For the uninitiated, BlueStacks is an Android emulator that allows you to run Android apps on your PC without any hassle. Many users prefer it for multiple reasons, such as, to have PC like gaming experience on their favorite mobile game, or to have the convenience of using a favorite Android app right on their PC, as well.
You might have heard that starting with Windows 11, the operating system is also supporting Android apps natively using the Amazon AppStore. However, the apps available for users to download through that channel are still pretty limited with a relatively slow-growing collection. Hence, you might have to wait a long time before you can natively run your favorite Android app on your Windows PC.
Whereas Bluestacks is a completely safe, reliable, and easy way to go on and experience Android apps on your PC right now. Moreover, you can download the apps under the same Google Play Store ID that you use on your mobile phone.
System Requirements for BlueStacks
Before you get all excited and head to download and install BlueStacks on your PC, you should check if the system you wish to install BlueStacks on meets the system requirements mentioned below. Though BlueStacks will work with the minimum requirements stated below, for the most optimal experience, recommended requirements are what you should be aiming for.
If your PC is fulfilling these requirements, BlueStacks will work on your PC. However, do not expect blazing fast performance.
- Processor: Intel or AMD Processor
- RAM: At least 4 GB
- Storage: 5 GB of free Disk Space
- Either an Administrator account or access to Admin credentials
- The most recent stable release of graphics driver update from Microsoft or OEM.
- Processor: Intel or AMD Multi-Core Processor with Single Thread benchmark score that is more than 1000.
- Graphics: Intel or Nvidia or ATI, Onboard or Discrete control with benchmark score more than or equal to 750.
- Virtualization should be enabled on your PC.
- RAM: 8 GB or Higher
- Storage: SSD (or Hybrid/Fusion Drives)
- Active Internet connection to get access to games, accounts, and related content.
- The most recent update of the graphic card driver, either from Microsoft or OEM.
Now that you understand the requirements to run BlueStacks on your PC, let’s head to downloading and installing the software on your PC.
Download and Install BlueStacks on your PC
You will need to download and install the latest iteration of BlueStacks, dubbed ‘BlueStacks 5’ in order to run it on Windows 11 from the official website and install it on your PC.
To download BlueStacks, head to www.bluestacks.com/download using your preferred browser. Once the webpage has loaded, click on the ‘Download BlueStacks 5’ tile to continue. This will start downloading BlueStacks
Then, head to your defaults downloads directory and double-click on the
BlueStackInstaller.exe to run the installer package on your computer.
Next, on the installer package window, click on the ‘Install now’ button to commence the installation. In case you wish to set a custom installation directory, click on the ‘customize installation’ button present in the window.
Note: Make sure the installation directory has enough extra space as all the Android apps and their supportive files will be saved here.
If you clicked on the ‘Customize installation’ button, now click on the ‘Change folder’ button present on the bottom section of the window and browse the folder where you wish to install the app. Finally, click on the ‘Install Now’ button to commence the installation.
It might take a few minutes for the installation to complete. Wait patiently till it does.
In case you encounter a ‘Hyper-V inaccessible’ alert during the installation, click on the ‘Grant and restart’ button to continue. This will immediately restart your PC.
A UAC (User Account Control) screen will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed. Your PC will restart immediately.
Once restarted, BlueStacks will be installed on your system. To launch BlueStacks, double-click on the Desktop icon to run the app.
Alternatively, you can also head to the Start Menu and type BlueStacks to perform a search for it. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘BlueStacks’ tile.
Enable Hyper-V Manually
In some exceptional cases, BlueStacks is not able to enable Hyper-V and gives out a warning at the launch. In case you are one of the unfortunate ones, you will need to manually enable it on your PC.
To manually enable the Hyper-V, head to the Start Menu and type ‘Turn Windows features’ to perform a search. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Turn Windows Features On or Off’ tile to proceed. This will open an overlay window on your screen.
From the Windows Features window, scroll down to locate the ‘Hyper-V’ option and click on the checkbox preceding the same to select it. Similarly, locate the ‘Virtual Machine Platform’, ‘Windows Hypervisor Platform’, ‘Windows Sandbox’, and ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’ options and click on the checkbox preceding each of the options to select them. Click the ‘OK’ button present at the bottom section of the window to continue after that.
