How to sideload apps on the NOOK Tablet (Amazon Appstore, GO Launcher EX)

The Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet ships with a couple of great apps pre-loaded including Pandora, Netflix, a decent email app, and an excellent eBook reader. There’s also an app section of the B&N Shop where you can browse for additional apps for the tablet — but the selection is pretty limited.

Fortunately it’s pretty easy to install third party apps on the NOOK Tablet. You don’t even need to root the tablet or install any custom firmware to do it. You might need a microSD card though.

Update 11/20/2011: If you want to… you can also now root the tablet and install the Android Market too.

Update 12/23/2011: This guide works with NOOK Tablet software version 1.4. If you’ve been updated to version 1.4.1 and no longer have the ability to sideload apps, you can follow our guide for rolling back to 1.4 and blocking over-the-air updates. The bit about rolling back is toward the bottom of the article. 

Update 12/24/2011: You can also now sideload apps on a NOOK Tablet running OS version 1.4.1… assuming you enabled support for sideloading before upgrading. 

Update 12/29/2011: Tools are also now available to root the NOOK Tablet while upgrading from OS 1.4.0 to 1.4.1

There might be a few different ways to set up the tablet to accept third party apps, but these are the steps I took.

Enable unknown sources

There’s a hidden settings menu on the NOOK Tablet that lets you install apps from unkown sources. You can’t get to it just by navigating through the settings, but xda-developers forum member lionclaw has provided an easy way to open the settings menu from your web browser.

  1. Fire up the web browser and visit http://comptonsoft.com/test/
  2. Click the “Download TGPS_launcher” link.
  3. You should see a notification in the lower left corner of your device.
  4. Click the notification and tap the entry that says tgps_launcher.apk download complete.
  5. If you try to install the app using the Package Installer, you’ll be whisked away to the screen shown above, where you can check the box next to unknown sources.

Time to get downloading

If you already have some APK files you want to install, the easiest way to get started is to email them to yourself and then open that email on the NOOK Tablet to download and install the files.

I found that the built-in email app didn’t always like this idea, so I emailed the Amazon Appstore APK file to my Gmail address, and then visited the Gmail mobile website using the web browser.

All you have to do from there is tap the file attachment to download it, and then follow steps 3 and 4 above. But this time when you try to install the app using the Package Installer, you should be able to complete the action.

If you don’t already have an APK file, the Amazon Appstore is a good place to start. You an download the installer from Amazon’s website.

While there are a few dozen good apps available for download in the B&N Shop, there are close to 20,000 apps in the Amazon Appstore. You can use it to download file managers, web browsers, games, music and movie apps, and even eBook readers.

The Appstore installed on my NOOK tablet without a hitch — but when I tried to download apps from the Amazon Appstore, the downloads wouldn’t complete until I inserted a microSD card into the NOOK Tablet. Amazon’s app doesn’t seem to like the built-in storage on the B&N tablet.

It’s also a good idea to install a third party file browser such as Astro File Manager or ES File Explorer. These apps will make it easier to find files you’ve downloaded and install them manually without having to click on the download notification bar.

You cannot use the file manager that came with the NOOK Tablet to install apps. I tried copying a few APK files onto the tablet’s main storage and tapping on their icons in the default file browser, but the tablet didn’t know what to do with those installers.

Customizing your Android experience

Since we haven’t rooted your device or changed the firmware in any way, the NOOK Tablet will still act like a NOOK tablet. That means you won’t actually see any of the apps you install in your library.

But you can find them by using the search utility.

Just hit the Nook button below the screen, tap the Search icon as it appears, and start looking for your apps. This works well enough if you’ve only installed a few apps and you remember what they’re called. But if you go all out and install dozens of Android apps on the NOOK Tablet you might want an easier way to access them.

That’s where a third party app launcher comes in.

I download GoOher APK.

Once GO Launcher is installed, you can run the app to see a home screen that looks more like one you’d find on a traditional Android device. You can arrange icons on multiple home screens so that they can be easily launched. And you can click the app drawer button to pull up a complete list of installed applications.

Unlike the NOOK launcher, GO Launcher EX will show you all of your apps including those which you downloaded from the B&N Shop and those which you found elsewhere.

You can fire up GO Launcher (or any other app) at any time by tapping the NOOK button and searching for GO, or Launcher, or something similar.

When you want to go back to the default NOOK Tablet home screen, just double-tap the NOOK button.

Uninstalling apps

If you want to uninstall an app, there’s an app for that. The NOOK Tablet has an uninstaller built into the operating system. It’s the same as the one found on most Android devices. You just can’t trigger it without a little help.

Fortunately there’s a free app called ZDbox which is a sort of all-in-one toolbox for managing an Android device. It has a task killer, resource monitor, and an uninstaller.

You can download the ZDbox APK from APKTop and install it just like any other app. If you don’t have the latest version, there’s even a built-in tool for checking for updates and downloading them.

