Android Sideload Wonder Machine

When it comes to installing Android applications, there are two ways of going about it. The most popular, of course, is directly through the Android Market. And that's how most of us do it. But from time to time we need to be able to sideload apps. Maybe you purchased it directly from a developer or some other perfectly legitimate method.

Or maybe *ahem* your phone doesn't allow you to directly sideload apps, for whatever reason. And that's where the Android Central Sideload Wonder Machine comes in. We've rigged up a simple Windows program that allows you to install any .apk file (that's the extension for an Android app) via your computer. It's completely legit -- nobody's going to track you down and take away your phone -- it's completely free (and open source!)  and now you're back on the same playing field as everybody else, no rooting necessary.

Want to see it in action first? No problem. Video and download instructions are after the break.

YouTube link for mobile viewing

That's it. It's that easy. To download the program and get your sideload on, visit the Sideload Wonder Machine thread in our forums for Windows, Mac and Linux. Major props to our own Jerry Hildenbrand for this.


Reader comments

Sideload Android apps all you want with the Sideload Wonder Machine


Phil you mean? Lol. I'm confused, I can download .apk files with no problem via Are some carriers picky about this issue of downloading .apk files?

No and no. Like it says in the article Jerry created this little program. And At&t removes androids ability to sideload apps. Its not an issue of downloading them, but an issue of not being able to install anything from outside the market.

This is great.
Of no use to me since I use Linux lol, but I'm sure that there are a plethora of people in dire need of sometihng like this. (mostly AT&T customers)
Great job Jerry Hildenbrand. Great job.

I was not expecting this.

You think AT&T can send you a C&D or worse, come knocking at your door with the help of the Steve Jobs computer police? haha

LOL. Naww...this is 100% legit, just took out the SDK and command prompt nonsense for those who aren't into that thing.

But if they do, I promise video full of obscenities and partial nudity :)

I've been an Android user for less than 24 hours with my new Samsung Captivate, this is incredible timing! Thank you!

Im shocked "some carriers" (more like the one carrier that wants to rule us all) allows USB debugging on their phones but not sideloading

You guys are amazing. Its reasons like this that make this site my go-to place for Android news and reviews.

Quite possibly the best software name ever... Describes exactly what it does and what it is! Nice work Jerry!

Why is everyone saying good job "Jerry"? Wasn't that Phil on the video and the one that wrote the article? DO I GET A PRIZE???

Lmao, cool.

> "Or maybe *ahem* your phone doesn't allow you to directly sideload apps, for whatever reason. We've rigged up a simple Windows program ..."

Good thing I have an Evo (which allows sideloading directly), then, since I don't use MS-Windows...

(It is surprising how many Linux & MacOS users there are on these forums)

i tried to use it with my droid x

i turned on usb debugging

the usb mode is set to charge only

on the command prompt my device is not shown and if i continue anyway it says error: device not found

the usb drivers for my phone are installed on the computer

any suggestions???

You don't need to use this with the Droid X. Simply drop the .apk file anywhere on your sd card, unmount the sdcard, use any file explorer (such as astro file manager) to locate the file and click on it. Then it will prompt you to install the file.

'm pretty new to Android. I've a sony ericsson X10(OS 1.6). Without sounding to stupid does the side loader allow me to install apps meant for 2X or is it that some carriers have restrictions on what you can download and this applicatn by-passes that ??

I tried using this with no joy, maybe my fault.

How do I set the USB to charge only?
How do I get the USB drivers installed on my Windows computer? (I thought they must be there since the PC 'sees' the device after connection?)

And finally I now have 2 little white arrows pointing down at thick black lines in the top left hand corner of the phone display. Are these leftovers from the 2 apps I failed to install and if so how do I make them go away?

HI Tal - i did what you say and all i can see is insert removable disc when i look for the apk file - any ideas ?

Samsung Captivate

...just spent all day on this and FINALLY got my app loaded

To use Sideload Wonder Machine

1. download and install samsung adb drivers here

2. Home settings applications development USB Debugging checked

3. Connect USB to pc.
Do NOT Mount

4. Run Sideload Wonder Machine

You'll know you're connected properly if you see your
device Serial Number appear when you run it.

