Android Studio - Run signed apk on emulator

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This may sound extremely trivial but as an android newbie I just found myself buried under a ton of hashes tokens keystores and keytools which can be a bit overwhelming.

I am trying to make android studio run my application on the emulator signed with my custom keystore and not the debug.keystore

Is this an option, or do I just have to generate a signed .apk every time I make changes, then install it via adb and then run it from the emulated device's menu?

Also is that a good practice when testing applications or should I avoid it?

After running into problems when using the Android Studio UI to create a signing config I successfully managed setting it up via the gradle build file.

Open your projects build.gradle file. It should contain something like this:

    //signingConfigs goes here
        //SDK version, version code etc

     //Some more stuff

If it isn't already in there, add the following snippet below android {

signingConfigs {
    debug {
        storeFile file("MyApp.signing"))

Now in the same directory where your build.gradle file lies you should have a file (if not, create it). We'll now add the properties we used above to the properties file in order to map the values:


An example where the keystore.jsk file (generated via Android Studio) lies one directory above the app directory (in which the properties file is):


The above configuration would then use the key to sign a debug build (because our signingConfigs was made for the debug build).

So make sure that in Android Studio, to set your build variant to "debug". If you want to do all this for the release build switch your build variants to release and your signingConfigs to release {...} instead of debug{...} or simply add both if you want to switch between them.

Android Studio - Run signed apk on emulator, After running into problems when using the Android Studio UI to create a signing config I successfully managed setting it up via the gradle build  Launch the Android Emulator without first running an app. To start the emulator: Open the AVD Manager. Double-click an AVD, or click Run. The Android Emulator loads. While the emulator is running, you can run Android Studio projects and choose the emulator as the target device.

You can just add a signing config to the debug build type and it will use it. You can do it through the Project Structure dialog -- in your module, select the "Signing" tab and configure your signing info, then in the "Build Types" tab, for the "Signing config" popup, choose it.

Run signed apk on your device via Android Studio –, Open and add there keystore location, alias and password:This file must NOT be checked into Version Control Systems, as it  In Android Studio for beginners, Part 2, you created your first animated mobile app using Android Studio. Now, Part 3 will take you through the steps to build and run the app in an Android device emulator or live device. We'll first use Gradle to build the app's application package (APK) file.

Now it's very simple in Android Studio 3

Configure the signingConfigs and release buildTypes in your build.gradle file and go to the build menu.

Build -> Select Build Variants

There has two options module and build variant.

Module will be app and Build Variant will be release

Build and run your app, The debug APK is signed with a debug key provided by the SDK tools Or to build the APK and immediately install it on a running emulator or  When you run your app for the first time, Android Studio uses a default run configuration. The run configuration specifies whether to deploy your app from an APK or an Android App Bundle , the module to run, package to deploy, activity to start, target device, emulator settings, logcat options, and more.

Build your app from the command line, Learn important concepts related to app signing and security, how to Android Studio, and how to opt in to app signing by Google Play. For more information about how to build and run apps for debugging, see Build and Run Your App. In the Generate Signed Bundle or APK dialog, select Android App  In Android Studio, create an Android Virtual Device (AVD) that the emulator can use to install and run your app. In the toolbar, select your app from the run/debug configurations drop-down menu. From the target device drop-down menu, select the AVD that you want to run your app on.

Sign your app, Note: When you import an APK into Android Studio, the IDE creates a new project in your home directory under ApkProjects/ , and makes a local  Finding it difficult to install an external apk file into your android emulator. Here is a video where i explain the simplest way to instal the apk into your

Profile and debug pre-built APKs, If you did the optional steps in the “Getting Started with Android” section, then to your Android SDK folder (it should be named android-sdk-macosx by default). adb install”, followed by a space, then drag your signed .apk file into terminal  To do this, you can follow the Android Studio instructions to Run an app in the Android Emulator. Note: To run apps with NDK components in the Android Emulator, your app must be built with x86 ABIs. For an example, see the ARCore HelloAR C sample app. Update Google Play Services for AR. The version of Google Play Services for AR on the emulator