How to Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet

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Windows 8 tablets are becoming more widely used, but the operating system – at least in its Modern mode – is light on the ground with particular apps. One way around this is to install Android on your tablet.

Although installing Android on a desktop PC is reasonably straightforward (perhaps installing Android x86 on its own partition or using BlueStacks, YouWave or the Official Android Emulator), you might find that there are a couple of problems installing Google’s popular operating system on a Windows tablet: namely, that the tablet doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive.

What this means is that things can get a bit messy, especially when you combine this shortcoming with the implications that Windows 8’s safe boot system has on installing an additional OS.

What Tablet Are You Using?

Although the process of installing Android on your Windows tablet – and by this I’m specifically referring to an Intel x86 device here rather than one equipped with an ARM processor (such as the Microsoft Surface RT) – will differ from device to device, the general approach is the same.

Before proceeding, however, you should check the web for steps for your own tablet, just to ensure that you don’t take any missteps that could wipe your SSD or leave your computer unbootable.

I performed this installation on my Acer Iconia W700, a useful Windows 8 tablet that is more akin to an ultrabook. This meant that I had the advantage of a sort-of backup, having recently replaced the device’s original mSSD for a larger model. I had the old one to hand should anything have gone wrong.

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Although I used the Acer Iconia W700 and the detailed steps are written based on this, it can also be used (as per the useful guide provided by Thatgrass on on the Samsung XE700T as well as Microsoft Surface devices.

Why Install Android On A Windows Tablet?

There are certain things you should expect from a tablet operating system. You might even want to demand them.


While a Windows PC – which a Windows 8 tablet with a PC CPU undoubtedly is – has a vast library of software available, there are a few useful things that can be experienced on Android. If you don’t currently own an Android tablet, these things (such as an improved keyboard experience) can be replicated by dual booting your Windows tablet with Android. It costs nothing, and thanks to the fast boot time on Windows 8, switching between the two operating systems is painless.

Note, however, that you’ll be restricted to apps that have support for x86 systems. These are growing in number, but don’t expect to be able to run all apps in the Play store.

What You’ll Need To Install Android On A Windows 8 Tablet

Preparation for this project is a little in-depth, especially if you’re new to Windows 8.

We’ll get the straightforward stuff out of the way first. You’ll need a USB flash drive with at least 512 MB of storage to hold the installation media; the stick should be formatted to FAT file system. Also, make sure you have a USB keyboard and a USB hub – I’d recommend a small, unpowered hub, since a powered hub may take some time to initialize – which means the keyboard won’t be connected by the time you need to press F12. So, unpowered USB hub it is.

Software is also required. Begin by downloading the Win 32 Disk Imager from Sourceforge – this is used to write the disk image to your USB stick.

Once this is downloaded, head to Intel’s Open Source Technology Center and select the Generic UEFI Installer image of the version of Android you wish to install. After download has completed, make sure you unzip the file.

Prepare The USB Stick

With Android downloaded, you’ll need to write it to the USB stick. Insert the device into your tablet or USB hub and unzip the Win 32 Disk Imager tool.


Run Win32DiskImager.exe and browse to the unzipped Android installer, selecting Save to add it to the tool.


Next, ensure that the correct drive letter for your USB stick is selected under Device, and when you’re ready click Write to begin installation.

Following completion, Win 32 Disk Imager should inform you that writing the data has completed – you’re now ready to proceed.

Configuring Your Windows 8 Tablet For Android Installation

You can’t just install a second operating system on a device designed for Windows 8 without making a few adjustments to the system setup.


First, you’ll need to ensure Secure Boot is disabled. Open Settings > Change PC Settings > Update and recovery > Recovery, and select Restart Now. From here use your arrow keys to select Troubleshoot then Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings to open the BIOS.


Here, find Security in the left-hand menu and set a Supervisor password. Once this has been added, open Boot, find the Secure Boot option and set it to Disabled.


