You thought you could do almost anything through your Samsung Smart TV.
Until you found out that the apps you can download are limited.
So, is it possible to add 3rd party ones?
And if so, what are the easiest methods you can do at home?
Read on to learn:
- 5 easy ways to install unlisted apps on Samsung Smart TV.
- The reason why it’s impossible to do it on new TV models.
- How to transfer apps from your Android phone to your Smart TV.
- 5 simple steps on how to install apps on Samsung Smart TV from usb.
- And many more…
First off, is it possible to install 3rd party apps on Samsung Smart TVs?
Yup, it’s doable.
But the only way to do it is by connecting an external adapter or drive to your TV. (We’ll get to this in a while.)
So, what’s the reason for this?
Since 2015, Samsung Smart TVs have been running on a Tizen operating system (OS).
It’s said that it also supports various devices. Ranging from phones, TVs, and even Samsung Smart fridges.
But unlike Android, Tizen doesn’t let its users install any 3rd party apps.
So if you want to download some, you can’t do it straight from your Samsung Smart TV alone.
But don’t worry. Here are a few workarounds.
How to install 3rd party apps on Samsung Smart TV? 5 easy ways
#1: Connect an external storage device to it
This is the least expensive method you can do at home.
Step 1: Download the file of the app that you need.
Step 2: Copy it to an external storage device.
Step 3: Insert the flash drive into your TV’s USB port.
Before you plug your USB flash drive into your Smart TV, consider this:
- The file system that your Samsung Smart TV requires.
- The correct type of file to download depending on your TV model.
Don’t worry. I’ll discuss these things in detail shortly.
Note: Your Samsung Smart TV would be fine even if you download the wrong file. It’s just that the TV won’t be able to detect your flash drive. Or the app’s installation won’t go through.
#2: Use the Amazon Fire TV Stick
Next, do you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick at home?
If so, that’s great.
This is the easiest method for TV users with Tizen OS.
But if not, you may consider getting one since it lets you do a lot of things on your TV.
“What’s an Amazon Fire TV Stick?”
It’s a streaming device that you can plug into your TV’s HDMI port.
Through it, you can watch on many streaming apps like Hulu and YouTube. And it could also let you download Netflix on a Non-Smart TV.
Aside from films and TV shows, you can also play music through it.
And here’s the best part…
It can also allow you to download 3rd party apps straight from your Samsung Smart TV.
If you just bought a Fire TV Stick, you have to set it up first.
Then once it’s connected successfully to your TV, you can now download apps on the Amazon app store.
But to install more 3rd party ones, you have to do some magic on your remote first.
How to do it:
- Press the “Home” button on your Fire TV remote.
- Go to “Settings.”
- Find “My Fire TV” and click it.
- Select “Developer options.”
- Enable “ADB debugging” and “Apps from Unknown Sources.”
You might also like: 5 Ways To Use Your Smart TV Without Remote
#3: Sideload using the Downloader app
“What is sideloading?” you might ask.
It’s what you came here for.
Sideloading is installing a 3rd party app through an APK file.
So it’s like bypassing official app stores. And you can do this on your Samsung Smart TV using your Fire TV Stick.
- Go to the search engine of your Fire TV Stick.
- Type “Downloader” using your Fire TV remote then click search.
- Install the “Downloader” app that will flash on your screen. (Yes, it’s the exact name of the application.)
- Launch the app.
- Click the box under the “Enter a URL or Search Term:”
- Type the URL of the APK file that you want to download. Or visit these websites: apkbuilds.com or m.apkpure.com.
- Once you enter a word, a browser will open up. Search for the APK file that you want and download it.
- After that, another window will appear – showing the downloading status of the file.
- When the download is complete, select “Install.”
“I can’t find the downloader app. What’s the problem?”
Sadly, the “Downloader” app isn’t available in all regions.
If this is the case, you might need to log out from your current Amazon account. Then create a universal one and sign in with it.
Note: After the installation, you can also delete the APK file. Just go back to the “Downloader” app right after. A window will open saying that it’s successfully installed. It’ll give you 3 options: “Install,” “Delete,” and “Done.” Simply select “Delete.”
