Mobile Phones Android How to Use Bluestacks to Run Android Apps on Windows Gain access to Google Play Store apps on your computer By Andy Wolber Freelance Contributor Andy Wolber is a former Lifewire writer who has been writing about technology for 15+ years. His focus is G Suite, iOS, and nonprofit sector apps. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Andy Wolber Updated September 17, 2019 Android Switching from iOS Tweet Share Email BlueStacks lets you run Android games and apps on Windows. Once you know how to use BlueStacks, sign in to the Google Play Store to install and use Android apps on your laptop or desktop. What is BlueStacks? BlueStacks is software that brings Android N (7.1.2) to your Windows system. It gives you the ability to use the mouse and keyboard from your system with Android apps. And, unlike a smartphone with a fixed-size screen, you may resize BlueStacks windows to make apps larger or fullscreen. Since not every Android app offers either a Windows, macOS, or web-based equivalent, BlueStacks is one of the easiest ways to gain access to Android apps on your Windows computer. BlueStacks lets you run multiple Android apps at once, and opens each app within a new tab within BlueStacks. It also offers a multi-instance mode that lets you run multiple instances of the same app, which may appeal to productivity buffs as well as gamers. BlueStacks also enables streaming Android gameplay live to Twitch. How to Use BlueStacks To run BlueStacks 4, you’ll need: A system running Microsoft Windows 7 or newerAn up-to-date graphics driverAn Intel or AMD processorAt least 2 GB of RAMAt least 5 GB of storage available You’ll also need an administrator account on your Windows system to install BlueStacks. For the best experience, you’ll want Microsoft Windows 10, 8 GB (or more) of RAM, SSD storage, and a faster graphics card or capabilities. BlueStacks also works on macOS. For that to work, you’ll need: macOS Sierra (10.12 or more recent) with up-to-date drivers and system softwareAt least 4 GB of RAMAt least 4 GB of storage space As with Windows, you’ll need an administrator account to install BlueStacks on macOS. An older version of BlueStacks, BlueStacks 3, is no longer supported, although many support pages for that version remain available. How to Install BlueStacks Before you can begin to Android apps on your Windows or macOS computer, you'll need to install the BlueStacks app. It's a straightforward install: Open a browser and go to www.bluestacks.com. Select Download BlueStacks. Save, then run the downloaded file. The download and install process may take some time, especially if you have a slower internet connection or slower system. If you encounter a problem, try turning off your antivirus software. BlueStacks should start automatically once it installs. Again, this may take some time, depending on the capabilities of your connection and system. Once started, BlueStacks gives you the opportunity to sign in to your Google Play account. You’ll need to go through the Google Play sign-in process to access, install, and use Android apps from the Play Store on your system. After you complete the Google Play sign in, you're all set to install Android apps. How to Install and Use Android Apps From the Google Play Store With BlueStacks Once you have BlueStacks installed on your PC, you can begin to download and install Android apps to use from that computer. If BlueStacks isn’t already open and running, double-click BlueStacks to start it. Double-click (or tap) Google Play to open the Play Store. Browse or search for the Android app you want to install. Select the app to see details. Select Install to download the app to your system. The system displays an icon for each installed Android app within the BlueStacks app. Double-click the app icon to run the installed Android app. In BlueStacks, each app opens within a separate tab. You may switch between tabs to switch between running Android apps. By default, BlueStacks also displays a sidebar with several controls to the right of Android apps. You may use these controls to adjust app volume, change keyboard controls, capture screenshots or recordings, set your location, virtually “shake” the device, or rotate the BlueStacks screen. Optionally, you may pay (e.g., $3.33 per month) to upgrade a BlueStacks account to remove ads.