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How to run android on your computer

Access multiple Android apps side-by-side on your Windows 10 device, thanks to an update to the Your Phone app available for Samsung Galaxy phones.

How to run android on your computer

An update to the Your Phone app means certain Android phones can now run apps on Windows 10 PCs.

Certain Android phone users can now access Android mobile apps directly from their Windows 10 ($150 at Amazon) PC, thanks to an update to the Your Phone app that Microsoft rolled out to the general public in August. And if you’re part of the Windows Insider program, the latest Windows 10 build released Nov. 11 will let you run multiple Android mobile apps side by side on your Windows 10 PC and supported Samsung devices.

The update, first announced during the Samsung Unpacked event on Aug. 5, lets you pin your favorite Android mobile apps to the Taskbar or Start menu on your computer for quick and easy access. The apps will open in separate windows from the Your Phone app, letting you use them basically the same way you would on your phone — even if the Your Phone app isn’t open. The latest Windows 10 build lets you search for your previously pinned apps from within your Start app list, without needing to install the apps on your desktop or sign into them again.

Get more out of your tech

With many people still working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic , the ability to access phone apps on a larger desktop or laptop screen, with a mouse, pen or touchscreen, could help with multitasking.

Though the feature is generally available now, at this point it’s available only for Samsung Galaxy phones . Find the full list of supported phones on Microsoft’s support site.

What’s required to run Android apps on your Windows 10 PC?

Other than a Samsung Galaxy phone (at least for now), you’ll need a PC running the Windows 10 October 2019 Update or later. Check what version you’re running on your PC by going to Settings > Updates & Security > Check for update. (If you need to upgrade, you can still download Windows 10 for free .)

You’ll also need the latest version of the Your Phone app, and Link to Windows. On your phone, you’ll need to be running Android 9.0 or greater, with the Link to Windows integration.

Finally, your phone and computer must be on the same Wi-Fi network for the feature to work.

Read more on TechRepublic: Windows 10: A cheat sheet

How to run Android apps on your Windows 10 PC

Once you have everything you need and your phone and computer are connected, the Your Phone app window should appear on your desktop. To open your Android apps on your desktop:

  • Click the Apps shortcut from the menu on the left. You’ll see a list of all the apps on your phone.
  • Click the app you want from the list, and it will open in a separate window on your PC.

Note that not every app will work with your mouse or keyboard, but many will.

And here are a few more tips for interacting with your mobile apps on your desktop with your mouse and keyboard, according to Microsoft:

  • Single click will behave the same as any single touch/tap interaction.
  • Right click anywhere on your phone screen to navigate to the previous page.
  • Click and hold will behave the same as a tap/hold interaction.
  • Click and hold and drag to select content.
  • Mouse scroll to move between pages vertically or horizontally.

How to run android on your computer

Android is a pretty much attractive and accessible operating system. It comes with a plethora of apps and games. Apart from games, you may also be interested in running messengers and other communication apps on your computer. There are a few ways that help you run the Android operating system on your machine. We will present a tutorial on how to run Android on your computer in this article.

How to run Android on your computer?

There are a few methods you can use to run Android operating system on your computer. Emulators are one of the most popular options for running it on your Windows PC. Bluestacks has been one of the widely used Android Emulator. There are several other equally efficient alternatives in the form of GenyMotion, Andy, and YouWave.

In this tutorial, we will explore the possibility of running Android on your machine through a flash drive or memory card.

Before we go through step by step, you can check out Top 10 developer apps for android.

Step One: Prepare your Flash Drive or Memory Card

To begin with, you will need a new Flash drive, or a memory card for the purpose. Make sure that it has been formatted. You can use your existing drive, or a memory card that may be lying idle. But, ensure that you have copied whatever it contains to any other location or a drive on your PC. As part of the formatting process, you will lose everything stored on your card.

Step Two: Download Android X86 Project Build and other tools

Now, you will need a build of Android X86 project. You can find it from the link Androidx86. Choose the one that best suits you. Click on View link below your chosen build. The download should begin and finish without any issues. The time taken for the download will depend upon your internet speed.

As part of the preparation, download Rufus. Rufus, for the uninitiated, is the utility that will help you install Android on your flash drive. The tool needs no installation and can be run by clicking on the Exe file.

Step Three: Setting out to install Android

Follow the steps carefully.

