So you noticed the app you want is not in the LG Content Store. Is there a way to install 3rd party apps on an LG smart TV?
I was wondering the same thing so I decided to try and figure it out for you.
It’s frustrating when you are used to using a certain app and then you can’t find it on your smart TV. Even worse, when vital apps like Netflix and YouTube completely disappear from your app store.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a way to install 3rd party apps on your LG smart TV, I have some bad news.
Can You Install 3rd Party Apps on LG Smart TV?
LG Smart TVs use LG’s WebOS which does not allow 3rd party app installations. It’s not an Android device, so you can’t access the Google Play Store or sideload APK files.
Sideloading apps on an LG smart TV running WebOS is not possible. On the other hand, there are some ways to “unlock” more available or hidden apps on your LG TV.
One of the main complaints regarding LG smart TVs is their limited app selection. If you were able to sideload apps, the limited selection of apps wouldn’t be a problem, but you can’t sideload apps on an LG smart TV.
What can do you? You have two options:
- Unlock Apps Regions Specific Apps
- Connect a Streaming Stick or Android TV Box
First things first:
How to Access LG App Store?
Make sure your TV is connected to the internet. The Home button on your TV’s remote will open the app launcher.
Look for the “More Apps” button on the right, it will launch the LG Content Store where you can search and install the app you need. YouTube and Netflix should be installed natively.
If you can’t find the app that you want in the LG Content Store, there are a couple of things you can try:
How to Unlock More Apps on LG Smart TV:
Change Your LG Services Country
As you know, apps vary from region to region, and the apps you’re used to using in the USA, won’t be available in other regions.
An easy way to unlock more apps on your LG smart TV is by changing the LG Services Country.
Here’s how you do it:
- Open Settings and open “All Settings” near the bottom of the list.
- On the left side, select “General”
- You’ll see Broadcast Country and “LG Services Country”.
- Select a new country for “LG Services”
- The TV will restart.
- Next, open the LG Content Store, and new apps should be available.
Bear in mind, not all of the apps work, and some of them will disappear when you change the region back.
However, it’s worth a shot. In some cases, an app will check the IP address and location of your TV and lock you out if you’re not in the correct region.
To bypass that, you would need a VPN running on your router. You can’t install a VPN directly on an LG TV because it doesn’t use Android.
Speaking of Android…
Buy a Streaming Stick or Android Box
If you tried the above method, and the apps you want to use on your LG TV are giving you problems, the best alternative is to buy a streaming stick or Android box.
It will save you the headache of dealing with all the above issues. There are lots to choose from, and most are inexpensive.
Here are a few of my favourites:
An Android box or Nvidia Shield could do the trick too. If you use a streaming stick that is based on Android, you can also sideload APK files to it.
The downside to using a third-party streaming device to access the apps you want is you need to keep switching HDMI inputs.
The advantage is you will gain access to lots of apps that are not available on the LG Content Store, not to mention casting features too.
So while you can’t install 3rd party apps on an LG TV, you can still gain access to some apps by changing the region of your TV or using a streaming stick.
I personally would choose the streaming stick option because they’re very cheap and convenient.
Have you tried sideloading apps to an LG TV? Let me know in the comment section below.