With that done, hold down the Power to restart, then hold the Windows buttons as well until the screen comes back on. This enables a quick shortcut back into the BIOS screen where you should ensure UEFI Mode is selected.

Next, switch the tablet off, and connect the USB hub directly to the USB port (as opposed to any of the ports on any docking station you might have). With the keyboard and USB stick connected to the hub, boot up your tablet PC, pressing F12. In the boot menu, use arrow keys to select the USB device and follow the instructions to setup dual boot mode and allocate space for Android using your device’s volume keys.

Different versions of the Android installer have slightly different steps. For this installation, I selected:

Do you want to preserve Windows and dual boot? Y

Do you want to resize Windows to make more space? Y (This forces a repair cycle when you boot Windows 8.)

Enter new size in MiB for Windows: Enter for default option.

Install GummiBoot bootloader? Y

Enter boot menu timeout (0=no menu)(min=0, max=60, enter=5) 15

Once you have done this the installation will proceed. Upon completion you should see the message:

“Installation now configured. Press enter to continue”

If all goes according to plan, when you next come to boot up the tablet you should see a boot menu, where you can select between Android and Windows 8.

Running Android on a Windows 8 Tablet

Certainly in my case while preparing the installation for this tutorial, I discovered that things didn’t go quite as planned. Although the repair cycle took a while (and the Acer Iconia W700 doesn’t actually tell you it is doing a repair cycle), the computer eventually booted… into Windows 8.1. A couple of reboots later and there was still no sign of the boot menu.


Inconveniently, the only way to open Android at present is to hold F12 when booting to display the boot menu, something that may be tricky in some scenarios. I also found that Bluetooth didn’t work in Windows, but once I’d booted Android, opened Settings and toggled Bluetooth, the subsequent reboot into Windows had Bluetooth back up and running.

When everything is installed, and Android booted up, it works pretty much as you might expect. Not all features are available as the x86 version is unofficial. As such you’ll need to install gApps to get things like Google Play and Gmail. This is true of any unofficial Android build and we’ll take a look at it in a future guide.

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91 Comments - Write a Comment


Jack Shaw

I think I’d rather have the Samsung Ativ Q that was rummored some time ago.


Mateer Ladnam

i don’t see the point of such dual booting when we have blue stacks(which allows the use of both the OSes simultaneously(a huge benefit over the the above method as well as run the non x86 apps as well.


Because Bluestacks is a heavy application to run, first of all, and therefore slower. Dual booting, though inconvenient, makes this just as fast as if it were an Android tablet since all the systems resources are devoted to running the Android OS.

Christian C

On a tablet computer – essentially an ultrabook – Bluestacks pretty much sucks.

Believe me, I tried it for as long as I could stomach it, but the lags and the inability to go fullscreen really put me off.


Hi Christian,

Are you saying it lags even if the tablet is running i7 like Asus Transformer Book T300?

Christian C

Dong: I’m saying it lags on the two tablets I’ve tried, the Acer Iconia W700 (i3) and the Surface Pro (i7)


hey mate bleu is not sync whit android i tray i dl a game an i hef to start alll over again


Is it really possible to make the switch?


Ree R

This was A very interesting article. I never knew that this could be done with a Windows computer. i will read this article again and again.



Of course, by doing this–disabling Secure Boot–you are increasing your exposure to some of the worst types of malicious software. Just don’t blame it on Windows when that happens.

Christian C

Absolutely right, Alan.

Not that I can see anyone blaming Windows.

Lucas Timm

From the stand point where you’re using Android rather then Windows in this device, such a thing would never happen.

John Moore

It’s my understanding from playing around with it, (trying desperately to reinstall Windows, which I FUBARed…) that you do not have to leave it disabled. Am I correct in thinking that once everything is installed and settled down, that you an re-enable it and add the Android .efi executable to the secure database?




Can you show a video running android on win 8.1. Also does the Sensors like GPS etc work on android?



chris, can android be installed over Samsung’s own OS BADA as well. which was use in Samsung wave series

Christian C

Not sure about this, chandrakant, but I’d be surprised if it cannot. Probably a trip to will help you out.



