How to install .apk files on Android Emulator

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Its handy to test android applications on emulator included in SDK for testing purpose or if you don’t have an actual device.

Remember you don’t have to be a developer to do this and you don’t even require any IDE like eclipse or any other for this task.

Now i will elaborate the way to do this.

SDK Installation

  1. Download and install Android SDK from
  2. Include  path of /tools folder in SDK installation folder in My Computer > right click > Advanced Tab > Environmental Variables button > System Variables > Path variable

Now the SDK is installed, we have to run emulator and install the application.  For running the emulator

Run Emulator

There are two separate ways to do this for two different versions of SDK i cam across 1.0 R2 and 1.5 R1.

1.0 R2

Go to /tools folder and just execute emulator.exe file.

1.5 R1

In this version another good feature is added to android emulator, different Android Virtual Device and Targets.

I will not go in details of  AVD and Targets in this post.

To run emulator you have to specify a avd, and to create a avd to have to specify a target, lets first check what are targets.

  1. Go to command line interface by typing “cmd” in run and click OK.
  2. Go to location of android SDK installation folder and further in /tools folder.
  3. View the list of available Targets by typing “android list targets”, press return.
  4. Now to create an AVD type “android create avd -n myavd -t 2″ press return, where -n is switch to specify avd name and -t to specify target. Specify integer number of any target from list of available targets.
  5. Now view the list of AVD’s and locate our newly created “myavd” in list by typing “android list avd”, press return.
  6. Finally type “emulator -avd myavd” and press return to run the emulator.

Install .apk files

Now finally to install android application .apk files, download and place .apk file in /tools folder and type “adb install my_android_app.apk”, press return.

Now you can probably see newly installed applicatin in menu.

Muhammad Bilal

Muhammad Bilal is a Blogger, Entrepreneur, Designer, Mentor and CIO of a Tech Company. You can reach him on Social Media. Twitter: @muhamamd_bilal Linkedin:

8 Comments to How to install .apk files on Android Emulator

  1. Joey Brostrom

    I’m really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is really irritating. A good blog with exciting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  2. In this article very useful. but first time running correctly in the next day, im installing adobe air usnig this steps, after that i got error like this,

    C:\Documents and Settings\HnS\android-sdks\tools>android list targets
    ‘SearchForJava’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    WARNING: Java not found in your path.
    Checking if Java is installed in C:\Program Files\Java.

    ERROR: No suitable Java found. In order to properly use the Android Developer
    Tools, you need a suitable version of Java JDK installed on your system.
    We recommend that you install the JDK version of JavaSE, available here:

    You can find the complete Android SDK requirements here:

    Anyone can help me. Im the newb android programmer..


    • Dear Bala, you MUST install Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or Java Development Kit (JDK).
      As an Android developer i would recommend you to instal JRE 1.6_update32 (or newer) from Oracle (Link1 below).
      Don’t install JRE or JDK 1.7 because it doesn’t work quite well with Android at this moment of writing.

      As a final thought, always chose an offline installer “Windows x86 Offline (32-bit)”. It’ll save you a lot of hassle with proxies and network permissions.


  3. Brajendu Kumar Das

    The adb tool has moved to platform-tools/

    If you don’t see this directory in your SDK,
    launch the SDK and AVD Manager (execute the android tool)
    and install “Android SDK Platform-tools”

    Please also update your PATH environment variable to
    include the platform-tools/ directory, so you can
    execute adb from any location.

  4. To me it says:” “adb” is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file. ” What should i do???!!??

  5. please need help or some info

    C:\Users\bla bla>adb install bbm.apk
    ‘adb’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    C:\Users\bla bla>cd C:\Users\KING FLASH\Desktop\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-201

    C:\Users\bla bla\Desktop\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20140321\sdk\tools>adb ins
    tall pool.apk
    adb server is out of date. killing…
    * daemon started successfully *
    error: more than one device and emulator

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