Are you dying to try some Android apps but your smartphone doesn’t support them? Are you delighting in the development of your very first Android application and are you looking for software to run it directly on your PC? Then there is no doubt, to solve your problems you have to use a Android emulator for computer. And fortunately there is no shortage of solutions of this type.
You probably weren’t aware of it but you should know that there are several software that allow you to download applications / games for Android and run them directly on Windows And MacOS or even from web browser or on dedicated operating systems, simply by using mouse and keyboard. Of course, their performance is not yet comparable to that of a top-of-the-range smartphone, but I can assure you that they can “run” even particularly complex video games.
Do not you believe it? Then try it for yourself. Download one of the software that I am about to recommend and use it as an Android emulator on your computer. It will take you a few minutes and you won’t have to spend a penny. You just have to choose the solution that seems best suited to your needs (be careful because they do not all support the Google Play Store and do not all allow you to use multiple applications at the same time!) And use it by following the instructions below. Have fun!
BlueStacks (Windows / MacOS)
The first Android emulator I suggest you turn to, in order to use the operating system with the green computer robot logo is BlueStacks. Haven’t you ever heard of it? It is a famous software for Windows and MacOS that allows you to emulate Android on your computer and then to install applications and games directly from the Play Store. Its user interface is also available in Italian, and complicated configuration operations, such as dual boot, are not required to be used.
Its basic version is free but presents various advertising banners in the form of advice for the installation of some promotional applications; the paid one, on the other hand, costs $ 40 per year or $ 4 per month and allows you to remove them.
To download BlueStacks to your PC, click here to connect to its official emulator website and click the button Download Bluestacks 3 and then on Download BlueStacks. When the download is complete, open the file you just downloaded and wait for the initial screen of the BlueStacks installation process to appear.
If you are using a Windows computer, press on to install Yup in the User Account Control window and then on the button Install Now, as the BlueStacks installation procedure has been greatly simplified with the latest versions of the emulator. If the BlueStacks installation is interrupted due to the application not detecting the graphics card, try to repeat the operation after updating / installing your video card drivers.
If, on the other hand, you are using a Mac, at the end of the download, start the package in .dmg that you downloaded from the BlueStacks site, double-click on the icon inside it and complete the setup by clicking in sequence on You open, To continue And To install. To confirm the installation, type the password of your user account on MacOS (the one you usually use to log into the system) and then click on the button Install assistant.
Once this is done, if requested, click on the button Open system preferences and, working through the settings panel of the Mac, first click on Allow and then press on the symbol of padlock which is located in the lower left corner. Finally, finish the installation of BlueStacks on macOS, by typing the password on the Mac and then press on Unlock.
Once installation is complete, whatever operating system you are using, BlueStacks it will start automatically and download all the components necessary for its operation from the Internet (it may take a while).
Now you need to associate BlueStacks with your existing Google account, in order to activate the ability to download applications and games from the Play Store. To do this, if you already have a Google account, enter the access data referring to it (e-mail And password), log in and confirm acceptance of the terms of the service by pressing the buttons Forward, I accept And Get started with BlueStacks.
If, on the other hand, you do not already have a Google account, before carrying out the steps you have just indicated, immediately create one; if you don’t know how to do it, follow the directions I gave you in my guide on how to create Google accounts.
Once you have completed all these steps you can finally proceed with the installation of any Android app or game. To do this, locate the icon of the PlayStore Android app attached to the screen Homeclick on it and fill in the text field at the top, typing in the internal search engine, the name of the Android application or game of your interest.
Then press the green button Install which is shown to you at the preview tab of the app or game and then click on I accept. Wait a few moments, so that the app installation procedure is started and completed, then click on the button You opento start using the app you just downloaded.
All apps downloaded through BlueStacks will be accessible by clicking on the tab Home attached to the program window. At any time, therefore, to use an app or a game, just click on its icon, in order to start it.
If after using it, you want to close BlueStacks and return to the Windows desktop or MacOS desktop, press on X located at the top right and then click on Yup, to completely exit the program.
Are you interested in emulating Android to play games? Well, then you can also avoid installing the BlueStacks client and take advantage of its cloud gaming service, called BlueStacks X, which allows you to do this. At the time of writing it is still in beta testing, but it works quite well on all major browsers.
To use it, go to its main page, click on the icon speech bubble located on the left, locate the title you want to play by scrolling through those proposed or, if necessary, search for it using the search bar placed at the top left. Next, click the button Play On Cloud placed next to the title you intend to play and, then, log in to Google (Log in with Google), to your Facebook account (Sign in with Facebook) or to your Discord account (Log in with Discord).
Now you just have to follow the instructions that appear on the screen to start playing the title of your choice.
ARC Welder (Google Chrome)
Are you looking for an Android emulator but want to avoid installing new programs on your computer? If the answer is affirmative then I suggest you contact ARC Welder. This is a Chrome application that allows you to run Android games and apps directly from the Google home browser. It works quite well, but has two major limitations: it allows you to run only one application at a time (to try another one you have to delete the one you used previously) and it does not support Google Play Services. This means that it does not integrate the Google Play Store (works with apk packages to be downloaded separately) and does not allow you to run all the apps that require this component.
To install ARC Welder on your PC, open Chrome, connected to the Chrome Web Store page that hosts the Android emulator by clicking here, then first click on the button add and then on Add app. The download is quite large (), so the operation could go on for a few minutes, try to be patient.
Once the installation is complete, launch ARC Welder from the Chrome application menu and click the button Choose present in the window that opens. Then, press the button +select the apk file of the application (or game) you want to emulate and set your display preferences: in the drop-down menu Orientation you must indicate whether to run the app vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape) while in that Form factor you have to choose whether to emulate the screen of a Tablet or that of a telephone (phone). Finally, press on Test and the application should start.
If you don’t know where to get applications and games to use in ARC Welder, try visiting sites like ApkMirror And TorrApk that allow you to download all the best software for Android in APK format.
Android x86 (operating system)
Not satisfied with emulating Android on a PC or Mac? Then you might consider using Android x86, a special version of the operating system optimized for computers and dual-boot it with Windows, as if it were a Linux distribution. Android x86 is completely free, supports almost all Android apps and games, and provides full access to the Google Play Store.
In order to use Android x86, you need to download its ISO image to your computer and copy its installation files to a USB stick. To download Android x86, connect to the SourceForge page hosting the project by clicking here and download the ISO image of the latest stable version of the operating system by pressing the green button Download.
When the download is complete, copy the Android x86 installation files to a USB key, then restart the computer keeping the USB key connected to which you copied the operating system, wait for the setup to start, select the partition on the hard disk on which to use the operating system and complete the installation procedure by following the procedure shown on the screen.
At the end of the installation, the initial configuration procedure of the operating system will start automatically. Then set the use of Italian as the language for the menus and press the button play which is on the right, connected to one of the available wireless networks and log in to your Google account (if you don’t already have it, you can create one immediately by following the instructions in my guide that I reported to you in the previous lines). Finally, set up your username.
At this point everything should work fine and you should finally be able to emulate Android on your computer.
For more details about the operation and use of Android on a computer, consult my guide on how to install Android on a PC through which I have explained everything to you in detail. Please take a look if you have even a doubt.
Salvatore Aranzulla is the most widely read blogger and IT popularizer in Italy. He is known for discovering vulnerabilities on Google and Microsoft sites. He collaborates with computer magazines and edited the technological column of the newspaper Il Messaggero. He is the founder of Aranzulla.it, one of the thirty most visited sites in Italy, in which he responds with simplicity to thousands of computer-related doubts. He has published for Mondadori and Mondadori Informatica.