Apps on Windows have gotten better. But every once in a while, you’ll stumble upon a really useful mobile app that hasn’t made its way to PC yet. If it runs on Android, though, there’s good news. With the help of third-party software, you can probably run it on your Windows computer.
Unfortunately, getting apps from your phone or tablet to your PC isn’t as easy as installing a Windows program. There are a number of ways to do it, however, ranging from emulators to dual-booting. To help simplify things, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on what software and utilities you need to install Android apps on almost any Windows computer.
The Bluestacks App Player is one of the most robust Android emulators around, allowing you to run games and apps on Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) on your Windows desktop. It boasts a custom-designed interface that makes it easy to toggle emulation settings and launch apps and “Layercake” technology that uses hardware accelerators to improve the performance of Android games in Windows. If you have a Facebook or Twitch account and a PC with more than 8GB of RAM, you can even broadcast apps and games directly from the Bluestacks window.
It’s important to note that while Bluestacks is free, an optional subscription ($2 per month) enables premium support and exclusive offers from app developers. Here’s how to install Bluestacks to your computer’s hard drive:
Step 1: Download the installer from the official Bluestacks website.
Step 2: Launch the install application and choose the storage location for app and data files. Unfortunately, you can’t change the Bluestacks directory — it will install on your boot drive by default.
Step 3: Once Bluestacks finishes installing, launch it. Enter your Google account credentials — you’ll log into the Google Play Store, where you’ll find all of your installed and purchased apps.