How to fix “Parse Error: There was a problem parsing the package”?

The Parse Error in Android devices is one of the oldest and most common error faced by Android users. The error usually pops up when one tries to install an app on his Android phone. The message appears “Parse Error: There was a problem parsing the package“. It turns out to be “the application cannot be installed on your phone due to an issue with the parsing.”

Causes of the Parse error in Android.

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Before we proceed to the fixes, let’s see what can cause this error. There are several known causes today. The parse error occurs while installing an Android app on your phone. But, the causes can be different.

  1. Making changes to the app’s manifest file (for example, changing the Android OS version).
  2. Damaged or partially downloaded apk file.
  3. Not enough permission to download or install third-party apps from unknown sources.
  4. Your Android smartphone OS version or the hardware of your smartphone is not compatible with the app.
  5. Your device security system is blocking a third-party app installation.

Method 1: Allow Apps Installation from Unknown Sources

For the security reasons, the Android smartphone bans you to install third-party apps and software from all sources apart from the Google Play Store. Installing third-party apps from unknown sources can harm your Android phone.

So, if you are trying to install an .apk file, you may face the “Parse Error: There was a problem parsing the package”. To fix this and bypass the ban, you should allow app installation from the unknown sources. There is an option in your phone security settings.

  1. Go to “Settings”;
  2. Then “Privacy”;
  3. Find “Unknown Sources” and check the corresponding box. If your are prompted to confirm, tap OK.

Go back to the folder where you have the .apk located. Tap on it and install the app.

Method 2: Enable USB Debugging

Enabling USB debugging isn’t really necessary for installing Android apps using the .apk file. Nevertheless some users report that enabling the USB debugging fixed this issue.
To enable USB debugging, you need to enable Developer Option in your Android phone. In doing so, follow next steps:

  1. Go to “Settings”;
  2. Find “About phone” option;
  3. Scroll down to “Build Number”. Tap seven times on it. After 7th tapping you hopefully see a “You are now a developer” message on the screen;
  4. Go back to “Settings”, scroll down to “Developer Options”;
  5. Tap on USB debugging and enable it

The procedure to enable USB debugging for different devices might be quite different. Detailed instruction can be found in the paper.

Method 3: Disable Antivirus

The parse error can also occur if your security application is blocking the installation. Most of the Antivirus try to block the installation of the applications that may look untrusted or suspicious. So, if you are trying to install an .apk file, the chance of getting the error is that your Antivirus app is blocking the .apk file and preventing the suspicious installation. Try to disable the Antivirus temporarily and install the .apk file. If your guess is right, you should be able to install the .apk file without receiving any parse error in Android.

How to fix "Parse Error: There was a problem parsing the package"? 1

Method 4: Damaged or Partially Downloaded .APK File

A damaged .apk file might also be cause of the phrase. Try to download a new apk and install it. See if this can fix the issue. Besides, make sure you download the complete file. In doing so, it is enough to compare the size of prompting and downloaded file. Sometimes, you may partially download a .apk file and face “Parse Error” while installing it.

Today we have discussed a number of methods for fixing the parse error in Android and established its possible causes. If you have faced this issue using your Android and successfully solved the problem, please, share your experience with us. It is possible that your way to make deal with the parse error will help our readers.


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