  • Launch Rufus. You may receive a pop-up asking you if you really want to change the contents of your drive.
  • Click Yes to continue.
  • Choose the removable drive on which you want to install Android. You should find the option to choose it from the drop-down box located at the top.
  • Ensure that you are choosing the correct drive letter. If in doubt, double check.
  • Ensure that you have selected FAT32 as the drive system.
  • Locate Create a bootable Disc using option, and click on the dropdown beside it.
  • Choose the ISO image
  • Click on the icon next to it and select the ISO image you downloaded in Step
  • The application will check the file and make sure that it is working.
  • Once the check is finished, click on
  • Next pop-up will ask you if you want to install it as an ISO image or DD image.
  • The ISO image option must be pre-selected. If not, select it and click
  • Next screen will warn you that all the data on the drive will be erased. Click OK to confirm and proceed.
  • The installation should be completed within a short span. Rufus will show you the progress through a green bar.
  • Once the process is completed, you can close Rufus and remove your flash drive.

Your flash drive for booting into Android has been created. Congratulations!

Step Four: Boot your PC with Android

You may have to make a few changes to the boot options of your PC. The steps may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Once you start your PC, press the appropriate button to enter boot menu. Most of the machines do it by pressing F10 or F12. From the boot menu, choose USB drive.

  • Once you have done it properly, a menu will pop up asking you how you would want the Android X 86 to run. Since we want to run it from USB drive, choose Run Android X86 without installation
  • After a boot animation, Android setup menu should now appear.
  • Sign in with your Google account.

Rest of the process would be the same as you would setup your Android for the first time.

Some points to be noted with respect to Android on your PC

  • Touchpad gestures work effortlessly on Android X86. You can use them just the way you use them on your smartphone.
  • Windows key can be used as the Home button.
  • Your webcam can work as the camera

Please note that to exit Android X86, you need to press the power button to bring up the Power Off menu. Click on it and remove the flash drive and then restart your PC. You will back on your Windows operating system.

Kindly be warned that this is a beta project and you may experience bugs and occasional hiccups. You will need to be prepared for that.

So far you’ve known how to install android on pc, now you need to know ways to keep your android cleaner and faster.

The Final Thoughts

Android has indeed a lot to offer. Having the opportunity to experience it on your PC can be a rewarding feeling. One thing you may need to be ready to understand is that Android X86 cannot be used as your regular operating system, at least as things stand now. The functionality will depend upon the drivers installed on your device and their performance.

Have you attempted using it on your computer? If yes, do share your views and opinions with us. Your feedback will go a long way in giving a few new ideas to our readers. If you have any better ideas to share about running Android on your Windows operating system, you are welcome to share them as well.

Want to use Android apps on a PC? There are plenty of good, free ways to emulate Android right on your computer, including the Your Phone app, BlueStacks, Genymotion, and Android-x86. Let’s take a look.

How to run android on your computer

Ever wish you could run an Android app or game on your PC so you weren’t relegated to a tiny phone screen? Or maybe you need to test a feature on Android, but don’t have an Android device handy. Here are four free ways to run Android (and its apps) on your computer.

Mirror Your Phone With Windows

How to run android on your computer

For apps installed on your phone, you don’t need anything fancy to get Android on your PC. The Windows Your Phone app provides the ability to mirror the phone screen to your PC, with access to most of your apps through a simple desktop window. Just follow our instructions on connecting your phone to Windows, then choose the Phone Screen option in the sidebar to mirror your device.

Microsoft is working on expanding this feature even further, with the ability to pin Android apps on your taskbar and launch them individually, as long as your phone and computer are connected. At the time of writing, this feature is only available in Windows 10’s Insider Previews, but it should make its way to the mass-released version of Windows soon.

This isn’t always the ideal solution. If you’re looking to play games, this may come with some delay and graphical blurriness, and you won’t be able to easily share files from your PC directly to an app in Android. But for quick access to Android apps you already have installed, it definitely works in a pinch.

Run Your Favorite Apps With BlueStacks

How to run android on your computer

If you’re just looking to run a couple apps and don’t need the emulator to look like Android, you should try BlueStacks. Over the years, it’s become the best Android app emulator around, and it’s packed with features that ensure your apps and games run smoothly. Since it 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.

Download and install BlueStacks as you would any other Windows or Mac application. It’ll take up about 2GB of space on your computer (plus any apps you download), and when it launches, you’ll be greeted with its customized home screen. It doesn’t mimic a traditional Android launcher, but you do get access to the Play Store to download any apps you want—they’ll appear on BlueStacks’ home screen and on your Windows desktop as their own shortcuts. Just double-click an icon to run the app in question.

BlueStacks is great for apps that don’t have corresponding desktop apps, but the emulator really shines when it comes to games. BlueStacks comes with built-in mappings for your mouse and keyboard, which you can customize to the touch controls you find on different Android games.

