How to open APK files on Windows PC

You still don't know how to open apk files on pc? Did you know that you are missing the opportunity to play your smartphone video games on your PC?

Whatever the reason, at any time we will have to use applications in APK format from our computer. The problem is that these files are not recognized by the operating system of our computer. It is mandatory that you have a program that allows you to run it. 

An APK file is an installation package that is designed with code that isIt is only compatible with the Android operating system. But this does not mean that there are no alternative solutions when we need to run the file from a computer and not from a mobile. Lucky for you, you don't have to go through a long list of software.

Here we teach you how to open an apk app on pc without difficulties. 

How to open APK on pc without emulator

Previously, the only way to open an APK file on your computer was to use a Android emulator. This is software that mimics the Android operating system environment on your computer.

However, over the years, this topic has evolved and it is now possible to open some APK files on computers thanks to other tools such as extraction and compression programs. 

However, there is something very important to keep in mind: open the APK file on PC, is not the same than run it. 

What is the difference between opening and executing a file? Opening it only allows you to find out if the file is not infected with malware, in addition, it helps you to investigate what is inside it and if it is really what it promises. 

Running such programs usually requires the Android environment and one of the best options is to mimic it on PC with an emulator. Also, it is possible to do it without emulator by Android Studio

The latter is the program officially created by Google so developers can test apps before release, right on their computer. For this reason, all kinds of applications can be run from this software, however, a little technical knowledge is necessary because it is not a simple tool.

7-Zip (Windows)

7Zip download website

7-Zip It is a program that is available at no cost with which we can compress or extract APK files on our computer. 

  1. All you have to do is download it from its official website, choosing a version that is suitable for your PC's operating system. 
  2. After its download, double click on the .exe file and select the button yes which is in the pop-up window that appears on the screen. 
  3. On the next screen, click on the button Install and when the process is finished select Close. 

In this way, the software 7-Zip will be installed on the PC and you can use it to open APK files or other files with GZIP, RAR, 7Z, CAB or ZIP formats, as follows. 

  1. Right-click on the APK file to open. 
  2. In the pop-up menu that opens, select the commands 7-Zip> Extract the files.
  3. Then select a destination location and press Accept for the software to start doing its job. 

Cake (macOS)

Keka download website

cake is another alternative free of charge with which they can extract or compress files in APK, ZIP, 7Z and RAR formats and is available for macOS users. 

On its official website we can get a completely free version of the software, while if we get it directly from the Mac App Store, you have to pay its $1,99 installation fee. 

After downloading the dmg file cake take it to the macOS applications program to complete its installation. In this way, its icon will appear in Launchpad and from there you can access the main screen of Keka. However, to open an APK file, what you must do is: 

  1. Find the file and double click on it. 
  2. Then select the location destination from the options that appear on the screen 
  3. Choose a folder and click on Extract. The computer will take care of using Keka for the process. 

In case the program does not start automatically, you can do the following:

  1. Find the APK file and right-click on it. 
  2. In the menu that opens, select the commands Open with> Keka.

All Programs to Open APK Files on PC Windows 7,8 and 10

None of the versions of Windows recognize APK files by themselves, so need to use external tools to be able to open them. 

These tools are programs known as emulators or compression and extraction programs. The former are a type of special software, which is responsible for simulate android environment on our computer. In other words, using an emulator is as if you had your mobile's operating system, directly on your computer. 

The list of programs or emulators that we have available today is too extensive. But, not all of them are really effective tools. Many of these consume too many GPU resources and slow down the computer. Others have certain limits with the type of applications that we can run. This is the reason why we must know the chosen emulator in depth, because it can end up being useless for open APK files on your PC. 

BlueStacks

Bluestacks homepage

BlueStacks Its about most popular emulator on the web and is one of the easiest to use. Its installation is not complex and it is available free of charge for Windows users. 

Bluestacks is popular among users in the gaming world because of the interface it has faster execution of the most important video games. In addition, thanks to a rewards program for content creation (it pays money to its users) more and more people use it. 

Thanks to this emulator you will not only be able to open APK files on PC, but you can also run and use them. 

WinRAR 

WinRar homepage

WinRAR is a very popular program, its functionality is limited to only allow us open APK files, extracting them to a location of your choice on your computer. This means that We can't run the apps. 

The use of WinRAR is free and the software also does not help to compress files in other formats in order to share them by email or other means. 

Pure APK 

Pure APK Capture

This is a more advanced software with which you can open APK files, available for Windows. 

One of the main characteristics of Pure APK is that it allows extracting and compressing files in uncommon formats and that cannot be managed with other software similar to this one.

memo play

Screenshot of the Memu Play website

As popular as the first option on this list, memu It has become one of the most used emulators today. 

It is primarily designed to allow smooth running of video games, however, it also works great for running any other type of APK file. 

