How-to Enable App Sideloading on the AT&T Samsung Captivate


For whatever reason, AT&T doesn’t want you to install apps unless they come through “official” channels, namely the Android Market. You can’t download an .apk file from its developer and install it on your phone… well, not without some hackery.

As with all our articles that cover modding, hacking, and/or rooting, your phone you do so at your own risk. Ahead there be dragons.


1. You’re going to need an AT Captivate (otherwise these instructions won’t do you much good).

2. Root access. If you haven’t already done so, follow our How-to Root your AT&T Captivate tutorial.

3. BusyBox. Download and install the BusyBox app from the Android Market. Open BusyBox and follow the instructions to enable it.

5. A SQL Database Manager. Try the SQLite plugin for Firefox (which you can get here). Of course, if you go this route you’ll need Firefox, too.

Enable App “Sideloading”

1. On your Captivate, turn on USB debugging: Settings, Applications, Development

2. Plug your Samsung Captivate into your computer via USB

3. Open a Command Prompt (with administrative privileges) on your computer and navigate to the tools folder with the Android SDK folder (something like cd C:UserspocketnowDesktopandroid-sdk-windowstools (enter))

4. Once in that folder type the following:

adb shell (enter)

su (enter)

cp /dbdata/databases/ /sdcard/settings.db (enter)

cp /dbdata/databases/ /sdcard/settings.db.backup (enter)

exit (enter)

exit (enter) (yes, exit twice)

adb pull /sdcard/settings.db %userprofile%desktop (enter)

5. Leave Command Prompt open, we’ll need it later.

6. Open SQLite Manager in Firefox by pressing Tools, SQLite Manager.

7 . Click “Database” then “Connect Database”.

8. Navigate to settings.db on your Desktop and expand the tables.

9. Click “Secure”, scroll down to ID 6, “install_non_market_apps” and double-click it.

10. Change “value” from 0 to 1.

11. Close SQLite Manager

12. Go back to the command prompt window, and type the following:

adb push %userprofile%desktopsettings.db /sdcard (enter)

adb shell (enter)

su (enter)

cp /sdcard/settings.db /dbdata/databases/ (enter)

chmod 777 /dbdata/databases/ (enter)

reboot (enter)

13. Unplug your Captivate from your computer while your phone reboots.

If all went according to plan you can now bypass the Market and sideload apps onto your phone!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.