You can also adjust the resolution, DPI, FPS, and amount of CPU or RAM allocated to the emulator, ensuring you get the best balance between speed and graphical fidelity. (This is particularly useful given that BlueStacks is fairly resource-intensive, as many virtual machines are.)

BlueStacks does, unfortunately, come with some ads and clutter, but it’s not as intrusive as it once was, and it’s a small price to pay for the functionality you get—especially considering it uses Android 7.1 as its base, which is higher than most alternatives on the market.

Emulate Full Android Experience With Genymotion

How to run android on your computer

If you’re looking to explore the Android operating system itself—rather than individual apps—Genymotion is a decent emulator. Its main product is designed for developers and costs money to use, but there is a free version of the software you can download for personal use; you just need to create an account on the website first.

Genymotion uses VirtualBox to emulate Android, so you’ll either need to have VirtualBox installed on your PC or download the version with VirtualBox bundled. Install it like you would any other Windows program, ensuring you select the version for “Personal Use” during the wizard. (And like BlueStacks, you’ll want to enable Intel VT-x or AMD-V from your computer’s BIOS if you have it.)

When you start Genymotion, it’ll present you with a list 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 be able to navigate around the home screen, launch apps, and emulate certain events like GPS location.

Note that you’ll start with a very barebones version of Android that doesn’t even come with many of Google’s apps or modern features, though you can add the Play Store by clicking the “Open Gapps” icon in the sidebar to install it. Also, no matter which template you choose, you won’t get any custom versions of Android—picking the Samsung Galaxy S10 template, for example, won’t get you Samsung’s One UI. It just determines the resolution and specs of the virtual machine. (Genymotion does support Android versions from 4.4 all the way up to 10.0, though.)

Genymotion works well for exploring Android’s settings and other built-in features, though I wouldn’t necessarily use it to run individual apps, as it just doesn’t integrate as well with your PC as something like BlueStacks. If Genymotion doesn’t suit your needs, Google’s official Android software development kit also comes with an Android emulator, though setup is a bit more complex, so I wouldn’t recommend it for most users.

Run Android Directly on Your PC With Android-x86

How to run android on your computer

If you’re looking for something a bit more full-featured, the Android-x86 project gets you as close as you can get to true Android on your PC. Android-x86 is an open-source project that ports Android to the x86 platform, allowing you to run it on your computer instead of an ARM-based phone or tablet.

To run Android-x86, you have a couple of options. If you want to run Android on its own, as a desktop operating system for your PC, you can download it as an ISO disc image and burn it to a USB drive with a program like Rufus. Then, insert that USB drive into the PC in question, reboot, and enter the boot menu (usually by pressing a key like F12 during the boot process).

By booting from your Android-x86 USB drive, you’ll either be able to run Android in a live environment—without having any effect on your PC—or install it to your PC’s hard drive for permanent usage (and better performance).

Alternatively, if you want to run Android-x86 on top of your existing operating system, you can download the disc image and run it inside VirtualBox. This is, again, a bit more advanced if you aren’t familiar with VirtualBox, but our guide to running Windows on a Mac can get you acquainted with the process.

The official site has some tips for getting Android-x86 up and running in a virtual machine as well. It’s more work than using something like BlueStacks, but it’s also closer to pure Android, which is a nice perk.

Want to use Android apps on a PC? There are plenty of good, free ways to emulate Android right on your computer, including the Your Phone app, BlueStacks, Genymotion, and Android-x86. Let’s take a look.

How to run android on your computer

Ever wish you could run an Android app or game on your PC so you weren’t relegated to a tiny phone screen? Or maybe you need to test a feature on Android, but don’t have an Android device handy. Here are four free ways to run Android (and its apps) on your computer.

Mirror Your Phone With Windows

How to run android on your computer

For apps installed on your phone, you don’t need anything fancy to get Android on your PC. The Windows Your Phone app provides the ability to mirror the phone screen to your PC, with access to most of your apps through a simple desktop window. Just follow our instructions on connecting your phone to Windows, then choose the Phone Screen option in the sidebar to mirror your device.

Microsoft is working on expanding this feature even further, with the ability to pin Android apps on your taskbar and launch them individually, as long as your phone and computer are connected. At the time of writing, this feature is only available in Windows 10’s Insider Previews, but it should make its way to the mass-released version of Windows soon.

This isn’t always the ideal solution. If you’re looking to play games, this may come with some delay and graphical blurriness, and you won’t be able to easily share files from your PC directly to an app in Android. But for quick access to Android apps you already have installed, it definitely works in a pinch.

Run Your Favorite Apps With BlueStacks

How to run android on your computer

If you’re just looking to run a couple apps and don’t need the emulator to look like Android, you should try BlueStacks. Over the years, it’s become the best Android app emulator around, and it’s packed with features that ensure your apps and games run smoothly. Since it 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.

