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How to Install and Run Android OS on Windows

Do you would like to try Android on your Windows device, have a taste of the latest Android release for testing or fun, or even for developing Android apps? Whatever your needs may be, here's how you can try the most up-to-date Android on Windows.

As Android is surely an open source mobile technology and platform, that means, anyone can access its code or system images in the AOSP (Android Open Source Project). And that’s what you should have for running Android virtually on Windows.

Android can be easily virtualized over a Windows PC. It’s as easy as downloading some tools, installing, configuring and running them. What you need is the right procedures which we are going to show you here, and many solutions to troubleshoot common problems.

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Note: This tutorial was written to virtualize Android 4.2.2 JellyBean using 64-bit Android SDK Bundle running on Windows 8, but steps will be similar for virtually any other Android release, or Windows architecture or release.


Let’s start by looking over the needs for running Android in a virtual environment.

Windows PC: A computer running XP or any later version of Windows operating system is going to do fine, i.e., XP, Vista, 7, 8, or any later version.

Java: Java 6 or later have to be installed on your pc, because it’s needed by the Android SDK Bundle. Install the most recent available Java version to your platform.

Android SDK Bundle: The latest version of Android SDK bundle is essential. Download and extract the file into a directory. You will see a folder named "adt-bundle-windows-…" This folder is called the “Android SDK Folder" for the remainder of this tutorial. It contains two folders named “eclipse" and “sdk", and something file named “SDK Manager.exe".

Android SDK packages: Open “SDK Manager.exe" through the Android SDK Folder. Check “Android 4.2.2 (API 17)" in the SDK Manager. This gives you the necessary SDK packages for running Android in a very virtualized environment.

Note: You can decrease the download size by unchecking unnecessary sub-packages in the Android release. Click for the extend button (>) near the Android release. Check only these sub-packages:

  • SDK Platform

  • ARM EABI v7a System Image

  • Google APIs.

Then, select Install packages… to download and install the specified packages.

Create and run Android Virtual Device

Time to create your first Android Virtual Device.

Open “SDK Manager.exe" through the Android SDK Folder. Browse to Tools > Manage AVDs. The Android Virtual Device Manager will open.

Click about the New… button (top right) and you'll see the Create new Android Virtual Device (AVD) window appear. Configure the new AVD depending on the following configurations:

AVD Name:
Any name

Galaxy Nexus (4.65", 720 x 1280: xhdpi)

Android 4.2.2 - API Level 17

ARM (armeabi-v7a)



Front Camera:

Back Camera:

Memory Options - RAM:

Memory Options - VM Heap:

Internal Storage:
200 MiB

SD Card - Size:
500 MiB

Emulation Options- Snapshot:

Emulation Options - Use Host GPU:


You are now able to view it within the list of existing AVDs inside the AVD Manager. Congratulations on creating the first Android Virtual Device!

To start this up, select the AVD in the AVD Manager. Click on Start, then Launch. Wait for it as well up then enjoy.

And there you have it, Android running on your Windows PC. Click around and obtain a feel with the Android interface (if this is the first time) before we to the next section: testing Android apps.

App Installation In AVD

While Google Play Store is the primary source of Android apps, unfortunately it isn't present inside Android Virtual Device (AVD). However, there is a method to install apps within the AVD using Android Debug Bridge (ADB). We’ll also demonstrate how to uninstall unwanted apps.

Installing An App

We’re planning to run by you the steps necessary to install an app. We’re while using the UC Browser Mini as one example.

With AVD running, download the apk file for UC Browser Mini from AppsZoom (search for your app, open the page to your app from the search results, click on Download tab inside the opened page, and click the option to direct download APK file).

Copy the downloaded file to "Android SDK Folder\sdk\platform-tools".

Open the command prompt from the Start menu or screen then type:

cd <Android SDK Folder file path>\sdk\platform-tools

For example, Android SDK Folder on our test computer was located at “D:\And\adt-bundle", therefore the command changes to “cd D:\And\adt-bundle\sdk\platform-tools".

Type “adb start-server" on the prompt. It should report that the daemon started successfully.

Type “adb devices" at the prompt. It should report a connected device with “emulator". If no device is reported, then you can not have started the AVD. Restart, wait for a android’s home screen, and re-type “adb-devices" with the prompt.

Type “adb install <APK File>" at the prompt, after changing <APK File> with the name with the .apk file (in the android app) you need to install inside the AVD. For example, the .apk file on our test sytem was named “ucb-mini.apk", therefore the command changes to adb install ucb-mini.apk.

Wait while ADB pushes the APK file into the AVD and installs it. It might take a little while depending about the size in the app which you’re installing. When the installation is complete, It should report success.

Uninstalling An App

Inside the AVD, Go to Settings from your app launcher, then to Applications > Downloaded. Click on the app you need to remove, then click Uninstall. Click OK to make sure that then wait. That’s it.


Lastly, here are some with the problems you might encounter and the suggested solutions.

Internet not working within the AVD.Please find out if your firewall or internet security program is blocking Internet access for the program named “emulator-arm.exe".

Can’t set the RAM in excess of 768MiB for your AVD.Setting the RAM for AVD greater than 768MiB on Windows will cause the AVD to crash as a consequence of non-allocation of required memory because of platform restrictions. Please select a maximum of 768MiB if you're experiencing crashes or errors.

AVD running too slow or hangsRunning the most up-to-date releases of Android on 768MiB of RAM makes it slow. Additionally, it will become slower if you’ve installed many apps in the AVD. If you need a fast and responsive AVD, then build a new AVD with an older release of Android (Android 4.0 ICS or older versions will run better).

Related posts:

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  2. How to Create New Folders in Windows by Drag & Drop [Quicktip]

  3. How to Block Ads in Android Apps, Games And Browsers

  4. Push Content From Desktop To Android Device With PushBullet

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