How to Use Grindr on Your Computer

You can use Grindr on a computer, but a mobile device is better

Grindr is best used on a mobile device
Leonardo Patrizi/Getty Images

Grindr, the popular social network for gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer men, uses location data from devices to enable real-life connections. It’s a mobile-first app — meaning that it's optimized for use on mobile gadgets such as iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches, as well as on devices running Android. However, you can use Grindr on a desktop or laptop computer if you'd like.

Installing Software

First of all, you’re going to have to install some software on your computer that allows it to function as a mobile device does.

You must have the right permissions on your computer to install new software. If you're attempting to do this at work, you might not have the rights to put new software on your machine; often, these rights are reserved for the people who manage and maintain your work computers. In any case, you're far better off putting an app intended for personal use on a computer you have at home — in which case, rights won't be a problem.

Assuming you have the proper rights, the next step is to select an emulator that will simulate the Android or iOS experience. If you have a Mac, a Simulator tool is available in a set of Apple Developer Tools called XCode.

Once you install the emulator, you’ll be able to search for and find the Grindr application just as you'd be able to on an iOS or Android device. You can then open it within the simulated environment on your desktop or laptop computer just as you would on your mobile device.

Some companies have strict policies regarding the use of their equipment and might track your activity. You don’t want to be the guy who gets called into the boss’ office because the IT department reported that you’ve installed third-party software and have been logging into it during work hours.

Possible Problems

Some emulators can be tricky to install and are often reported as being slow and buggy. Likewise, some features of Grindr might not work as expected, given that the program's being used in an environment for which it wasn't intended. One of the biggest concerns would be whether your location information shows up correctly, or if it even shows up at all. Grindr uses the GPS technology in your mobile device to identify your location, which it then uses to “find guys near you, anytime, anywhere.” That is why it's primarily a mobile app.

If your location information isn’t available or doesn’t show up correctly, you might be presented with few matches or matches that aren’t in your area. How disappointing it would be to run across an exciting prospect only to find out that he is GU (geographically unavailable)?

Unless the computer on which you're using Grindr is your own and outside of work, It might be best to save your Grindr sessions for your breaks and off-work hours when you can comfortably use your phone or tablet to browse and interact. After all, you don’t want to have to suddenly close down a chat session because your boss is standing behind you.

Parents, if your son has Grindr on his phone and you're wondering what it is, check out Lifewire's Parent's Guide to Grindr.