If you aren’t on Snapchat, at the very least you’ve heard of it—and if you haven’t, it’s an app that Thanos’s victims use to communicate.
Unlike services like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, which you can log into from any computer, tablet or phone, Snapchat is designed for mobile devices running Android or iOS.
If being able to use the app on a bigger screen sounds amazing to you, or that’s just how you prefer to browse social media, then this guide to getting Snapchat on your desktop computer is for you.
We’ve broken it down for you into easily digestible chunks, so read on to check them out.
The 411 on Snapchat
Before we get into the technical nitty-gritty of how to install Snapchat on a computer, here’s a crash course on what it is and how it came to be:
- Snapchat is a multimedia instant messaging app developed by Snap Inc., an American company. The service’s main selling point is that the pictures or messages that users upload are only available for a short time before becoming inaccessible to recipients.
- It started out on July 8, 2011, the brainchild of Stanford University students Reggie Brown, Bobby Murphy, and Evan Spiegel, as Picaboo—an iOS-only app. However, later on in September 2011, Spiegel and Murphy relaunched their company as Snapchat, making it available for free download on Android a year later as well.
- Snapchat is one of the hottest social media platforms of today, available in 37 languages. When it comes to popularity among a younger audience, this app is streets ahead of all others in this category.
- It currently has around 530 million users worldwide, with 265 million daily active users. The app has seen a steady year-over-year increase in its user base since its launch and has 6.5 million monthly users in Australia. Despite this, people still can’t access Snapchat through a browser.
The platform’s initial aim was to promote person-to-person photo sharing, but it now has a much broader scope of purposes, from sending short live videos, using face filters, messaging, to creating Bitmoji avatars.
However, Snapchat’s flagship feature is that the content is only shared for a set amount of time before it poofs out of existence, hence its ghostly logo. The app is designed in such a way that Snaps self-destruct after all recipients have viewed them and auto-deletes any that remain unopened for 24 hours, confining any fame or shame captured therein to the dustbin of history.
In the era of “the internet never forgets”, its vast appeal is understandable. However, only being able to use it on your phone or tablet is inconvenient, so let’s look into how you can work around this limitation and get Snapchat on your PC in 2021.
How to Get Snap Chat on Windows
Just because an app was created with mobile devices in mind doesn’t mean you have to settle for watching videos on a small screen that you’re constantly tapping to navigate. Instead, you could get a closer look at the content and use a trackpad or mouse to manoeuvre its features comfortably.
Also, imagine being able to use an app without being interrupted by pesky calls and notifications all the time. If this is your idea of bliss, the best way to get Snapchat on your PC is to download and use an emulator.
What Is an Emulator?
An emulator is a software configured to mimic a mobile operating system so that you can download and use, say, apps from the Google Play Store on your desktop computer. In other words, with the right one installed, it’s possible to get the official Snapchat app as a free download for your PC or laptop.
Owing to the popularity of Android emulators, it’s easy to find a well-optimized one nowadays that’s able to impersonate the functions of a smartphone running this OS. However, BlueStacks is considered to be the foremost software solution for both PC and Mac.
BlueStacks 5 is the latest and fastest version of this programme available. The best bit is that you can use BlueStacks 5 on Windows 7, 8 and 10 and download it to serve as a Snapchat emulator on your PC with just a handful of clicks. Let’s go through them in detail:
1. Go to bluestacks.com/download
2. Click on the “Download BlueStacks” button
3. Once the download is complete, launch the installer and select “Install Now”
4. When the installation is done, open BlueStacks
5. Click on the Google Play Store icon
6. Sign in using your Google account
7. Type “Snapchat” into the Google Play Store search bar
8. The official Snapchat app will appear just like on any Android device
9. Download the Snapchat app and select “Open”
10. You can now use BlueStacks to log into the Snapchat app with your username or email address (or create an account if you don’t have one)
You can also use BlueStacks to install Snapchat if you download the APK file and open it manually through this programme (a feature also available in NoxPlayer), but you don’t have to go through the trouble since the Play Store is integrated within it. However, if you still want to take this route, you can go into the “My Apps” tab and click on “Install APK” after you’ve downloaded the file from the web.