Download and install BlueStacks as you would any other Windows or Mac application. It’ll take up about 2GB of space on your computer (plus any apps you download), and when it launches, you’ll be greeted with its customized home screen. It doesn’t mimic a traditional Android launcher, but you do get access to the Play Store to download any apps you want—they’ll appear on BlueStacks’ home screen and on your Windows desktop as their own shortcuts. Just double-click an icon to run the app in question.

BlueStacks is great for apps that don’t have corresponding desktop apps, but the emulator really shines when it comes to games. BlueStacks comes with built-in mappings for your mouse and keyboard, which you can customize to the touch controls you find on different Android games.

You can also adjust the resolution, DPI, FPS, and amount of CPU or RAM allocated to the emulator, ensuring you get the best balance between speed and graphical fidelity. (This is particularly useful given that BlueStacks is fairly resource-intensive, as many virtual machines are.)

BlueStacks does, unfortunately, come with some ads and clutter, but it’s not as intrusive as it once was, and it’s a small price to pay for the functionality you get—especially considering it uses Android 7.1 as its base, which is higher than most alternatives on the market.

Emulate Full Android Experience With Genymotion

How to run android on your computer

If you’re looking to explore the Android operating system itself—rather than individual apps—Genymotion is a decent emulator. Its main product is designed for developers and costs money to use, but there is a free version of the software you can download for personal use; you just need to create an account on the website first.

Genymotion uses VirtualBox to emulate Android, so you’ll either need to have VirtualBox installed on your PC or download the version with VirtualBox bundled. Install it like you would any other Windows program, ensuring you select the version for “Personal Use” during the wizard. (And like BlueStacks, you’ll want to enable Intel VT-x or AMD-V from your computer’s BIOS if you have it.)

When you start Genymotion, it’ll present you with a list 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 be able to navigate around the home screen, launch apps, and emulate certain events like GPS location.

Note that you’ll start with a very barebones version of Android that doesn’t even come with many of Google’s apps or modern features, though you can add the Play Store by clicking the “Open Gapps” icon in the sidebar to install it. Also, no matter which template you choose, you won’t get any custom versions of Android—picking the Samsung Galaxy S10 template, for example, won’t get you Samsung’s One UI. It just determines the resolution and specs of the virtual machine. (Genymotion does support Android versions from 4.4 all the way up to 10.0, though.)

Genymotion works well for exploring Android’s settings and other built-in features, though I wouldn’t necessarily use it to run individual apps, as it just doesn’t integrate as well with your PC as something like BlueStacks. If Genymotion doesn’t suit your needs, Google’s official Android software development kit also comes with an Android emulator, though setup is a bit more complex, so I wouldn’t recommend it for most users.

Run Android Directly on Your PC With Android-x86

How to run android on your computer

If you’re looking for something a bit more full-featured, the Android-x86 project gets you as close as you can get to true Android on your PC. Android-x86 is an open-source project that ports Android to the x86 platform, allowing you to run it on your computer instead of an ARM-based phone or tablet.

To run Android-x86, you have a couple of options. If you want to run Android on its own, as a desktop operating system for your PC, you can download it as an ISO disc image and burn it to a USB drive with a program like Rufus. Then, insert that USB drive into the PC in question, reboot, and enter the boot menu (usually by pressing a key like F12 during the boot process).

By booting from your Android-x86 USB drive, you’ll either be able to run Android in a live environment—without having any effect on your PC—or install it to your PC’s hard drive for permanent usage (and better performance).

Alternatively, if you want to run Android-x86 on top of your existing operating system, you can download the disc image and run it inside VirtualBox. This is, again, a bit more advanced if you aren’t familiar with VirtualBox, but our guide to running Windows on a Mac can get you acquainted with the process.

The official site has some tips for getting Android-x86 up and running in a virtual machine as well. It’s more work than using something like BlueStacks, but it’s also closer to pure Android, which is a nice perk.

Want to use Android apps on a PC? There are plenty of good, free ways to emulate Android right on your computer, including the Your Phone app, BlueStacks, Genymotion, and Android-x86. Let’s take a look.

How to run android on your computer

Ever wish you could run an Android app or game on your PC so you weren’t relegated to a tiny phone screen? Or maybe you need to test a feature on Android, but don’t have an Android device handy. Here are four free ways to run Android (and its apps) on your computer.

Mirror Your Phone With Windows

How to run android on your computer

For apps installed on your phone, you don’t need anything fancy to get Android on your PC. The Windows Your Phone app provides the ability to mirror the phone screen to your PC, with access to most of your apps through a simple desktop window. Just follow our instructions on connecting your phone to Windows, then choose the Phone Screen option in the sidebar to mirror your device.

