Technical Notes


Fix Parse Error – There is a Problem Parsing the Package


Android OS is the most popular smartphone OS as of today, and that must be because of its vast app collection. It is also an open source OS, so yeah that could be the reason as well. So, if an Android user prefers to switch to a new mobile OS, they will look for the apps collection and then decide if they want to make the move. Nevertheless, with all the advantage, the Android OS is not immune to errors and user keeps facing one or another frequently.

Fix Parse Error - There is a Problem Parsing the Package

One of the oldest and most common error faced by Android users would be the Parse error in Android. The error pops up when you try to install an app on your Android phone. The full error looks like “Parse error – there is a problem parsing the Package”. The error is simple to understand with the error message saying “the application cannot be installed on your phone due to an issue with the parsing.”

If you keep tinkering with the Android apps by making changes to the apps manifest file, then also, the “Parse error” in Android would occur. There are several reasons for the Parse error in Android and today we will be discussing the possible solutions to fix the parse error in Android.

Causes of the Parse error in Android?

Before we proceed to the fixes, let’s see what can cause Parse error in Android. The parse error occurs while installing an Android app on your phone. But, the causes can be different.

Fix Parse Error – There is a Problem Parsing the Package

Fix 1: Check Your Apps Manifest File

This solution is only for the people who keep messing with apps Manifest file to make a modification to it. So, if you are one of them and made any changes to the Apps Androidmanifest.xml file then try restoring the file to its default state. Things you need to make sure to fix the parse error while installing an Android app:

The name of the .apk has been changed – So, if the original .apk was named as original.apk, and you renamed it to original1.apk then you may need to rename it to its original name that is “Original.apk”.

Once renamed, try to install the app on your Android phone and see if the parse error has been resolved.

The problem with your App’s code – Well, this isn’t something that I can troubleshoot and say what went wrong. But, if there is a problem with your code, you may need to look into that.

Fix 2: Allow Apps Installation from Unknown Sources

For the security reasons, the Android smartphone does not allow you to install apps from third-party sources or 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 a .apk file then you may face the “parse error – there is an error parsing the package”. To fix this, what you can do here is allow app installation from the unknown sources. You can find the settings to the same under Security settings of your phone.

To allow app installation from the unknown sources, go to Settings and look for Security option under “Input and Control.”

Tap on Security and under Device administrators tap on “Unknown Sources, allows installation of apps from unknown sources”. If asked to confirm, tap OK.

Go back to the folder where you have the .apk located. Tap on it and install the app without parse error.

Fix 3: Enable USB Debugging

Enabling USB debugging isn’t really necessary for installing Android apps using the .apk file. But, for some users, enabling the USB debugging seems to have worked very well.

To enable USB debugging, you need to enable Developer Option in your Android phone first.

To enable “Developer option” go to, Settings, scroll down and tap on About Phone and then tap seven times on the “Build Number”. You should see a “You are now a developer” message on the screen.

Next, go to Settings again, scroll down and tap on Developer Options. Under developer options, tap on USB debugging and enable it.

The procedure to enable USB debugging for different devices will be different. There are dedicated websites such Enable USB Debugging with detailed instructions to do the same.

Fix 4: 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 a .apk, the possibility is that your Antivirus app might be blocking the .apk file and preventing the installation.

So, try disabling the Antivirus temporarily and try to install the .apk file. This time, you should be able to install the .apk file without receiving any parse error in Android.

Fix 5: Corrupted APK or Partially Downloaded File

The phrase error – there is a problem parsing the package error can also occur due to a corrupted .apk file. Try downloading the fresh apk and install it. See if this can resolve the error. Also, make sure you download the complete file. Sometimes, you may partially download a .apk file and face Parse error while installing it.

Fix 6: Incompatible App

Some Android apps do not support the older version of the Android OS. Some apps do not support the older hardware of the smartphone. So, when you try to install an app which requires Android 4.4 KitKat above on an Android 4.3 Jelly Bean running smartphone then you will get “Parse error – there is a problem parsing the package” message. So, make sure you read the app description about the requirement on the Google Play Store.