How to use the Google Pixel Launcher on non-Pixel phones

Google’s Pixel Launcher first leaked onto the scene back in August last year, and then got an official introduction alongside the Pixel and Pixel XL, but if you have any other device and navigate your way to the Play Store, you won’t be able to download it.

This isn’t a problem, however. Just follow the steps below to get it running on your phone (you need Androi 5.0 or newer for it to work).

How to install Pixel Launcher

Navigate your way to APK Mirror’s Pixel Launcher page and select the version number you want. Generally, the newest is the one to go for unless you have a specific reason for needing an older version.

Then ensure you have the setting to allow installation of apps from unknown sources checked. You can find this in Settings > Security (sometimes called ‘Lockscreen and security‘) and then toggle to allow installation. Usually, it will ask you if you just want to allow a single installation. This is all you’ll need to do, and is the safer option.

Once installed, tapping the home screen button should be enough to enable a prompt asking which launcher you want to use.

Uninstalling Pixel Launcher

Oddly, in our testing, after installing Pixel Launcher, it didn’t appear in the list of installed apps, so if you ever change your mind and want to uninstall it, you can always head to Settings > Apps and find it there. You’ll need to Force Stop it before you can uninstall it though.


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I'm a tech journalist and editor with lots of opinions. is a place for me to put those. All views expressed are personal, and not those of any titles for which I write in other capacities. As well as running this site, I also write for WIRED, Engadget, Trusted Reviews, and a number of other leading technology titles. I also run're welcome to contact me via [email protected] if you have news or anything else to pass along, on twitter at @10sectech or @TheNextWoodsTech startup founders that need media advice or PRs and brands that need content strategy advice should visit

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