Microsoft is working on expanding this feature even further, with the ability to pin Android apps on your taskbar and launch them individually, as long as your phone and computer are connected. At the time of writing, this feature is only available in Windows 10’s Insider Previews, but it should make its way to the mass-released version of Windows soon.

This isn’t always the ideal solution. If you’re looking to play games, this may come with some delay and graphical blurriness, and you won’t be able to easily share files from your PC directly to an app in Android. But for quick access to Android apps you already have installed, it definitely works in a pinch.

Run Your Favorite Apps With BlueStacks

How to run android on your computer

If you’re just looking to run a couple apps and don’t need the emulator to look like Android, you should try BlueStacks. Over the years, it’s become the best Android app emulator around, and it’s packed with features that ensure your apps and games run smoothly. Since it 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.

Download and install BlueStacks as you would any other Windows or Mac application. It’ll take up about 2GB of space on your computer (plus any apps you download), and when it launches, you’ll be greeted with its customized home screen. It doesn’t mimic a traditional Android launcher, but you do get access to the Play Store to download any apps you want—they’ll appear on BlueStacks’ home screen and on your Windows desktop as their own shortcuts. Just double-click an icon to run the app in question.

BlueStacks is great for apps that don’t have corresponding desktop apps, but the emulator really shines when it comes to games. BlueStacks comes with built-in mappings for your mouse and keyboard, which you can customize to the touch controls you find on different Android games.

You can also adjust the resolution, DPI, FPS, and amount of CPU or RAM allocated to the emulator, ensuring you get the best balance between speed and graphical fidelity. (This is particularly useful given that BlueStacks is fairly resource-intensive, as many virtual machines are.)

BlueStacks does, unfortunately, come with some ads and clutter, but it’s not as intrusive as it once was, and it’s a small price to pay for the functionality you get—especially considering it uses Android 7.1 as its base, which is higher than most alternatives on the market.

Emulate Full Android Experience With Genymotion

How to run android on your computer

If you’re looking to explore the Android operating system itself—rather than individual apps—Genymotion is a decent emulator. Its main product is designed for developers and costs money to use, but there is a free version of the software you can download for personal use; you just need to create an account on the website first.

Genymotion uses VirtualBox to emulate Android, so you’ll either need to have VirtualBox installed on your PC or download the version with VirtualBox bundled. Install it like you would any other Windows program, ensuring you select the version for “Personal Use” during the wizard. (And like BlueStacks, you’ll want to enable Intel VT-x or AMD-V from your computer’s BIOS if you have it.)

When you start Genymotion, it’ll present you with a list 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 be able to navigate around the home screen, launch apps, and emulate certain events like GPS location.

Note that you’ll start with a very barebones version of Android that doesn’t even come with many of Google’s apps or modern features, though you can add the Play Store by clicking the “Open Gapps” icon in the sidebar to install it. Also, no matter which template you choose, you won’t get any custom versions of Android—picking the Samsung Galaxy S10 template, for example, won’t get you Samsung’s One UI. It just determines the resolution and specs of the virtual machine. (Genymotion does support Android versions from 4.4 all the way up to 10.0, though.)

Genymotion works well for exploring Android’s settings and other built-in features, though I wouldn’t necessarily use it to run individual apps, as it just doesn’t integrate as well with your PC as something like BlueStacks. If Genymotion doesn’t suit your needs, Google’s official Android software development kit also comes with an Android emulator, though setup is a bit more complex, so I wouldn’t recommend it for most users.

Run Android Directly on Your PC With Android-x86

How to run android on your computer

If you’re looking for something a bit more full-featured, the Android-x86 project gets you as close as you can get to true Android on your PC. Android-x86 is an open-source project that ports Android to the x86 platform, allowing you to run it on your computer instead of an ARM-based phone or tablet.

To run Android-x86, you have a couple of options. If you want to run Android on its own, as a desktop operating system for your PC, you can download it as an ISO disc image and burn it to a USB drive with a program like Rufus. Then, insert that USB drive into the PC in question, reboot, and enter the boot menu (usually by pressing a key like F12 during the boot process).

By booting from your Android-x86 USB drive, you’ll either be able to run Android in a live environment—without having any effect on your PC—or install it to your PC’s hard drive for permanent usage (and better performance).

Alternatively, if you want to run Android-x86 on top of your existing operating system, you can download the disc image and run it inside VirtualBox. This is, again, a bit more advanced if you aren’t familiar with VirtualBox, but our guide to running Windows on a Mac can get you acquainted with the process.

