Where is the 'Install' button?

It’s been a few months since I’ve used Expo. I was able to create a stand-alone build and run it on my phone before, but now it seems things have changed and I’m having some difficulty.

My recent build for a new project was successful and I can run the app in Expo Go without the Metro Bundler/debugger active. I cannot, however, install it on my phone as a standalone app.

The doc says to look for an ‘Install’ button in my project.

I’m expecting the ‘Install’ button should probably be visible here:

What am I missing?

Never mind. I did some stuff and got something to work. I’m not ready to say the problem is ‘solved’, but my understanding is a little better and I got my stand-alone build like I wanted and that is what is important.

But in all honesty, the process seems more complicated and not as intuitive as it used to be before stuff got changed, and I’m not sure what should be changed about the documentation, but I’m finding the docs a little confusing.

Anyway, off my soap box. Marking this as ‘Solved’ so it won’t take anyone’s attention away from more important matters.

I’m expecting the ‘Install’ button should probably be visible here:

You need to click on the build you want to install, install or download button will be there

To have the install button:

  • build needs to be for internal distribution (distribution: internal in eas.json)
  • you need to open that page on device you want to install on
  • for iOS you need to open it in safari
  • you can’t install build that is older than 30 days

But in all honesty, the process seems more complicated and not as intuitive as it used to be before stuff got changed

Nothing was changed about this process, at most maybe some layout did change, but everything is in the same places this process was the same as long as EAS exists

1 Like

The broad strokes of what I have experienced are:

  1. Yes, things are different than the last time I used them.
  2. EAS is a newer thing for me, and it produces and ‘aab’ build.
  3. An aab build cannot be directly installed on a device (as per docs).
  4. Changing a few things in the eas.json file will allow for an ‘apk’ build.
  5. The apk build can be downloaded and emailed to my phone, where it can then be installed.

This is all explained in greater detail over several different pages of documentation, but I think it could be a little better organized.

Ergo: I created an abb build and hence, no ‘Install’ button.

I don’t remember in detail because it’s been about 8 months since I’ve used Expo, but things used to be different and EAS is a new thing for me.

I copy/pasted this code into my eas.json and created an apk build that I could install on my phone.

Hi @jayforshort

I believe the intention is as follows (assuming the default eas.json):

  • If you want a development build (similar to Expo Go, but it can include custom native code, etc.), you use the development profile.
  • If you want a .apk to install on your phone, you build the preview profile.
  • If you want to submit the app to the Play Store, you build the production profile.

Yes, you could edit eas.json and e.g. change the production build to build a .apk, but you’re probably better off just using the preview profile for that and leaving the production profile for when you want a .aab file to submit to the Play Store.

Default eas.json
  "cli": {
    "version": ">= 0.53.0"
  "build": {
    "development": {
      "developmentClient": true,
      "distribution": "internal"
    "preview": {
      "distribution": "internal"
    "production": {}
  "submit": {
    "production": {}
1 Like

Thank you both for your replies.

Admittedly, I still have A LOT that I need to read and digest about Expo. I use it casually and it’s not my main ride.

That said, I like your suggestions, and I will definitely keep them in mind…but it makes me wonder about the docs. The suggestions seem a little different from what the docs suggested.

I’m not contradicting you, because it might be a better way and I appreciate that for what it is, but if that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sense to update the docs?

This topic was automatically closed 20 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.