Question–very interested in Dual Boot option..Looking at the new Dell Venue 8.1 tablet,,can i do this dual boot with that tablet.



Will give it a try on my HP Envy X2, hope that works.. Thanks for the article.


My HP Envy X2 does not even reach the dual boot menu, any help?



what about the new dell venue 8pro?



Bluestacks has bad performance and I don’t see the sense of dual boot: Android devices are less than 100$.

I want to communicate with Android from windows.
My solution:
A little USB-Android-TV device from China for 50$.

The device communicates by VNC and ssh and has HDMI-out.

Christian C

Nice idea Gerdich, thanks for sharing.


Chinese smart TV box.Nice idea.



So are you mot able to do this on an rt platform?

Christian C

No, sadly not. The irony, eh?



Well i have to say that the best option to use android on windows 8 tablet is not by dual booting or by Bluestacks, the solution is by using a virtual box of android x86 this is easier and safer than dual booting and also has great performance far better than Bluestacks especially when you enable the multi-touch tablet option available in the latest release of Oracle VM.

Christian C

It’s a great solution, Mohab.

Unfortunately, virtualisation on my tablet is poor as Hyper-V is disabled.



can i do this on iconia w3 810?
i am always stuck booting options as it shows me just windows boot manager. despite i followed all the steps you mentioned

Christian C

In theory, if it is equipped with an Intel processor.

The steps may differ, however. It might be worth looking for some detailed steps on a dedicated forum.

so seungsoo

Acer prevent doing your iconia w3 810 not work.
i also trying, but fail ( i have w4 820)
that firmware work at uefi-ed software(ex : win8, 8.1)
and lagacy(win xp, win7, linux, android) device are not work.
the term of coice uefi or lagacy is not exist.
so, firmware being update or OEM vendor allow the probrom.
thank you.



I installed Bluestacks on my Acer Iconia W700-6499 and am very happy with it. Performance is fine and it can go full screen or windowed. So I can toggle between regular Win 8.1 Desktop, Android and Win8 Metro. It was easy to install, just download and install like anything else and it puts an icon in the taskbar notification area, click it and voila Android!



When the machine is running android, does it still go into sleep mode then and lose its internet connection as it does in Win 8? Or is it able to maintain an active connection when the screen’s off (as most Android devices do) so that it can receive background notifications, update apps, etc.?


Christian C

I haven’t had Win 8 lose Internet connection so I couldn’t give you a definite answer on that, I’m afraid.


Joe Hann

I followed all the steps and my computer is saying the boot efl filed failed. What to do??


Joe Hann

When I select “Boot with EFI USB DEVICE,” it says, “The selected boot device failed. Press to Continue.” I am running it on windows 8.1 32bits. I have no legacy booting option, only UEFI.

Christian C

have you disabled Secure boot?

so seungsoo

I have the same problom.
my w4 820 also UEFI only.
windows 8.1 only install
and win7, win xp, linux, android are not install
the branch of Acer in korea reply that intel tablet BAY-TRAIL Processor
is only use in windows 8.1
if you have this problom is resolve.
you mail me.



I am stuck with this problem. I have a tablet running on windows 8.1 32 bits. I tried to install android os as instructed but when I chose EFL USB to boot with, the error message pops up saying “the selected device failed.” I tried to install it through legacy mode but my computer does not support legacy mode booting.


Joe Hann

Yes, I have disabled Secure boot.


karlo mcfarlo

have no idea how to out Gapps on the tablet, all the sites that explain it aren’t very detailed and easy to understand just need to know if anyone has found a guide that works and what problems they had .



dose it work on dell latitude 10?



Sadly, Bluestacks doesn’t run the two apps I need most – Snapseed and the Fuji Camera Remote app. In Snapseed, there is no way to direct the app to a specific image file location, so I get a message stating no image can be found. If I drag and drop, I’m told the image is loading – interminably. The Fuji app can’t find the camera. Fortunately, I have both these Pps on my iPhone, but I would seriously like the on a larger screen without buying an iPad! I’ve tried Bluestacks on both my Surface Pro and desktop with no success on either.


