My smartphone is dead, so while I ponder on the new one I would like to keep up with Whatsapp messages. Unfortunately Whatsapp can not be run natively on my PC because there is no Windows version of Whatsapp that doesn't require a smartphone.

My goal is to have Whatsapp run in the background on my PC and either use it directly from the emulator or trough Whatsapp Web.

So I'm looking for an Android Emulator for Windows that can be run in background (having a toggleable GUI\minimuze to system tray) and can optionally show notifications from apps as standard windows balloon notification (or the new toast format), or some other way that I can click to show the emulator.

Having the notifications is not strictly necessary as I said before I could use an Headless Emulator + Whatsapp Web to read and write messages. Initial configuration is still needed so in all cases there must be an option to view and interact with the emulated screen.

The last thing is that it needs to be standalone (bonus points for portable/setup-less solution), not relying on problematic third party components like the virtualbox or vmware SDKs.

As long as the latest Whatsapp version is supported, any Android version is good (if lower versions help reduce the memory footprint of the emulation).

2 Answers 2


If I understand your use case correctly, you simply wish to read and respond to messages from your computer instead of your phone.

If so, you don't need to run an emulator at all. There are software like Pushbullet which allows you to do this seamlessly without the overhead of emulating an entire phone just for running WhatsApp:

WhatsApp message on OSX (works on Windows too)

  • Hmm, this appears to act more like a comment than an answer as this really isn't emulation software.
    – Tom
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:28
  • 2
    @Tom Yes, but looking past the title of the question and into the OP's requirements, this question seemed like an XY Problem to me. If so, this offers what the OP needs,without using emulation, which would be an overkill for a simple use case.
    – user193130
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:37
  • This is only half of what I am looking for: I might consider installing this on the emulated android if no emulator with built-in notifications comes up. I edited the question with more context to better illustrate the need of an emulator. :P
    – beppe9000
    Jun 13, 2016 at 2:01

BLUESTACKS is the emulator you are looking for. The BlueStacks App Player is designed to enable Android applications to run on Windows PCs and Macintosh computers.

It runs smoothly on a windows computer and you can use almost all the android apps like Whatsapp, Hike, Instagram, Gmail etc.

There is also a pop up notification feature for all the apps in Bluestacks.

Supports the latest version of Whatsapp and it can definitely run in the background, but you must restart it in case you need to run any app.

To understand that better, consider this scenario:

You run Bluestacks, close it. It keeps running in the background and keeps consuming the data ( receive messages on whatsapp). Say you have lost your internet connection, but still if you oprn Bluestacks again, it (Whatsapp) will have all the messages received till the connection was lost. What I mean to say is that, whilst Bluestacks runs in the background, it will be active. But if you have to look at the messages or any other apps, you must open it again.

You will be in no need of Whatsapp web, if you are accustomed to Bluestacks. I have been using this app player for 2 years now, apart from minor glitches, the experience is good. Adjustable. Definitely a solution until you get a new mobile phone.

Here is the link to download Bluestacks : http://cdn.bluestacks.com/downloads/

I recommend using the rooted version of BlueStacks. It blends well with Windows and it appears to be hassle free(er) than the unrooted BlueStacks. I cannot find the link for rooted BlueStacks right now, a bit of googling should help you!

Have patience until it gets installed. If it fails, uninstall completely and restart the installation.

If you have less stable or low speed internet connection, then go for offline installation of BlueStacks (Again, the package is different for this, Google it!).


Edit 1: Screenshot of initial screen of Bluestacks. Screenshot of the BlueStacks I use. Installed Whatsapp, Hike, Flipkart, Myntra etc.

enter image description here

  • Do they still push apps on the user? Last time I used Bluestacks it tried to force me to install some apps to continue using it: that annoyed me a lot.
    – beppe9000
    Jun 16, 2016 at 11:58
  • Nothing that I am aware of. No such forces.
    – PK_
    Jun 17, 2016 at 13:00
  • 1
    Although this did not answer the question correctly since bluestacks does not play nice with hyper-v because of using virtualbox for running android this is helpful for others so I up-voted. Of the alternatives I tried AMI DuOS and Jar of Beans were slightly closer to what I sought.
    – beppe9000
    Mar 5, 2020 at 15:00

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