How to install APK files or sideload Android apps on BlueStacks emulator

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BlueStacks is one of the most popular and easy-to-use Android emulators available for windows, where you can do everything from playing games to use Instagram, Facebook, use Office apps and everything else in a very easy-to-use interface and the best part is, it comes with support for Google Play Store. That said, you can download a number of apps and games on your BlueStacks emulator as long as your hard drive permits, and the latest version of BlueStacks also comes with options to run multiple instances, assign a certain amount of RAM to get the optimum performance. But some people also use BlueStacks for testing purposes.

If you are not sure about, how a particular Android app will perform, after it is downloaded from a third-party store or from a website, which you don’t know about a lot, you can always test the same on BlueStacks, and check whether it is showing any suspicious behavior before you finally install the same on your Android device. Sideloading Android apps is done by most users out there, and BlueStacks eventually offers the best platform to test the apps before you give it a final shot on your daily driver. If you haven’t installed any Android app from some third-party store to BlueStacks I am here with how to do so. I will discuss the different ways, you can sideload an app or install an APK on your BlueStacks emulator. So without any further delay, let’s get started with bluestacks offline APK installer.

Let’s find out the easiest way you can install and APK or Android application downloaded from a different source on BlueStacks.

First method to install APK files on Bluestack

Just open BlueStacks Android Emulator, and let it get ready. Once it is ready, simply drag-and-drop the APK file into the BlueStacks user interface, and the installation of the app will begin immediately.

Drag and drop to install APK on BlueStacks 1

Once the installation is complete, you can open the app directly from the home tab within BlueStacks.

Second method to install APK on Android Emulator Bluestack

Step 1: Alternatively, you can click on the triple-dot icon, and click on ‘Install APK‘.

Install APK

Step 2: Now simply choose the APK file that you want to install on BlueStacks, and the installation will begin immediately.

choose the APK file

Step 3: After the installation is complete, you can find the app in the home tab of BlueStacks.

home tab of BlueStacks

Ultimate method

Step 1: The last option is the simplest way to install an APK on BlueStacks. Simply locate the APK file on your Windows Explorer and just double-click on it to start installing the same.

simplest way to install an APK on BlueStacks

Step 2: Once you double-click on the APK file, the installation will start, and once it is completed, you can find the same in the BlueStacks home tab.

double-click on the APK file to run

Step 3: If the installation doesn’t start immediately after you double click on the APK file right click on the APK file and click on ‘Open with‘.

Open with Bluestack APK installer

Step 4: No scroll down and click on the option that says ‘Look for another app on this PC’.

Look for another app on this PC

Step 5: Now, locate the folder, where BlueStacks is installed and it will possibly be within the ‘Program Files’ folder on your C drive unless you change the installation location. Once you reach there, double click on the program that says ‘HD-APKHandler.exe’.

BlueStacks is installed

Step 6: But if you want to know, how to install XAPK file on BlueStacks, just do the same thing, but, just use the ‘HD-XAPKHandler.exe’ in that case.

install XAPK file on BlueStacks

However, all installing XAPK on BlueStacks is exactly the same as the installation of APK files on BlueStacks.

Now double-click on the APK or XAPK file again, and the installation should begin without any hassles at all.

So those are the ways, you can install third-party APK files on your BlueStacks emulator. BlueStacks 4 is the latest version of BlueStacks, which is currently available and even if you are using an older version of BlueStacks you can install APK files the same way on BlueStacks either with the drag-and-drop method or by simply double-clicking on the APK file.

So that is how you can install outside load APK files on your BlueStacks emulator the same process is applicable even for XAPK files as well. Did you face any problems installing APK files on your BlueStacks emulator? Feel free to comment on the same below.

Sarbasish Basu
From B.Tech (Hons.) Electronics & Instrumentation Engineer to Photography and Writing blogs; he ultimately has answers to everything. Oh, and he's also quite good in rapidly building a relationship and set up the trust; his articles are proof of that...


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