To view a list of installed apps, just tap the “Uninstaller” icon and select the app you want to remove. From the following menu, click “OK” and your app will be uninstalled.

The uninstaller comes in handy, because while you can install most apps, some might not run properly. For instance, I had no problem installing the Skype app or logging into my account. But the app wouldn’t recognize the NOOK Tablet’s Microphone, which means it’s impossible to make voice calls. You can only use Skype as an instant messenger app on the NOOK Tablet.

Latest NOOK Tablet news and tips:

  • Nards Barley

    I wonder if anyone has tried sideloading Skype and seeing it recognizes that microphone.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      No dice. The app installs, but the mic doesn’t work. 

      • Anonymous

        Which version of Skype do you have 2.1 or 2.2, try finding 2.5, because i was reading an article hour ago where someone got to install it with version 2.5. Hope it helps…

      • http://www.facebook.com/firemarshaldil Dil Pyro Kelly

        youll need to have a custom OS like i did with my original nook color.

  • A Newb

    XDA members have found a way to install the Google Marketplace on the Fire, does the same method work on the NT?  This would be the pushing factor to get me to jump if it has. 

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Nope. It requires root access and the NOOK Tablet hasn’t been rooted yet.

  • Anonymous

    Which version of Skype do you have 2.1 or 2.2, try finding 2.5, because i was reading an article hour ago where someone got to install it with version 2.5. Hope it helps…

  • http://www.facebook.com/firemarshaldil Dil Pyro Kelly

    thank you for making it that much harder to decide! but that 1g of ram and access for SD card makes up for that 50$ imo!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5YA7G33ZLJOHAFMJ2YKLBDC7NQ Kenneth

    If you can sideload apps from by emailing the APK to yourself and loading it to a microSD card from the attachment what would stop you from doing the same with apps from the Android appstore for those who have access to the Android appstore on an android phone?
    I’ve just packed up my Nook Tablet to return it to B&N and now this comes along. I think I’ll still return it because I’m not convince I want to go through all these gyrations to load new apps.

    7 hours later and I’ve successfully added a bunch of apps either through the Amazon app store or by emailing them to myself using the Enhance Email program from Amazon appstore.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Nothing. That’s exactly how I installed a few of these apps. 

  • Jws1272

    I’m almost tempted to go into a B&N store with a MicroSD card loaded with CyanogenMod7 to see if the same method that works with the Nook Color works with the Tablet.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      It doesn’t.

  • Ibgap

    In install the Amazon App Store and can open it momentarily before I get “Sorry! The application Appstore (process com.amazon.venezia) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.” and a Force close button.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the post

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5YA7G33ZLJOHAFMJ2YKLBDC7NQ Kenneth

    I’ve been using a spare 8GB microSD card so far, but noticed that my file manager only reports it has being 100+ MB. I had been using it to run Clonezilla as a boot device and deleted everything before using it on my NT. It’s formatted Fat32. Should it be NTFS? ext#?

    I copied all of yesterdays work to folder on my laptop desktop and then placed the Nook card in my phone. Didn’t find a “format” option, but “erase all files on card” did the trick. Copied everything back to the card and its fine.
    Even copied a 100+MB file over which works as it should.

    • goobleys dasda

      Place it in the Nook and format it within the device itself (whatever the option is to wipe/format the SD card). This works for me.

  • Ttdennis2014

    Help!
    I bought the nook tablet for my mom’s birthday yesterday mainly because I thought it would have all the apps that she would like. I have tried to download the apk apps and the android market but nothing seems to be working it just keeps saying that it cannot read this file. It may be an unsupported format.
    I really want this to work her birthday is tomorrow.

    • Orlando Stoneham

       Did you try downloading the apk they suggested? Once you do that, the notification should be in the bottom right corner. Tap it and follow the directions.

    • Chelsea

      I had to change the web settings from Tablet/Mobile to Desktop mode. That seemed to fix the problem.

  • D Edg 93

    I tried download the Go Launcher from App Store but it keeps saying it was unable to install and I need to archive and then unarchive the app. ?

    • mayor

      mine said the same thing.  I hope someone can figure this out, because if not I might be taking the Nook Tablet back.  Their app market is pitiful. 

      • Mark Bailey

        I’ve tried on four Nook Tablets now, and I get the same results…no joy. What is the secret to making this work? I’m following it to the letter but no luck.

      • mayor

        I was able to get mine to work.  Once you allow 3rd part apps, you have to use the package installer and not the app installer. I now have Amazon App market and I’m running Go Launch in the back ground with a soft button home button that takes me to the android based launcher.   Not all apps will work.  I was able to download some apps from Getjar that wouldn’t from Amazon App market. 

      • Mark Bailey

        Thanks. However, I can’t even get to the settings page to allow 3rd party apps. I did see that a time or two in some of my attempts, and I activated that option. But, after that, I only got error messages. In recent attempts I can’t even get that setting to appear. I just get a timeout, or the error message about archiving and unarchiving the app. Any ideas?

