While the Google Play Store has a very large selection of apps that you can download to your Google Pixel 4A device, it does not contain every app that you might want or need to use on your phone.
If you have ever tried to install an app from outside of the Play Store then you may have encountered an issue where your phone was blocking you from doing so.
This is a security measure that is meant to protect your device, other apps, and personal information from potentially harmful applications that haven’t been verified through the Play Store.
But you can enable installation from unknown sources on a Pixel 4A by going to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access > Install unknown apps > then choosing a source and enabling it.
Once you have completed those steps you will be able to go back to whatever location you were trying to install an app from and hopefully be able to successfully complete that installation.
Our guide below continues with more on using this unknown app installation process so that you can get the apps you need which may not be available in the Google Play Store.
How to Turn on Google Pixel Unknown Sources
- Open the app menu.
- Select Settings.
- Touch Apps & notifications.
- Expand Advanced.
- Choose Special app access.
- Select Install unknown apps.
- Touch a source.
- Tap the button to enable unknown source installation.
Our guide continues below with more information on installing apps from unknown sources on a Google Pixel smartphone, including pictures of these steps.
How to Make Unknown Sources Enabled – Google Pixel 4A (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this article were written and performed on a Google Pixel 4A, in the Android 11 operating system. Other Android devices using Android 11 should also be able to follow these steps. They may be slightly different in other versions of Android.
Step 1: Swipe up on your Home screen to open the app menu.
Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the menu and select the Settings option.
Step 3: Choose Apps & notifications.
Step 4: Expand the Advanced section.
Step 5: Tap on the Special app access item.
Step 6: Scroll down to select the Install unknown apps option.
Step 7: Tap on the source for which you want to enable unknown app installation.
Note that you may have a lot more options on your device than what is shown below. If you do have a long list of apps here then you can also use the search feature at the top of the screen.
Step 8: Tap the button to allow for the source to install unknown apps.
You will need to come back here and tap that button again if you no longer wish to allow this app to install apps from unknown sources in the future.
Our tutorial continues below with additional discussion about enabling Pixel 4A unknown app installation.
More Information on How to Turn On or Turn Off Unknown Sources on Google Pixel 4A
Unless you know that you are going to be installing a lot of apps from unknown sources on your Pixel, then you may want to turn this setting back off when you are done.
If you have Google Pixel unknown sources enabled then you can go back to the Special app access menu and turn off app installation privileges for whichever app you have previously allowed.
When you install an app from an unknown source on the Web then it’s a good idea to save a link to that download location somewhere in case you need to install the app again in the future or install an update.
Since the Google Play Store traditionally manages app updates for the apps that you install from that marketplace you are going to be on your own when it comes to installing the updated version of apps that come from unknown locations.
The app files that you download and install on your Google Pixel smartphone are going to have a file extension of .apk.
The steps in this guide were performed on a Google Pixel 4A in Android 11, but many other Android devices and versions also have this ability. So even if you have a Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 3, or one of the XL versions, you will still be able to adjust this setting on those devices if you need to install an app from outside of the Play Store.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing technology how-to articles and tutorials for over a decade. He has extensive experience in information technology both in small business and as a consultant.
His articles have appeared on dozens of websites and been read millions of times.
He covers many different topics concerning technology, but focuses primarily on smartphones, consumer software, and consumer electronics.
You can read his full bio here.