Windows might state that a restart is required in order to apply the changes to your system. To restart right then, click on the ‘Restart Now’ button. Otherwise, click on the ‘Don’t Restart’ button to restart at your convenient time.
Once your PC restarts, launch the BlueStacks as explained earlier in this guide and it shall run perfectly fine this time.
Sign in to Google Play Store and Download Android Apps
Once you have successfully installed BlueStacks on your computer, it is now time to sign in with your Google account and start downloading Android apps on your Windows PC.
First, launch the BlueStacks app either from the Desktop shortcut or from the Start Menu by searching for it.
After that, on the BlueStacks home screen, locate and click on the ‘Play Store’ icon to proceed. This will bring an overlay window to the screen.
From the overlay screen, click on the ‘Sign in’ button to continue.
Enter your Google account credentials with which you wish to download the apps.
Next, on the setup screen, you will be asked if you wish to keep the data for your apps backed up to Google Drive, which is turned on by default. In case you do not wish to have a backup, click on the toggle switch for Google Drive visible on the screen to bring it to the ‘Off’ position. Then click on the ‘Accept’ button to continue.
Once signed in, you will be able to see the Play Store home screen. You can now either browse the apps by category from the tabs present right below the search bar. Or, you can search for your desired app using the search bar.
Once you have located the app that you wish to download, click on its tile to expand it.
From the expanded view, click on the ‘Install’ button present on the right section of the screen to download and install the app.
Once installed, you can find the app on the home screen of the BlueStacks app. Click on the app tile to launch the app.
Uninstall an Android app
To uninstall an Android app, click and hold to the app you wish to uninstall from the home screen of the Bluestacks app. This will reveal a context menu. Click on the ‘Uninstall’ option from the list to continue. An overlay window will open.
From the overlay window on your screen, click on the ‘OK’ button to commence the uninstall.
Tweak Settings on BlueStack for a Better Experience
If you have a high-end PC at your disposal and wish to enhance your gaming experience in BlueStacks, you can quickly tweak the settings from the app.
To tweak settings, click on the ‘Settings’ icon present in the bottom-right section of the home screen window.
Then, on the ‘Settings’ screen, make sure you have selected the ‘Performance’ tab from the left sidebar.
Next, from the right section, click on the dropdown menu present underneath the ‘CPU allocation’ and select the ‘High’ option. Similarly, click on the dropdown menu present under the ‘Memory allocation’ field and select the ‘High’ option. Then, click to expand the dropdown present under the ‘Performance mode’ and again select the ‘High Performance’ option.
In case you also have a screen with a higher refresh rate, locate the ‘Enable high frame rate’ option and click on the following toggle switch to bring it to the on position. Then, drag the slider present underneath the ‘Frame rate’ field and match the number with your refresh rate to enjoy smoother gameplay. Once all the preferences have been set, click on the ‘Save changes’ button present in the bottom right corner to apply.
Next, click on the ‘Display’ tab present in the right section of the window.
Then, from the right section of the window, locate the ‘Display resolution’ section and select the highest resolution supported by your display by clicking on the radio button preceding the option.
Once done, click on the ‘Save changes’ button present in the bottom-right section of the window to apply the changes.
You can also view the list of all shortcuts supported by the BlueStacks app by clicking on the ‘Shortcuts’ tab present on the left section of the Settings window.
In case BlueStack app data starts to occupy significant storage on your PC, head to the ‘User Data’ tab from the settings app.
Then, from the right section of the window, click on the ‘Free up space’ button to continue. This will bring up an overlay window on your screen.
From the overlay window, click on the ‘Continue’ button to proceed. Please note this action will immediately close all instances of the ‘BlueStacks’ app open on your PC.
BlueStacks will commence the Cleanup process on your system. Wait patiently till the process finishes.
Once finished, the BlueStacks app will open again.
Can You Update from a Previous Version of BlueStacks?
If you were already running BlueStacks 4 and hoping to upgrade to BlueStacks 5, that would be a hard, cold no. BlueStacks 5 is a complete rewrite of the Android emulator. And the only way to get it is by downloading and installing the latest system as explained above.
If you want, you can have both BlueStacks 4 & 5 running on the same PC. This allows you to use BlueStacks 4 for any games you might love.
There you go, folks! This guide will help you not only with getting acquainted with the BlueStacks app, but also enhance your gaming experience if your computer has enough resources.