      • Tyatoot

        How did you get a “soft button home button thattakes me to the android based launcher”?

    • Mark Bailey

      I get that same message when trying to install various APKs.

      I erased the Tablet and started over. Now I don’t even get the hidden settings page when I try to install the first APK. I just get an error message about the browser failing. (Sorry, don’t have the exact text handy.)

      Any ideas?

  • Tedwards70

    I’m using the Go Launcher but everytime I hit the home button (n) it goes back to the default settings and I can’t get to my application…any ideas?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Hit the n button then choose search and type launcher or the name of the app you want.

  • Chelsea

    Where can I get apk files if I don’t want to use the Amazon appstore?

  • wkc2001

    I still cannot get the nook tablet to install 3rd party apps via the method described. I used to be able to iochoose between installing an application or a package. It just tells me now that the file is eithe corrupt or in the wrong format. I’ m getting ready to pack it in and return it

    - Bill

    • TheRogue

      I only made the mistake once and did not use the package installer other wise it all installed OK. I did have the sd card loaded the whole time though if that makes a difference.

  • Nancyofthedesert

    I can’t get Nook Tablet to download ANYTHING from browser, so can’t even get past step 1. Probably something simple, but any suggestions please? Tried putting Appmenu.apk directly on the nook from computer/usb and got message “the Nook cannot read this file” comes up. 

    • Gjclaxton808

      If you go to amazon to theappstore download page there is a link for downloading to devices without a phone number just tap the link and download the appstore app directly and use package loader

      • Mark Bailey

        I’ve tried this too, and it just doesn’t work. Same issues as every other attempt, whether it’s the Amazon app or something else.

      • Kelly

        Thank you!!

  • Bjsandgren

    Am positively thrilled with my new Nook Tablet after installing the Zeam launcher, Amazon Appstore and Getjar…I’ve got my favorite apps installed as well as the Dolphin browser, Smart Taskbar, Astro file manager, etc. The only thing I can’t figure out is how to change keyboards. I downloaded Thumb Keyboard from Amazon, installed it and see it running but I can’t activate it. Has anyone had success with 3rd party keyboards?

  • mayor

    I was able to load the Amazon Appstore on to the NT, but I haven’t been able to load any apps from the store.  When I download the apps from the market, do I complete the action using App Installer or Package Installer?  Everytime I use the App installer is come up with this message: Please “Archive” and then “Unarchive” the application to try again. 

    • mayor

      I used the Package Installer and was able to load a few apps from Amazon App store and Getjar. I now have Kindle on my Nook Tablet as well, which is pretty cool.  Thank you for writing a great article.  It saved me from returning the NT. 

      • Angelina Denson

        Only use package installer -o-;….

      • Mark Bailey

        I only use package installer. Just doesn’t work. :-(

      • Ariasis

        With you Mark it doesn’t work for me either.  exact same problem I got the amazon market on but when I down load an app I get the same message.  When I use the pack installer it says a pursing error has occured.

      • Agmo32

        I was getting this error too but it went away after I factory reset the nook.

    • Mark Bailey

      I get the ‘Please “Archive” and then “Unarchive” the application to try again.’ message too. I can’t get this to work. Any ideas?

      • Dudetron5000

        Had the same problem and turned my NT off after trying for a few hours to get it to work.  Went to sleep.  Next day I booted it up and *magically* it began to work.  I had to re-download any APK file to get them to install properly.

        This is odd because I tried a reboot after the first time I got the error saying “Please ‘Archive’ and then ‘Unarchive’ the application to try again.”  This first reboot did not solve the problem.  But apparently turning it off and coming back to it the next day worked.  I have no idea why, I didn’t change a darn thing.

        NT OS 1.4, no SD Card, fresh out of the box

    • Ischeduleu

      Same problem.  I’ll keep reading to see if there’s a solution.

    • Mohawk2

      I installed the Amazon App store with no problem and the kindle bookstore.  I installed GO launcher and it is really slick.  I also installed ZDBox with no problem.  This is what I was hoping the Nook Tablet would turn oout to be.  I have access to all the Amazon Apps and Books.  I think that many who are having problems getting this installation may be formating their microSD cards using windows formating tools or doing it on their Nook.  I read on XDA where this will cause problems.  They recommend only using  SD Formatter 3.1. 
      I’ve never had a smart phone and have never used any android operating systems before I got my NT 5 days ago.
      Suddenly I feel the whole world at my fingertips.  :) 

      • RHertel

        For some reason I cannot get the ZDBox to install…got everything else though with no problem.

  • goobleys dasda

    Root has been achieved. It’s only a matter of time until somebody figures out the bootloader issue.

