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How to install Android on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers [Guide]

android20 [1]Don’t have a smartphone or tablet? Want to see what all the buzz surrounding Android is? With this guide, you’ll learn how to install Android on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer using Android-x86, an open source Android port for use on computers. Within no time you’ll be running one of the most popular mobile operating systems on your PC!


To spare you the pain of losing any data, this guide will cover installation of Android-x86 on your computer via virtual machine (VirtualBox). If you feel brave enough to install Android on physical hardware (aka not on a physical machine), feel free to do so — Android-x86 allows you to do that.

Because this guide utilizes VirtualBox to virtually install Android, this guide works for any operating system that VirtualBox supports. That includes Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X, and Linux. In other words, you can use the steps described in this guide to install Android on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X, and Linux.

That being said, Android-x86 comes with Google Play Store, so you can download, install, and use Android apps just like you would on an Android smartphone or tablet. However, take note that Android-x86, when installed, will have some app incompatibilities. It can run most Android apps with no problem, but because it is running on an x86 CPU and not on an ARM CPU (which is what most all Android smartphones and tablets use), you are bound to run into some apps that you simply cannot install from Play Store. You can, of course, manually sideload APKs if you want, but that is not recommended because of malware concerns. Plus, if you can’t install the app via Play Store it probably means it won’t be stable on Android-x86, so you shouldn’t install it anyway.

Also, some apps will change your screen orientation and if you do not have a touchscreen device with a sensor that tells Android what way to keep the screen, you will need to figure out how to change it back to landscape manually. Or turn your monitor.

Finally, there are several versions of Android-x86. This guide will be covering Android 4.2, but the steps to install Android on your Windows, Linux, or Mac computer will work with any version of Android-x86


To install Android on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, do the following:

android2 [4]

android4 [5]

android17 [6]

android19 [7]



Android is an interesting and versatile operating system, sadly some people do not have the opportunity to try it out for themselves. With this guide, you’ve learned how you can install Android inside a virtual machine on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X so that you can check it out firsthand, and if you’re brave enough, you can even take this knowledge and install it onto physical hardware. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!