Yup Snapseed makes my images black when I add some filter and when I try to turn it it just freezes.



can i do this on iconia w4 820?
i am always stuck booting options as it shows me just windows boot manager. despite i followed all the steps you mentioned



Have somebody tried this on Lenovo Miix 2 ?


I have a miix 2 I want to do this to


Ali Üstel

should that work with an acer iconia w3?
I stuck at the point, where I’ am supposed to hold the power- and home button after the first setup in the bios. It doesn’t restart right away. It just shuts down

Christian C

I would say it *can* work, but not with the instructions here. You’ll need to search further afield – I’m afraid the process differs from one device to another.



Thanks for the post. I was a little hasty and ended up only allocating 350mb to the android partition. Do you have a way of increasing this?
There are 20 odd partitions on my w700 after this install and using a 3rd party partition tool I cannot identify which one is for android. Any suggestions?


Tushar J

I have installed Latest Android from Intel’s Open Source Technology, everything works fine but on Dual Boot screen. I am not able to change the OS with Volume Keys. I have an Acer Aspire P3 Tablet. Help Needed…. :-(



I can’t open play store I have installed android 4.2.2 on my Acer aspire p3 help me



Dell Venue 8 PRO.

Want to convert to Android fully, is this possible? Are there custom images?



i cant boot from usb on my lenovo miix 2 8


Did you think a microSD card might work? I am also trying to find ways on a Lenovo miix 2.


microSD don’t work, but you can boot miix 2:
hold the volume up+power button



Is it possible to dual boot on a Nokia Lumia 2520? I don’t know much about this stuff, but I’d love to have the Android OS on this tablet. I haven’t been able to find anything online telling me how to do it!

Christian C

Sadly this isn’t possible, as the Nokia are even more secure than the Surface!



I’m sorry just trying to make sure – this works on Windows RT?

Christian C

There *may* be a method for doing this on RT.

However, what is written above is not it. This guide is for “full” Windows 8 tablets.



Hi Christian,

I have an HP Omni 10 running Windows 8.1 update 1.

Can I install Android 4.4.2 and have dual boot options ?? I have a 32GB SSD on the device. How much space is required for Android ??
Is there Play Store or would i have to side load it ??

Also, I read people running into issues with WiFi and Bluetooth. Did you experience such problems ??

Christian C

Android shouldn’t require more than a few GB to run, perhaps 5 max. You will need to sideload google apps, however. I didn’t have any problems with WiFi. Sadly I cant comment on Bluetooth and I no longer have this tablet to test.

I’m pretty sure you should be able to find a device-specific guide.



Hi I tried this on my acer using 4.4.2 ivybridge download. Was able to boot into android, but couldn’t boot into windows. I kept getting diagnosis error. I could restore windows. Even tried recovery dvd with external dvd writer got error install bootable disc and press any key. Had to send tablet in possible hard drive failure.


Poriya S

Sorry i have one question
i have this tablet !
and i have this processor
“Intel Ivy Bridge Celeron 1037U Dual-Core 1.8GHz”
can i use this way ?!
what version i should download and install ?!
thanks a lot



hi im am imtaiz khan ..l want to intall android in my asus vivo tab Note 8 Can i…..? please help….



Does anyone tried this on HP stream 8 ?


Brijinder Singh

hi , can I install android on my HTC windows phone 8.1


Christian Cawley

Not as yet – you’ll need the Windows Phone 8.1 OS to be hacked first. is your best bet, should that ever happen.


Keyrun Adhikari

Hey Christian,
Thanks for the post. I have Dell Latitude 10 with 32 GB internal memory and 32 GB SSD card. I have done every steps correctly. But when I choose USB as boot option, existing windows 8 loads instead of Android setup. Does this require two partitions or Android can be installed in SSD card as well? I am not able to partition internal disk. When I try, it always says not enough memory to complete this operation. Can you please help me to sort it out?
Thanks in advance.

