How To Install Swype on AT&T HTC Android Phones

My New AT&T HTC Aria

I just purchased the AT&T Aria the day it came out. My initial thoughts were good. I liked the smaller size and found switching from a Blackberry to an Android device easy. I quickly setup the Aria to sync with my Google for domains account. Instantly I had contacts, calendar and email running. Sweet.

Then I tried to uninstall a bunch of the AT&T applications. They just clutter it up and make it crappy. No luck, the best I could do is remove them from the main views.

Next, I tried to install Swype. I downloaded the file for the beta and tried to install it, but got this error. For security, your phone is set to block installation of applications not sourced in Android Market. So I clicked settings to change the security option, but guess what. AT&T doesn't allow you to change the security settings for applications on the Andriod.

So, now that I'm super annoyed and considering returning the phone. I'm figuring out how to install applications via the Android developer tools to get around AT&T blocking me from installing applications that I want to use.

Installing Out of Market Android Applications

The Swype application is out of market. The security settings need to be bypassed to install the app.

Perform these steps on a Windows Machine

The first thing I learned is this will only work on a Windows machine. I tried first on my mac and the HTC sync software isn't supported.

#1 Download the Android SDK

Download the Android SDK from

You'll need to extract the files and I suggest moving them to the C:\ directory so it's easier to run the commands in later steps.

#2 Download and install the HTC Sync

Download and install the HTC Sync from This is going to let you move files to your Android device.

#3 Connect Phone to Computer

Connect your phone to the computer and select HTC Sync as the connection type on your phone. It may give you an error. Just ignore the error for now. Click OK.

#4 Copy the .apk Files to the Install Directory

Copy the files for the application you want to install to your C:\sdk\tools directory. The entire reason I started this is because I wanted to install Swype on my phone. You'll need to search for a recent .apk file for swype. The comments below have recent ones linked.

#5 Open Command Prompt

Open a command prompt by clicking start -> run. Then type cmd in the box.

#6 Enter Commands at the Prompt

In the command window, type

  • cd\
  • cd sdk
  • cd platform-tools

After you changed the directories, your prompt should say C:\sdk\tools>

#7 Make Sure Your Phone is Connected to the Computer

Make sure your phone is connected by typing adb devices in the command prompt. Then you should see List of devices attached. There should by a long list of letters and numbers and then device. If you see this, you are good to go.

#8 adb install and Set Phone Settings

At the same prompt, type adb install <name of file.apk> If installed successfully, you will see a success message. I ran adb install swype-hvga-1.56-htc_ime-en-hacked.adp

Now, to finish the installation of swype on the phone, go to settings -> Language & Keyboard and selected swype.

#9 Set Swype as the Keyboard

To get swype working you have to go to a text input box on the phone and push down on it until a dialogue box appears to select your input. Select Swype and this will then work for all your application keyboards. Sweet!

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Comments 87 comments

mrjohnpeter profile image

mrjohnpeter 6 years ago from India

it's really a fine article about How To Get Unsigned Applications Installed on an AT&T Aria........thx

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Well written advice. Thank you for your kind help.

Thomas Clarke 6 years ago

Great article good to know thanks for info

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Patience... You must be a linear thinker! I can image your sense of "aha!" when you thought, "sweet!"

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Great advice but slightly mumbo jumbo to me

Sam Weller 6 years ago

It actually works on a Mac too. Step #1 is the same -- download SDK, follow instructions (need to setenv PATH, or run adb from tools directory in a terminal). Step #2 is not needed. Step #3 is the same -- the phone will complain after a minute that it can't find the HTC Sync client -- but the device mounts anyway. Run "adb devices" (Step #7) to confirm, do "adb install file.apk" (#8), and voila ! Sweet indeed !