  • Paul Wirtz

    Can you connect with a VPN on the Nook tablet? I use a cheap china tablet to VPN in to work and run remote desktop to fix problems. I need to be able to do this on the NT.

    Also

  • A E

    For the folks who were having trouble installing the apps…Follow step 1-5 above, then go to the applicable app sites, click on your desired app, and download directly. No need to e-mail the apps to yourself and then download them. At least that’s what worked for me.

    I’ve got the Kindle app on my NT now! Hooray! But can anyone tell me how to get it to appear in the Nook environment?

    • mayor

      I don’t think there is a way yet to allow it to appear in the Nook enviroment.  I downloaded Go Launch and a soft button home, which allows me to see all my apps including the Nook enviroment apps. 

    • Gloili_

      excusme when you say applicable app sites wat sites do you mean? =)

  • nodak

    Thanks…. this worked for me. It took a bit of trial and error but I finally got it to work. Still will not load up the Kindle App or one of the Calculator apps but everything else works just fine. Much, much better selection of apps and they all (all I downloaded) work great but the two mentioned above!  

  • Olayak

    I followed your steps exactly and it worked perfectly.  The only problem was that it messed up the wallpaper.  Now, no matter which one I use, it is over-sized (zoomed in).  Any way to fix that?  I have tried to re-set the wallpaper.
    Thanks.

  • Argiris

    TGPS link is inactive any solutions?

  • Snookersss

    Try the N2A card by amazon! i havent tried it yet but i will be getting it soon to try! 

    • TheRogue

      The N2A  only works on the color not the tablet yet, they locked the boot loader on the NT.

  • Tedwards70

    Regarding GO Launcher…the icons are a bit small but I want to be able to access the android apps rather than searching. I can’t get the GO Launcher Screen to stay. Whenever I hit the home button it defaults to the original home screen. I’m missing something…

  • Simplyteki

    When I try to use package installer on the AppMenu.apk file, I get parse error “THere is a problem parsing the package”. ???

    • cookiegirl

      I got that one too. Its wword

  • Nancyofthedesert

    Still can’t get the NT browser to download anything–all downloads say “download unsuccessful”. Dumb question, but are all you lucky people who are able to download have version 1.4 of the nook software? I called Barnes and Noble support (haha) and they claimed *nobody* should be able to download from the browser with 1.4 and they are working to fix it in 1.5, but can’t say when it will be out. Sounds like b.s. to me, but thought i’d ask. I really want to be able to grab all those great apps!!

    • Lynnette

      I had to root as I wanted the freedom to pick the appear I wanted.

  • Simplyteki

    it worked later on. don’t really know why. just kept trying… mounting/unmounting the SD card.

  • Tonymock

    any idea how to create icons, on the home screens of the files downloaded from Amazon?

  • Jiquinones7360

    Guys I was able to get the apps installed even after it didnt let me. I resetted the nook and erased the sd card. After that it sent me to the hidden settings menu

  • Iheartfung

    Hi,

    my NT won’t let me download the apk file directly from website, email or from the SD card itself. 

    If i download from web, it will say download unsuccessful. If i donwload from email, it says file not supported.

    Please advise… 

    Thanks!

    • TheRogue

      I found if you go to the gmail client webpage in your browser on the NT and open your email direct from there instead of using the B&N mail client you can download and install once you use the compton apk of course.

  • Kat

    I finally got this to work after I followed the directions in downloading what he says, but then I had to shut down my nook in order for it to load correctly. Same goes for the Aamzon app, but now that its loading it works like a champ!! THANK YOU!! I am so happy that I can run the B&N apps and DL’s but also Kindles!!!

    • Kat

      And I always use the “package installer” from the apps that I download from the amazon store. If you are having trouble dl-ing the launcher still clear your download area and then reboot, leaving it off for a minute or two (dont just turn it right back on) and then start over with the steps above. That is what I did with the launcher and then again with the amazon app. But after that Ive probably downloaded every cool looking free app from the amazon store…as well as books. Good luck everyone, I hope it works for you as its pretty cool that our nooks can work like this!

      • Mark Bailey

        No matter what, it just won’t work for me. I’m not sure what’s different between my units and others. I’ve tried four tablets already.

        Kat, can you clarify the steps specifically, for example:

        To clear the download area, do you mean clearing the items in the bottom left notification area, or do you mean clearing the download list in the web browser?

        And, after rebooting, do you mean to re-download them, or somehow find the previously downloaded files?

        Thanks,

        Mark

      • Kat

        Mark, when I first downloaded the original app (the launcher) it would not work for me. I took out my SD card, re-inserted it, and it still didnt work. I then tried doing it again, like three or 4 more times (taking it out and putting it back in, I might have done it more times than that actually, I was very frustrated). 
        I then decided to turn off the nook and leave it be for a few. (I might have done this more than once, as I said, it was frustrating and I just wanted it to work so I dont exactly remember the number of times). Once I came back to it, I turned it back on, and re-downloaded the launcher app from here and it worked. I hate to say it, but it was like magic. I was for sure it was NOT going to work for me, but it did. 

