Installing Android on a computer can be a tempting idea. As you well know, Google’s operating system works very well on smartphones and tablets, so many wonders what would happen if we installed Android on a PC.
Today, we show you how to install Android on your computer, either as the main operating system or through an emulator that will allow us to enjoy all the benefits of Android on PC without having to give up our main OS. Say that the guide we have prepared is for Windows, so sorry if you have a Mac.
How to install Android on a PC
Android as an operating system
First of all, warn you that Android is an operating system designed for smartphones and that it is not even optimized enough for tablets. On a computer, using Android as the main OS may not be a very good idea since you depend 100% on the Play Store applications, and these cannot be compared to desktop systems.
If you have still decided to continue installing Android on your PC, here are the steps you must follow. We are talking about an installation from scratch of an operating system on your computer, so take it easy, and follow the guide to the letter.
First of all, we are going to need a USB memory to boot the operating system. We recommend using at least 4GB of USB memory. Whenever possible, use a quality one, and if it can be 3.0, better than better. First of all, make a backup of all your data, in the cloud, on an external hard drive, or wherever you want, but we will erase all the programs and settings on the PC, so keep that in mind.
From the Android x86 page, we will download the latest version available, in this case, Android 7.1 Nougat, one of the most stable and reliable versions of Android. Apart from the operating system, we will download Rufus, the best free tool to create bootable USB drives.
When you have both files downloaded, you will run Rufus with your Pendrive connected to the computer. Choose the USB drive that is connected, and create a bootable disc with the ISO that you have downloaded. Please make sure the pen drive is in FAT 32 format before doing the whole process; Rufus himself will tell you.
Once everything is finished, run Rufus. You will get a warning from Windows asking if you want to allow Rufus to make changes to your device; just click “Yes.” With Rufus running, go ahead and choose your USB drive from the list on the top drop-down bar. This is a crucial step in getting exactly what we want, as Rufus will erase everything on the drive in question. If you have more than one removable drive inserted in your PC, check the drive letter to make sure you format the correct one.
The pen drive is already formatted; in FAT 32, you have loaded the Android ISO, and you have made sure that the partition type is MBR, BIOS, or UEFI. Now you can start Rufus and create your bootable USB drive, from which we will start Android.
Now, to install Android on our PC, we must boot it from the USB drive. To do this, we must find out how we can get into the PC’s BIOS – Google your PC model and how to boot the BIOS, it depends on each device – and configure that the boot is done from a USB drive. It may seem very cumbersome, but the BIOS menu is very intuitive, and you will have no problem finding this option. What’s more, currently, some laptops automatically detect that a pen drive with an ISO has been connected. When booting them with the pen drive connected, they start the installation process.
Once you have selected the USB drive from which you will boot your computer, restart your PC, and the installation process will begin. It will ask us if we want to install it in Live CD mode or on the hard disk. If you only want to test Android on your PC, select the first option; if, on the contrary, this is going to be your primary operating system, select the second.
CONGRATULATIONS! Once the installation process is complete, you will see the initial Android setup menu. You will have to establish your WiFi connection, enter your email account, and make all the settings that you would do on your main phone. You already have Android installed on your computer, so be careful what you install since Android is a somewhat vulnerable operating system.
Install Android in an emulator
Our most recommended option is to install Android on the computer using an emulator. Why? Because if our computer has enough power, we can enjoy all the benefits of the Google operating system without giving up our main OS. Installing an Android emulator on Windows is extremely simple since you have to know which one is the best.
There is no science whatsoever; you have to download the emulator and follow the installation process indicated by the wizard itself.
The process does not take too long, so you can leave it installed like any other program and have it available in a few minutes. The Bluestack interface is somewhat modified, and it is not Native Android as such. However, more than 90% of Android applications can be run from this emulator, it is optimized for touchscreen computers, and the user experience is more than satisfactory.
As you can see, installing Android on a PC is extremely easy. Either you create a bootable USB drive and install it – as you would with any other operating system – or you download an emulator and start enjoying it in minutes. Be that as it may, it is clear that it is within everyone’s reach to use Android on a computer.
We hope this guide has been helpful to you. You can always leave us your comments and questions about how to install Android on your computer or share your experience with us if you have completed the process completely.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.