Aria is neat little device, I've been enjoying it for a few days. Rooting is the next step :)

brett isbell 6 years ago

can you help me with step 5. im stuck in the exact same situation. but im having problems with cmd prompt. maybe im not opening it up correctly. but im following your steps to the letter

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beazie0885 6 years ago

sry. just signed up, i do need help with this as i cant get the phone connected to htc sync. it says on the phone when i connect it via usb and set it up to htc sync, "disconnected" i am so confused with this phone. this is my first experience with android. not happy thus far. love the aria, but all these at&t limitations have got to go... hello "how to root htc aria" im looking you up next!

6 years ago


Have you tried using 'adb uninstall file' to get rid of the AT&T bloatware?

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asher7w 6 years ago

Great Hub!!

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

@C - No I haven't, does it work to remove the ATT programs?

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

@Brett, In step five all you do is open a does prompt. In Windows, you click the start button and then run. That pops up a little box so you can type cmd in it. That will open the dos prompt to run step six. In step six, you hit enter after each line.

Lisa 6 years ago

Hey i was debting to get this phone or the iphone 4. This is my first choice, my dad said choose the other. idk, how is he battery life? and can you really install swype on it? I was devasted when i saw the phone didnt com with it.. :( and that they block unsupported apps.

maruthirp profile image

maruthirp 6 years ago from Hyderabad

Is'nt there any security risk if we install so?

TroyM profile image

TroyM 6 years ago

GOod tips! Looking for a print guide on this, but it's too early for one to be out. Bummer!

dealrocker profile image

dealrocker 6 years ago from California

Very well written tips. Liked your work Paul. You have some great hubs over there. You have forced me to join your fanclub and hope that you will like to visit my hubs too. :)

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beazie0885 6 years ago

thanks @Paul Edmondson got it working just fine now. actually halfway to root right now!

Bob 6 years ago

Thank you very much! I have

Swype installed and trying it out now.

Eric 6 years ago

Hi, thanks for the guide, but when I typed adb install , it just said install, but it doesnt finish. Does my Aria need to be rooted for this to work?

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

No, the phone doesn't need to be rooted for it to work.

Roger 6 years ago

Paul- this worked great. Only reason I am keeping the Aria is because I can run Swype on the phone and it is smaller and more available than the Incredible. I'd love to know if you can list the apps directory on the phone and start adb uninstall all of the bloatware without killing the phone. Wanna try and report back to us?

Jamie 6 years ago

You ROCK!!! I almost bought the new Samsung Android phone yesterday, but I went with the HTC due to form factor. I am so glad I found this article and the steps work BEAUTIFULLY!!! Thanks!!! Now to go rub it in on my husband and his iPhone ;)

Eric 6 years ago

Well, I followed the instructions and did everything it your guide said, but when I type in "adb install .apk, it just says installing, but I never get the success message.

satansfx 6 years ago

I just got my Aria 4 hours ago - and I got this installed w/out any issues. Thanks Paul!!!

Ryan Floyd profile image

Ryan Floyd 6 years ago


Great article

You clearly know what you are doing :)

Lisa!! 6 years ago

i have the htc aria for a while now.. but i need help :( for some god for saken reason the htc sync doesnt work on my phone! i have no clue why. and with goin thru your steps in step 5 im lost as hell cuz when i clicked on setup, they said extract 1st, i did then the black box comes up nd im not able to type in it..smh i just really want swype.. can yu please help!

Lauren 6 years ago

I'm confused with the whole command prompt thing. How do i do step six, seven, and eight?

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

after each command, you need to hit the enter button.

halosage79 6 years ago

i don't understand how to use the terminal on mac, so i can't get this to install. can some1 expand on that part of the mac installation?

SS 6 years ago

Installed Swype on my unrooted Aria, based on your instructions. THANK YOU!

calitos8 6 years ago

isn't this rooting the phone?

Daniel 6 years ago

Bless you, good sir!

PauleyB 6 years ago

I had a minor problem getting HTC sync to install correctly. for those that are running WIN7 PRO 64bit, you may have the same problem. You simply need to move the .dll files from C:\program files(x86)\common files\teleca shared to C:\Windows\WOW64. After getting that sorted, everyting worked great and I have swype installed on my Aria. I too am interested is using the uninstall to remove the AT&T bloatware. I'll try setting up a restore image so I can recover my phone if I brick it and see what happens. I'll report back after I have tried it.

