android studio Is there a way to get the source code from an APK file?




how to get source code(java and xml) from android apk file (13)

The hard drive on my laptop just crashed and I lost all the source code for an app that I have been working on for the past two months. All I have is the APK file that is stored in my email from when I sent it to a friend.

Is there any way to extract my source code from this APK file?


These two articles describe how to combine the use of apktool and dex2jar to take an APK file and create an Eclipse project that can build and run it.

http://blog.inyourbits.com/2012/11/extending-existing-android-applications.html

http://blog.inyourbits.com/2012/12/extending-existing-android-applications.html

Basically you:

  1. Use apktool to get the resource files out of the apk
  2. Use dex2jar to get a jar file that contains the classes in a format that Eclipse will like.
  3. Create an Eclipse project point it at the resource files and the new jar file
  4. Open the jar file with a zip utility and delete the existing resources
  5. Open the jar file with JDGui to view the source code
  6. Take whatever source code you need from JDGui, stick it in a class inside Eclipse and modify it
  7. Delete that class from the jar file (so you don't have the same class defined multiple times)
  8. Run it.

Below ONLINE tool:

http://www.javadecompilers.com/apk

it do ALL by one click: decompiled .java files + resources + xml (in one .zip file) with very good decompiler (jadx return java code in places/functions where other compiles return comments inside function like "unable to decompile" or some android assembler/machine code)


apktool is THE way to go. Online apktool service exists as well: http://www.javadecompilers.com/apktool

Some limitations, obviously, exist due to the service ‘online nature’: you may extract and research assets and the manifest file, but it is impossible to recompile the application at the moment.

Still, this is a no-hassle way to 'open' the android application.


This is an alternative description - just in case someone got stuck with the description above. Follow the steps:

  1. download apktool.bat (or apktool for Linux) and apktool_<version>.jar from http://ibotpeaches.github.io/Apktool/install/
  2. rename the jar file from above to apktool.jar and put both files in the same folder

  3. open a dos box (cmd.exe) and change into that folder; verify that a Java Environment is installed (for Linux check the notes regarding required libraries as well)
  4. Start: apktool decode [apk file]

    Intermediate result: resource files, AndroidManifest.xml

  5. unzip APK file with an unpacker of your choice

    Intermediate result: classes.dex

  6. download and extract dex2jar-0.0.9.15.zip from http://code.google.com/p/dex2jar/downloads/detail?name=dex2jar-0.0.9.15.zip&can=2&q=
  7. drag and drop classes.dex onto dex2jar.bat (or enter <path_to>\dex2jar.bat classes.dex in a DOS box; for Linux use dex2jar.sh)

    Intermediate result: classes_dex2jar.jar

  8. unpack classes_dex2jar.jar (might be optional depending on used decompiler)
  9. decompile your class files (e.g. with JD-GUI or DJ Decompiler)

    Result: source code

Note: it is not allowed to decompile third party packages; this guide is intended to recover personal source code from an APK file only; finally, the resulting code will most likely be obfuscated


apktool is the best thing you can try. I have saved some xml with it, but honestly I don't know how it will work with the .java code.

I would recommend you to have a code repository even if your are the only coder. I've been using Project Locker for my own projects. It gives you free svn and git repos.



While you may be able to decompile your APK file, you will likely hit one big issue:

it's not going to return the code you wrote. It is instead going to return whatever the compiler inlined, with variables given random names, as well as functions given random names. It could take significantly more time to try to decompile and restore it into the code you had, than it will be to start over.

Sadly, things like this have killed many projects.
For the future, I highly recommend learning a Version Control System, like CVS, SVN and git etc.

and how to back it up.


There is also a new application on the Play Store with which it is possible to decompile an apk (system applications too) and view the source code right on your smartphone. It saves the files to your SD card so you can view it on your computer too. It does not require root or something else.

Just install and have fun. I think this is the easiest way to decompile an app.


I personally recommend Show Java Android App to get the source code. You can download it from play store or from here


There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Use the "Profile or Debug APK" feature in Android Studio 3.0.

    It allows you to open and explore APKs in Android Studio. Classes are decompiled into smali. Resources are not extracted and things like "Go to Definition", "Find All References" and debugging don't work without the source code (android studio 3.0 canary 9). Some additional smali features might work with smalidea.

  2. Use jadx.

    Jadx decompiles the code in a given APK to java source files.

  3. Use apktool.

    Apktool is a command line tool which extracts resources and decompiles code into smali for a given apk. You can recompile using apktool also. Here's an example of it in action:

    $ apktool d test.apk
    I: Using Apktool 2.2.4 on test.apk
    I: Loading resource table...
    I: Decoding AndroidManifest.xml with resources...
    I: Loading resource table from file: 1.apk
    I: Regular manifest package...
    I: Decoding file-resources...
    I: Decoding values */* XMLs...
    I: Baksmaling classes.dex...
    I: Copying assets and libs...
    I: Copying unknown files...
    I: Copying original files...
    $ apktool b test
    I: Using Apktool 2.2.4 on test
    I: Checking whether sources has changed...
    I: Smaling smali folder into classes.dex...
    I: Checking whether resources has changed...
    I: Building resources...
    I: Building apk file...
    I: Copying unknown files/dir...
    


Apktool for reverse engineering 3rd party, closed, binary Android apps.

It can decode resources to nearly original form and rebuild them after making some modifications.

It makes possible to debug smali code step by step. Also it makes working with an app easier because of project-like file structure and automation of some repetitive tasks like building apk, etc.

http://ibotpeaches.github.io/Apktool/


apktool will work. You don't even need to know the keystore to extract the source code (which is a bit scary). The main downside is that the source is presented in Smali format instead of Java. Other files such as the icon and main.xml come through perfectly fine though and it may be worth your time to at least recover those. Ultimately, you will most likely need to re-write your Java code from scratch.

You can find apktool here. Simply just download apktool and the appropriate helper (for Windows, Linux, or Mac OS). I recommend using a tool such as 7-zip to unpack them.





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