Can I Sideload Apps To Oculus On Mac

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The Oculus Go is an affordable, standalone VR headset, and we are very impressed with it! The Go is able to run Gear VR apps, but the Oculus Documentation is not very clear on how to install apps to the Oculus Go for development purposes. This article explains how to sideload APKs to your Oculus Go, with and without the Oculus Store. The same steps apply to Oculus Quest.

If you want to skip all these manual steps, you will also find a FREE sideloading tool at the bottom of the article.

Make sure you have paired your Oculus Go to your phone using the Oculus Go app, then follow one of the three methods below:

TIP: Almost daily I receive messages from users saying the app they installed does not show up in the Unknown Sources tab on their Oculus Go. The reason is that they install general Android apps, but you can only install apps made for Oculus Go. So don’t try to install Facebook or Whatsapp, it will not work.

Dec 26, 2018  How to download and run Oculus on your PC and Mac. Oculus For PC can be easily installed and used on a desktop computer or laptop running Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and a Macbook, iMac running Mac OS X. This will be done using an Android emulator. To install Oculus For PC, we will use BlueStacks app player.The method listed below is set to help you get Oculus. This guide breaks down the steps using a PC, but SideQuest is also available on Linux and Mac. The first thing that you need to do with your Oculus Quest to sideload apps is enable developer mode. This is done through the Oculus app on your phone. Open the Oculus app. Select Settings. Select your Oculus Quest headset.

Sideload APK to Oculus Go using ADB

First, you have to turn Developer Mode on for your Go.

  • Open the Oculus Go app on your phone
  • Click your paired Oculus Go headset at the top
  • Click More Settings > Developer Mode and then toggle Developer Mode ON

Next, install Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to allow you to run an APK install command.


  • Download and install Android Platform Tools
  • Download ADB drivers from Oculus website
  • Unzip the downloaded file
  • Right-click on the .inf file and select Install
  • Go to Start Menu, search for CMD, right-click and open as Administrator
  • Type the following to test if installation was successful
    • TIP: if you get a message along the lines of “adb is not a recognized command”, then cd to the installation folder of ADB (C:UsersYOURUSERNAMEAppDataLocalAndroidsdkplatform-tools), after which you can use adb.exe instead of adb in your commands


  • Open Terminal (click the search icon in the top-right corner of your Mac, type “terminal”, and press ENTER)
  • Install Homebrew by typing the following command into the Terminal window, press ENTER to execute the command:
  • Install Android Platform Tools, which contains ADB, using Homebrew * by typing the following command in your Terminal:
  • Test if installation succeeded by typing the following in your Terminal:

* Alternatively you could also install Android Platform Tools from the Android website, but then you might have to use the full path to the adb executable in the command line instead

After you successfully installed ADB, you are now ready to install your APKs.

  • Connect your Oculus Go to your computer using a USB cable
  • Check if ADB recognizes the device
    • If you don’t see any devices listed in the output, turn off your Go, disconnect the USB, power your Go back on, reconnect the USB and then run the command again
    • If see a device ID show up in the output with “unauthorized” behind it, put your Oculus Go on and give permission
    • If you see a device ID show up with “device” behind it, you are good to go and ready for the next step
  • Run the installation command
Attention: replace the “/path/to/your.apk” in the command above with the actual path to your .apk file on your computer. On Mac, you can simply drag & drop the .apk in the Terminal window to find out the correct file path.

Congrats, you just installed your APK on your Oculus Go!

To run your app…

  • …put on your Oculus Go
  • Click on Library in the bottom menu bar and navigate to Unknown Sources (this menu item appears after you enable developer mode in the Oculus Go phone app)
    • In case Unknown Sources is not visible for you, click the gear settings icon in the bottom right of the screen and change View to Developer Mode
  • Find your app in the list, and click on it to run it

C’est tout! The best part of it is that you can run Gear VR apps, without the need for those pesky Oculus Signature files.

This process seems cumbersome, and it kinda is, but once you have everything setup, all you really need to do is run adb install (or adb install -r if you are updating an existing app) and you’re done.

TIP: to uninstall an app, use adb uninstall *package name*. For example, adb uninstall com.headjack.myapp (this package name is shown behind the app name in the list of Unknown Sources in your Library).

Sideload to Go using Oculus Release Channels

While we prefer the hacky, fast way mentioned above, Oculus recommend using their Release Channels instead to load apps onto the Go, which allows you and others you invite to access your app through the Oculus store (without going through the entire submission process). The biggest benefit of this approach: no command line is needed!