Paul - Thanks for the how-to. Swype is a must have and now I have it.

Take care,


seldom.seen 6 years ago

Wow, been a long, long time since I did anything with a DOS prompt which says something about how far removed most of us are from the actual code running behind all these apps. Followed instructions to a tee and now have Swype installed in my Aria. However, after I select Swype as keyboard, it doesn't change the keyboard from the default. Any ideas?

My iPone was stolen and I replaced it with this nice little HTC phone which I'm really starting to appreciate, the only drawback so far aside from having to install this keyboard skin so I can type a "|" character is the problem of not being able to sync to my Mac, even with The Missing Sync downloaded and running. It just won't recognize my Aria. Any suggestions?

remrem 6 years ago


Thanks for this great article. It was one of the factors in helping me make the decision to purchase the Aria yesterday. Just as seldom.seen above stated, everything worked perfectly. However, I just can't get the Swype keyboard to display, even though the program allows me to select all settings. It must be something simple and hope you can help us. Thanks again!

remrem 6 years ago

Good morning Paul,

Please disregard my request above. With a fully rested brain I just re-read more carefully the last step where you say:

"The very last step to get swype working is you have to go to a text input box and push down on it until a dialogue box appears to select your input. Select Swype and this will then work for all your application keyboards. Sweet!"


seldom.seen, I suspect you and I shared the exact same problem. SWYPE appeared in the application menu on the phone, you selected it as the keyboard, but didn't see it appear anywhere when you tried to type a message. So, as our esteemed author has instructed, hold your finger down on the "text input box" (which is anywhere you can insert text. After a few seconds a menu pops up, where you can select SWYPE!

bob 6 years ago

works great thanks!

profile image 6 years ago from bear, de, 19701

is there any risk to install it?

works@ 6 years ago

works great! thanks for sharing!

Matt 6 years ago

This is awesome. A great set of instructions. First Swype and then the world.

Arnold 6 years ago

Question: I recently followed these directions and everything worked perfectly till the very last direction. I hold down on the text box and no dialogue box appears to choose my input. Has this happened to anyone else?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks

Arnold  6 years ago

Nevermind, this is awesome.

TIP: When you go into settings, make sure that there is a green check next to the swype category. This was my problem


chris 6 years ago

im confused on the command prompt part too..i put in C:\cd\

and it pulls up the directory where the file is..

Geoffrey G. 6 years ago

Hmm, I am getting an error, it says my trial period has ended. I've tried multiple swype .apks but I've gotten no better results...Any idea how I can fix this problem?

apk doesnt work anymore 6 years ago

the hacked *.apk file doesnt work anymore. Swype stopped working on my HTC Aria after i got it to work for several weeks. Need a new *apk to load on the HTC....

Sam Weller 6 years ago

Geoffrey: apparently, an OEM build (e.g. for Samsung -- version 1.58 build 7772 or 1.60 build 8214) does not expire. A few of them repackaged for HVGA (i.e. good for the Aria) exist in the wild (search for Swype.apk or Swype_1.60). There is also the newest beta, but it's only available to Swype-beta subscribers who registered in June or earlier.

Geoffrey G. 6 years ago

Thank you very much Sam, I found a website that has it, since I didn't sign any aup, I assume I can link it.

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 6 years ago from Midwest USA


I don't care what AT&T says about you, you are fine in my book. LOL

Good information here for those of us with crippled AT&T android phones

jonathan 6 years ago

I must have tried 10 different versions of swype. all installed successfully but wouldn't match aria screen size and couldn't work. Can anyone provide a link to a good file??

malyssa 6 years ago

what files do i copy to the C:\sdk\tools

Samuel 6 years ago

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the tips and got the swype installed on my htc aria.

But need some more help regarding how to make it work..

