The 7 Best Android Emulators for Windows 10

Run Android apps on your computer with these Android emulators

You can run Android on Windows with an Android emulator. What this does is emulates the Android operating system, or at least a portion of it, through a software program that’s capable of running Android.

When you use an Android emulator, everything you do is contained within the emulation software. This means you can do things not normally possible on your computer, like install Android apps on Windows and test drive various versions of Android without needing an Android phone or tablet.

An Android emulator can be helpful if your favorite app only runs on your phone but you’d like to use it from your computer, too, or on a bigger screen. If you’re new to Android and want to test out the newest version before buying an Android phone, some emulators can do that for you.

01
of 07
Screenshot of the BlueStacks free Android emulator for Windows

Unlike a whole-OS emulator, BlueStacks emulates just Android apps on Windows. It’s really easy to use, so you don’t need to know anything about emulators or even Android to get your apps up and running.

There’s an app store built in to BlueStacks, so to emulate Android apps on your computer, just install them and then launch them from the My Apps area of the program.

If you're looking for an emulator that lets you quickly install an Android app on your computer, you can't go wrong with this one.

What We Like:

  • Includes a built-in app store
  • Installing and opening apps is really easy
  • Emulates Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Lets you install other APK files that aren’t in the store
  • Advanced settings like RAM and CPU allocation can be adjusted in the settings
  • You can earn BlueStacks Points to trade in for things like gift cards or a premium subscription

What We Don’t Like:

  • Big setup file, around 400 MB
  • Includes ads

BlueStacks is free but you can upgrade to BlueStacks Premium for no ads, daily wallpapers, app recommendations, premium support, and more.

02
of 07
Screenshot of the Andy Android emulator for Windows

The Andy emulator for Windows puts Android Nougat on your computer. You can run games and other apps by installing them through the Google Play Store.

Since this is a full Android emulator, you can also reposition the apps on the home screen and install widgets just like you can on a real Android device.

What We Like:

  • Supports both landscape and portrait mode
  • Lets you spoof your GPS location
  • Can remap keyboard keys
  • Supports full screen mode
  • Emulates Android 7.1 (most emulators use older versions)

What We Don’t Like:

  • Huge setup file, over 800 MB
  • Can’t install apps by their APK file
Screenshot of the Remix OS Player Android emulator for Windows

Remix OS is an operating system based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so it looks like your normal operating system with a desktop area, start menu, taskbar, and trash bin.

However, instead of installing the whole Remix OS, you can use the Remix OS Player emulator to run Android apps on your computer.

This free Android emulator is described as a game emulator for your computer because it lets you customize some of the shortcuts normally used for navigating games, but you can use Remix OS Player for other apps, too, like Snapchat, Facebook, etc.; everything is available through the Play Store.

What We Like:

  • Installing and using apps is really simple
  • You can run multiple apps at once
  • Lots of settings can be manually set, like the GPS location and the phone coverage and battery levels
  • The orientation of the emulator can be rotated

What We Don’t Like:

  • Setup file is over 700 MB
  • Unable to install APK files
04
of 07
Screenshot of the NoxPlayer Android emulator for Windows

Based on Android 4.4 KitKat, NoxPlayer is a free Android emulator that’s made with gaming in mind. Google Play is built in for easy access to games and other apps, and you get the whole Android experience, including the home screen, folders, the notification center, etc.

Nearly every option in this emulator makes playing games easier. For example, you can record macros, define keys for things like multiple strikes and weapon fires, adjust FPS settings, record the screen, and take screenshots, among other things.

What We Like:

  • It’s completely free
  • A great emulator for gamers
  • Emulates the entire OS
  • Nearly everything is accessible with a keyboard shortcut
  • Lots of customizable options, like one to root Android in one click
  • Google Play is built-in but you can open APK files, too

What We Don’t Like:

  • Android 4.4 is very outdated
Screenshot of the Android Virtual Device Manager emulator for Windows

Android Studio might be what you’d call the “official” Android emulator since it’s from Google. However, the core of the program is meant for app development and testing, there just happens to be an emulator built-in as well.

This program doesn’t have an easy to use interface like the other emulators in this list, so it isn’t the greatest if you just want to run some Android apps on your computer. However, if you plan to create your own apps and you want an easy way to test them throughout the creation process, then this might be all you need.

What We Like:

  • Emulates the entire Android OS, not just one app
  • Always supports the newest Android operating system
  • You can emulate old Android OSs, too
  • Lets you build Android apps

What We Don’t Like:

06
of 07
Screenshot of the Genymotion Android emulator for Windows

Another free Android emulator for Windows is Genymotion. It's a lot like Android Studio's emulator in that it emulates the entire OS, except that this one doesn't install all the other developer tools.

This free Android emulator can run up to Android 8.0. The way it works is you install virtual devices by selecting the Android version you want and the device model that should run that version of Android.

For example, you might select Android 8.0 and Google Pixel 2 XL to emulate that phone and OS on your computer. Or, maybe you want Motorola Xoom to run Android 4.3.

Use any mix of phone or tablet with Android 4.1–8.0. You can also make a custom phone or tablet by specifying the screen resolution.

What We Like:

  • Supports lots of Android versions
  • Easier to use than Android Studio
  • Emulates the whole Android device
  • Lets you adjust processor and memory settings

What We Don't Like:

  • The Play Store isn't included

You can use Genymotion for free only if it's for personal use. To do that, make a user account and then activate your account through the link they send to your email, and then click the personal edition download link on the Fun Zone page.

Otherwise, this Android emulator is available in three paid editions.

07
of 07
Screenshot of the ARC Welder Android emulator for Windows

ARC Welder is a Chrome app that can open Android apps in your browser... kind of. It installs to your computer like any other app in Chrome, and opens Android apps in their own window by letting you choose an APK file on your computer.

Unfortunately, this Android emulator isn't the most reliable. Still, we've added it to this list because when it does manage to work, it's really handy and much simpler than the other emulators in this list (just don't make it your first choice).

What We Like:

  • Installation is very easy
  • You can choose the orientation and form factor of the emulator
  • Apps can go full screen
  • Lets you [attempt] to install any Android app available as an APK file

What We Don't Like:

  • Most apps do not work in this emulator
  • Doesn't provide an app store
  • Only one app can be opened at once

If you need help finding APK files to download for ARC Welder, try APKMirror or APKPure.