iOS Emulators for PC: Here’s everything you need to know

Are you looking for an iOS emulator to run iOS apps on your computer? Well, after reading this article, you will not have to waste your time seeking such programs anymore.

If you’ve done any kind of search for this, then you’ve probably encountered a dozen of articles that are titled something like “Best iOS Emulator for Windows, Mac,…”, right?

Sadly, none of them deliver what we need – a program or software that can ACTUALLY run iOS apps on a PC. In this article, I will explain why you cannot find such programs, and show you some alternatives you can use in some cases.

I will also show you what so-called “iOS Emulators” out there actually do. Keep reading and stop wasting your time!


So-called “iOS Emulators” & Running iOS Apps on PC

People search for iOS emulators a lot. You can even find a ton of articles that claim to provide a list of best “iOS emulators” to choose from on the Web. However, they are virtually providing false information.

Anything you find that claims to be an emulator for iOS, is actually a software that is designed to look like iOS. They just simulate the iOS interface and some functionality. They should be called “iOS Simulators”, rather than “iOS emulators”.

This kind of software has none of the core functions of iOS so you won’t be able to install iOS games & apps, connect it to your Apple ID, jailbreak,…

Even worse, some automatically install toxic software on your computer, add unwanted add-ons to your web browser, display ads to monetize… So be careful, don’t let these bad guys fool you!

The conclusion is: there are no iOS emulators available for PC currently.

iOS Emulator for PC

To avoid such a disappointment, the following review will reveal exactly what you can expect from some of the main iOS simulators available on the Internet.


1. iPadian

iPadian iOS Emulator

If you search for “iOS emulator” on the Internet, you will find most articles out there refer to it as the best one. However, it’s actually an iOS simulator with the ability to mimic an iPad’s interface.

When you launch this application, its interface will look very similar to an iPad. iPadian is claiming on their download page that it provides users with full access to the App Store and the ability to use iMessage on PC. But the truth is, you won’t be able to do any of these.

iPadian does allow you to install some app on it, but they are actually Windows software. So you will be disappointed if you’re expecting to download apps from the App Store and use them on your computer. And also, iMessage, as of now, is only for iOS and Mac devices.


2. Adobe Air iPhone

Adobe Air supports a native iOS simulator, which provides a fast way for developers to test and debug iOS apps. It’s similar in a lot of ways to iPadian except that it mimics the iPhone screen, instead of the iPad.

You will also need to install Google Air to be able to run it on Windows. Adobe Air can replicate some of the iOS system features. However, like iPadian, this application does not have the ability to allow you to install and run apps on your Windows.


3. Xamarin Testflight

Xamarin Testflight is a free tool to build native cross-platform apps. Developers use this tool for creating apps for both iOS and Android devices.

Testflight can only work on Windows when it is linked up to a networked Mac computer. This means that you are completely reliant on external hardware for it to work. Testflight is therefore not an iOS emulator for Windows.

If you want to download and try Xamarin Testflight yourself, it is important to note that it will only give you a virtual access to the iOS operating system.

You may come across other iOS simulators such as MobiOne Studio, MyEclipse Mobile Tools, or Smartface. These are actually tools to develop iOS and Android apps. Although developers and designers use these tools to design and make iOS apps, it’s not possible to use them to run your iOS app on Windows.

I cannot mention every iOS simulators that can be misunderstood as iOS emulators. But the bottom line is: as of now, there are no programs for running iOS apps on PC.


Why iOS Emulators do not and probably never will exist

Unlike Android, which is an open source operating system, iOS is a closed source operating system tied to Apple’s mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Its source code is not published and shared with the public.

Since Apple is primarily in the business of selling hardware and software like games, apps, it is their good right to not allow people to install iOS & all the apps on a PC or any kind of device not sold by them. They want people to buy iOS devices to have a full iOS experience.

From that perspective, we can easily understand why there probably will never be a real legitimate iOS Emulator.


The alternative: Go Android!

If you want to play a game or use a mobile app on your PC, chances are it’s also available to install on Android devices.

In that case, you can alternatively use an Android Emulator. In contrast to iOS, there are plenty of emulators for Android devices out there, available as both free and paid software. Not only for Windows, Mac users also have many solid options to choose from as well.

Especially if you want to cheat, hack mobile games and apps, want to root an emulator and take full control of it, Android emulators are really the way to go for now.

If you don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions:

1. Bluestacks

Founded 8 years ago, Bluestacks is undoubtedly the most popular Android emulator. It’s been mentioned in lots of articles about playing Android games on PC and Mac. The emulator targets mobile gamers, you can virtually play any games on the Google Play Store.

Bluestacks may not provide the cleanest experience while using but it has its own advantages. You can launch multiple instances so you can play multiple games at once. You can even play the same game in different instances simultaneously. Although it’s a bit bloated compared to other emulators, Bluestacks is still a great option for starters.

2. Andy

Andy is probably not easy to set up and use like Bluestacks, however in terms of gaming, productivity and misc features, this emulator is a solid contender.

Downloading and installing the app is simple. But sometimes unwanted issues may occur. If you encounter problems while installing or using the app, you can reach out to their support Facebook group at and ask for help.

Andy can play games well, especially network-based games like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale,… Unlike Bluestacks, Andy focuses on a more rounded experience, not only for gaming. You can install any Android app you like, including Instagram, Snapchat, and Whatsapp.

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Solid information. Brief, accurate & to-the-point. Much appreciated!

John Doe
John Doe

Thank you, you nailed it.


Great Write up!

Prabhu P.

Is it possible to run ios react apps using these emultators?


Thanks! You saved me a lot of trouble, I’ve been looking for a few hours and probably would’ve wasted a lot more time had I not happened upon your page.

The Best Admin

Yeah, I know that’s frustrating.

George Quiroz

Hey thanks this is great at first i thought it was a troll but, i kept reading. What i found was a great article and thanks for the android emulator here i come video games yeeehaaaa

Chris Alpha
Chris Alpha

I wonder why there hasnt been any on the market yet after all these years? Are they afraid of the lawsuit from apple if they try?