I tried the swype tutorial, but the tutorial freezes midway and swype is not working ..please help

ellen 6 years ago

does this actually work permanently? can you do it from a mac? and does it harm your phone in any way?

not having swype is my only hold back on getting the Aria.

dag 6 years ago

Hey. That was a nice write up Helped a lot.

do you have any advice or info on skype apps for htc aria?


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 6 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

Any time you do a work around like this to install unsupported apps you could hurt your phone. That said, I did it to mine and it worked fine.

buttercups. 6 years ago

I also have a problem with the sixth step. I'm at the Command Prompt and i type in cd\ and i hit enter. its fine. then when i type in everything else it says something about the system cannot find the path specified. did i do the first step wrong?

Asif 6 years ago

Hi. I read that AT&T have eliminated the possibility of this swype process. They have added some security. Is this true?

Sandeep 6 years ago

Awesome post. Installed fine, but says trial period ended.

Any new links to download working file?????????

Diane 6 years ago

Im having the same problem as buttercups. After typing cd/ the ones after that just have the response "system cannot find the path specified". What did i do wrong?

bill 6 years ago

The adb command works from Linux as well - if you have the Android ADK installed - I am using r07 - just make sure you are running it as root and you may need to run these cmds:

adb kill-server

adb start-server

adb devices

adb install Swype_1.60.36.8214_HVGA.apk

Jester 6 years ago

To Diane and buttercups, the file name that he said above isn't the default name for the folder. The folder that you extracted from the SDK zip file you downloaded is what you should type in instead of "sdk" . Your prompt should look something like this:

C:\> cd android-sdk-window


C:\android-sdk-windows>cd tools

That should work. But again, the file name might be different, but that is the default (for me at least)

Jester 6 years ago

Sorry for my last post the first step should be

C:\> cd android-sdk-windows

C:\android-sdk-windows> cd tools

kate 6 years ago

i know basically nothing about technology, but i really want swype on my aria. i just can't figure out step five and i have been working on it for about half an hour. everytime i type something it comes up saying that the system cannot find the path specified. help please?

Kyle 6 years ago

Using AC Sideload Wonder Machine, I can get the file onto my phone. From the Apps, I can get it to download, but then it gets block by ATT. When I follow the steps above, it never recognizes that my device is connected. It says 'adb is not recognized as an internal or external command.'

Dana 6 years ago

I get the same 'adb is not recognized as an internal or external command.' Used to work before, I'm thinking it has something to do with the update I made for the HTC ROM :( And swype beta is finally open for business!:((((

Dana 6 years ago

Got it! First of all, that sdk file was the problem, it's a newer version, and somehow the "adb" command is not recognised. So I used the old one that I still had - worked just fine. Second, this version of swype is outdated. Found a newer one:

Third... that Swype Beta that I finally have access to won't work unless I root my phone... which I don't plan on doing for now. Oh well... I've got Swype!! :D

SUSIE405 profile image

SUSIE405 6 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

I know it's strange, but I am quite techy and have never used skype. I am definately going to try it.

Perseids 6 years ago

Got it installed without any problems. But... When I try "swypeing" I just get a beep after I lift my finger and the letters don't show up. It works ok just as a regular kb, but the swype function won't work.

Perseids 6 years ago

Figured out that I had an expired .apk. Got a new one and it works great!

Banner 6 years ago

Hi - I'm having an issue getting the sdb devices screen to come up. Last thing I did was run the sdk manager. Am I forgetting to do something? My phone is able to connect to the computer.

Josh 6 years ago

cant get anything to work after step three. got everything installed without any problems. My aria will not sync to my computer, im not sure how to copy like it says in step four, and none of the commands are working from step 6. So anyone know what im doing wrong?

Josh 6 years ago

Ok well i got the phone to sync to my computer, so its connected now but I still cant get the command prompt to work in step 6. Anyone left out there that can help? it says "The system cannot find the path specified."