It works!!! (Vista 64)

Hope that saves some of you some time Good Luck

when I go to the link in #1 it takes me to a page that is not longer available. I can get my phone USB connected with USB debugging, but when I run the Sideload Wonder Machine it doesn't find my phone. . .says not connected.

i have a captivate and it works great and now i'm trying it on an aria but i can't find the usb driver. dose anyone have a link for it?
thanks for the help
win 7 64bit

will be jumping on this when it hits rogers. My question as I"m new to android. So if I use this tool to sideload apps, how do I get them off android if I need to delete them. I'm guessing that when you install apps via marketplace there is some some of unistall area in android and they're gone. Do side loaded apps show up in there, and if not how do you get rid of the apk file?

hi guys - i have a captivate (vista 32bit) downloaded all fine but when i hunt for the files i see the two discs SD and internal but it wont let me open them - any help would be appreciated - thanks

When i try to choose my .apk it lets me, then i get an exception error saying it cannot find the path .....\SWM\payload\...apk

note your own directories.... where is this PAYLOAD dir/folder?

I created a directory named "payload" underneath the directory where I had installed the unzipped SL-Wonder files. I placed the .apk file there and it enabled the "GO" button

I had this same thing happen.
Unlike everyone else I could not make a separate folder for this program on the hardrive and unzip it there.
I had to directly unzip the file onto the C: drive. After that is worked perfectly and I didn't get that error.

Also my IE would not let me download the tether.apk directly from their website, I had to use Google Chrome.

Hope this helps some people.

Has anyone seen and solved for this error message after clicking the "GO" button?


The message appears whether or not I select "Mount" or "Don't mount".

I'm running SL-Wonder on a Win7 32 bit Sys

Help! I have a Sony Ericcson Xperia X10, and when the "DOS" box appears, it doesn't recognize my phone. Could someone explain step by step to a frustrated newcomer how to get this done. I really appreciate your help.

Hi. I'm running a Captivate; that said, here's what I did:

Turn on USB debug on your phone. Settings/Applications/Development/USB Debugging (there are three options, but I only "checked" USB Debugging)

Connect phone to computer and "mount the drive" on the phone. If this is the first time you've tried to access your phone as a drive, here's how I wasted three days of my life: After the phone is connected, you have to take an extra step on the phone to mount the drive...would have been good to know during Hour One of Day One!

Move the file-name.apk file to the Payload directory (located in the same place as the "loader" batch file).

Regardless of whether or not you move the .apk to the Payload directory, when you run "loader," your serial number should be displayed. If it is, when you continue, you'll get an error that Payload is empty (which is how I learned to put the .apk in that directory)

Good luck!

Hi. I'm following the directions to the letter in the Side Loader README file and end up with a DOS window popping and throwing this error: 'loader.bat' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable progra or batch file D:\download>

Any idea why this isn't working for me? Running XP. Device is Sony Ericsson Xperida X10. Connection is solid and I have enabled USB Debugging.


I'm having the same problem, loader.bat is not recognized. I have USB Debugging turned on, am using a Droid X on Windows XP. I've installed the drivers and .NET 4. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

AT&T Captivate user. Not recognizing my phone as being attached. I'm connected with USB debugging. Actually using PdaNet. Not mounted. Any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong?

So according to the video after I click "Go" a DOS prompt should appear and it should install the .apk application right? When I click "Go" the DOS prompt appears and says " 'loader.bat' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." What does that mean? I'm pretty low tech and get confused pretty easy with this kind of stuff, hehe. Can someone guide me through this??

I was very excited about the Wonder machine. However, I also receive the, " 'loader.bat' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file" message. I am using a Samsung Captivate. Any ideas anyone?

Can't et much newer than me. upgraded from 10yr old razor to Captivate 10 days ago. I also get the message "'loader.bat' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file". What am I missing? Am doing as instructed (I hope).

i have a samsung captivate and get the same "loader.bat" is not recognized. anyone have a resolve for this?

i sed LOADER.BAT and it installed the APK on the phone, but the phone still blocks the running of the app....
Very frustrated, any suggestions?

