Why can’t I find the App Store on my Samsung TV?

If you recently purchased a new Samsung smart TV and are wondering why you can’t find the App Store, there are a few reasons this common app marketplace may be missing.

Samsung Uses its Own Apps Platform

Unlike other smart TV platforms like Android TV or LG webOS which use the Google Play Store, Samsung smart TVs have their own proprietary apps platform called Samsung Apps (now called Samsung TV Plus). So you won’t find the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on Samsung TVs.

Samsung’s own apps storefront provides popular apps and games optimized for its smart TV platform. Apps are curated and tested to ensure they provide a quality experience on Samsung TVs.

While the selection is more limited compared to the millions of apps on the Google Play Store, you can access many popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO Max, ESPN, and more on the Samsung TV Plus app store.

Focus on Streaming Services

In general, smart TV platforms focus on providing access to popular streaming video services through dedicated apps rather than providing a full app ecosystem like smartphones. This allows smart TVs to optimize the streaming experience.

So Samsung TV Plus emphasizes video streaming services and apps over general-purpose mobile apps and games. You get the major video, music, and social apps from major brands optimized for the TV.

Access Thousands of Apps with a Streaming Device

If you want access to more apps than what Samsung TV Plus provides, consider adding a streaming device like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. These plug into your TV’s HDMI port and provide thousands of apps and games.

For example, Roku provides access to over 5,000 streaming channels. And Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV provide access to their respective app stores which offer thousands of general-purpose mobile apps.

With one of these streaming devices, you get a much wider selection of entertainment, social, music, and utility apps beyond just video streaming services.

Use Screen Mirroring for Mobile Apps

Another option for accessing mobile apps on your Samsung TV is using screen mirroring. You can mirror your smartphone or tablet screen to your Samsung TV wirelessly.

This allows you to display and control any app from your phone onto your TV screen. So you can access your full app library this way rather than just the apps available on the Samsung TV platform.

Samsung TVs support native screen mirroring with Samsung phones using the Smart View feature. You can also use third-party solutions like Google Chromecast or Miracast to mirror non-Samsung devices.

Consider a Different Smart TV Platform

If having access to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on your TV is important, you may want to consider a smart TV platform like Android TV, LG webOS, or Google TV which provide these app marketplaces.

These platforms allow you to browse and download thousands of mobile apps in addition to streaming services. Popular options include:

  • Android TV – Features the Google Play Store for Android apps.
  • LG webOS – Uses the LG Content Store with many Android apps.
  • Google TV – Runs the Google Play Store on newer Google/Sony TVs.
  • Amazon Fire TV – Provides Amazon’s Appstore for Fire OS apps.

So if the Samsung TV Plus app selection is too limiting, switching to one of these more open smart TV platforms may provide the app access you’re looking for.

Use an External Streaming Device

As mentioned previously, adding an external streaming device like a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV is an easy way to access thousands of additional apps on any smart TV.

These plug-and-play devices connect to your TV’s HDMI port and provide their own app platform. They provide a consistent app experience across different TV brands.

Most streaming devices cost $50 or less. And you can use their search features, app stores, and voice controls just like the native TV interface. This upgrades any TV with smarter features.

So if you want to supplement the apps available on your Samsung TV, an inexpensive streaming device opens up a world of additional app possibilities.

Pros of External Streaming Devices

  • Provide thousands of apps, games, and channels
  • Offer search, recommendations, and voice control
  • Function consistently across different TV brands
  • Easy plug-and-play setup
  • Inexpensive ($25-$50)

Use Sideloading to Install Unsupported Apps

While not officially supported by Samsung, there are ways to manually install unsupported apps on your Samsung smart TV through a process called sideloading.

This involves downloading the app file in a compatible format, transferring it to a USB drive, and installing it directly on the TV. There are communities and forums dedicated to sideloading where you can find app files.

A few things to keep in mind with sideloading:

  • Apps must be in the compatible .TVapp file format
  • Quality and compatibility vary since apps are not officially supported
  • You’ll need to repeat the sideloading process after factory resets
  • Sideloading is technically complex compared to using an app store

So while it’s possible to manually install unsupported apps this way, using a streaming device is generally much simpler for most people.

Access Web Browser Apps

One option on Samsung smart TVs for accessing additional apps and games is using web browser-based platforms.

For example, you can access web-based game streaming services like:

  • Google Stadia
  • Nvidia GeForce Now
  • Amazon Luna

Through the Samsung smart TV web browser. These services stream high-end games from the cloud without need for local app installation.

You can also access web-based app stores like:

  • Samsung TV Plus web store
  • Opera TV Store
  • Amazon Prime Video web store

Which provide apps optimized for use on televisions. While selection is more limited than native app stores, these web stores can supplement the built-in Samsung TV Plus apps.


There are good reasons why the Apple App Store and Google Play Store are not available on Samsung smart TVs. Samsung uses its own proprietary Tizen platform optimized for streaming rather than being an open general-purpose platform.

But there are still many ways to access additional apps beyond what Samsung TV Plus provides:

  • Adding a streaming device like Roku or Amazon Fire TV
  • Using screen mirroring from your mobile device
  • Switching to an Android TV, Google TV, or LG webOS smart TV
  • Sideloading unsupported apps from USB
  • Using web-based app stores and game streaming

While Samsung is focused on providing a curated streaming experience, you have options to supplement with other apps and access an ecosystem beyond Samsung TV Plus. With a bit of effort, you can access virtually any app or service on your Samsung smart TV.

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