In addition to offering the Android environment for PC, Memu also has a great popular apps library that are available free of charge for your users. It should be noted that its installation and use are quite simple, so anyone can enjoy this emulator without problems.

APK info

Screenshot of GitHub where you can download APK Info

This is an application specially developed for you to provide information about APK files to its users. 

APK info Is completely free and its operation consists of providing us with information such as the size of the APK file, the app it encapsulates, the technical specifications it requires and whether it is infested with malicious software. 

Nox – Android Emulator

Screenshot of the NoxPlayer website

Compatible with both Windows as macOS, this emulator never stops being among the favorites to run apps and APK files.

Its graphics and speed are of a excellent efficiency. In addition, it has an attractive interface and easy to navigate. All its features make it a great option to be able to run Android games on your PC. 

nox is available free of charge at their official website and is compatible with most APK files.

KoPlayer

Screenshot of the KoPlayer website

Without a doubt, you will enjoy this emulator KoPlayer is one of most powerful emulators What can we get today? The best thing is that it is aimed at the average user and you do not need to have advanced technical knowledge to use it. 

Although it is more advanced than other similar programs, it has a fairly simple user interface, which is compatible with any file that is designed for the Android system. 

Android Studio 

Screenshot of the Android Studio website

As we mentioned at the beginning, this is the tool that Google makes available to developers so that they can run your applications on your own PC before launching them on the market. 

Any app suitable for Android can be tested with this program and one of the advantages that we get is that there are many additional tools that we can use if we know how. 

The only problem with Android Studio is that because it is aimed at professionals, it requires a bit of technical knowledge to be able to take advantage of it. This means that if you don't have a bit of programming experience, you may not be able to use the software. 

Operating systems and virtualization

Here are two ways to emulate Android on a PC:

Remix OS Player 

Remix OS Player Interface

Remix OS Player is an emulator like any other on the list that stands out for its clean interface, ease of use and the versatility of its tools. 

Remix OS Player has a function that is not common in other emulators: it allows you to map the keyboard so that the keystrokes are as if they were touches on a touch screen. 

While this software has many advantages, it does have a great weight and you need at least 4 GB of RAM to be able to install it. It also has the disadvantage that it is not available on any official website, so you have to risk downloading from third-party platforms. 

virtual Box

We end our list of programs with virtual Box, for an virtualization software with which we can simulate the Android operating system in Windows or macOS. 

Screenshot of the VirtualBox website

VirtualBox It has been in operation for several years, so over time it has earned a very good reputation. It is available at no cost as it is an open source program. 

Its interface is very well structured and is designed so that even the most inexperienced users in the field of emulators can take advantage of it without problems. 

FAQ

It is normal that when we try open apk files on pc For the first time we have many doubts about it. But, you should know that in general, nothing bad will happen with your computer if you open this type of file, using any of the programs that we have mentioned in this article. 

As long as your computer meets the technical requirements demanded by the emulators, the app will run the same way it normally would on a mobile device. In case you notice system slowdowns or saturation, perhaps the problem is not the app, but your computer that does not have adequate resources for its execution. 

Below we clarify the most frequently asked questions related to the issue of opening an APK on PC. 

What type of program is required to open APK files on the computer?

If what you want is extract the contents of the APK file to display its details and unpack its content, any compression and extraction app will do for it. However, if what you want is run the application that contains the APK file, it is necessary to have a Android emulator.

 To use an emulator you have to download the program and install it on your computer, whether you use Windows or macOS. Usually after this, the software will ask you to set up a Google account to be able to access the Google Play Store. So, enter your access credentials and log in to your account. 

Follow the instructions as they appear on your screen and click on the start button for the emulator to start operating. 

After this, all you need to do is find the APK file icon and double-click it to start the app running. 

What are APK files?

The APK is actually a file format named Android Application Package (Android Application Package). This type of format handles encapsulate in a single file all the means, codes and images that a application designed for Android, to run on that operating system. 

In other words, an APK file is a compressed version with everything necessary for a certain application to be installed in the Android environment. Generally, these come from sources other than Google, so to be able to run them on a smartphone it is necessary to activate the “Allow installation of applications from unknown sources” function. 

Are APK files safe?

It's not possible recognize with the naked eye what kind of elements are inside an APK file. This is the reason why we must be careful when opening an APK on a PC, since we can expose ourselves to our computer being infected with malware and putting our personal data at risk. 

In fact, this low security offered by APK files is the reason that they are only available from third-party platforms: they have not managed to pass the filters of the Google Play Store. 

The only solution to avoid problems is to open them with the antivirus activated and ensure that the download is done from a trusted platform. 

How to install APK applications?

When we want to install them on a mobile device with the Android operating system, we won't have any problems or technical difficulties. All we have to do is enable installation from unknown sources in the settings and voila, when you click on the application icon it will run just like any other, with all its functions. 

Instead, when done on a PC, we can open APK file with any of the special tools mentioned in this guide and install it only with an emulator or with Android Studio.

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