I got the same loader.bat error and fixed it very easily (heh -- took me three hours to figure it out).

Once you get the error, just finish the installation from inside the DOS box. Navigate to the folder where the SWM is installed (you'll have to use the "cd" command to get to the right directory). Then type "loader" and hit Enter. SWM does the rest.

The foregoing assumes that your phone and PC are configured with the proper drivers, phone is in USB debugging mode, etc.

Noob quest. I have a captivate with a iMac. I have no idea how to install the shell script for SWM. Am I supposed to be installing to my iMac or to the phone? and how do I do it - i don't see anything that's double-clickable.

has any one been able to connect an x10 yet? Please be specific if you found a way. Don't assume I know any thing.

Great application but I wanted to let you know that I did have a problem with it.

I run a MacBook Pro with VMWare to launch my Windows environments (Windows 7). Installed the Samsung drivers, made sure the Galaxy S was in debug mode, made sure VMWare actually connected the USB, etc.

When I attempted to run the Sideload Wonder Machine application the .BAT file never saw the phone attached.

I ultimately got beyond the problem but installing the drivers, application, etc. onto a different computer which runs Windows natively (Dell Inspiron platform). Once I setup your required environment everything worked perfectly.

Terrific application.

Samsung Captivate w/"loader.bat" is not recognized issue

Ok... had similar issues as those above but I found a way around it. I wanted to install SiriusXM on to my Captivate but its on lockdown with no visitation rights.

This is what I did to fix the issue.

Windows XP Steps:

1. Download drives from Samsung:


3. Scroll to the bottom and Click SOFTWARE

4. Select the driver .ZIP file and download it

5. Find where you downloaded the .ZIP file and open

6. Double click SETUP.EXE and let it run and finish prior to next step

7. Connect your phone to PC

8. Let the PC begin finding the device. You'll get the balloons wanting to install the drives. After that you'll see the typical Windows pop up wanting to install a driver. Select this time only and let the PC do its thing... there are several drivers that will be installed.

9. Disconnect Phone from PC

10. Find your Sideload Wunder Machine folder and open

11. Move your .APK file into the Sideload Wunder Machine folder

12. On the phone, MENU > SETTINGS > APPLICATIONS > DEVELOPMENT > check USB Debug and hit OK

13. ReConnect Phone to PC

14. Go back to SWM folder and select ADB.EXE file and double click. This installs something else on the PC that was missing if you followed the normal process.

15. Now double click the AndroidCentral - SWM.EXE file

16. Once the program has loaded hit CHOOSE A FILE

17. Find the SWM folder where you moved you .APK file

18. Select file and hit OPEN

19. Now hit GO

20. You should see a old skool DOS prompt... if its running you should see your device's serial number. Hit any key and it will install the selected .APK file


Props to both Vanian & Breddy222 for setting me down the right path with their previous posts.


Help, everything seems fine but next to the serial number it said "offline" and when I hit a key it will error from there, I've set everything on the phone up right (Captivate) debug mode. Do I need to have an SD card in?, I don't have one right now. Thanks

OS Win7 64bit

I had the same problem with my Captivate and searched for hours on trying to find a fix, and happened to fix it myself by accident.

All I had to do was plug the usb cord into a port directly on the motherboard instead of one on the front panel of my pc.

Hope this works for you too!

Thanks I'll give that a try, I did get it work on my wife's PC but I get a "INSTALL_FAILED_INSUFFICIENT_STORAGE" do I need put in a external SD card in? I haven't got one yet.

Ok the "offline" you will get if you don't use a USB port on your motherboard not on the front, That Fixed Offline problem

Do not put *.apk files in your Payload folder you will get:"INSTALL_FAILED_INSUFFICIENT_STORAGE" move *.apk files somewhere else.

Now it works great! Thanks Android Central!!!

First - Big THX for the Sideload Wonder Machine!

I've been using it on a MOTO XT702 ( Milestone for the Chinese Market) and it works great for almost every app I've wanted to load up.

Only exceptions are Augmented Reality apps (Layar, Wikitude, etc.)

These apps always return the error message:


Has anyone found a good workaround for these types of .apk?