        I had to do the same thing with the amazon app, turn it off, then on and take out the SD card over and over again. 

        After I had them both fired up, I havent had any glitches since. I am able to dl ALL apps from amazon and B&N without a problem, its very nice. 

        All in all, it took me a couple hours to get it working right. Im not sure how many times I turned it off and on, or how many times I took out that SD card, but every time I re-downloaded the launcher because I either cleared my download area or when I rebooted it wasnt there. 

        I really hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any other questions you have. :)

      • Mark Bailey

        Thank you so much.

        One question about the launcher app. When I follow the instructions, the file name (at comptonsoft.com) for the launcher is different…and it says “Use this instead.” Did you have success with this launcher app, or only the original tgps_launcher (or whatever it’s called).

        Thanks again for all the details.

        Mark

      • Kat

        Mark, I used the app that had “looking for……..use this….” next to it and with that I had success. Im not sure why it works for some and not others?

        Im sure you have done this, but try to install it every which way you can. Shut it off, remove the sd card, reinstall, etc. I was getting so frustrated with it.

        Try this, when you download the launcher, clear it from the dl screen in the little box at the bottom. Then hit the n on your machine, then hit search. From there type launcher and try installing it again. I dont know if that will do it or not. My thought when I was trying to get it to work was “maybe if I trick or confuse it, it will work?”
        Eventually…I got it.

        Again good luck, let me know how it goes.

      • Mark Bailey

        It works! Somehow, some way, it started working. Thank you for the continued advice. :-)

      • Kat

        Yeah! Its like magic right? Enjoy, Im glad it finally worked! :)

      • Mark Bailey

        Thanks again for all your help!

  • Ken50

    I keep getting the parse error ..I tried many times reset the unit .. just will not work

  • Chandlerslocket

    Thank you very much for this.

  • Hugg99

    Trying to launch tgps.launcher does not whisk me to any menu. Has B&N already fixed this so it doesn’t work? All I get is an error that the OS doesn’t know what to do with the file. Any thoughts?

    • Mark Bailey

      I’d love to see someone with expertise figure out why sideloading works for some people but simply doesn’t work for others (like me, after trying with four different units). What’s different about the ones I’ve had vs. the ones that it’s working on? The ones I tried were all from Best Buy, in case that matters.

      • Mohawk2

        try formating your SD card using SD Formatter 3.1 from your laptop or desktop.  I read that unless you use this particular formating software there are good chances of download problems.  Read in XDA

  • Sarah Hoover

    Hello Brad. Just got the new NT as a gift and its amazing! I have tried side loading the apk files, getjar and go launcherx through my SD card, and have had the “cannot recognize file” bubble pop up. Ive seen other comments of my own but i was wondering if perhaps you could type a small pointed FAQ or make a tutorial on Youtube? 

  • Ariasis

    im haviing the same problem as mark. I have got amazons marketnloaded but get the same message archive and unarchive when you use the app installer and the paursing error when using the pck installer. I,m not sure where the amazon store is putting the files i don,t see them on the sim card.?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Do you have a microSD card inserted? I wasn’t able to install apps from the Amazon Appstore until I plugged one in. 

  • Ken50

    After a few failures I got this working and it is awesome. I have a small question ..I used a 4gb memory card I had as a spare, if I ever want to use a larger card would I have to start from scratch are could I just copy everything to the new card.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      You should just be able to copy everything to the new card. 

      • Anonymous

        How do you transfer apts to the card if the card is inserted later on?

      • TheRogue

        there is an apk called ap to sd on the amazon market this should move your programs to the sd card.

    • Mark Bailey

      Ken, can you share the steps you took to get it working finally?

      Thanks,

      Mark

      • Ken50

        I just followed the directions.. the only thing I did was format the card and reset the nook. Then it worked

      • Ken50

        I wish I could be more help but I just tried different things, then when it worked I don’t really remember what the exact steps were. I think after I reformatted the card the first think I tried was the appstore and it loaded and installed. You must use the Package Installer not the App installer. I reached a point where I didn’t expect it to work and when it did I didn’t even think about how I got it done. Sorry 

      • Mark Bailey

        No worries, thanks for the info. Did you format the card in the Nook, or elsewhere?

        Thanks,

        Mark

      • Ken50

        I formatted on my Win 7 laptop. I didn’t know to do it in the tablet

  • T C

    I had the same “parsing” problem as several others – but only with the Kindle for Android app.  Everything else worked fine, but the Kindle app on Amazon just wouldn’t install no matter what I tried.  Finally, after lots of hunting around, I found an alternate site to download the Kindle Andriod app – and it worked the first time.  Very happy with it now!  Here’s the download site:  http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/kindle

  • http://twitter.com/catspaw7x7 Leah

    took a reformat and power on/off to get this to work, but it did.

    however, the two apps I tried BEFORE then (angry birds seasons and solitaire) still get parse errors and I cannot remove them or otherwise get them out of my install que to try again.

    any ideas where I go to handle that?  it seems like overtime I might end up with multiple files downloaded that I cannot GET to to uninstall or delete (having an error on the first amazon video on demand, I had to email it to myself. now where IS that first file? no idea).