Christian Cawley

I would suggest researching the idiosyncracies of booting from USB on the Dell. It might be that it isn’t possible (unlikely), that you need a DVD image, or that you have to boot from SD card.


brian serna

hello christian…..great write up and i tried this for fun today but having an issue. any thoughts on why when i boot into android i get a blinking cursor at the end of the following text…


i never get into the android OS. Windows is working just fine.

I also tried the fast boot mode. here i get the android gif with the working gears but nothing else.

This is on a lenovo thinkpad tablet


ahmed tayea

when I try this it stucks for some time saying ,, ” creating filesystem parameters ….. ” should I leave it for some time ?//



Does anyone tested this with an HP like this?

Hope for answers ;)



Has anyone made this work on a Toshiba Encore?
Also, is there a way to do this with a SD card instead of a flash drive? I want to use a SD card instead because I only can use one USB device (keyboard) at a time because I don’t have a USB hub.

Hope someone can help! :)
Oh, and also hoping that Microsoft will allow these dual boot devices to happen properly without these workarounds.



Well, I ended up getting to the boot menu without a keyboard and was able to use my touchscreen, so I had my usb flash drive plugged in. However, I then ran into a major problem of the tablet giving me multiple errors. One was that I couldn’t boot from usb from this device. Another was that it seemed not to recognize the usb device. The last one was when I clicked on the usb device option I got sent to bitlocker. Completely lost at this point.


brandon did you figure out from bitlocker point i am stuck here and have no password or flash drive back up for it



im trying to do this on my asus transformerbook t100tam. i get stuck at the part when i boot using f12, that does not work, i get into bios using f2 and change boot to usb but it still does not boot into the usb but it goes straight into windows!!! please help and thank in advance.

Christian Cawley

As noted above, this is a general guide to prove that it can be done. For the best results, find a hguide specifically for your device.



tried DuOS, doesn’t rely on vmware/virtualbox. Incredibly fast, almost native performance. Unfortunately, the No.1 app that I use, VSCO Cam, doesn’t work with it (Works with BlueStacks though)

Bluestacks is rooted by default, you’ll have to install greenify, nova launcher, do some tweaks, and it will run fast



Anybody ever tried on iconia w4, will it work. Dual booting reminds me of haret.exe on my late htc hd2… ;)



Hi Chris .This is a great idea and perfect for a a teclast x80h, that I now see shipping already dual bootable. I only have windows on mine but would it be possible to install lollipop instead? Where would I find that? Cheers.

Christian Cawley

I’m afraid I’m not familiar with your device. I would suggest using this article as a proof of concept and then using Google to find a guide with steps specific to your hardware.



can i install on my winbook tw700?



I dont have wi-fi on the surface pro :(

Christian Cawley

What problem are you having with it?



can i install android 4.4.2 on my Dell Venue 8 Pro ? plz help



Hello Dear Christian
Thanks for the instruction
I have a problem and need your help please
I’m trying to install android 4.2.2 on my Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet and all of the steps you mentioned here are done successfully except where it says ” follow the instructions to setup dual boot mode and allocate space for Android using your device’s volume keys.”. cause when i boot from the USB flash to install the Android, after selecting every item such as automated installer or interactive installer i just face with blank black screen and nothing more happens. #######please help me on this error########

Christian Cawley

hi Hmid. All I can suggest is you check detailed documentation for dual booting your particular device. As mentioned several times in the article and comments, the tutorial is a proof of concept that you can use as inspiration and guide, but for execution you should use Google to check it is possible and perhaps hit to find device-specific instructions.



Hi Christian,

Is this possible for Microsoft Surface RT2?
Which has an ARM processor??
Can i follow the same steps for surface 2?

Christian Cawley

Unfortunately this isn’t possible, as the system cannot be unlocked.



Thank you for the information, can I install Android on my Samsung Ativ 11″ Tablet?

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