and finally installed. 

But sometimes you will come across a message of the type “error parsing the package” or “failed to parse the package”. It can also show an “an error occurred while parsing the package” and not tell you what the error is. Simply, the installation process stops because the previous analysis has given an error.

To solve this problem and correctly install applications from its APK installer, you have different solutions at your disposal. We are going to see the most common and that will not take you much time. Keep in mind that it is not a very common error. But when it does happen, you’ll be prepared to fix it.

What is an error when parsing a package in Android

As we said, Android applications are installed from a file or installer known by the acronym APK. Its meaning is Android Package or Android Package. It is actually a compressed file that contains all the files that make an application or game work. Android reads that APK and decides where the content goes. As a user, you will see the app icon once installed. Ready to use.

The problem or error when parsing a package has to do with that reading process. When we open the APK to install it, Android first makes sure that the file is legit . That is to say, that the content is correct and that it does not contain any error that prevents its installation or its proper functioning. But that analysis doesn’t always turn out well. And if so, the installation simply stops. 

The reasons for this error can be varied. And they can occur whether you download the application from Google Play or from other sources. The funny thing is that it does not always have to do with the APK installer being corrupted . Sometimes, simply, the analysis has not been able to read some basic data that is required of all APKs. The content works fine but that information is not available. 

How to fix ‘failed to parse package’ error on Android

In the same way that the “could not parse package” error has several causes , it also has many solutions. The downside is that we don’t know which one will fix the problem. But sooner or later, trying several of these solutions , you will find the key and you will be able to install that application for Android.

Download the APK file again

The simplest and fastest solution . Android scan may fail because the APK file you want to install was downloaded wrong. That is to say, that during the download there was a microcut and the installer is corrupt. It costs nothing to download the APK again and try the installation again.

Check if you have activated ‘Unknown sources’ in Android

Normally, the errors associated with installing an application from its APK have to do with Android preventing applications from being installed outside of its official store. But knowing that the installer is legit, you can do it once we have activated the appropriate options. This time, it is about allowing installation from unknown origins or sources . Allow install from this source on AndroidAllow install from this source on Android

The solution is simple, but it changes depending on the version of Android you have. 

First possibility:

  1. Go into Android Settings .
  2. Select Security .
  3. Check the Unknown sources box .

Another possibility, if you use Android 12 or higher:

  1. Go into Android Settings .
  2. Tap on Apps .
  3. Enter the tab of Chrome or the browser you use to download the APK file.
  4. Look for the Install unknown apps option .
  5. Press it and activate the option Allow from this source or similar.

Turn on USB debugging

Even if you have enabled the installation of Android applications from unknown sources, sometimes this is not enough to install certain APK files or packages. So a possible solution is to go a bit further by turning on USB debugging . This option will give us more long sleeve when installing applications from an APK.Activate USB debugging on AndroidActivate USB debugging on Android

To turn on USB debugging on Android:

  1. Go into Android Settings .
  2. Select the About device option .
  3. Click seven times on the Android version. 
  4. The message You are already a developer will appear .
  5. Now go back to Settings .
  6. Go into Developer Options .
  7. Check or enable the USB debugging option .

Check if that APK is compatible with your phone

One of the reasons you see the error message when parsing the package is that it doesn’t indicate what version of Android it ‘s configured for or what architecture it’s configured for . That is, an APK can only work on specific versions of Android. For example, Android 6.0+. Or on a specific architecture: arm64, armeabi, x86, x86_64… 

If you have your phone running Android up to date , this issue should not occur. Check that you have the latest version of Android compatible with your device and that your device’s Google services are up to date. Sometimes, even if you don’t have the latest Android, your phone updates packages like Google Play services and the like so that compatibility with other apps is as good as possible.Check if the Android operating system is up to dateCheck if the Android operating system is up to date

To check if you can update Android:

  1. Go into Android Settings .
  2. Click on System , and then on System update .
  3. Select Android Version .
  4. Finally, click on Check for updates .

Update Android components on Google PlayUpdate Android components on Google Play

To update all Android components:

  1. Enter the Google Play Store app .
  2. Tap your profile icon in the top right corner.
  3. Tap on Manage apps and device . 
  4. You will see an Updates Available indicator .
  5. Tap on Update all .

If, despite having Android up to date, you can’t avoid the error message when parsing the package, then try downloading a previous version of the APK file. Maybe that way you can find the latest version compatible with your version of Android.

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