The official site has some tips for getting Android-x86 up and running in a virtual machine as well. It’s more work than using something like BlueStacks, but it’s also closer to pure Android, which is a nice perk.

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You love your Android phone. You have access to texting, your pictures and all those amazing apps that offer entertainment and convenience in the palm of your hand. Tap or click here to find great Android apps to install. But wouldn’t it be nice if some of those apps were available on your PC?

Good news! There’s an exciting update from Microsoft which allows some Android users to access their favorite apps right on their computer. Using screen mirroring Windows will now run Android apps directly on PC. But: there’s a catch.

At the moment this function is only available for certain Android phones. Keep reading to find out if your device is eligible and how to take advantage of this cool new feature.

Windows 10 Insider

To find out if your Android phone is one of the devices able to utilize this feature check the list on the Microsoft site here. Additionally, users must be running Windows 10 Insider Program.

Windows 10 Insider is a program allowing active Windows users to preview and test new features as Microsoft releases them. You can then offer feedback to help shape future Windows offerings. You can sign up for the Windows Insider program here.

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Make sure you are running the most current version of Windows 10 in order to register for the program. Sign in using your Microsoft account. If you do not have a Microsoft account you can sign up for one here.

After you have registered for Windows 10 Insider you can begin Flighting, which is the term Microsoft uses for running new programs on your device. You will then have the opportunity to offer notes on your experience via the Feedback Hub.

How to access Android apps on your PC

Once you have registered for Windows 10 Insider, and have one of the Galaxy devices able to access this feature, you can do the following to add your favorite Android phone apps to your PC:

  1. Download the Your Phone App to your PC.
  2. On your phone, select Link to Windows in notifications.
  3. Sign in to your Microsoft account if prompted.
  4. Go to Settings and toggle Display My Phone Screen to the On position.
  5. Select an app from your phone to run right on your desktop.

Not all Android apps may be available for screen sharing at this time, but chances are you will be able to run many of your favorites. Microsoft is also working to broaden the range of mobile devices able to link to this mirroring feature to make it available to more people.

Now you can access phone apps on your PC conveniently, with the benefits of a big screen and standard keyboard, and be part of a community of Windows 10 users on the cutting edge of tech.

Phones have become so versatile they have taken over many of the roles computers used to play. Computers can now offer features that only phones did. Taking advantage of these crossovers will give you the most complete experience technology can provide.

Want to use Android apps on a PC? There are plenty of good, free ways to emulate Android right on your computer, including the Your Phone app, BlueStacks, Genymotion, and Android-x86. Let’s take a look.

Ever wish you could run an Android app or game on your PC so you weren’t relegated to a tiny phone screen? Or maybe you need to test a feature on Android, but don’t have an Android device handy. Here are four free ways to run Android (and its apps) on your computer.

Mirror Your Phone With Windows

For apps installed on your phone, you don’t need anything fancy to get Android on your PC. The Windows Your Phone app provides the ability to mirror the screen of many Samsung phones to your PC, with access to most of your apps through a simple desktop window. Just follow our instructions on connecting your phone to Windows, then choose the Phone Screen option in the sidebar to mirror your device.

Microsoft is working on expanding this feature even further, with the ability to pin Android apps on your taskbar and launch them individually, as long as your phone and computer are connected. At the time of writing, this feature is available in Windows 10’s Insider Previews and is slowly rolling out to the general public.

This isn’t always the ideal solution. If you’re looking to play games, this may come with some delay and graphical blurriness, and you won’t be able to easily share files from your PC directly to an app in Android. But for quick access to Android apps you already have installed, it definitely works in a pinch.

Run Your Favorite Apps With BlueStacks

If you’re just looking to run a couple apps and don’t need the emulator to look like Android, you should try BlueStacks. Over the years, it’s become the best Android app emulator around, and it’s packed with features that ensure your apps and games run smoothly. Since it 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.

Download and install BlueStacks as you would any other Windows or Mac application. It’ll take up about 2GB of space on your computer (plus any apps you download), and when it launches, you’ll be greeted with its customized home screen. It doesn’t mimic a traditional Android launcher, but you do get access to the Play Store to download any apps you want—they’ll appear on BlueStacks’ home screen and on your Windows desktop as their own shortcuts. Just double-click an icon to run the app in question.

BlueStacks is great for apps that don’t have corresponding desktop apps, but the emulator really shines when it comes to games. BlueStacks comes with built-in mappings for your mouse and keyboard, which you can customize to the touch controls you find on different Android games.

You can also adjust the resolution, DPI, FPS, and amount of CPU or RAM allocated to the emulator, ensuring you get the best balance between speed and graphical fidelity. (This is particularly useful given that BlueStacks is fairly resource-intensive, as many virtual machines are.)