  • Cne1966

    Thanks for the info it worked great! I have a question though. How can i put my tablet back to stock? How do i completely remove everything?

  • Cne1966

    Great info worked like a charm! Now how can we put the device back the way it was before the sideload?

  • jlg

    Does anyone know if this voids the warranty?

    • Dudetron5000

      If you are worried about voiding your warranty or damaging your device, xda developers have a tutorial about how to do a system restore which takes your NT back to factory defaults, OS 1.4, and wipes the entire device clean.

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1380235

  • Peterjanits

    The first time it came up with the package install screen but bombed out and I never saw it again. Tried many restarts,etc as shown above. Finally I reset the machine, the erase and deregister under the device info menu.
    Then downloaded the file again. This time it worked as advertised!
    Thanks for this great info.

    • Elizabethsparks2002

      what does the erase and deregister do? does it make the NT go back to original, deleting all my apps and settings? If I have the update, will it take it off?

  • Jenisis

    You just need an SD card which be number 1.

  • Brett

    I have my nook tablet working with go launcher and button savior. Somehow I turned off the settings bar at the bottomso I can’t change the colums or rows of my apps. But more importantly I must have done something to where when I hit the n button it does not pull up the nook home,settings bar at the bottom. It is almost like a back button or an enter button. Could anyone please inform me if there is a way to set it back and pull up the settings on the go launcher.
    thank you

  • Tori7129

    Okay, So i have downloaded and installed everything, but my problem is, how do i go back to open everything? searching for it doesnt work at all and I am very confused on how i open the es file explorer i downloaded and installed if i cleared the notifications!

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Did you install GO Launcher EX or another app launcher? Not all apps will appear in the search menu, but GO Launcher should.

      You can also install Button Savior or a similar app to give you home, back, and menu buttons that you can tap to navigate. 

  • Robert Miller

    I realize I’m coming late to this thread and that many others have reported success — but not me.

    The core of this technique rests on the method for exposing the application setting, “Unknown Sources”, a setting you can’t normally get to on a stock nook. I’ve followed the 5 steps above and it fails every time. It fails with the “For security reasons” error, exactly what you’d expect since I haven’t yet enabled other sources.

    Anyone have a theory why some people run into this problem and others don’t?

    /RM

    possible relevant factors: I’m running the latest nook rev 1.4.1 and I downloaded AppMenu from the ComptonSoft page b/c TGPS_Launcher is said to be its substitute.

    • Mark

      Robert, I was in the same boat but I kept trying. Power the NT completely off and on a time or three. Try with and without an SD card. Unmount and reinstall the SD card. Those steps have worked for others. I tried them, and I’m not sure which did it for me…but, all of a sudden it started working.

      Good luck!

      Mark

    • TheRogue

      You need top go back to version 1.4.0 in order for the side loader to work the directions are in the article on how to do this.

  • teri kencel

    worked perfect ty for the help

  • Mdsalman

    I downloaded Go Launcher EX yesterday, downloaded a handful of apps from Amazon and was a happy camper. Today B&N updated my nook and I can no longer download apps from Amazon. I get this message, “Install blocked…For security reasons, only apps purchased through the Nook Shop can be installed…”

    The message should read, “For reasons of greed, only…..”

    Has anyone else experienced this and found a work-around?

    • Kenneth Browne

      My workaround is to return my Nook Tablet to my local B&N store and shop for a true Android device. I’ve already had conversation with the store  where I got it and think I’ll be able to get full credit even though I’ve had it for over a month.

      • T_T

        QQ

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      There is a workaround, but it’s a bit complicated.

      Step 1. Force your NOOK Tablet to restore to software version 1.4 with factory settings by loading a restore file on your SD card and rebooting the tablet:

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1402190 

      Step 2. Follow our guide for blocking the 1.4.1 software update:

      http://liliputing.com/2011/12/how-to-block-over-the-air-updates-and-keep-root-on-the-nook-tablet.html 

      This will erase your settings and apps, but allow you to root your tablet again without worrying about a future update breaking your root access.

      Alternately you could wait a little while. Odds are someone will come up with another method for rooting the tablet eventually. 