Eric 6 years ago

Can anyone help me i get an "adb not found as internal or external command" problem on my cmd

goodboy735 6 years ago

They moved adb to platform-tools, so replace the "tools" directory with "platform-tools" in the how-to.

Works great, thanks :D

pbrunello15 6 years ago

Help, I get an "adb not found as internal or external command" problem on my command. I tried following the:

They moved adb to platform-tools, so replace the "tools" directory with "platform-tools" in the how-to.

I do not know which thing to rename or move. Can you please explain this a little further?


Matt 6 years ago


The command you need to run is called adb. In the version of SDK the author was running this command was located in the Tools folder. In the new version that you have it is located in the platform-tools folder. This means that when the author's instructions tell you to run the "cd tools" command in the command prompt menu what you actually type will be "cd platform-tools". It also means you need to put the Swype file (or other application) you want to install into the platform-tools folder and not the tools folder.

pbrunello15 6 years ago


Thank you for responding, but I still am having troubles. I downloaded the SDK manager from the link above. when I install it, there are 3 folders: add-ons, platforms and tools. I do not have the platform-tools folder. I have tried multiple times, and i keep getting stuck. Thanks in advance.

Matt 6 years ago


Did you move the folder that you installed SDK in to the C: directory? If you didn't then you would need to type in where the files are located. For example: "cd program files\android\sdk" and push enter. If they are located in a folder called SDK in the C: directory all you have to type is "cd sdk" then push enter. After you do that, the line before the cursor should read "C:\SDK>" (without parentheses obviously). If you get that far you need to type "cd tools" and hit enter. It should then allow you to type "adb install Swype.apk" (or whatever the file you want to install is called). I hope that helps.

Chris 6 years ago

I have never done this kind of thing before - I was able to follow the instructions and successfully install Swype on my HTC Aria. The first one I tried would not work due to the screen size. However I found a newer version of Swype and it works perfect! Thank you for posting this.

brandon 6 years ago

The first time I tried the App kept closing because it was out of date. Swype has re-released the demo for droid though. So what I did was go online sign up for swype. They sent me an email with a link that can only be accessed from an android device. I downloaded the installer to my SD card. Then I moved it to the "platform-tools" and then side loaded it. I then loaded the version mentioned above. then I opened the installer on my phone and it allowed me to generate a license for the previously expired copy and boom! Swype on my Aria! As a side note if you go into airplane mode and then activate wifi you can download apps from the market that are blocked by AT&T such as "pdanet" which allows tethering (phone as modem)!

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Andrew0208 6 years ago from Zion

@Brandon, well laid out. I hope to explore same with unlocked version of mine on my local network provider. Thanks Paul, it was quite helpful. Hub bookmarked.

JimInNorthwest 6 years ago

I'm wondering if it would be easier to d/load swype onto the phone simply by going into airplane mode and activating wifi?

Josie 6 years ago

I really need help with step 4 and 6 someone please help and soon!!!!!!!!

Mitch 5 years ago

I've followed all steps, and received the "success" message. As I follow the next step, Swype is NOT showing up as an optional input in Language & Keyboard.

Using new AT&T Aria. I had it on my Hero & LOVED it.

I am learning as I go, but would appreciate any suggestions to get Swype.


Andrew 5 years ago

Same issue as Mitch above me. Got the "Success" after step 8, but no "Swype" in Language & Keyboard. Please help! Black Aria needs Swype badly!

Alex 5 years ago

My prompt says adb is not recognized as a command??? Help please.

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volleychik4 5 years ago

i am stuck on step 6.. i keep typing in exactally what you say and nothing is happening. it keeps saying that they couldnt find the path i was looking for. i need help.. i really want swype for my aria! HELP:/

jacob 5 years ago

download the side load wonder machine from android central then pick the apk file from where it downloaded to on your pc.. plug in your htc/android and put it in disk mode then click install a box will pop up showing the install progress then it will make you press ANY key on the keyboard do this and it will work perfectly .. text me or email me with any trouble you have at these addresses:


636-328-6989 to txt me dont call

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