BlueStacks does, unfortunately, come with some ads and clutter, but it’s not as intrusive as it once was, and it’s a small price to pay for the functionality you get—especially considering it uses Android 7.1 as its base, which is higher than most alternatives on the market.

Emulate Full Android Experience With Genymotion

If you’re looking to explore the Android operating system itself—rather than individual apps—Genymotion is a decent emulator. Its main product is designed for developers and costs money to use, but there is a free version of the software you can download for personal use; you just need to create an account on the website first.

Genymotion uses VirtualBox to emulate Android, so you’ll either need to have VirtualBox installed on your PC or download the version with VirtualBox bundled. Install it like you would any other Windows program, ensuring you select the version for “Personal Use” during the wizard. (And like BlueStacks, you’ll want to enable Intel VT-x or AMD-V from your computer’s BIOS if you have it.)

When you start Genymotion, it’ll present you with a list 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 be able to navigate around the home screen, launch apps, and emulate certain events like GPS location.

Note that you’ll start with a very barebones version of Android that doesn’t even come with many of Google’s apps or modern features, though you can add the Play Store by clicking the “Open Gapps” icon in the sidebar to install it. Also, no matter which template you choose, you won’t get any custom versions of Android—picking the Samsung Galaxy S10 template, for example, won’t get you Samsung’s One UI. It just determines the resolution and specs of the virtual machine. (Genymotion does support Android versions from 4.4 all the way up to 10.0, though.)

Genymotion works well for exploring Android’s settings and other built-in features, though I wouldn’t necessarily use it to run individual apps, as it just doesn’t integrate as well with your PC as something like BlueStacks. If Genymotion doesn’t suit your needs, Google’s official Android software development kit also comes with an Android emulator, though setup is a bit more complex, so I wouldn’t recommend it for most users.

Run Android Directly on Your PC With Android-x86

If you’re looking for something a bit more full-featured, the Android-x86 project gets you as close as you can get to true Android on your PC. Android-x86 is an open-source project that ports Android to the x86 platform, allowing you to run it on your computer instead of an ARM-based phone or tablet.

To run Android-x86, you have a couple of options. If you want to run Android on its own, as a desktop operating system for your PC, you can download it as an ISO disc image and burn it to a USB drive with a program like Rufus. Then, insert that USB drive into the PC in question, reboot, and enter the boot menu (usually by pressing a key like F12 during the boot process).

By booting from your Android-x86 USB drive, you’ll either be able to run Android in a live environment—without having any effect on your PC—or install it to your PC’s hard drive for permanent usage (and better performance).

Alternatively, if you want to run Android-x86 on top of your existing operating system, you can download the disc image and run it inside VirtualBox. This is, again, a bit more advanced if you aren’t familiar with VirtualBox, but our guide to running Windows on a Mac can get you acquainted with the process.

The official site has some tips for getting Android-x86 up and running in a virtual machine as well. It’s more work than using something like BlueStacks, but it’s also closer to pure Android, which is a nice perk.

You can use PC or Android apps

How to run android on your computer

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If you’re an Android user and you store important information or files on your phone, it’s important to know how to backup an Android phone to a PC. Sure, backing up your Android to Google Drive is simple, but if you prefer having your Android backup stored on your own PC, you’ll need to use a different approach.

How to Backup Android via USB or Wi-Fi

If you’re only really concerned about photos, videos, and other files stored on your Android, transferring them via USB is the easiest method. It doesn’t require an app and it only takes a few minutes.

An alternative way to transfer files is installing the Wi-Fi FTP Server app on your phone. Launching this, you can connect to your phone via any FTP browser on your computer. Using whichever approach you like, you can transfer files from your Android to your computer for safekeeping.

Turn on the Android device. Using the USB cable that came with your phone, plug the USB end into your computer and the other end into your phone.

Go to Settings > General > Developer options and tap either USB debugging or Android debugging.

If you don’t see Developer options, tap Settings > System > About Phone, then tap the build number seven times.

Check your notifications and tap the USB item for more options, then tap Transfer files.

How to run android on your computer

You’ll see your Android appear as an available device to browse in Windows File Explorer, allowing you to copy files from your Android phone to your PC.

How to run android on your computer

Manually backing up images, videos, and files from your phone is a good way to save data, but it won’t save contacts, text messages, and other items you may want to back up as well. It also requires you to remember to back up new files.

Perform an Android Backup to Your PC

If you want to have a full backup of your Android phone, a better approach is to install apps that handle full Android backups.

