How to Install Android on a Windows 8 Computer

This guide will show you how to install Android on a computer running Windows 8.1 (or indeed any version of Windows).

The version of Android that this guide shows you how to install is called Android x86

Be assured that this will not mess up your Windows computer and you do not have to do any partitioning as this guide uses Oracle's Virtualbox software to create a virtual machine. Anything you create using Virtualbox can be created and deleted as many times as you see fit without affecting the main operating system.

To use this guide you will need to:

Part 1

Android On Windows 8

 Gary Newell

When you get to the Android download screen choose the one with the highest number (i.e Android x86 4.4) and then choose the one called "live and installation iso".

Start Virtualbox

  1. To start the installation run the Virtualbox software. There should be an icon on the desktop for Oracle VM Virtualbox. If there isn't press the Windows key on your keyboard and start typing Virtualbox until an icon appears and then double click on the icon.

Create a New Virtual Machine

  1. When the Virtualbox window opens select the New button on the toolbar.
  2. A window will appear with three fields that require entry:
    1. Name
    2. Type
    3. Version
  3. Enter Android into the name field, select Linux as the type and select Other Linux (32 bit) as the version.
  4. Click Next to continue.

Memory Size

The next screen lets you decide how much memory to allow Android to use. Ideally, you would select at least 2 gigabytes but if you are on an older machine then you can get away with 512 megabytes.

  1. Slide the bar to the amount of memory that you want Android to use.
  2. Select Next to continue.

Hard Drive

You will now be asked whether you want to create a virtual hard drive. 

This will use a proportion of your disk space and set it aside for only Android to use.

  1. In order to install Android, you will need to create a virtual hard drive so select the create a virtual hard drive now option and click Create.
  2. A list of virtual hard drive types will appear. Stick with the default VDI image and select Next.
  3. There are two ways to create a virtual hard drive. You can choose to have a dynamically allocated hard drive which grows as you use it or a fixed drive which sets aside all the space at once.
  4. We suggest you always go for dynamically allocated but it is up to you which you choose. Dynamic only uses the amount of space that the operating system needs whereas fixed uses the set space but fixed performs better because it doesn't have to wait for disk space to be apportioned as your needs grow.
  5. Select Next to continue.
  6. Select the folder where you want the virtual hard drive to be saved (or leave it as the default) and slide the bar to the amount of disk space you want to give to Android. We left it at 8 gigabytes which is way more than it needs.
  7. Select Create.

Start the Virtual Machine

  1. Select Start on the toolbar to start the virtual machine.
  2. When asked which drive to use as the startup disk click the little folder icon and navigate to the downloaded Android file.
  3. Select Start.

Part 2

How To Install Android

Gary Newell 

Install Android

Hopefully, the Android live boot screen appears as shown above.

  1. Choose the Install Android-x86 To harddisk option.

Create Modify/Partitions

  1. A screen will appear asking whether you want to Create/Modify partitions or Detect Devices.
  2. Select the Create/Modify Partitions option and then return.

Create a New Partition

  1. Select the New option and then return.
  2. Now select the Primary option.
  3. Leave the size as the default and select return.
  4. Select the Bootable option and then select Write.
  5. Enter yes to create the partition.
  6. When the partition has been created select the quit option.

Don't worry about warnings about deleting all partitions on your hard drive as this is only the virtual hard drive and not your real one. Windows is perfectly safe.

Select a Partition to Install Android To

  1. Choose /dev/sda as the partition to install Android to and select OK.

Choose the File Type

  1. Select ext3 as the file type and select 
  2. Choose yes to format the drive and when asked whether to install the GRUB bootloader choose Yes.

Remove the Virtual CD From the Drive

Choose the Devices menu from within Virtualbox and then CD/DVD Devices and finally Remove disk from virtual drive.

Reboot the Virtual Machine

  1. Select Machine from the Virtualbox menu and select Reset.

Start Android

  1. When the Android boot menu appears, select the first option and then return.

You will now be at the Android setup screen.

Part 3

Install Android Within Windows

Gary Newell

Set Up Android

The next few screens are basic Android set up screens. If you have an Android phone or tablet then you will recognize some of them.

  1. The first step is to choose your language. Your mouse should work perfectly within the Virtual Machine.
  2. Use the up and down keys to choose your language and then click the big arrow with the mouse.

Set Up WiFI

The next step asks you to set up WiFi.

You don't actually need to do this because your virtual machine will share your internet connection from Windows.

  1. Click Skip.

Got Google?

If you have a Google Gmail account, Youtube account or any other account associated with Google you can sign in with it.

  1. Select Yes if you wish to do so or No if you don't. 
  2. After signing in you will see a screen about Google Backup Services
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and select the arrow.

Date and Time

Your date and time zone will probably set itself to the correct settings.

  1. If not choose where you are located from the drop-down list and if necessary set the date and time.
  2. Select the right arrow to continue.

Personalize Your Tablet

  1. Finally, enter your name into the boxes provided to personalize it to you.

Summary

That is it. Android is now successfully installed on your computer.

The downside is that the website says there is no Google Play store but the upside is that we have tried it and it appears there is.