Run Android Apps Using Chrome Extension On Desktop

Probably the easiest way to run Android apps on your Windows PC is to use Google’s ARC Welder Chrome extension (ARC stands for App Runtime for Chrome). As it is a Chrome extension, it can be used in any operating system -be it Widows, iOS or even Mac. The process is much the same, no matter which platform you’re using Chrome on. Simply head to the Chrome Web Store and grab the ARC Welder extension to get everything you need installed.

Run Android Apps using Chrome Extension

ARC Welder is a beta tool and mainly directed at developers. Still, the process of loading an app is quite simple. It is similar to the platform Google use to run Android apps on Chrome, “without Play Store”.

You’ll need an APK to load into ARC Welder (known as sideloading), which you can get from backing up an app on your Android device. Or else you can download an APK. We don’t recommend you download paid apps and games from shady websites, though, there are few sites that archive legitimate free APKs, like APK Mirror.

When your APK is ready to go, you can open ARC Welder from Chrome and point it at the file. Next, choose how you want the app to render — landscape/portrait, tablet/phone, and if you want it to have clipboard access.

Not every app will run, and some running might miss few components.Unless you’re the app developer and have access to the app’s code, ARC Welder doesn’t have native support for Google Play Services currently. So Google’s apps and some third-party ones will refuse to run.

How to install ARC Welder app on your system?

You will find ARC Welder in the Chrome Web Store. Click the “Install” button to get started.

Run Android Apps using Chrome Extension

Click “Add” to install the ARC Welder into your Chrome apps.

Run Android Apps using Chrome Extension

Once the Arc Welder app is added, you will have to find some APKs to run. There are few sites that archive legitimate free APKs, like APK Mirror.

When you’ve found some, open Chrome, your Chrome Apps, and then start ARC Welder.

Run Android Apps using Chrome Extension

When you first run it, you’ll need to select a directory the APK can be written to. Click “Choose” and then either select an existing location or create a new one.

Run Android Apps using Chrome Extension

Next, it’s time to load your first APK. Click “Add your APK” to begin.

Run Android Apps using Chrome Extension

Navigate to the folder where you saved your APK files and select one. Now you’ll be presented with quite a few options, such as how you want the orientation, any metadata you want to add, etc.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to mess with any of this, just leave all of it to the defaults and click “Launch App”.

Run Android Apps using Chrome Extension


Most of these options are self-explanatory. For the purposes of just trying stuff out, we don’t need to mess with any of it.

Chances are quite good that many of the APKs you try to load will not work. We tried to load Facebook and Google Play, but both seemed to hang. However, it is quite interesting to run android apps without an android device.

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