How to Run Android Apps in Google Chrome

Did you know that you can run Android apps in Google Chrome? Back in 2015, Google launched a tool called ARC Welder, which is designed to let developers test their applications in the Chrome browser so they can be ported to Chrome OS. ARC Welder’s primary goal is to make it easy for developers to create more apps for Chrome OS, but the tool can be used by anyone to simply run Android apps in their browser.
It’s pretty easy to run Android apps using the ARC Welder, and below we’ll show you how. It’s worth mentioning, however, that some Android apps don’t run particularly well in Chrome, so you’ll need to do a bit of experimentation to discover which apps work best.

Install ARC Welder

The easiest part of the whole process is installing ARC Welder. Simply head to the Chrome Web Store page for ARC Welder and click install. After the short installation process is complete, you’ll be able to run ARC Welder from the Chrome apps page.
If you have a device that can run Chrome and Chrome apps, you should be able to use the ARC Welder. This means that all desktop operating systems are supported, including Windows 10, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux. From what we’ve seen, the tool works similarly well across all operating systems, so you won’t necessarily get a better experience switching from Windows to MacOS (for example).
ARC Welder is designed for Chrome OS, though, and the tool does warn you that some “platform specific bugs” exist on other operating systems.

Find Android APKs

ARC Welder is designed to open Android APK files, so you’ll have to find and download the APK you want to run. You can’t download APK files from the Google Play Store, so you’ll have to use a third-party download source.

We recommend APK Mirror as your Android APK source, primarily because it has a nice interface and you can download older versions of practically every app in their collection if necessary. AndroidAPKsFree is another reasonable source if you can’t find what you’re looking for at APKMirror.

Run Them in ARC Welder

When you have your APK ready, simply launch ARC Welder in Chrome, and choose a directory where ARC Welder can write some temporary files. After you’ve done this, click to find and add the APK you want to try, which will bring you to a page of configuration options. To launch the app, click ‘test’

ARC Welder can only run one app at a time. If you want to open a different app, you’ll need to close the app currently in use, load a new APK, click to remove the old APK from ARC Welder, and then launch the new app.

ARC Welder can be useful to try Android apps in Chrome if you don’t have an Android device handy, but it’s far from a perfect Android app emulator. If ARC Welder works with the app you want to test, that’s fantastic, but you shouldn’t expect every app to load or function as intended in this developer-focused tool.