How to Decrypt, Unpack, and Edit .apk files (Android, Eclipse, APKTOOL) – Easy as Pie

Yes, you can view or decrypt the XML files of an Android APK file. There is a tool for reengineering 3rd party, closed, binary Android apps.

How to do this on your Windows System:
  • Download apktool-install-windows-* file
  • Download apktool-* file
  • Unpack both to your Windows directory

Now copy the APK file also in that directory and run the following command in your command:

prompt:  apktool d HelloWorld.apk ./HelloWorld

This will create and directory “HelloWorld” in your current directory. Inside it you can find theAndroidManifest.xml file in decrypted form and you can also find other XML files inside the"HelloWorld/res/layout" directory.

Here HelloWorld.apk is your Android APK file.

See the below screen shot for more information:

Now that you’re finished. You probably want to this folder into Eclipse and Edit.

Alternatively, you can go for below UI based approach:

You want to edit apk file(android app) directly without the need of eclipse or command line build utility? Yes You can do it using APK Edit Utility.


(1) Download APK Edit Software from here. Download 'APK Edit' software from internet.

(2) Unzip the zip file and extract its contents. Click on "APK Edit.exe".

(3) First it will ask you to choose Java Executable from "Program Files" folder. Normally it resides in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_25\bin". Folder may be different if you have different java version installed or different bits operating system.

(4) Later software will ask you to choose android apk file you want to edit. Browse the apk file you want to edit.

(3) Wait for some time until the Browse link becomes clickable in Details Tab.

(4) Now, click on browse and folder structure will be opened.

(5) You can make small changes like string name change, image change, app name change & save the file to reflect the changes in apk file.
  • To Change icon or images :- Replace existing images with new images.
  • To make string changes :- find strings.xml file in res and change the string’s values.
  • To make app name, package name changes :- Change the android manifest file.

After making all changes, save the file and close the folder structure. Click On Ok and you will see the android app with all the changes you made.

If you have any queries/feedback, please write it in comments section below OR mail me here : Snehal [at] Techproceed [dot] com

Happy Androiding :-)


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