      • Elizabethsparks2002

        I was getting ready to do your above step 1-2 since I was updated as well. I downloaded the “acclaim…” but haven’t put it on my 32GB class 10 Patriot SD yet. I went online and got the “appmenu.apk” just to see if I could do it. Of course it didn’t. Am I on the right track? I just need to put the “acclaim…” file on my SD, finish step 1 and and the follow Step 2 to not allow the update.
        I understand that I will loose apps and settings, but it would be nice to get other apps than B&N’s. I just wanted to clear that I CAN still do this without it voiding my warranty..?! Also, I have read through the majority of this forum, and it seems a lot of people have had problems and even lost original functions of the nook(ie the N button) after restoring to 1.4.0. Does this happen often?
        How likely do you think B&N will come out with 1.5.0 or something that takes away the new restrictions that 1.4.1 made? Should I just wait for it?

      • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

        That’s a lot of questions, but here’s a short reply: Whenever you take efforts to undo changes made by B&N and apply tricks and patches that are not officially approved, you run the risk of voiding your warranty. B&N doesn’t really position this as a device for hackers and tweakers.

        If you’re worried about that, you might just want to stick with the stock software.

        I’ve heard from a few people who say B&N told them future updates would add support for sideloading… but I’ve also heard from others who say that’s not true. We won’t really know until the next software update hits.

        If B&N *does* offer new features though, and you’ve rolled back to 1.4.0 so that you can sideload apps you may not be able to use the new features unless you update to the latest official B&N software. 

      • Mark

        >> B&N; doesn’t really position this as a
        >> device for hackers and tweakers.

        Well, they apparently allowed this on the Nook Color for a year or so. Given that the Nook Tablet had similar abilities from the start, it was a reasonable assumption that they were allowing this.

        My Nook Tablet went back. If B&N wants me to buy from their app store, there’s an easy way to accomplish that: make their app store as good as Amazon’s. But, instead of doing that, they’d rather lock the hardware.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t download either the Astro or ES File Explorer because I don’t have any registered Android devices. (I have an iPhone and Nook Tablet).  Would the the ES File Explorer from estrongs.com work for my NT?

    • Kenneth Browne

      It’s probably irrelevant now as B&N has rolled out their ‘security upgrade’ that is blocking apps from other than the Nook appstore. That basically bricks it AFAIC. Mine is going back momentarily. This morning (12/23/11) I sent myself an APK and it wouldn’t install. Same message as Mdsalman.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Yup, it’ll work if you can install it. 

  • Kenneth Browne

    Thursday Dec 23, 2011 When I woke up and turned on my Nook Tablet I was informed that I had been “upgraded” to software version 1.4.1. I’d heard it was coming but wasn’t sure of the impact or whether I could prevent it. I found out a little later when I tried to sideload an app that I had obtained via the Android Market on my Android phone. After downloading it to the NT and starting the installer I got the same message as mdsalman. I concluded that B&N had decided to lock these devices down completely.

    So I called my local B&N store where I’ve had a number of conversations with the Nook dept. over the past couple of months. I’ll be driving to the store to return the NT after returning it to factory defaults. I was told if I had the original receipt I could probably return it. This was after my contact had discussed the situation with the store manager. I’m beyond the no questions asked return period but at this point my only option to use the NT the way I want to would be rooting it…if that’s even possible after this new “security upgrade.” The only thing it secures is B&N’s ability to lock you into its ecosystem.

    I’m leaning toward replacing it with a Lenovo A-1 but will shop around to see what kind of deals might be available over the next 24 hours or so. I am not even going to see if the rooting method that was posted a month ago is still working. I’m tired of fussing around with this device despite all its good hardware points, B&N has lost me.

    I did get a Nook Color as a graduation gift for my daughter recently. I rooted it a week ago so the Nook Color will stay in the family and she’ll get the fancy cover that I had bought for my NT.

  • Rick Lippincott

    Hello, I just tried t go to comptonsoft/test website and it is no longer available…

    • Dudetron5000

      Try again, its up now.  Though “TGPS_Launcher” is no longer available, it has been replaced by “AppMenu,” which I am assuming to be an updated version of TGPS_Launcher.  In any event I used this new AppMenu and it worked for me.  I did have to shut down my NT for a while and reboot before I was able to install any apps, but this seems to be a problem for only a few people.

      Anyway, good luck :D

  • lori

    I still have the 1.40 version and have not gotten the notice to upgrade yet. Where do i start? I haven’t dowloaded anything yet. Do i got through the original steps first and then go to the new link to upgrade to 1.41 without rooting?

  • Megan

    I just recently got a nook tablet.  I followed all of the steps mentioned above and was able to load the amazon appstore.  However, when i download a app im getting the following error:
    There was an error purchasing. Please click here to verify your payment method.  When you follow the link it takes you too “one click”.   I have read multiple forums and cant figure out how to get around this, Please help!!!!!

  • Ckid222

    How do you undo this? It’s killing the battery.

    • Nick454

      Install 1.4 from above link and follow the instructions (put it in sd card, restart nook to install 1.4). This will ‘reformat’ your nook to factory condition. After this, update it over the air or go here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Software-Updates-NOOK-Tablet/379003187/

      In ‘Get Version 1.4.1 Today’, in bullet 1, click link to download. Just follow instructions there (drag the downloaded file to base of nook, wait for it to restart on it’s own, walla).

