How to Install Apps on Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (Install Third Party Apps)

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You can install apps that are not available in wearOS play store. Check the method to install third party apps on Galaxy Watch 5.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 runs on wearOS 3 which means there are endless apps that users can try on their Galaxy Watch 5. The Watch has inbuilt Play Store which allows one to install apps. But not all the apps you want to use are available on Play Store, so you also have the option of installing third party apps.

Here you will know how to install apps from the play store and how to install third party apps on Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

Note: After the Wear OS 4 based One UI 5 watch upgrade, the process has been changed slightly. So if you have upgraded your Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch 5 to Wear OS 4, you can check out this detailed guide.

Galaxy Watch 5 is the latest smartwatch from Samsung which is quite popular thanks to its predecessor Galaxy Watch 4. Recently there is a Galaxy Watch 5 competitor in town which is the Google Pixel Watch.

When I was looking for a way to get new Pixel Watch watchfaces on my Galaxy Watch 5, I had to sideload the apk as it is currently not available in Play Store. So I thought why not share the guide with you? Using this guide you can install apps from Play Store on Galaxy Watch 5 and even install apps on Galaxy Watch 5 that are not on Play Store.

Let’s start the guide with the method to download apps from Play Store.

How to Install Apps on Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

If you have Galaxy Watch 5, then you have access to the Play Store considering you have logged in with your Google account during the setup or later. Also, you can follow this guide for other wearOS 3 watches. Here are two methods followed by a tip.

Method 1:

  1. Swipe up from the main watch face screen which will bring up the apps page.
  2. Now look for the Play Store icon and tap it.
  3. This will open the Play Store. Look for the app you want to install or search for it.
  4. Tap the app and then tap the Install button.
    How to Install Apps on Galaxy Watch 5
  5. Wait for the installation. You can access the new apps from the App Drawer.

Method 2:

If your Watch is connected to your phone, you can use this method.

  1. Open Play Store on your Phone which is connected to your Galaxy Watch 5.
  2. Now search for the app you want to install on your Watch.
  3. Tap the app icon and then tap the down arrow next to the Install button.
  4. Make sure that Watch is ticked, you can untick the phone option if you want to install the app only on your watch.
    How to Install Apps on Galaxy Watch 5
  5. Then tap Install. Wait for some time and you will find the new app on the App Drawer.

Tip: Make sure to connect your Watch via WiFi direct to install the app on your Watch faster.

How to Install Third Party Apps on Galaxy Watch 5

The apps on Play Store are limited. However, there are a bunch of apps for wearOS and not available on the Play Store. So to install these apps you need to sideload their APK file. So whenever any developer ports an app you can use this method to install third party apps immediately. The process is quite easy. Let’s start.

Enable Developer Options on Galaxy Watch 5

Developer Options is a hidden set of settings that also includes some advanced settings. And to install third party apps you need to enable them.

  1. Open Settings on your Watch from App Drawer or Quick Settings.
  2. Scroll down to the last and select About Watch.
    How to Install Third Party Apps on Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
  3. Look for Software Information and Open it.
  4. Now tap the Software version until it says Developer mode turned on.
    How to Install Third Party Apps on Galaxy Watch 5

Enable WiFi debugging on Galaxy Watch 5

The next step is to enable ADB and wifi debugging which allows the connection between the PC and the Watch.

  1. Go to Settings on your phone.
  2. Scroll down to the last and you will now see a new option ‘Developer Options’.
    How to Install Third Party Apps on Galaxy Watch 5
  3. Open Developer options and enable ADB Debugging.
  4. Make sure your PC and Galaxy Watch 5 are connected to the same WiFi network.
  5. Now enable Debug over Wifi in developer options and it will show the IP address.
    How to Install Third Party Apps on Galaxy Watch 5
  6. Note down the IP address which you will need in the next step.

Install Third Party Apps on Galaxy Watch 5

Now the remaining steps will be done on the PC. Download the apk file of the app you want to install on your Watch.

  1. Download Android sdk tool on your PC and extract it.
  2. Copy the apk file of the app into the platform tools folder you extracted in the last step.
  3. If the name of apk file is big you can rename it for example abc.apk.
  4. Now open the CMD from the platform tools folder location where apk file is stored. You can enter replace the file location address with cmd and press enter.
  5. Enter the below command on Command Window and tap Allow if you see a prompt on your Watch.
    • adb connect ‘IP Address’ (eg. adb connect 192.168.1.1:2050)
      How to Install Third Party Apps on Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
  6. Once the watch is connected to the PC over WiFi enter the below command to install third party app.
    • adb -s "IP address" install filename.apk (eg. adb -s 192.168.1.1:2050 install abc.apk)
      How to Install Third Party Apps on Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
  7. It will take some time to install the app to Galaxy Watch 5 over WiFi. So wait for the success message.
  8. Now you can access the new app or watchface on your Galaxy Watch 5.
  9. To disconnect the adb connection enter the below command.
    • adb disconnect

Once the need for adb debugging is completed, make sure to turn off the adb debugging in developer options to save battery life.

Install Third Party apps on Galaxy Watch 5 without PC

In case you don’t have a PC with you to perform the given method, you can use your phone to install third party apps on Galaxy Watch 5 using WiFi debugging.

To do that enable developer options, and then enable adb debugging and Debug over WiFi. Install apps like Bugjaeger Mobile ADB on your phone and connect it using the IP address and port mentioned in the Debug over WiFi section. Port is the four-digit number after : in IP address.

Once connected tap on the + icon and choose the apk file that you want to install to your watch. It will show installing status. After installing the apk, you can use the app on your Galaxy Watch 5.

If you are looking for detailed guide for installing apps on Galaxy Watch without PC, refer this guide.

So this was the complete guide on how to install third party apps on Galaxy Watch 5 and how to install apps from Play store. In case you have any queries, let us know in the comment section.

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By Ashutosh Singh

Ashutosh started his technical writing journey when he was a university student. He is now a full time tech blog writer specializing in smartwatch based tech news and how-to guides. He spends his free time exploring games and useful gadgets.

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