Install the Google Pixel 2's Pixel Launcher on a Samsung Galaxy S8

Edited by Jay, Maria Quinney

One of the best features of Android mobile devices is their ability for customization. With a little know-how and some ambition, you can personalize almost everything about a device. One of the more popular customizations users make is swapping out the device's stock launcher. An Android launcher is the software that allows users to interact with their apps, widgets, and settings; it's what you see when you power up the device. The layout of the icons on the home screen and app drawer, how they look and are managed, is all handled with the default launcher.

Typically, users visit the Play Store and download and install one of the many launchers available. In this article, however, we'll be sideloading the Google Pixel 2's launcher app directly. Sideloading is when you install an app without doing it via the Play Store. You download and run an app's APK file directly on the device.

In this VisiHow, we'll be installing the Pixel 2's Pixel loader on a Samsung Galaxy S8, running the Nougat OS. If you're using an older version of Android, you can still install the Pixel's launcher, as long as it's Lollipop 5.0 or higher.

**Please Note** Whenever you sideload apps and bypass the Play Store, you run the risk of exposing your device to potentially harmful files. Google's Play store keeps users safe by ensuring a high level of security with the apps offered in their marketplace. You should always download your APK files from a trusted source such as apkmirror.com.


Enable Unknown Sources (sideloading) On Samsung Galaxy S8

Due to the potential security risks, enabling Unknown apps (sideloading) is disabled by default. Follow the steps below to enable this option.

  1. 1
    On the home screen, swipe up to access your app drawer.
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  2. 2
    From the app drawer, tap the "Settings" icon.
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  3. 3
    On the main Settings screen, scroll down to and tap, "Lock screen and security".
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  4. 4
    On the LOCK SCREEN AND SECURITY screen, tap the toggle switch next to "Unknown sources".
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  5. 5
    Next, you'll see a warning pop-up dialog box that explains the potential risks (as we touched on in the intro of this tutorial). Tap "OK" to enable unknown sources. Don't worry about any risks with this particular install because we'll be using a highly trusted source (APK Mirror).
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Download and Install the Google Pixel 2's Launcher

  1. 1
    Now it's time to download the APK file. Launch your preferred browser.
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  2. 2
    With your browser open, visit the following link. When the page loads, scroll down and tap the download icon for the most recent version.
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  3. 3
    On the following page, scroll down and tap the blue "DOWNLOAD APK" button.
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  4. 4
    You may be prompted to allow your browser access to your photos, media, and files, as well as your downloaded files. Tap "ALLOW" and "CONTINUE" to proceed.
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  5. 5
    Next, you'll see a warning pop-up at the bottom of your browser. Tap "OK" to begin the download.
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  6. 6
    Once the APK file is downloaded, you'll need to access it. Open up your preferred file manager app. In our example, we used the "My Files" app.
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  7. 7
    On the "MY FILES" screen (or whatever file manager you're using), tap "Installation files" or "Downloads".
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  8. 8
    Now you can navigate to the APK file you just downloaded. When in the correct directory, tap .apk file.
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  9. 9
    Next, you'll be asked if you want to install the Pixel Launcher. Tap "INSTALL", then when the installation is complete, tap "DONE".
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  10. 10
    Once the new Launcher is installed, you will be asked to select it near the bottom of the screen. Tap "Pixel Launcher" to continue.
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Organize Pixel Launcher Home Screen

  1. 1
    Now that the Pixel Launcher is active, it's time to add some apps and widgets to your home screen. Tap or swipe up from the arrow to access your new app drawer.
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  • 2
    To add apps to your new home screen, tap and drag them over.
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  • 3
    To access your Wallpapers, Widgets, and Home Settings, tap and hold on the home screen.
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  • 4
    To use the Google search bar at the bottom of your home screen, tap it, and you'll be taken to Google's APP INFO screen. Tap "ENABLE" to get the Pixel Launcher's search bar running.
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  • Revert to the Galaxy S8's Default Launcher

    1. 1
      To switch back to your original Launcher, tap or swipe up from the arrow on the home screen to access your app drawer.
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    2. 2
      From inside the app drawer, tap the "Settings" icon.
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    3. 3
      Inside SETTINGS, scroll down and tap, "Apps".
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    4. 4
      On the APPS screen, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, then tap "Default apps".
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    5. 5
      While on the DEFAULT APPS screen, tap "Home screen".
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    6. 6
      On the HOME SCREEN page, select your original Launcher by tapping the radio button next to it. In our case, the original Launcher was "TouchWiz home". To finalize the switch, tap the home screen button.
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    7. 7
      You should now be back to your original home screen, with your apps in the same layout as you left them.
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    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Article Info

    Categories : Use Samsung Galaxy S8 | Software

    Recent edits by: Jay

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