How to Use BlueStacks on Mac

Emulate Android on your Mac for free

This article explains how to install, set up, and use the BlueStacks Android emulator on macOS. These instructions apply to macOS 10.12 and above, but BlueStacks recommends 10.13 or newer for the best experience. Some instructions only pertain to macOS 11 Big Sur, as it is more difficult to get BlueStacks up and running on Big Sur than earlier versions of macOS.

How to Get BlueStacks on Mac

Here's how to get and install BlueStacks on your Mac:

  1. Update macOS if it isn't fully updated.

    If you don’t have the latest version of macOS and either can't or don’t want to update, make sure that your version has the latest updates installed to have the best chance of BlueStacks working.

  2. Download BlueStacks.

    • macOS 10.15 Catalina and older: Click Download BlueStacks
    • macOS 11 Big Sur: Click Download for Big Sur
    The BlueStacks macOS download website.
  3. When the download finishes, open the BlueStacks installer.

    Opening the BlueStacks installer on macOS.
  4. Double click the BlueStacks installer icon.

    The BlueStacks installer on macOS.
  5. If prompted for permission to open the installer, click Open.

    Granting permission to the BlueStacks installer on macOS.
  6. Click Install Now.

    The BlueStacks installer on macOS.
  7. If prompted, enter your macOS username and password and click Install Helper.

    Granting permission to the BlueStacks installer on macOS.
  8. If you are presented with a System Extension Blocked popup, click Open Security & Privacy.

    The System extension blocked warning while installing BlueStacks on macOS.

    You can also proceed by clicking Apple > Preferences > Security & Privacy.

  9. On the General tab of the Security & Privacy window, look for “System software from developer “Oracle America, Inc.” was blocked from loading” and click Allow.

    Granting permission to BlueStacks in macOS.

    You may need to click the lock icon in the lower right part of the window first, depending on your macOS settings.

  10. Click Restart if prompted.

    Restarting macOS to install BlueStacks.

    You won’t need to restart at this point if you have macOS 10.15 Catalina or earlier. If you have macOS 11 Big Sur and don’t see this message, you will need to restart manually.

  11. If you see a "BlueStacks interrupted restart" message, click Cancel, then open Security & Privacy again and click Restart on the General tab.

    BlueStacks interrupted the restart on macOS.

    The Restart button will appear in the same place you saw the Allow button earlier.

  12. Wait for your Mac to restart. When it finishes, BlueStacks will be ready to use.

How to Use BlueStacks on Mac

Once you have successfully installed BlueStacks on your Mac, you can use it in much the same way you would an actual Android device. Instead of tapping icons and buttons, you use your trackpad or mouse to click them. You log in with a Google account to access the Google Play Store just like a real Android device, and you’ll have access to any Android apps you have purchased or downloaded on Android devices in the past.

Here’s how to use BlueStacks on your Mac:

  1. Launch BlueStacks.

    Depending on the performance of your Mac, it may take a while for BlueStacks to load.

  2. Click LET’S GO.

    BlueStacks ready to use on a Mac.
  3. Enter the email address that you use with your Google account, or create a new account if you don’t have one yet, then click Next.

    Logging into Google in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  4. Enter your Google account password and click Next.

    Logging into Google on BlueStacks on a Mac.
  5. Click the Play Store icon on the emulated Android desktop.

    The Android desktop in BlueStacks on a Mac.

    You can also use the App Center tab to discover apps, but you don’t need to.

  6. Click the search field, and type the name of the Android app you want to use.

    The Play Store in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  7. Once you find an app you want, click install.

    Final Fantasy Record Keeper in the Play Store in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  8. When the app finishes downloading, click Open.

    Opening an app from the Google Play Store in BlueStacks.
  9. BlueStacks will automatically switch into portrait orientation for games that require it. You can use apps as you would on an Android device, except you will use your touchpad or mouse to click instead of tapping with your finger.

    Final Fantasy Record Keeper playing on a Mac with BlueStacks.
  10. Click a tab at the top of the BlueStacks window to switch back to the desktop, store, or a different app.

    Apps running in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  11. If you launch multiple apps, they’ll all be accessible via the tabs at the top of the screen.

    Apps running in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  12. From the desktop, tap the white circular icon at the bottom center to access your app drawer.

    Apps running in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  13. From the app drawer, you can quickly access all of your apps, the search function, and system settings.

    The app drawer in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  14. BlueStacks provides the same system settings as an actual Android device.

    System Settings in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  15. By default, BlueStacks also includes the Chrome web browser, which works like Chrome on an Android device.

    Chrome in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  16. Click Actions if you need to simulate shaking an Android device. This menu also lets you take a screenshot and manually swap between portrait and landscape mode.

    Actions options in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  17. Click Audio if you want to adjust the volume of the emulated Android environment.

    Audio options in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  18. Click Apple > Preferences to access BlueStacks display options and more.

    BlueStacks preferences on Mac.
  19. Click Advanced > Choose a predefined profile if you need BlueStacks to behave like a specific phone

    Phone profile selection in BlueStacks on a Mac.
  20. Select a phone from the dropdown list if the default Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus isn’t working for you.

    Phone profile selection on a Mac in BlueStacks.
  21. Click Game settings if you’re trying to play a game, and it isn’t running right. Check the Optimize in-game settings, and adjust the other settings if necessary.

    Game settings in BlueStacks on a Mac.

Why Use BlueStacks on Your Mac?

BlueStacks is a free Android emulator that works on both Windows and macOS. If you have a Mac and don't have any Android devices, this is the best way to access Android-only apps. It's also great for gaming if you have an older Android device or a budget handset and a more powerful Mac, as you'll find that Android games perform very well on most Mac hardware.

In cases where a game doesn't have a native Mac version, BlueStacks also provides you with a way to play those games. For example, an emulator like BlueStacks is the only way to play Among Us on an Intel Mac.

What if BlueStacks Won’t Work on Mac?

If you’re having trouble installing BlueStacks on your Mac, there are two primary issues that you’ll need to address: updating macOS and making sure that you have the correct BlueStacks installer. BlueStacks often won’t work if macOS isn’t fully updated, and it won’t install if you use the wrong installer. If you visit the BlueStacks website and download the latest installer, you may have the wrong one.

  • If you’re using macOS 10.15 Catalina or older: make sure that you download the installer specifically for macOS 10.15 Catalina or older.
  • If you have macOS 10.12 or older: BlueStacks recommend using macOS 10.13 or newer; versions older than 10.2 don’t support BlueStacks at all. If you don’t upgrade, you won’t be able to run BlueStacks.
  • If you’re using macOS 11 Big Sur: make sure that you download the installer specifically for Big Sur.
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