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Use & attach APK expansion files

If your app needs more than 100MB of memory, you can use expansion files to store additional APK assets. You can store two expansion files per application. Each expansion file can be up to 2GB in size.

APK files have a maximum file size, based on the Android version your APK supports:

  • 100MB - APKs that target Android 2.3 and higher (API level 9-10 and 14+)
  • 50MB - APKs that target Android 2.2 and lower (API level 8 or lower)

Tip: Users must run Play Store version 5.2 or higher to install 100MB APKs.

Expansion files are hosted at no additional cost. When possible, Google Play will download expansion files when apps are installed or updated. In some cases, your app will need to download its expansion files.

If your expansion files are larger than 100MB, users will see a warning dialog suggesting that they use Wi-Fi to download your app.

To learn how to create and implement APK expansion files for your app, go to the Android Developers site.

Expansion file types

When you use expansion files, one file is the main file and the other is an optional patch file. Optional patch files are usually used for small updates to the main file.

Expansion files can be any type of file and are saved to a device’s shared storage location (example: SD card or USB-mountable partition) where your app can access them. Every extension file URL issued is unique to every download.

Test & add expansion files

Test files

You can test your expansion files using the Alpha distribution channel on your Developer Console.

APK expansion files can’t be tested with Draft APKs. To properly test APK expansion files, your APK must be published to Alpha, Beta, or Production.

Note: If you’re uploading a new app, expansion files can’t be added to the first APK file that you upload.

  1. Go to your Google Play Developer Console.
  2. Select your app.
  3. On the left menu, click APK.
  4. Using the Alpha testing tab, upload an Alpha version of your APK without adding your expansion files.
  5. Click Save and Publish.
  6. Upload a new Alpha version of your APK and attach the expansion files.

Publish an app to production

Once you've tested your expansion files, here’s how you can publish your app from Alpha testing to production.

  1. Go to your Google Play Developer Console.
  2. Select your app.
  3. On the left menu, click APK.
  4. On the Alpha testing tab, click Promote.
  5. Select Promote to Prod.
  6. Click Save and Publish.
Remove a previously added OBB file from an APK

If you’ve previously included an opaque binary blob (OBB) expansion file with your app’s APK and don’t want to include it anymore, you can remove it by creating and uploading a new APK without an attached OBB file.

Note: If your app uses multiple APKs that use OBB files that you don’t want to include with your APK anymore, create and upload APKs without an attached OBB file for each APK.

  1. Go to your Google Play Developer Console.
  2. Select your app.
  3. On the left menu, click APK.
  4. Click Upload new APK to production.
  5. Add your new APK file(s).
  6. Under “Use expansion file,” click the drop-down.
  7. Select No expansion file.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Near the top right of the screen, click Submit update.

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