If you’re like most people, you use your computer for work and entertainment, but you don’t necessarily use it to access your favorite Android apps.
This simple guide will show you a couple of ways how to install Android apps on your Windows PC.
You can either try using an emulation program like Bluestack or if you’re using Windows 11 then you can install Android apps directly from the Play Store, either way you’ll be able to take full advantage of Android OS on your Windows PC.
Check it out!
Recommended Read: How to Boot in Safe Mode on Windows 11
How to Install Android Apps on a Windows PC
There are basically 4 different ways you can get Android apps installed on a Windows PC.
All these methods have been tried and tested by me and are working as of June 2022.
So feel free to use the method you feel most comfortable with.
Method 1 — Mirror your Phone on your Windows PC/Laptop
Microsoft released an app a couple of years ago called Your Phone.
This app lets you connect your Windows computer to your Android smartphone wirelessly only if you’re running Windows 10.
Windows 11 is not supported as of now and we’ll update you once there’s an official update.
Once connected, you gain access to the apps installed on your smartphone, photos, notifications, dial pad to make calls and even text messages.
You can mirror your Android phone to your laptop/computer by granting permission to the app.
The mirrored window will be vertical and carry the same layout as your phone.
Though not the most ideal way to install or run Android apps on Windows, it happens to be the easiest way to stay connected especially if your phone is charging in another room.
If you’re a Windows 10 user, follow these steps to mirror your Android phone on your Windows PC.
- Start by making sure your PC is updated to the latest Windows 10 version. You can do this by opening the PC Settings > Updates & Security > Check for Updates. If there are no updates available it means that you’re running on the latest version of Windows 10.
- Now proceed to check the graphics card and whether you have DirectX 11 installed. Anything lower won’t support the screen mirror function and you will have to download the latest update.
- Ensure your Android smartphone and laptop are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. The devices won’t pair if you’re connected to two different networks.
- Now, open the Phone Link app on your Windows laptop/computer and pair the two devices together.
- Follow the instructions and grant permissions for notifications, media and messages.
- Once you’re done with the setup go ahead and tap on the Phone screen
- Proceed to grant permissions on your Android device via the pop-up box you will receive
- You will not be able to view your phone’s display on your laptop.
It’s not the best solution as you are unable to download Android APK apps on your laptop.
But it’s one way for you to launch any Android app you currently have on your smartphone, onto your laptop.
Method 2 — Use BlueStacks Emulator to Install Android Apps on your Windows Computer
Emulators are great tools that you can use to run different files on your Windows computer.
There are emulation programs that support Android APK files and even grant you access to the Google Play store.
One of the most popular and probably my favorite tools to use in order to run Android apps on my Windows computer HAS to be BlueStacks.
The app takes up roughly 5GB of storage space on your computer and that’s apart from any other app you download within BlueStacks.
The app lets you connect to your Google account, so you have access to all your favorite apps and games.
You will be able to map your mouse and keyboard to the emulator and will be given the ability to modify the DPI, resolution and even the amount of RAM and CPU you want to allocate to the emulator.
- Once downloaded, install the app on your Windows computer.
- The main screen will request you to sign into your Google Play account. You can do so right away or post launching the Play Store app from the BlueStacks home screen.
- Once you have signed into your Google account, grant storage permissions post which you will be able to download and install any Android app that’s available in the Play Store.
The apps or games your download won’t reflect on your Windows PC desktop, but in order to launch any Android app or game, you will have to first open the BlueStacks app and double click on the specific app that’s situated on the Home page.
Method 3 — Use Android-x86 to Run Android Apps Directly from your Windows Computer
You’ve probably never heard of Android-x86, but it’s an open source software that turns your Windows computer into an Android based one.
It literally installs Android OS onto your desktop/laptop allowing you to boot in either Windows or Android.
The functionality is exactly the same as an Android phone or tablet and users can easily download any Android app onto their laptop without having to worry about third-party emulators or mirroring their screen.
To get Android apps on your Windows computer using Android-x86, follow these steps.
- Start by downloading the Android-x86 file from the official site. Follow this link.
- Once downloaded, burn the file as an ISO image onto a DVD or CD
- You can also copy the file onto your USB pen drive and select Boot from USB when it’s time to install the OS
- Once the CD/DVD is inserted or the USB is connected to the computer, shutdown the device.
- Power up the computer and press the Function 12 button during the boot process to open the computer’s boot screen
- Select the appropriate drive to boot from and proceed to follow the steps displayed on the computer
- Once the installation process is complete and your computer is booting up, you will notice that two boot up options appear, one for Android and the other for Windows.
- Click on Android to launch Android OS as the base operating system of your computer.
The advantage of having two operating systems is that you can easily switch between both OSs within no time and each OS will be able to support their own proprietary software.
The Android section of your laptop/computer will not support any .exe files while the Windows side will not support .APK files, so you will have to switch between the two operating systems to access different apps.
Method 4 — Use the Amazon App Store to Install Android Apps on a Windows 11 Computer
If you love using the new Windows 11 then you’re going to fall in love with it some more.
Microsoft made changes to the way Windows perceives apps and with Windows 11 you’re able to download and run Android apps directly on your computer.
The only requirement here is that you will have to download the Amazon App store from the Microsoft Store along with the Windows Subsystem for Android.
Once both these apps are installed, you will be able to download selected apps that are available on the Android OS.
- Start by launching the Microsoft store on your Windows computer
- Search for and download the Amazon App store and the Windows subsystem for Android.
- Restart your computer once both apps have installed
- Proceed to launch the Amazon App Store and choose whichever Android app or game you want to download
Note: Since Windows 11 has been out for less than a year, this tool is still in development and you will only be able to access a handful of the apps that are otherwise available on the Google Play store.
- The app or game you downloaded will appear in the start menu and desktop, and you can easily launch or run the app by double clicking on the icon.
Can I install APK files on my PC?
Yes, you can install APK files onto your computer as long as you’re either using Windows 11 or you have an Android emulator like BlueStacks installed on your computer.
How can I run Android apps on my PC without an emulator?
There are several ways you can run Android apps on your PC without an emulator such as by installing Android-x86 or by mirroring your phone’s screen.
You can also run Android apps on your PC if you have Windows 11 running on your computer.
Is it safe to use an emulator on my Windows PC?
Yes, it’s safe to use an emulator on your Windows PC as long as you’ve downloaded the software from a reliable source and you have a valid antivirus subscription.
Apps like BlueStack are safe to use and can be trusted since there are millions around the world who currently use it on their desktop/laptop to install and run Android apps and games.