This process is similar to submitting an app to the Oculus store, except we won’t be publishing it for everyone to see. It will be private to you and the people you invite. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Build an Oculus Go Store app
    1. To make a store-ready app, create a Keystore file
    2. Retrieve Oculus App ID by going to > Manage > *organization* > *app* > Getting Started API
  2. Log in to
  3. Click on Manage in the menu on the left
    1. Create an Organization if you don’t have one yet
    2. Click Create NewApp if you don’t have one yet
  4. Click on your app in the menu on the left and then click Manage Builds
  5. Click on the three dots at the right side of the Beta channel, and click Upload New Binary to BETA to upload your .apk file
  6. Click on the three dots at the right side of the Beta channel, then click Manage Users

  7. Fill in your own Oculus account email address (and any other accounts you want to give access to your app), check the box to agree to the terms, and click Add Users
  8. Now go to your email inbox, and click the confirmation link to accept the invite
  9. Now open your Oculus Go, make sure you are logged in with the same Oculus account you just invited to the Beta channel
  10. On your Go, click Store and scroll down to the very bottom on the first page that opens to find My Preview Apps
  11. Under My Preview Apps you will see your app, and you’ll be able to install it just like you would install any other app in the Oculus store

Free sideloading tool

Can I Sideload Apps To Oculus On Mac Computer

Many people tell us they experience problems with the above two methods of sideloading an app to Oculus Go / Quest, which makes sense, because both methods are quite inconvenient. That’s why we developed a helpful tool to make the sideloading process a breeze.

On initial startup, it will automatically install all the required software, and after that you’ll be able to install an APK with a simple drag & drop! You can also uninstall apps with a single click.

If this sounds good to you, leave your email address and we will send you a download link straight away:

In this guide, we show you how easy it is to sideload onto the Oculus Quest. We have pictures for every step of the way and our guide is updated for summer 2020. During the process, you’ll also learn how to use Sidequest VR and why it’s an amazing app for Oculus Quest users.

With SideQuest VR you can quickly load games, applications, and modifications onto the Oculus Quest. It also comes with an integrated app store to explore over 500 more titles for your Quest that aren’t found in the official store.

Related: After this article, check out our top VR games on SideQuest!

Let’s check it out!

What is Sideloading?

Can I Sideload Apps To Oculus On Mac

Sideloading is a method for installing apps onto a device not through its official means, such as the App Store. Sideloading is popular on Android-based devices such as the Oculus Quest and Go. When you enable sideloading, you can install apps and games not found in the official Oculus Store.

Traditionally, sideloading meant that you had to manually copy files into a folder onto a connected device and maybe perform some manual configuration work. Luckily, there are programs which simplify and automate a lot of this work so that you don’t have to.

The program of choice for sideloading apps onto the Oculus headset is SideQuest VR.

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What Can You Sideload onto the Oculus Quest/Go?

The Oculus Go and Oculus Quest are based on the Android operating system. This means that you can install any Android APK onto the device. There are plenty of Android apps and games and streaming apps to try out.

There are also lots of third party VR games that don’t exist on the official Oculus store that you can sidequest too. Like Virtual Desktop, Contractors, some really sweet VR party games, and more.

Just follow our instructions below for installing a sideload program and setting up your Oculus headset to accept sideloaded apps.

Then you should be able to search for any APK and try it out on your Oculus Quest or Go.

What is SideQuest VR?

Like we just mentioned, SideQuest VR is a program that makes sideloading onto VR headsets really easy. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linus. Once setup, it comes with some really nice features:

  1. SideQuest has a built-in store where you can quickly sideload a bunch of cool VR apps and demos made by developers.
  2. You can quickly view, alter, and delete all of the apps you currently have sideloaded.
  3. SideQuest has a bunch of smarts built in to it to make sure that you alter your headset safely.
  4. Once configured, you can install games from Sidequest remotely onto your headset if the two are on the same wi-fi connection.

You should use SideQuest with your VR headset to try out apps not found in the Oculus Store. Lots of these apps are free and showcase new VR development. Loading custom content and modifications on your headset is also popular with SideQuest. You can improve the quality of your VR experience!

How to Use Sidequest VR

Using Sidequest VR to sideload games or find new ones is easy. First, you setup your Oculus Quest headset for developer mode. Then, you install Sidequest onto your computer and plug your VR headset into it.