How to Install Snapchat on a PC Without BlueStacks
Sure, BlueStacks might be the best option when it comes to Android emulators that let you use Snapchat on a desktop computer, but if for whatever reason this programme isn’t your jam, there are a few other options out there as well. Some alternatives to BlueStacks include NoxPlayer, ARC Welder, MirrorGO, MEmu, KoPlayer and LDPlayer, all of which can be used to spoof Android or iOS devices in order to run the Snapchat app on a PC or laptop.
How to Get Snapchat on Mac
While it was announced during the 2018 Apple WWDC Keynote event that Snapchat would be available to download for Mac soon, it still hasn’t happened. So, for now, macOS users can only get Snapchat on their laptops and desktops in a roundabout way. What they have to do is follow these simple instructions:
1. Open “System Preferences” on their Mac
2. Select “Security & Privacy”
3. Click on the “General” tab and check “Allow apps downloaded from the App Store and identified developers”
4. Go to bluestacks.com/download and install the programme, making sure to select the file for Big Sur if that’s the OS they’re using
5. Once the download is done, open the installer and follow the prompts, then refer to the instructions for Windows above when the installation is over
6. Install Snapchat in BlueStacks and use it just as they would on an Android mobile device
Another option is the iOS simulator iPadian, but it’ll cost them money and it only offers a certain number of apps, unlike BlueStacks, which puts the entire Google Play Store at their disposal.
So, as you can see, if you don’t want to use the Snapchat app just on your Android or iOS device, there are things you can do to enjoy the same experience on a PC or Mac—all while reducing eye strain, saving your phone battery and avoiding data overcharges.
Thanks to technologies like emulators that allow users to ape mobile operating systems, it’s possible to use the Snapchat app along with many others on computers as well. Just follow the tips and tricks above, and you’ll be able to download Snapchat for PC in no time. Happy Snapping!
1. Can you use Snapchat on a computer?
Yes, it’s possible to install and use Snapchat on your computer, but you’ll have to do it through an emulator. Scroll up in this guide for the details on how to achieve that.
2. How to use Snapchat on Mac?
You can take the following route to access Snapchat on your Mac:
- Open “System Preferences”
- Select “Security & Privacy”
- Click on the “General” tab and check “Allow apps downloaded from the App Store and identified developers”
- Go to bluestacks.com/download and install BlueStacks on your Mac
- Install Snapchat within it and use it just as you would on an Android mobile device.
3. How to get Snapchat on Mac without BlueStacks?
If you’d rather not use BlueStacks, then you can always opt for NoxPlayer, which likewise runs both on PC and Mac, or you can pay for the iPadian simulator.
4. How to use Snapchat on PC?
Follow these quick tips to download the Snapchat app onto your PC:
- Go to bluestacks.com/download
- Click on the “Download BlueStacks” button
- Once the download is complete, launch the installer and select “Install Now”
- When the installation is done, open BlueStacks
- Click on the Google Play Store icon
- Sign in using your Google account
- Type “Snapchat” into the Google Play Store search bar and hit “enter”
- The official Snapchat app will appear just like on any Android device
- Install the Snapchat app and select “Open”
- You can now use BlueStacks to log into the Snapchat app with your username or email address.
5. How can I get Snapchat on my PC without BlueStacks?
There are alternatives to using the BlueStacks emulator, such as NoxPlayer, ARC Welder, MirrorGO, MEmu, KoPlayer, LDPlayer and Remix OS Player. All of these are serviceable options when it comes to using Snapchat on your PC as of 2021. However, BlueStacks is still considered to be the best answer to the question of how to download Snapchat on PC.