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How to Sideload Apps on Mi Box [3 Ways]

Want to experience more of Android apps on Mi Box? Then, you can possibly do it by sideloading apps.

The Mi Box runs on Android TV OS. Apart from the pre-installed apps, you can sideload APK files on your Mi Box or Mi Box 4K. As of now (March 2023), the Mi Box 4K comes with Android TV 9.0 OS. With the Android TV 9.0, you can sideload almost all the apps that are available on the Android smartphone’s Play Store. Let’s see the different ways to sideload apps on Mi Box.

What is Sideloading

Sideloading is a process of installing apps that are officially not available for the device. For instance, in the Mi Box, popular apps like Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and some Google apps are pre-installed. Using the Play Store, you can install apps like Plex, VLC, and Dailymotion manually. Some apps like Kodi, Chrome, and Telegram are not available for Android TV. To install those unavailable apps, you need to sideload the Android smartphone’s APK file on your Mi TV or Mi Box. To sideload apps, there are numerous tools available.

Methods to Sideload Apps on Mi Box

Mi Box comes in different variants like Mi Box 4K, Mi Box S, Mi TV Stick, and Mi TV Stick 4K. The process of sideloading the app remains the same for all the devices. Pick any one method mentioned below to sideload the app on your Mi Box.

Steps to Sideload Apps on Mi Box using Downloader

Downloader is an Android app that works on Android TV boxes like Mi box that helps to download and install third-party apps. Mi Box users can get it from the Play Store and thereby install any app.

(1). On the Home screen of Mi Box, choose Google Play Store using the remote.

Sideloaded Apps on Mi Box

(2). Select the Search/Magnifier icon from the upper-left corner.

Search for Downloader to Sideloaded Apps on Mi Box

(3). Type as Downloader by AFTVnews on the search box. Alternatively, you can also use the voice search to find Downloader.

(4). Navigate to the right and then select the Downloader app.

Highlight and Select Downloader

(5). After that, select the Install button to get Downloader on Mi Box.

Downloader app on Android TV

(6). Click the Open button to use it and thereby download third-party apps.

Launch Downloader

Enable Permissions

In order to sideload a third-party app on Mi Box, certain changes need to be done on the Settings.

(1). Turn on Mi Box and navigate to the top-right corner to select Settings.

Open Settings

(2). Choose Security & restrictions option.

Select Security and restrictions

(3). Select the Unknown Sources feature.

Enable Unknown Sources to Sideloaded Apps on Mi Box

(4). Now, a list of apps will appear. Turn on the toggle for the Downloader app.

Sideload Apps using Downloader

(1). To begin with, select the Apps menu from the left side of the Mi Box home screen.

Sideloaded Apps on Mi Box

(2). Look for Downloader and select it to launch.

Select Downloader

(3). When Downloader is opened for the first time, a prompt appears with the list of permissions it uses. Just click on Allow.

Read Permissions and Accept it

(4). On the home screen of Downloader, enter the URL of the third-party app. Press GO.

Type the URL to Sideloaded Apps on Mi Box

(5). Wait for the third-party app server to connect with Downloader and start the download process.

(6). When completed, select the Install option from the bottom.

Download Progress

(7). If you get the App Installed notification, choose Done and select Delete to remove the apk file of an app.

Using PC

It is possible to sideload apps on Mi Box with the help of a PC. Here is how.


  • Connect PC and Mi Box to the same WiFi network
  • File Commander on Mi Box
  • The APK file of an app on your PC

Steps to Sideload Apps on Mi Box using File Manager

(1). On your Mi Box, launch Play Store from the home screen.

Open Play Store

(2). Search the File Commander app.

(3). Select the Install button to download the app on Mi Box. Turn on the Install Unknown Apps toggle for the File Commander app.

Install File Commander app to Sideloaded Apps on Mi Box

(4). Go to the Apps section to launch the File Commander.

(5). Click the PC File Transfer option on its home screen.

Select PC File Transfer

(6). When prompted, enable the PC connectivity feature.

(7). The path field will show you an address either as http or ftp.

Copy Paste the Address on PC Browser

(8). Enter the http address on your PC browser as shown on Mi Box. On the same screen, select the slider to allow all incoming PC connections.

Turn on PC Connectivity

(9). With this, you can access Mi Box folders on a PC browser. Copy the third-party APK file from the PC.

Note: If your file manager on Mi Box shows ftp path instead of http, then open a folder on your PC and enter the ftp path on the address bar of the folder. With this, you can see Mi Box folders on your PC.

(10). Paste the APK file in the Download folder of your Mi Box.

Sideload Third-party apk from Upload location

(11). Now, the APK file will appear on the File Commander app.

(12). Tap the APK file to install the app on your Mi Box.

Using Smartphone

If you want to install the APK file from your smartphone, you can use the Send File to TV app, instead of the File Commander app.

(1). Install the Send Files to TV app on your Android TV and Android smartphone from the Play Store.

(2). Then, enable the Install Unknown Apps toggle for the Send Files to TV app.

(3). Download the APK file on your smartphone that you want to sideload on your Mi Box

(4). Open the Send Files to TV app on your Android TV and click the Receive button.

(5). On your smartphone, open the Send Files to TV app and click the Send button.

(6). Choose the APK file and send it to your Android TV.

Send Files to TV app

(7). Open the APK file and install it on your Android TV.

How to Use Sideloaded Apps on Mi Box

Some of the sideloaded apps can’t be opened directly on the Mi Box. You need to install the Sideload Launcher app to launch the sideloaded apps.

(1). Open the Play Store on your Android TV.

(2). Search for the Sideload Launcher app.

(3). Select the Sideload Launcher app and install it on your Android TV.

(4). Open the Sideload Launcher app. You will get all the sideloaded apps on your Mi Box.

Sideload Launcher on Android TV

(5). Choose the app and open it using the Sideload Launcher app.

Tip: If you want, you can cast the app to Mi Box using your smartphone.

If you aren’t satisfied with the Play Store apps, then sideloading Android apps is the only possible way. You can choose between either of the methods to sideload apps on Mi Box and experience their features effortlessly. If you have any issues with the sideloading, let us know in the comments.

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