      From now on when you do factory restore, it’ll just restore to 1.4.1 so you don’t have to worry about 1.4 being your factory build in your nook.

  • Nyan linn aung

    When i run NookandZergy.bat ,i saw the error message .I don`t know how do to next step..

    • iTech.LSCnm

      I was getting this same error and did a reset to factory settings and stated over and it worked without a hitch just be sure to block the ota updates so B&N don’t push their update.

  • TheRogue

    The method worked basically, I did get the app store loaded and I screwed up when I was installing the go launcher. I clicked the install app loader not the package loader option. I got the parse loading error when I did that. I tried to reinstall but it just gives me the same error. I installed several different apk’s and they all loaded. I can not however find then again once I leave the load screen. I tried several different menu programs but the nook search device wont find any of them. Is there a way to fix this just short of restoring this and starting from new again? Is there another program similar to the go launcher that will make icons on my home page as well ?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Have you tried installing Go Launcher again? You might also want to search the xda-developers NOOK Tablet forum for an app called Hidden Settings.

      You can use other launcher apps such as ADW Launcher or Zeam Launcher as well. 

  • TheRogue

    OK it happened to me tonight, after spending a good portion of my day playing install apk’s on the NT. B&N pushed the 1.4.1 update. However it was not the end of the world. I can actually find all the apk’s on the B&N apk menu and launch my app menu program. I did try to install some down loaded apk’s and it would not let me install any more. I may still try the snow ball install and just eradicate the B&N OS completely. My daughter seems to like it the way it is for now.

  • Agnes

    It worked for me on 1.4.0, however Amazon has geo limitations (am in Lesotho)
    I try to install apks either from sd card or email
    sd card: it tells me “this nook can not read this file”
    Gmail: attachment shows but I click it nothing happens
    Any suggestion?

  • Agnes

    I am with os 1.4.0. I set up my Nook with BN account etc. Then tried this fix: and could not get into the desired security menu. Then reset the table through settings. Started again, logged in to BN account, followed the instructions… and it works!

  • Noelle

    how do i find the application settings on that? i cant find it?!

  • LionxLove

    How can I sideload apps when the comptonsoft apk won’t even open?!

  • Guest64

    I receiving a couple different erros from the Amazon App store. But mostly “Amazon Appstore is not yet available in your region”.
    I’m in the US. Can’t figure it out.

  • Jpnowlan

    I selected Download AppMenu (there’s no tgps_launcher), then when I tap AppMenu.apk on the screen, then App Installer, I get msg  “Unable to Install…” then says to archive and unarchive app and try again … what?
    i have ver 1.4.2 – can I not do this because B&N doesn’t want to allow this? I don’t have that hidden settings menu…

  • Kierygray

    You guys need to make a video on how to do this

  • Kimberlygbianco

    This doesn’t work any more. I did it 2 weeks ago when I bought my nook. Then 2 days ago it stopped being able to install anything and a warning stating that all installs not from the nook store will not be installed. HELP!!!! I only got a nook because I could do this so can anyone help me find another way around the stupid block?

    • Kat

      I did this about 8 months ago and its worked great but recently Nook sent out an upgrade and now I still have access to all my apps my I cant dl anything new. I dont know if uninstalling and then re-installing it will work…Im nervous about doing that and then all my apps/books going bye bye.

  • blot

    All I get when I try and download any of these packs that are supposed to lead to the hidden menu is “for security reasons only nook apps can be used”? Is there anyway to get around this and are any other people having this problem?

    • likeaboss

      I got the same problem

      • marf

        Mine as well, and when I hit the checkbox, it propmts me with the warning, and I go to install the apk and the stupid thing unchecks by itself and I am stuck in the same loop forever.

      • glen4249

        You have to revert your nook back to 1.4.0, youre probably using 1.4.3

  • teejaycard

    Is there a way to roll back to 1.4 without rooting the device? I want to add amazon for my little niece but I don’t want to have to root the device since she wont know what to do once issues arise. Thanks!

  • Bro

    Why wont it take me to the application settings? And how come when I download the application and tap it all it gives is “Install Blocked”? Please help me!

  • anthony

    What does it mean when it says security blocked when you try to download the apk file and the amazon download?

  • ffdd

    does this work for 1.4.3?

  • Jr.

    This is my first time talking online and i am realy stuck with my nook tablet. I just got my nook tablet last year and all i did was go on the internet but I really want some good apps that are not from the nook store.I tried to sideload amazon but when i go to notifications after it downloads and click on it my browser suddenly force closes before i can get to the hidden menu. Can someone please help want do i do. Do i need a sd card or something?

  • Elli Stephens

    When I press package installer it says for security reasons it only allows items to be downloaded from the nook store