How to open APK Files on a PC (Complete Guide)

APK files are downloaded to Android devices directly from the Google Play Store. However, due to an Android security feature, any app or game downloaded outside of the Play Store is flagged as unknown and potentially harmful, and the system blocks it. Then how to open them on a PC? Let us see how to open APK files on a PC.

APK stands for Android Package Kit, and it is the file format that is used to install different kinds of application software on the Android operating system. Android OS, like Windows, uses the.exe file format for executable files and the.mp3 file format for audio files.

How do APK files work on a PC?

A PC’s operating system is not properly configured to run APK files. Some software, such as emulators and browser extensions, can assist you in overcoming this issue. So is it not possible to run APK on a computer?

The answer is YES, but in a roundabout way. After configuring your PC to allow access to unknown apps and downloading them, you must open the APK file. First, the files need to be decompressed to view all of their components. To avoid potentially dangerous malware, scan an APK file.

Apps and Features settings to open APK files on a PC

How to open APK files on a PC?

Because APK files are compressed ZIP files, an Android Emulator is needed to open APK files on a PC. YouWave, LDLPlayer, Bluestacks, Nox, MeMu, and other free Android emulators are available on the market.

In these programs, navigate to the My Apps section and select Install APK from the menu. An Android Emulator’s primary function is to simulate and provide the capabilities of a real Android device on your PC; they can also decompress and open APK files.

How to open APK files on Windows 10?

Method 1: Use an emulator

Because Windows 10 does not recognize APK files by default, you must download and install a free Android emulator for Windows 10/11 before you can open APK files.

Emulators such as Bluestacks, YouWave, MeMu, and others are available. After the installation is complete, launch the Android emulator on the computer and select the APK file to open. The APK will then run successfully on Windows.

Method 2: Use ARC welder

ARC Welder is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to open APK files within the browser. APK files can be opened on any device that can run Chrome. It means that you can run Android apps directly from the browser by opening APK files.

ARC Welder is available for download and installation on Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Chrome OS.

You can use this extension to play Android games and run Android applications such as Viber, WhatsApp, Tumblr, and Instagram. However, there are some disadvantages to using ARC Welder.

For example, unlike BlueStacks and Nox, it does not have Google Play Store access. Furthermore, ARC Welder can only run one app at a time.

Step 1: Launch Google Chrome, then navigate to the ARC Welder official website and click the Download for PC button to download it.

Downloading Arc Welder app to open APK files on PC

Step 2: Download the APK files you want and point them to ARC Welder.

Step 3: Determine the way you want them to appear and whether you want clipboard access.

Step 4: Finally, follow the instructions on-screen to complete the process.

Method 3: Open Windows 10 APK Files via Android SDK

Step 1: Get the Android SDK from the official website.

Step 2: To open the Run window, press the Windows and R keys at the same time.

Step 3: Type control and press Enter to open the Control Panel window.

Step 4: Select System and Security > System.

System and security option in control panel to securely open APK files on a PC

Step 5: In the Related system settings section, select Advanced system settings.

Advanced system settings option in settings section of PC to run APK files

Step 6: Select Environment Variables from the Advanced menu.

Environment Variables button in Advanced section of PC settings

Step 7: Under the User variables section, click the New button, then type ANDROID HOME behind the Variable name field and enter the path to your Android SDK folder. To save your changes, click OK.

Step 8: In the same section, go to Path > Edit. Then, select New and copy and paste the path.

Step 9: Open Command Prompt as administrator, type adb, and press Enter.

Method 4: Run APK on Windows 10 via Android Studio

Step 1: Get Android Studio from its official website, then install and run it on your computer.

Step 2: Select either Profile or Debug APK.

Step 3: In the prompted window, select the APK file you want to open and click OK. Step 4: Browse the APK on the simulated device.


You can easily open and run APK files whenever you want by using any of the solutions provided (Android Emulators, APK Welder, SDK, or AppTrans) and following all of the steps. The article provides you with full details on how to open APK files on a PC.

The Internet is full of amazing applications and popular games that are frequently compressed in the APK file format. Many users want to use such apps on their computers but are unsure how to handle the technical aspects.

You don’t have to be a programmer to figure out how to open APK files on a computer.


How to open APK files on Mac?

This Chrome extension is compatible with Windows 10, as well as other operating systems such as Mac and Linux.

  • Open Google Chrome and search the Chrome Web Store for ARC Welder.
  • In the upper right corner, click the Add to Chrome button.
  • Verify that you have downloaded APK files from the internet. There are numerous channels and APK databases available for download online.
  • Launch ARC Welder, click Add your APK, select it, then click Open and Launch App.

How to create an APK file?

If you’re feeling creative, you can create an APK file and utilize it for your app. Making an APK file is not difficult. You can use the Android Studio for Mac, Windows, and Linux, which is the Integrated Device Environment for Android Software Developers. It enables users to create APK apps for the Google Play Store.