How to emulate Android on Mac

You are dying to try an application for Android which is not compatible with your smartphone? Well, you could emulate Google’s operating system on your PC and test it that way. How do you say? You don’t have a Windows PC, you have a Mac? Well, I don’t see where the problem is!

Even on the computers of the “bitten apple” it is possible to use emulators that allow you to test the famous mobile operating system from Google. I know, in this way it may seem like a difficult thing to do but I guarantee you, instead, that succeeding is child’s play. Courage: find out now how to emulate android on macthanks to the information you find below, and try it yourself.

All you have to do is make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to concentrate on reading the next paragraphs and, more importantly, try to implement the “tips” that I will give you. There is nothing left for me to do, except wish you good reading and, above all, have fun with the “green robot” operating system!



What is an Android emulator

Android emulator

Before delving into the heart of this guide and seeing it in detail how to emulate android on macit seems only right to explain to you what is an android emulator.

Said in terms of “pennies”, emulating Android means reproducing the system in a so-called virtual machine, which is a program capable of fully simulating an operating system. This allows you to use Android on the Mac, just as if you were using a smartphone or tablet.

By emulating Android on the Mac it is possible, in fact, to download apps (also from the Play Store) and test their operation, with the only difference that instead of using touch screen gestures you have to use the mouse. To download apps from the Play Store, of course, you need to connect to an existing Google account (or create a new one).

Having clarified these aspects, if everything is clear to you, I would say that we can finally proceed: in the next paragraphs, you will find listed some of the best Android emulators available on the market. Feel free to use whichever one you think best suits your needs.

Best Android emulators for Mac

We come, therefore, to action by looking more closely at the functioning of those who, in my humble opinion, are the best android emulators for mac. You can find them listed right below.



The first solution I recommend you try to emulate Android on Mac is BlueStacks (also available for Windows). Its ease of use, due to the fact that you do not need to dual boot to emulate Android, make it one of the most popular programs for users who need to virtualize the “green robot” operating system on the PC.

To download it, connect to its official website and click on the button Download BlueStacks, placed in the center of the page. When the download is complete, open the .dmg file you obtained, double-click the icon of BlueStacks present in the window that opened and then click on the button You open found in the new pop-up window.

Next, click the button Install Nowtype the password of your user account on macOS and click the button Install assistant. Wait, therefore, for the installation procedure of the assistant to be completed and, if necessary, click on the button Open Security preferences.


Now you need to grant permissions to the application to work properly. In the window of System Preferences on your Mac, then click on the button Allowtap on the symbol closed padlock at the bottom left, type the admin password macOS and click the button Unlock.

Once this is done, click on the button Start that you should see in the main BlueStacks window and log in to your Google account by entering, in the appropriate text fields, e-mail And password. Therefore, accept the terms and conditions of use of the service by clicking on the buttons Forward And I acceptand then presses the button Get started with BlueStacks.


Now you are finally ready to use Android on your Mac and download the apps to test through the Play Store. How? Just like you would on your smartphone or tablet.

In fact, you just need to click onPlay Store icon located on the Home screen, search for theapp to testusing the search bar at the top, and click on the buttons Install And I acceptto download.

Once the download is complete, you can start the app by clicking on the button You open or its icons on the Home screen.

In case you are specifically interested in emulating Android to play your favorite titles on Mac, know that you can take advantage of the BlueStacks cloud gaming service, which works on all major browsers. I am referring to BlueStacks X (which at the time of writing is still in beta, although it works very well).

To use BlueStacks X for the purpose in question, go to its home page, click on the symbol of speech bubble located on the left, find the title of your interest (perhaps by searching for it through the search bar located at the top left) and, after passing over its icon with the mouse cursor, click on the button Play On Cloud appeared in correspondence with the latter.

BlueStacks X

Finally, log in to Google (Log in with Google), to Facebook (Sign in with Facebook) or Discord (Log in with Discord) and follow the on-screen instructions to play the title of your interest.

Nox Player


Nox Player is another Android emulator for Mac (also available for Windows) that I recommend you try, especially if you intend to test games, since it was designed to be used especially by lovers of the videogame world.

It also offers some advanced features that can be very useful: it allows, for example, to obtain root permissions and create multiple instances of the same app. The emulator interface, unfortunately, is not available in Italian, but it is still easy to use. I also remind you that the program has advertising banners (although they are not particularly invasive).

To use it, you must first go to its official website and click on the link Mac Version, located immediately below the “Download” button. When the download is complete, double-click theinstaller downloaded and press the button You openin the window that appears on the screen.

Now you have to follow the instructions that appear on the screen to complete the installation of Nox Player. Then click on the button Continuepress the button Acceptwait for the installation procedure to be completed and click on the button Finish.

In the window that opens, click on the button Agreedrag Nox Player in the folder Applications macOS, open the latter and, after right clicking on theprogram iconselect the item You open, twice in a row. This operation must be done only at the first start of Nox Player and serves to “bypass” the restrictions imposed by Apple on non-certified software.

Now, provide the admin password of your Mac and click on the buttons OK And Open Security preferences. In the window of System Preferences that appeared on the screen, then presses the button Allowclick on the icon locked padlock located at the bottom left, type the admin password of the Mac and, finally, click on the button Unlock.

Now you just have to wait for Android to load and then you can download and test all the apps you want. If you want to try the apps on the Play Storeof course you have to start the latter by clicking on its icon on the Android Home screen, and log in to your Google account.


Once this is done, search for the app of your interest, using the appropriate search field at the top, and download the app as you would on any Android device, or by clicking on the buttons Install And I accept.

Once installation is complete, start the app by clicking on the button You open or on its icon in the main menu and test its functionality.

ARC Welder

Chrome Web Store

Another Android emulator you would do well to consider is ARC Welder. Haven’t you ever heard of it? Basically it is a browser application Google Chrome which allows you to emulate Android quite simply.

I decided to talk about it as a last resort because it has two rather important limitations: first of all, it offers the possibility of testing one app at a time, forcing the user to delete it to use another one; it also does not support Google Play Services and, consequently, does not allow you to download apps from the Play Store (you can only install apps via APK packages).

That said, let’s see how to use this emulator too. First, start up Chrome on your Mac (if you have not yet installed it, find out how to do it by reading the instructions in this other guide), go to this page of the Chrome Web Store and press the buttons add And Add app. Please note that it may take a few minutes to download the application, given its “weight”.

ARC Wender

Once the installation is complete, start ARC Welderby clicking on its icon in the Chrome application menu, and click on the button Choose present in the opened window.

Now, click on the button (+)select the APK file of the application you intend to test and set your preferences regarding its display. Using the menu Orientationfor example, you can decide to run the app vertically or horizontally, while using the menu Form factor you can choose the type of device to test. Once this is done, press the button Test and the application should start.

Where can you get the apps and games to test with ARC Welder? Among the various portals you can turn to, there are ApkMirror And TorrApk, which offer the possibility to download the APK packages of all the main applications for Android. More info here.

Salvatore Aranzulla

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, 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.

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