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When you are done, you can browse SideQuest’s app store which has over 500 VR titles not found in the official Oculus store. Or, you can install APK files from your computer onto your headset as well.

Our instructions to sideload onto the Oculus Quest below include how to use Sidequest VR, so check that out!

Sidequest VS vs adbLink

The two most popular ways to sideload games onto the Oculus Quest are via Sidequest VR and adbLink. If you have the APK file, both applications do the trick just fine.

Sidequest VR comes with some nice features like we mentioned above. The built in app store and the ease of use are top notch.

AdbLink has a few nice features too:

  • Install APKs to any Android based device (phones, tablets, TV boxes, etc)
  • Does not discriminate on which APK you are installing (no Safelink)

Next, we’ll show you how to install SideQuest VR and get it setup. We focus on the Oculus Quest, but you can also follow these same instructions for the Oculus Go as well.

Our tutorial covers 3 parts:

  1. Putting your Oculus VR Headset into Developer Mode
  2. Installing the SideQuest VR app onto your computer
  3. Basics of using SideQuest VR to sideload onto the Oculus Quest or Go

There’s a fair number of steps below but don’t worry! We’ve made things really easy to follow and you’ll be setup and ready to go in minutes.

How to Sideload Onto the Oculus Quest with SideQuest

After following these steps, you’ll be able to sideload onto the Oculus Quest new games, apps, and custom content. You’ll set your Oculus Quest (or Go) up in developer mode, install and configure the SideQuest VR app, and connect your headset to SideQuest.

Total Time:10 minutes

Visit the Oculus Dashboard Page

Click here to go to the Oculus Dashboard page where you have to register as a “developer” for free before we begin. If you aren’t logged in yet, you’ll see the error message “You must be logged in to view this page”. Click on the black Log In button.

Log In to Oculus Dashboard

Log in to your Oculus account (the same one that’s logged in to the Oculus app on your phone and your VR headset. If you need to create an account, you can do that here by selecting “create an Oculus account”.


Create an Organization

After you are logged in, you’ll see the home Oculus dashboard screen. Click on Create New Organization. Create a name (it can be anything) and then check the “I Understand” box and click on Submit. Lastly, agree to the terms of the agreement to finish.

Launch Oculus App

Best Sideload Apps Oculus Quest

Next, launch the Oculus app on your phone that you have synced to your headset. Click on Settings in the bottom right hand corner.

Go Into More Settings

Select your headset, which will open a menu beneath it. Click on More Settings and then on Developer Mode.

Enable Developer Settings and Reboot

Make sure that Developer Mode is toggled ON. Next, reboot your Oculus headset by holding down the power button on the side and selecting Restart. When your headset reboots, it will start in Developer mode (you can come back to this screen to verify).

Download and Install SideQuest VR

Visit the SideQuest Download page and download the install file for your operating system. When it’s done, double click on it and follow the prompts to install SideQuest on your computer the same as any other program.

Launch SideQuest

Can I Sideload Apps To Oculus On Mac Windows 10

Open up SideQuest on your computer and you’ll see the home screen.

Connect SideQuest to Oculus Quest or Go

Turn on your VR headset and connect it to your computer via the USB-C charging cable. Put on your headset to see a message that says “Allow USB Debugging?” Select “Always allow from this computer” and then OK. The status in the top left of SideQuest should change to green and say “Connected”.

If you don’t see the above message when you put on your headset, you may have to temporarily disable the unlock pattern. This can be found in the Oculus app under Settings > Quest > More Settings > Unlock Pattern.

Sideload a Game from SideQuest to Oculus Quest

Sideload Apps To Oculus Go

The easiest way to sideload a game onto the Oculus Quest is to find one you like on the home screen of the SideQuest app. Click on the game’s image to open up its specific page and then click on “Install Latest” to sideload the game onto your device.

Sideloading an External APK onto the Oculus Quest

Can I Sideload Apps To Oculus On Mac Download

To sideload an external APK onto your headset, click the Install APK icon on SideQuest’s top menu bar. It’s the folder with the down arrow, fifth icon from the left. Select the APK file from your computer and SideQuest will let you know if the install was successful or not.

And that’s how you sideload onto the Oculus Quest using SideQuest.

What is your preferred way to sideload?

Are you having trouble trying to sideload onto the Oculus Quest? Comment below to get in touch with us and we will help you out!