Again, Thanks AndroidCentral!

Like a few others here, I'm having an issue getting it to work with the Xperia X10. Yes, I have the USB connected (and mounted) and I have the USB Debug turned on. I can exchange files between the PC and device, no problem. What is the problem: when I run the tool, the phone SN is not pulled up and it is just not recognizing the X10. I know someone else who's got it to work on the X10 and we cannot figure out why it's not working with mine...

Appreciate your advice!

I try to run it but it keeps saying something about the .NET framework.. What do i do?? :-(

I had the loader.bat problem too. I downloaded everything but it still wasn't working. I have a captivate. I had too
1. Open the androidcentral-SWM
2. choose the file
3. Then open the "loader" icon in the AC-SWM file the do the press any key to continue thing. It worked great for me then.

Oh and Im using windows XP.

Great program. I had loaded HTC Sync's latest version for the HTC Inspire 4G hoping that the unknown source program would work, but I guess the long arm of ATT had already gotten to HTC and that part of the sync program was missing. It did load the USB driver for my device on my laptop. After loading the Wonder Machine, I found out I was trying to use a "Power Only" USb to micro USB cable. Changed the cable, and the device was found immediately. The only problem then was to get the downloaded app file from the device to my laptop. A simple e-mail from one of my accounts to another took care of that. Save the app to the load folder in the Wonder Machine, and loaded the app on my device. It worked first time and the app worked as soon as I opened it.

Thanks guys. And thanks to Merlin at HTC tech support for recommending your site.

after i installed the mario live wallpaper from xda-developers using the SWM i can't load any other apps on to my inspire 4G. i get an error message saying something that i don't have the installation payload or something like that. HELP PLEASE?? lol thanks to anyone who helps.

When I tried to install the DOS window displayed this:

‘loader.bat’ is not recognized as an internal or eternal command, operable program or batch file
C\:documents and settings\Paulo\my documents

Any help? to get me loaded?

No problems, no issues. It works EXACTLY like it says it will. Awesome. Day three and I am loving Android.

Just a tip for loading Amazon Apps (to get the free Angry Birds - of course :) :

Use Sideload Wonder Machine to install Amazon Apps.
Phone needs to be unhooked from the computer.

Run the Amazon Apps app and select an app to install. Download app to your phone, ignore obnoxious security message.

Connect phone with USB. Open, Computer->Removable Disk

For example if you pick Angry Birds Rio it will download the .apk to the directory:

On your phone the actual angry birds rio .apk is something like: 'vnz42277.apk'.

Now copy this .apk file to your Sideload Wonder Machine directory (payload) on your computer and install the .apk as normal.

I know that is probably something most tech people could figure out, but it might help someone less savvy (like me).

Great Tool. Thanks so much!

i have tried numerous times to get this to work and for some reason i can not get my phone to come up all i get is an error about device not found and i have tried to install the drivers a few times

unable to go to the page for download all I get is a blank screen and there is no other place to download please help I really need this program.

And great work guys I used this in the past and it really is a Wonder Machine

I'm in desperate need of help with a Samsung Captivate Galaxy S from AT&T trying to install SpyBubble. I'm able to download and install the apkInstaller. I do not have the option on the Captivate to select Unknown Sources to allow of non-market applications.

This is where I came across the SWM. When I followed SpyBubble's instructions to download and install two more .apk's the AT&T phone blocked it due to security restrictions. I then used SWM and selected the apk files I downloaded to my computer and they were under third party applications on the phone after using SWM. The instructions then said to reboot the phone and the SpyBubble would come up automatically asking to accept the license agreement input my secret code. None of that happened and SpyBubble's support has been less than stellar.

I'm stuck from this point although it seems the proper application files are installed. Very frustrated after spending several hours trying to get this to work.

Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Was wondering if this would work using CM7 2.3.4 SD card on a Nook Color? If so, anything special needed or instructions needed?

How do you uninstall this side winder thing? My Windows 7 says 'Invalid uninstall control file: C:\....SWM\Uninstall\uninstall.xml' When things don't do what they are supposed to, I start to get nervous. Is this application bonefide?