#4: Send apps from your Android phone
Here’s another easy way to install 3rd party apps on your Samsung Smart TV.
Like tips #3 and #4, this method is also possible using a Fire TV Stick.
But this time, you only have to connect your Android phone to your Fire TV and send apps to it.
Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Make sure that you enabled “ADB debugging” on your Fire TV settings.
As well as “Apps from Unknown Sources.” (I discussed this in tip #3.)
Step 2: Connect both your Fire TV and phone to the same Wi-Fi network. Or else, this method won’t work.
- On your phone, open “Play Store.”
- Type “apps to fire” in the search box and click enter.
- Select any app from your screen. Although I recommend “Apps2Fire.”
- Click “Install.”
- Launch the application.
- Scroll or slide the tabs to the left to see more options.
- Select “Setup.”
- Click the “Search FIRE TV’S” button.
- Wait for the scan to finish.
- Select your Fire TV Stick from the scanned devices.
Step 3: Once the connection is successful, you can now send APK files from your phone to your Fire TV Stick.
- On the “Apps2Fire” app on your phone.
- Scroll the “Local Apps” tab. (This is where you can find all your installed apps on your phone.)
- Click on the app that you want to send.
- Select “Install.”
- Wait until the phone finishes sending the app to the Fire TV Stick.
Then that’s it!
You don’t have to install an APK file.
Once it’s done, you only have to verify if the app is already downloaded on your Samsung Smart TV.
Note: Not all apps are compatible with Fire TV Stick. Also, if your phone can’t detect it, do this step. Go to “My Fire TV,” click “About,” then select “Network.” Copy and manually the IP address shown there. Then manually enter it to the “Setup” tab on your Apps2Fire app.
Reading tip: How To Connect a Non-Smart TV to Your Phone? 3 Proven Ways & How To Screen Mirror a Non-Smart TV? 3 Easy Methods
#5: Change your IP Setting
Lastly, this method is only for older Samsung Smart TV models (2015 and below). For example, the F and H series.
Note: So this will not work on Samsung TVs with Tizen OS.
Okay, this is quite easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Press the “Menu” button on your remote.
- Go to “Smart Hub.”
- Select “Samsung Account.”
- Click “Log in.”
- Type “develop” as your ID and leave the password box blank.
- Hit “Sign in” and this will enable Developer Mode.
- On the “My Apps” menu, highlight “Web Browser.”
- Press and hold the “Enter” button on your remote.
- Wait until a window appears.
- Cycle down and select “IP Setting.”
- Type the IP of your desired app and press “OK.”
- Repeat steps #7 to #9.
- Scroll down and click “Start User App Sync.”
Then a message will pop-up saying “User Apps Sync is requested.”
Just click “OK” and then you’ll see the app’s icon appear on your screen.
Here’s a video on how to install more 3rd party apps on Samsung Smart TV:
How to install apps on Samsung Smart TV from usb
#1: Know your TV’s model code
As I said earlier, this method won’t work if you downloaded an incompatible version of the app.
And also, if you formatted your USB flash drive incorrectly.
So to prevent this from happening, check your Samsung Smart TV model code first.
There are 2 ways to do it according to Samsung.
First is by looking at the back of your TV.
For most units, the sticker with the model code is placed on its right side. (It’ll be on your left if you’re looking at the rear of your TV.)
It’s the one with many digits and letters. Which is usually made up of more than 10 characters.
Now, the second way is going to the “Contact Samsung” option on your Smart TV.
To do this:
- Go to “Settings” using your TV remote.
- Click “Support.”
- Find and select “Contact Samsung” or “About This TV.”
A window will pop up and you’ll see your TV’s model code under the “Product Information.”
Jot it down. This is because you need it to determine the right type of file and USB format.
Decoding Samsung Smart TV’s model code
Each character in the code stands for something.
I’ll not go in-depth on this. But I’ll only explain the things that you need to know:
- 1st: the product ID (e.g., Q – QLED, U – LED).
- 2nd: the region where it was manufactured (e.g., N – North America, E – Europe).
- 3rd & 4th: the screen size in inches (e.g., 50 – 50,” 55 – 55”).
