Always wish you could run an Android app or game on your PC so you weren’t relegated to a tiny phone screen? Maybe you need to examination a feature on Android, but don’t have an Android device handy. Your options will depend on what mobile device you own or what version of Windows y’all’re running, but here are a few ways to run Android (and its apps) on your estimator.
1. Mirror Your Phone With Windows
For apps installed on your telephone, you don’t need anything fancy to get Android on your PC. Microsoft’s Your Phone app allows you to connect your Android mobile device to Windows in order to admission apps, view notifications and photos, and transport letters. You can even add Android apps to Favorites or pin them directly to the Windows taskbar.
If you want to mirror your phone screen directly, click the phone screen image in the Your Phone desktop app. Grant permission to the app on your phone, and your phone screen volition be displayed in Windows. Y’all can then navigate the phone screen with the click of the mouse.
This isn’t always the ideal solution. While the feature will work with many Android devices, information technology works best with Samsung phones. Some features crave a Windows 10 PC running the May 2020 Update or later with at least 8GB of RAM and Android 11.
If yous’re looking to play games, this may come with some delay and graphical blurriness, and you won’t be able to hands share files from your PC directly to an app in Android. But it works in a pinch for quick access to Android apps you lot already have installed. (Here’s more than on connecting an Android phone to a Windows xi PC.)
2. Run Your Favorite Apps With BlueStacks
If you’re just looking to run a couple apps and don’t need the emulator to
like Android, you should try BlueStacks. Over the years, it’southward become the best Android app emulator around, making it a slap-up solution for games and apps that don’t accept a corresponding desktop version.
BlueStacks 5, the latest version of the software, takes upward 5GB of space on your computer (plus any apps you download). Open the app, and y’all’ll be greeted with a customized home screen and access to the Play Store. Download any apps yous want, and they will appear on the BlueStacks habitation screen and your Windows desktop equally their own shortcuts. Just double-click an icon to run the app in question.
If you specifically want to play Android games on your estimator, consider installing BlueStacks X instead. This version of the program is a cloud-based solution that allows you to stream games without the demand to download them first. For this reason, in that location are no storage requirements with BlueStacks Ten.
The emulator features built-in mappings for your mouse and keyboard, which you can customize to the impact controls you find on unlike Android games. You tin can also adjust the resolution, DPI, FPS, and amount of CPU or RAM allocated to the emulator, ensuring you go the best residuum between speed and graphical fidelity.
Since BlueStacks uses virtualization to emulate Android, you’ll want to jump into your computer’s BIOS and enable Intel VT-x or AMD-V, if your computer supports it, for best performance. You may also exist able to search for “Turn Windows features on or off” in Windows and check the
Virtual Car Platform
BlueStacks does, unfortunately, come up with some ads and clutter, but it’s not as intrusive as information technology once was, and information technology’due south a small-scale price to pay for the functionality you lot get—especially considering the Android version options information technology offers.
3. Emulate Total Android Experience With Genymotion
If yous’re looking to explore the Android operating system itself—rather than individual apps—Genymotion is a decent emulator. Its primary product is designed for developers and costs money to utilise, merely there is a free version of the software you lot tin can download for personal use; you just demand to outset create an account on the website.
Genymotion uses VirtualBox to emulate Android, then you lot’ll either demand to have VirtualBox installed on your PC or download the version with VirtualBox bundled. During the download process, make sure you select the Personal Use version during the wizard. (And, like BlueStacks, you’ll want to enable Intel VT-x or AMD-5 from your computer’s BIOS if you accept it.)
When yous start Genymotion, it’ll present you with a listing of device templates you can install—this determines the screen resolution, Android version, and resources allotted to the emulator. Install the template you want and double-click it to enter Android. You’ll exist able to navigate around the dwelling screen, launch apps, and emulate certain events like GPS location.
Annotation that you’ll start with a very barebones version of Android that doesn’t even come with many of Google’southward apps or modern features, though you tin add the Play Shop by clicking the
Open up Gapps
icon in the sidebar to install it.
Besides, no matter which template you choose, you lot won’t become any custom versions of Android—picking the Samsung Galaxy S10 template, for example, won’t go you Samsung’southward One UI. It but determines the resolution and specs of the virtual machine. (Genymotion does back up Android versions from iv.4 all the style up to 10.0, though.)
Genymotion works well for exploring Android’s settings and other congenital-in features, though I wouldn’t necessarily utilize it to run individual apps, as it doesn’t integrate as well with your PC every bit something similar BlueStacks. If Genymotion doesn’t adjust your needs, Google’s official Android software evolution kit also comes with an Android emulator, though setup is more complex.
4. Run Android Direct on Your PC With Android-x86
If you’re looking for something a bit more total-featured, the Android-x86 project gets yous as close equally you can get to true Android on your PC. Android-x86 is an open up-source project that ports Android to the x86 platform, allowing you lot to run it on your reckoner instead of an ARM-based phone or tablet.
To run Android-x86, yous have a couple of options. If you want to run Android on its own, every bit a desktop operating organization for your PC, you can download it as an ISO disc image and burn down it to a USB drive with a programme like Rufus. Then, insert that USB drive into the PC in question, reboot, and enter the kicking menu (normally by pressing a key like F12 during the boot process).
By booting from your Android-x86 USB bulldoze, yous’ll either be able to run Android in a alive environs—without having whatsoever event on your PC—or install it to your PC’s hard drive for permanent usage (and amend performance).
Alternatively, if you desire to run Android-x86 on top of your existing operating system, you lot can download the disc image and run it inside VirtualBox. This is, over again, a bit more advanced if yous aren’t familiar with VirtualBox, but our guide to running Windows on a Mac can get y’all acquainted with the process.
The official site has some tips for getting Android-x86 up and running in a virtual machine equally well. It’due south more work than using something like BlueStacks, but it’s likewise closer to pure Android, which is a nice perk.
five. Install Android Apps From the Amazon Appstore
With Windows xi, Microsoft adds congenital-in back up for Android apps, which is now bachelor to all users who meet the system requirements. In order to run Android apps in Windows, you lot will demand to ensure your OS and the Microsoft Store are updated, then install the Amazon Appstore (and Windows Subsystem for Android).
You can and so download Android apps from Amazon’s storefront. This feature remains in preview, so there may be a limit to the number of apps that are available for download.