How to Install Android on a Windows 8 Computer

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How To Install Android On A Windows 8 Computer

Android On Windows 8
Android On Windows 8.

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:

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

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

When the Virtualbox window opens press the "New" button on the toolbar.

A window will appear with three fields that require entry:

  • Name
  • Type
  • Version

Enter "Android" into the name field, select "Linux" as the type and select "Other Linux (32 bit)" as the version.

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.

Slide the bar to the amount of memory that you want Android to use.

Click "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.

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".

A list of virtual hard drive types will appear. Stick with the default VDI image and click "Next".

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.

I 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 where as 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.

Click "Next" to continue.

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. I left it at 8 gigabytes which is way more than it needs.

Click "Create".

Start The Virtual Machine

Click "Start" on the toolbar to start the virtual machine.

When asked which drive to use as the start up disk click the little folder icon and navigate to the downloaded Android file.

Click "Start"

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How To Install Android On A Windows 8 Computer

How To Install Android
How To Install Android.

Install Android

Hopefully the Android live boot screen appears as shown above.

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

Create Modify/Partitions

A screen will appear asking whether you want to "Create/Modify partitions" or "Detect Devices".

Select the "Create/Modify Partitions" option and press return.

Create A New Partition

Select the "New" option and press return.

Now select the "Primary" option.

Leave the size as the default and press return.

Select the "Bootable" option and then select "Write".

Enter "yes" to create the partition.

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

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

Choose The File Type

Select "ext3" as the file type and select 

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

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

Start Android

When the Android boot menu appears select the first option and press return.

You will now be at the Android setup screen.

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How To Install Android On A Windows 8 Computer

Install Android Within Windows
Install Android Within Windows.

Set Up Android

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

The first step is to choose your language. Your mouse should work perfectly within the Virtual Machine.

Use the up and down keys to choose your language and the 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.

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.

Click "Yes" if you wish to do so or "No" if you don't. 

After signing in you will see a screen about Google Backup Services

Scroll down to the bottom and click the arrow.

Date And Time

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

If not choose where you are located from the drop down list and if necessary set the date and time.

Click the "right" arrow to continue.

Personalise Your Tablet

Finally enter your name into the boxes provided to personalise it to you.


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 I have tried it and it appears there is.

In the next guide I will show you how to install apps into the Android system.