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Installing Action Launcher 3 as a system app via ADB

DISCLAIMER: Follow these instructions entirely at your own risk. I, nor my company (Digital Ashes PTY LTD) take any responsibility whatsoever for any damage done to any device/property that occurs as a result of following these instructions.

The following steps describe how to install Action Launcher 3 on a rooted device as a system app, so that you will be able to enable Action Launcher 3's Google Now integration.


  1. A rooted device (Google if you need help here).
  2. A computer with ADB installed, and a working knowledge of ADB.
  3. A copy of an Action Launcher 3 APK on your computer. is a good place to grab a copy from. All you're doing here is setting Action 3 as a system app, so any version of the app will work. From there, the Action 3 will update via the Play Store like a typical pre-installed app (such as Gmail or YouTube).

Note: To follow the instructions below exactly, rename the APK to action3.apk. If you opt not to do this, just substitute action3.apk to your_filename.apk as appropriate in the instructions below.


First, put the APK on the device:

adb push action3.apk /sdcard/

Now move the APK to the system partion. NOTE: The # blah blah items following the commands below are just comments for you to understand what's happening. Don't enter them in the shell.

adb shell
mount -o rw,remount /system                 # Remount to read-write so we can write to /system.
mv /sdcard/action3.apk /system/priv-app     # Move to the /system partion.
chmod 644 /system/priv-app/action3.apk      # All System-Apps need to have the permissions rw-r--r--.
mount -o ro,remount /system                 # Remount to read-only again.

Finally, reboot the device:

adb reboot

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RenanLazarotto commented Sep 13, 2016

There is only one thing that I'd like to add: as far as I know, since Android L, there hasn't been any "loose" APK files inside /system/app or /system/priv-app folders. This means that (at least as far as my knowledge goes, I can be wrong) in Lollipop and earlier you should've put action3.apk inside a folder with the same name, something like /system/priv-app/action3/action3.apk.


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phishfi commented Feb 5, 2017

I just did this on LineageOS 14.1 for my Nexus 7 (2013). No need for a separate folder, just Action3.apk inside /system/priv-app/


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mauromiceli commented Apr 19, 2017

Help! I followed the instructions, but got some errors: Here, a screenshot of the shell: What's missing? Help, please. Thanks in advance to anyone!


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calebroseland commented May 16, 2017

For those wondering how to move a play-store-installed an app to the system partition, without root (e.g. rootless custom rom,) you can simply use TWRP:

  1. Install App from Play Store
  2. Reboot to recovery (TWRP)
  3. Mount /system as writable
  4. Use the file manager to move /data/app/<appId> to /system/priv-app
    mv /data/app/com.actionlauncher.playstore-1 /system/priv-app
  5. Select /system/priv-app/<appId>/base.apk and change the permissions to 644
    chmod 644 /system/priv-app/com.actionlauncher.playstore-1/base.apk
  6. Reboot and done!
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