As we all know Android is an open-source project and anyone can get the codes of Android OS and use it the way they want to. So, some of the developer’s have gone ahead and created a few different emulators for Windows that can run Android on your laptop or Windows PC or a Mac. The Bluestacks is one of the Android emulators that can work on your computer, it happens to be the best emulator out of all which can run Android OS smoothly on your PC. However, since it is an emulator and runs inside a virtual box, accessing files from your computer inside Bluestacks could be an issue. So here is how you can access your computer’s files inside the Bluestacks, which you can use in the Android OS.
Accessing files of Windows on Bluestacks and vice Versa
Often we come to a situation where we need to access Windows file from an emulator or maybe you are using your PC and needs something which you have saved inside Bluestacks, so there are multiple ways through which you can access files.
Bluestacks Shared Folder
With the help of Bluestacks shared folder, you can get access to the files and folders of Bluestacks from your PC itself. All you have to do is just place the file inside the shared folder and then you can access it from both sides of your computer be it Bluestacks, Windows or Mac. Whatever file is placed inside the shared folder of Bluestacks will be accessible from both Bluestacks and your Pc’s OS as well.
The default shared folder in Windows is usually located in C:\ Program Data\ Bluestacks\ UserData\ Shared Folder. For Bluestacks, it is located in the root/sdcard/bstfolder/Bstsharedfolder location.
Alternatively, the default Windows Library folders are accessible from Bluestacks. usually, it is located in sdcard/bstfolder/ as pictures, documents and more. Also, do note that to access this location a file manager will be needed inside the Bluestacks, one of the very common file manager apps is the OI File manager, and a tutorial using the same app is right below.
- Download and install the OI File Manager app on your Bliuestacks using the APK or download it from Play Store.
- On Windows, now you have to locate the Bluestacks shared folder which will be at C:\ ProgramData\ BlueStacks\ UserData\ SharedFolder.
- Now copy and paste all of the files inside the folder whatever you want to access from Bluestacks like APKs, Music, Videos, Images or any other document.
- Coming to Bluestacks, launch the emulator and then open the OI File manager app and then navigate to Bluestacks Shared folder Root/ sdcard/ bstfolder/ BstSharedFolder. Else if you have placed the files in your Windows library folders then locate the same folder from bstfolder directory in Bluestacks.
In a similar way if you want to access Bluestacks files from your computer then copy the files to Bstsharedfolder using the OI File manager and then you are good to go, the files will be available for access from the Window OS inside the Windows shared folder location.
Alternatively, you can also find the actual location of the shared folder of Bluestacks with the help of a very powerful tool by Windows called Windows registry. It can help you locate the location in case you are unable to find the default windows location of the shared folder using the file explorer.
- On your Windows laptop Go to Start >> type run >> then inside the box type Regedit and then press enter. A new window will open which will be the Registry editor.
- Now inside the window from the left window pane find and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ BlueStacks \ Guests \ Android \ SharedFolder.
- Now, inside it, each of the numeric folders represents a shared folder and their location is indicated inside their path string values, which you can copy and paste in the address bar of your file explorer to visit that location.
Using Drag and Drop
If all other ways are pretty complicated for you then there’s even a simple method to copy files from Windows into Bluestacks shared folder.
- Open the Emulator with Bluestacks and let it initialize and run properly.
- After the blue stacks have completed loading the Android OS and are fully ready, simply drag the file from the Windows folder into the Bluestacks window.
- Bluestacks will save it or open it, if you have an application that can handle that type of file then it will prompt you to open that file directly.
- Do note that the prompt will only appear from the home screen of the Bluestacks.
Also, to tell you that while doing the drag and drop method, in the background Bluestacks copies the file and saves it into the Bluestacks Shared folder on Windows automatically. You can then find the same file using the OI File manager in Bluestacks by navigating to the shared folder.
Using Cloud Sync
You all know Google Drive, One Drive and Dropbox the most popular cloud services that most of us store our data. Our Android phones sync with google drive pretty well and it is easy to access drive files from the Android system. So if you want to share any file from your Windows to Bluestacks, simply upload it to any of the Drive services that use, our recommendation would be Google drive but it is completely the user’s choice. Simply upload the files on the drive and then from the Bluestacks download the particular app of the drive service you are using and then log in and download the files which you have uploaded and it will be saved inside the downloads folder of Bluestacks, the same can be navigated using any of the file managers. This method can work with Mac, Android devices or even an iPhone.
Using Windows Registry
Windows Registry is the core part of Windows and editing it without knowing exactly what you are doing can cause malfunctioning of your Windows, so make sure, either you have prior information about editing the values in Registry editor, or at least you know what you are doing. Make sure you don’t do anything else except whatever is mentioned in the guide below.
Also, ihax won’t be responsible by any means if you end up malfunctioning your Windows by editing any of the values inside the registry editor. So be very careful and follow the guide below.
- Choose on which directory you will give access in Bluestakcs, you can choose either the whole hard drive or a particular drive or a folder it’s totally up to you.
- Now, press the Windows key >> Type Run and press enter >> Inside the box write regedit>> now the registry editor will open in a new window.
- From the left window pane of the registry editor go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\BlueStacks\Guests\Android\ SharedFolder. Inside this, you will see some predefined numeric keys and values mostly starting with 0.
- Now, you have to create a new key by right-clicking on FileSystem and then select New >> Key and rename it by the number ins sequence to the previous key.
- Inside the newly created key, on the right side of the window right click and create a new String called ” Name ” by selecting New>> String.
- Now, double click and enter a value. The value will be the name of the folder which is inside the Bluestacks. Also, for newer versions, you have to additionally create a new DWORD value by right-clicking on the same blank space and go to New>>DWORD(32 Bit) value and then you have to rename it as Writable. Finally, right-click on the newly created value and then find Modify and set the value data field as 1 and select the base Hexadecimal.
- At last, you have to create another string called “Path” and then assign a value of the full path of the directory where you want to include inside Bluestacks. For instance, you have to access a folder from D drive inside Bluestacks, then set the path value as D:\Name of the folder. You can repeat the process and create as many directories as you want, and all of the directories mentioned in the path will be accessible from Bluestacks, just keep the keys in sequence and that’s it.
- Restart the computer for the changes that you have made to take effect.
So, now you can access your Windows files from Bluestacks and vice versa, there are several different methods mentioned above, but if you are a professional user our recommendation would be to use the registry editor method as it will be a one time job and you will get the access of that folder forever, otherwise, if you don’t want to mess with the registry editor then the Drive sync and drag and drop methods are always handy.