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What about the -j switch shown in the original YouTube videos?

Read Issue 199. In short - it doesn't exist.

Is it possible to run Apktool on an Android device?

Sadly not officially, there are some incompatibilities with running the aapt binary on Android. Additionally, older builds of Android have problems with using the java.nio library. Unofficial packages have only succeeded with cross-compiling binaries.

Where can I download the source of Apktool?

From either the GitHub or Bitbucket repositories.

The resulting APK is much smaller than the original. Is something wrong?

There are a few reasons this might occur.

  • Apktool builds unsigned APKs. This means some directories and files like META-INF are missing.
  • Updated build process - Apktool uses modern versions of aapt/aapt2 which may reduce file sizes.

There is no META-INF directory in the resulting APK. Is this ok?

Yes, META-INF contains the APK's signatures. After modifying an APK it is no longer signed. You can use -c / --copy-original to retain these signatures. However, -c will use the original AndroidManifest.xml and is only capable of working with the original APK signature v1 scheme.

What are "Magic APKs"?

There are some APKs that are built with modified build tools intended for specific OEMs. These APKs are not built with regular AOSP tools and are not compatible with Apktool. Apktool will not be able to decode or build these APKs.

Could I integrate Apktool into my own project? Could I modify it? Do I have to credit you?

The Apache license, which Apktool uses, answers all these questions.

  • Yes, you can redistribute and/or modify Apktool without permission.
  • However, it would be nice to add contributors (brut.all, iBotPeaches, JesusFreke) to your credits.

Where does Apktool store framework files?

  • Windows: $HOME/AppData/Local/apktool
  • Mac: $HOME/Library/apktool
  • Linux: $HOME/.local/share/apktool