Free apps from Android Market! (rooted phones)

14 02 2010

This might be old news, but for those who hasn’t quite figured it out yet: The only “copy protection” Google has arranged for the apps at the market place is the directory which they installs to.
These directories is /data/app and /data/app-private. With a stock ROM you won’t be able to read this dir, but with a rooted phone is just to easy!

Either you could install “Root Explorer” from Android market or just use adb. I prefer the latter.

The first thing you do is to connect your phone with an USB-cable, download a paid app (dont worry, you will get your refund and your app, then run in terminal:

adb shell to enter the shell on your phone
su to become superuser
cd /data/app
cd /data/app-private
Now, find your application, lets say its name is something like “”

cp /sdcard/

Now you have copied the application from a hidden directory and on to your SD, all you gotta do is to uninstall and get your refund (within 24 hours), and install the APK lying on /sdcard/ using Astro Filemanager or something you prefer.

If you want to use the Root Explorer, just allow the app full root-access, browse to the folder you wanna pull a app from, long press to copy and thats it! Easy huh?

Btw, this is for educational perposes only. Please contribute something, if you could afford a phone like this, you can definitely cough up a buck or two for the developers that is making our days easier!



3 responses

9 06 2010

You say we must first plug our phone into the USB and type adb shell. Are they really necessary? When I type adb shell into the terminal on my Droid it says “adb: not found”

I experimented with a protected, free app and was able to do the entire process without adb shell or plugging into USB. I installed the app, copied it to /sdcard, uninstalled it, checked Market to make sure it was truly uninstalled, then re-installed from /sdcard, checked back at Market and it showed up as installed! I wonder if that matters, and I wonder if it came up as installed because I wasn’t able to type adb shell correctly. I’m going to test on a paid app, but please explain to me what adb shell is if it’s necessary.

9 06 2011

Jason, please let me know the result of your test on the paid app. And does this flow still exist till today? Hardly to believe.

29 12 2010

mine says abd not found also.

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