Besttechindia is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Best Android OS for PC & How To Install Android on PC – Step by Step (Updated 2020)

Edited By Piyush Kashyap, Reviewed By Gulshan

Android has been the world’s favourite mobile operating system without any doubt. But the question arises how  we can use android OS on a desktop computer?

Ever since its inception in 2005, Android has been a huge success. It was first launched as a mobile device operating system in 2008, and fast forward to ten years later, we are now witnessing the launch of Android 10. Android Open source project or AOSP is the source code on which the Android OS is built upon.

Because of AOSP being an open-source OS, it has allowed many developers to get creative and bring us their derivatives based on the Android OS. One such derivative is the use of the Android system on a desktop computer.

Best Android OS for PC & How To Install Android on PC – Step by Step

Purpose of using Android OS on a Desktop 

Using Android on a pc fulfills two major purposes because of which one may choose the type of installation on a desktop. These are:

  • First and the most applicable purpose of using Android for PC is for playing games. Since the display screen of a mobile phone or even a tablet is comparatively very small as compared to a Desktop or a laptop, gamers tend to turn towards using an emulator to get better and immersive playing experience. Since a PC allows the operating system to work on more powerful hardware as compared to mobile phones, they give much smoother and faster gameplay. Players are not limited to their thumbs to play, which can be quite relieving as playing with your thumbs is difficult to grasp for some people, instead, they have the freedom to use the easier methods such as mouse and keyboard or a controller which give better control.
Purpose of using Android OS on a Desktop
  • Second and equally the most important application is for the various Android App developers. Since the app developers write their code on a PC, it is not practical to constantly check its working on a mobile phone. Therefore, they use android on pc in the form of OS or emulators to check the various features and functioning of the app such as button placement, speed, bugs, and overall working of the app. Developers can test out the app for compatibility to different manufacturers and their products such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiomi, etc. with the help of a virtual machine, they can control everything from resolutions, processor architecture, RAM and screen size for almost every device out there.
Purpose of using Android OS on a Desktop

There are many ways in which one can use Android on a computer but most of them can be easily classified as either emulator based or running Android as an actual OS for the system.

The various methods in which you can run Android on a computer are explained below:

  • Emulators- Genymotion, Bluestacks, NOX Player, MeMu, Android Studio, etc.
  • OS Based- Androidx86, OpenThos, RemixOS, Phoenix OS, etc.


Emulators are softwares which run on top of the base operating system such as Windows, you may simply download your selected emulator and install it. These emulators when installed will work like any other application software by sharing the CPU, RAM, and storage of your computer.

Emulators give the user the whole android experience on a PC. They can work on a touch-based as well as traditional computers. Emulators were among the first options which allowed the use of Android over a PC. They have been available just as long as the OS itself.

Through the years, with the new developments of the Android systems, emulators have also been constantly evolving. Today emulators offer smooth and compatible services such that it is the same as the experience you get on a mobile device.

And the best thing about the emulators is, most of them are free!

There are many emulators out there which allow you to run Android on your Windows or Mac desktop, but the most successful of these are:

  • Android Studio OR VDM: This is the go-to program for app developers all across the globe. It provides a great platform to test out apps. Google’s virtual device manager is developed by Google and has Android Studio in-built. One major disadvantage is that it doesn't have google play store services, therefore you can not download and install your apps from the play store itself. It provides a feature to utilize Intel's HAXM manager to boost its performance speed, but it only works for 64-bit architecture.
Android Studio OR VDM
  • GenyMotion: GenyMotion is an emulator which give the replica of the UI screen you would see on your mobile phones. It also runs on a virtual box and therefore can change its settings and configurations to your requirements. It even gives you access to cloud services of Amazon and other providers.
  • BlueStacks: Bluestacks was founded in 2011, along the same time when the first Android phone was released. It is one of the first emulators in the business and it still around and trusted among the android gaming community. It offers various impressive features such as using multiple google accounts at once and multi-tasking on a much faster scale. It is mostly used for playing android games on pc.

Android as an Operating System

Android can also be installed as a whole Operating System for your PC. You can choose to install is a sole OS or in a dual OS, a system to get the best of worlds.

Due to the nature of the android open source project, it has encouraged many developers and coding experts to come up with different options and methods to run the Android OS on different platforms. In today’s world android can be used on almost all the devices and desktops that are launched.

Android OS on a desktop allows the user to experience operating on a much more powerful hardware setup, as in this way the android OS is not sharing the hardware but it is making full utilization of its RAM, CPU and Storage capabilities.

Users have the option to select their preferred android version for their convenience. This option is also used by the developers as it gives more control and efficacy to the developer to test out their creations.

There are a few options that allow you to use Android as an operating system on your desktop. The most popular and effective of these are explained below:

  •  Android x86 is an operating system which is developed on the AOSP. It offers the most genuine and realistic way to use android on a pc. One of its major advantages is Google Play store services are already installed on this OS just like any other stock android. For touch-enabled PCs, it provides a great way to experience that on a much bigger screen. It can be used as an OS or with the help of a Virtual Box or virtual machine.
  • Remix OS: Remix OS is a child of Androidx86 which completes the shortcomings of an Android System on PC with the help of the advantages of Windows. It is a system which is based on Android but offers many useful windows features such as multi-window tasks, operations taskbar, task manager. It gives a better experience than Androidx86 as it combines the features of both windows and android with the dual OS separation. Remix OS also provides accessibility to apps from the Play store as well as third-party apps.Other developers have brought us many different alternatives to this as well like Phoenix OS and OpenThos etc. but the basic premises and the process of installation and working remain the same. Each option gives a different UI with some altered features.
  • Installing Android OS on desktop:Much like any other OS, you may install android on a PC with the help of a CD or a USB. But unlike Windows, CDs of Android OS are not available in the market to be purchased everywhere, therefore you will have to manually download the OS from the internet and burn it onto a CD/DVD or USB.

The operating system is free and is easily available on the internet. Select the OS you want to download such as Remix OS, Androidx86, Phoenix OS, etc. and go to their website, you will find an option to download the .iso file of the OS.

Once you download it, burn the image file into a CD/DVD. Alternatively, you may use a bootable USB to install the OS. A bootable USB is the same as any other use, it’s just made bootable with the help of software to make it compatible to install an operating system on the hardware of your pc.

After making the USB bootable and copying the image files of the OS on to it.

After completing all the pre-requisite measures follow these steps to boot from a CD/DVD or USB:

  1. 1
    Insert the USB and turn on the PC
  2. 2
    Press F1* (for most PCs) to boot from USB
  3. 3
    Select the preferred installation mode (Resident Mode, Guest Mode, and Verbose Mode- Remix OS)
  4. 4
    Create a disk partition for installation. Then the installation wizard will check if the hard-disk is compatible for installation, it depends on its speed. For better results, you may use an SSD.
  5. 5
    Wait for the installation to complete. Do not turn off the PCs during this step, it may damage your hard drive. 
  6. 6
    Much like any new device you purchase, set up the Android System settings after its first booting process completes.
  7. 7
    After setting up the network, language, and signing in to the Google Play services, Your OS is now ready for use.

(*May vary depending on the manufacturer)


Follow me here

About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}