- 5th to 9th: the specific model name (e.g., TU – 2020 UHD, J – 2015 FHD.)
Now, only pay attention to the 5th to 9th characters. (Check out this full list of Samsung Smart TV model names.)
By looking at them, you’ll know which file version suits your Smart TV. As well as the kind of file system it supports.
#2: Download the right file type of the app
Again, you’ll be needing your Smart TV’s model code for this step.
Because, unlike APK files, the plugins you need to download come in 2 different versions.
Samsung has various Smart TV models. And not all of them have the same requirements.
So the developers of 3rd party apps create different types of files as well. This is to meet the needs of all devices.
Remember, the files you have to download for this aren’t APK files.
They usually come in a package or bundle. So they’re in a compressed (zip) format.
Now, take a look at the data below.
Then find the appropriate version for your Smart TV based on the first letter of its model name:
- For J, K, M, N, Q, R – download “Tizen Widget” files. These have a “userwidget” folder when extracted.
- For E, ES, F, H, HU, J4, J52 – download “Orsay Widget” files. These may have more content than the other one.
To give you an idea of what file you should look for, here’s an example.
It’s from a 3rd party developer of a suspended app called “Smart IPTV.”
On the website, you’ll see the “Tizen Widget” and “Orsay Widget” files. As well as the instructions on how to install them.
#3: Format your USB flash drive
So, based on your model code, what is the series or type of your Samsung Smart TV?
If it falls under QLED or SUHD Smart TVs, it supports NTFS, exFAT, and FAT file systems.
But if it’s a Full HD Smart TV, it requires NTFS (read-only), FAT32, and FAT16.
Next, once you know which file system to use on your Smart TV…
It’s time to format your USB flash drive.
For Windows users
- Insert your flash drive into a USB port on your computer.
- Go to “This PC.”
- Right-click your flash drive.
- Select “Properties.”
- Go to “General” then see if the current file system is compatible with your TV or not..
- If not, repeat the steps and select “Format.”
- Select the tab under “File System.”
- Choose the right type based on your model code (e.g., NTFS, FAT, FAT32, exFAT).
- Click “Start” and wait for the process to finish.
To check if it’s changed, right-click and go to “Properties” again. Select “General” and take a look at the file system.
For Mac OS users
- Insert your flash drive into a USB port on your MAC computer.
- Go to “Applications.”
- Double-click “Utilities.”
- Select “Disk Utility.”
- Click the name of your flash drive on the left side of the window.
- Select the “Erase” tab at the upper part.
- Rename your flash drive.
- Choose a suitable file system.
- Click “Erase.”
- Wait until it’s done.
#4: Extract the file to your USB flash drive
If you already downloaded the file, you now have to transfer its contents to your flash drive.
For Windows Users
- Right-click it.
- Select “Extract All.”
- Click “Browse.”
- Find the location of your USB flash drive. Then choose it as the destination of the extracted files.
- Hit the “Extract” button.
- Then wait for it to finish.
For Mac OS Users
- Search “archive utility” on your Spotlight.
- Select the app to open it.
- Click the “Archive Utility” button at the top.
- Select “Preferences.”
- Click the box beside the “Save expanded files” and select “into…”
- Find the location of your flash drive and choose it as the destination.
- Now, to extract files, click the “File” tab.
- Select “Expand Archive.”
- Then choose the files you want to expand or extract.
#5: Connect and install
Once your flash drive is ready, you only need to insert it into your Smart TV USB port.
And then you’re going to see a notification at the upper right of your screen which says:
“SmartPlus installation with USB package is done!”
The app is already installed on your Samsung Smart TV.
“Can I remove the USB flash drive after it?”
For most TVs, you can remove the flash drive once the installation is done.
The app will stay in there. And it won’t be gone after taking the external storage off.
But, this is said to be an exception for the J series.
So if yours is under its category, you may have to leave the USB flash drive connected to use the app.
#BONUS: Turn off auto-update (if needed)
This step isn’t only for J series users. But also to other Samsung Smart TV owners who have issues with their installed apps.
- Press the “Menu” button on your remote.
- Go to “Smart Hub.”
- Turn “Auto Update” off.
Doing this might prevent the app from being gone after restarting your TV.