One of the best Android backup apps is Dr.Fone, which lets you perform a full backup or restore of your Android device, or you can backup specific data from your phone to your computer. It does this without requiring root access to the phone.

Download and install Dr.Fone to your PC.

Once you install Dr.Fone, it’ll prompt you to connect your phone if you haven’t already. Follow the steps above to enable USB debugging to make the connection work.

Once you connect with the software running, you’ll see the window where you can Backup or Restore an Android phone. To perform your first Android backup to PC, select Backup.

How to run android on your computer

This will open a new window where you can select which components of your phone you want to back up. It defaults to every option, but you can deselect any you like.

How to run android on your computer

You need a premium plan to backup your Application data.

When finished selecting the items you want, select Backup to initiate the backup process. You’ll see a status as the software copies those components over to your local computer.

How to run android on your computer

Once the backup fully completes, you can select either View Backup History or Open Backup Location. At this point, your backup is fully completed and ready to be restored whenever you need.

How to run android on your computer

When you need to restore the backup you’ve made, just open the backup history list, select the backup with the latest backup date, then select Next to initiate.

How to run android on your computer

The restore process using Dr.Fone is just as fast and simple as the backup process.

A nice additional feature of Dr.Fone is you can link it with your existing iTunes, iCloud, or Google Cloud automatic backups and use Dr.Fone to perform your restore.

How to Backup Android With Other Resources

The following are other free programs, like Dr.Fone, that let you quickly take a backup of your Android phone and perform a quick restore whenever you need to.

Choosing the right app for your situation depends on whether you want to run the app on your PC or your Android. It also depends where you want to store the backups and if you want to automate them.

Run Android apps on your desktop with Phoenix OS and other options

How to run android on your computer

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It’s possible to install Android on a PC without using an emulator. Learn how to run Android apps and access a full version of the mobile operating system on Windows.

Instructions in this article apply to desktops and laptops running Windows 10, 8, and 7.

Why Install Android on PC?

If you don’t have an Android device, you’re missing out on millions of apps in the Google Play Store. Even if you already have a smartphone or tablet that you play Android games on, you might prefer to play them on your PC.

There are several ways to run Android apps on your computer. For example, the Android SDK comes with an Android emulator for debugging apps, and BlueStacks is a cloud-based virtual machine that optimizes Android apps for desktops. However, if you want to access the full version of Android without an emulator, then your best bet is Phoenix OS.

How to run android on your computer

What Is Phoenix OS?

Phoenix OS is an operating system based on Android 7 (Nougat) that is designed to run on desktop and laptop computers. If you install it on your hard drive, you’re given the option to boot into Phoenix OS each time you start up your computer. Alternatively, you can save it to a USB flash drive for use on any computer.

Before you can install Phoenix OS, you must first download the installer for your operating system. Windows users can download an EXE file, but Mac users must download an ISO file and burn it to a flash drive before they can launch the installer. You must also make changes to your system’s BIOS settings.

To run Phoenix OS, your computer needs an Intel x86 series CPU.

How to Install Android Phoenix OS on PC

To get started installing Android on your PC using the Phoenix OS, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:

How to run android on your computer

Open the installer and select Install.

How to run android on your computer

To install Phoenix OS on a USB drive, select Make U-Disk.

Select the hard drive where you want to install the OS, then select Next.

How to run android on your computer

Select the amount of space you want to reserve on your hard drive for Phoenix OS, then select Install.

How to run android on your computer

This option determines the size of the apps you can run, so you should set it as high as possible.

Phoenix OS is now installed, but you’ll likely receive a notification saying you must disable secure boot.

How to run android on your computer

How to Disable Secure Boot for Phoenix OS

Windows has a built-in security feature that will prevent Phoenix OS from running at startup. How you disable the secure boot feature depends on your motherboard and your version of Windows. The Microsoft support website has detailed instructions for disabling secure boot for different systems.

Using Phoenix OS to Run Android Apps on PC

Whenever you start your computer, you can choose to load Windows or Phoenix OS. You can also select the shortcut on your desktop to launch Phoenix OS. The first time you start Phoenix, you’ll need to select the language (the default is Chinese) and set it up just like you would a new Android device.

Phoenix OS isn’t always stable, so if it doesn’t load successfully the first time, it might work if you try again.

How to run android on your computer

The Phoenix OS interface looks similar to Windows, but it behaves like Android. If using a laptop, then you may need an external mouse as Phoenix OS is not compatible with all trackpads. If your computer has a touch screen, then you can navigate the interface just like you would on a smartphone or tablet.

Phoenix OS comes preloaded with Google Play, so you can download apps directly from Google. You can also sideload apps using APK files. Select the Menu icon in the bottom-left corner of the desktop to see your apps.