Remix OS is a custom version of Android designed to make Google’s mobile operating system feel like a desktop OS. Initially only available as an operating system that came pre-installed on hardware, this week the developers at Jide made it easy for anyone to try Remix OS by releasing a version that you can run on computers with Intel or AMD chips.

But there are a few caveats. First, Remix OS for PC is in its early stages, and as of March 1st, 2016 it’s still considered beta software. Second, the downloadable version doesn’t work on all PCs. And third, right now it lacks one of Android’s key features: the Google Play Store.

There’s something you can do about that last part.

remix os gapps

Once you download Remix OS for PC from Jide’s website, you can either use Jide’s tool to load it on a USB flash drive (if you’re using Windows), or follow our guide for doing it on a Mac (the Linux method should be very similar).

remix os tool

Then you can boot your computer from the USB flash drive to run Remix OS without overwriting any data on your computer. For now you’ll need a PC with a 64-bit processor and legacy boot support, but Jide says they’re considering adding support for 32-bit chips in the future if there’s sufficient demand.

If you buy a device that comes with Remix OS pre-loaded, it will probably include Google Mobile Services which means you’ll have the Google Play Store, Gmail, Chrome, Maps, and other Google apps. But if you install Remix OS yourself, it currently doesn’t have Google Mobile Services. You’ll have to sideload it yourself.

This is a situation that should be familiar to anyone that’s loaded CyanogenMod or other popular Android custom ROMs on a smartphone. The developers don’t have Google’s permission to include their software, so they don’t.

But a Jide spokesperson tells me the company is working with Google to be able to include the Play Store in future versions of the software. It probably doesn’t hurt that Jide was founded by three former Google employees.

For now, the company recommends side-loading Google Mobile Services, and here’s how to do that.

Download and install Google Mobile Services on Remix OS (Updated)

Note that you’ll want to do this while running Remix OS in resident mode. If you run in guest mode, anything you do will be erased after you reboot you PC… and since the instructions require a reboot, that means there’s currently no way to install the Play Store in guest mode.

Note that this article used to have an 8-step process (listed and crossed-out below), but now there’s a simpler way:

1. Download the GMSActivator.apk file from this Google Group post.

2. Install the file by clicking on it. If you haven’t already enabled installation of apps from unknown sources, you may need to that.

3. Open the app once it’s been installed and select “Install Google Services.”

4. Reboot Remix OS.

1. Download the GMSInstaller.apk from the xda-developers forum.

2. Click the downloaded file to install it.

3. Run the GMSInstaller app.

4. Select “One-click to install Google Services.”

5. After the Google services are downloaded and installed, open the Remix OS Settings app and go to Applications.

6. Scroll down until you see Google Play Services, select it, and click the “Manage space” link, and click the “Clear All Data” option on the next screen.

7. Find Google Google Services Framework the same way, and this time just click the “Clear Data” button.

8. Reboot Remix OS.

That might be all you need to do. You should see the Play Store in your app menu, and the first time you run it you’ll be prompted to login with your Google username and password.

Some users have found that you may also need to change the time zone in the Remix OS settings to match your current location before you can actually download and install apps. Others have noted that you may need to update Google Play Services by opening a web browser, searching for Google Play Services, following a link to the Google Play Store, and then clicking the update button.

Why isn’t the Play Store pre-installed?

Typically a device maker that wants to use the Play Store ships the hardware to Google for testing. But since Remix OS for PC is designed to run on thousands of different hardware configurations, that would be an impractical way to go in this case.

But Jide co-founder David Ko says the company is in talks with Google about ways to include the Play Store, possibly by testing and certifying just a certain set of hardware. You can hear more from that interview with Ko in an episode of the LPX Show podcast.

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32 replies on “Remix OS for PC: How to install the Google Play Store”

  1. Nice one,
    Finally found a helpful article, keep sharing and keep helping,
    Thanks a lot.

  2. Is it possible to run this as a VM under Hyper-V? I’m not really interested in having to reboot my PC every time I want to try a new OS…

  3. Why can’t they (Jide) just contribute to the Android-x86/ Unetbootin projects, respectively. All they do anyways is to package rebranded, polished versions of both, and in the end no one wins. :/

  4. Hi, first of all congratulations for the excellent article. I was wondering if you could bring the voice recognition (for instance the PC writes what he hears my voice) in a manner very similar to the keyboard we find on Google Android smartphones and tablets. Thanks in advance response.

  5. internal memory: Internal storage shows me only 3.9 gigabytes How do I enlarge it? And the second question, how do the upgrade to a new version? It is somewhere in the system OTA update?

  6. @mrcionovello:disqus https://groups.google.com/foru… doing basic research does help, like reading the page you downloaded the ISO file from, tells you to register for the Google+ group.

    You may also want to fix your keyboard, looks like you have a dead key somewhere

  7. RIDICULOUS . SERIOUS REMIX STORAGE PROBLEM OS 2.0 PENDRIVE X86 / HD. DOES NOT RECOGNIZE ANY SPACE. ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE 4GB PENDRIVE OF OR 16GB HD 500 GB FORMATTED ALL FAT 32. Installed REMIX THE PENDRIVE 16GB BUT ONLY RECOGNIZES ONLY 4 GB SYSTEM ANDROID (ES FILE EXPLORER PRO). WHEN COMES CLOSE TO 4GB WARNING THAT CAN NOT INSTALL MORE APPLICATIONS / SPACE FULL EVEN STORAGE 16GB PENDRIVE. The PENDRIVE EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THE WINDOWS 16GB NORMAL

    1. FAT32 file system only recognize 4gb file. As pen drive only can be formatted in FAT32, you cannot create a resident file more than 4gb.

      Ridiculous noob…

      1. I’m not sure that it’s anything to do with the FAT32 file size limit actually. It sounds more likely to be that the partition is only 4GB.
        Easily solved with Gparted in your favourite flavour of linux.
        Just download a live CD and run it natively or in a vm.
        Plug in the usb pendrive.
        Load up gparted and use it to increase the partition size.

        I always keep a Ubuntu vm on my machine for doing stuff like this.

        1. Can you explain how you extend the data.img file, if on a Fat32 formated USB drive ?

          1. Dont Extend it,create another partition with the empty space on the flash drive.create a EXT 4 Partition.And you can Label It like: My Files.the, you can save all you songs,video,pic,doc to this partition.

      2. Just Create Another Partition with EXT4 and You’ll Have More Space and Can Store any Data Size.Use a Linux Live CD with Gparted to create another Partition with the pen drive.

    2. Marcio, maybe you should learn a bit about formats before you call out peoples work for not

    3. Hey there is a person on xda with a data.img file for 16gb format ur drive in ntfs format and replace ur data.img with his and ull get 16gb of internal space

    4. ZOMG CAPSLOCK IS AMAZING.

      No clue what you wrote because I don’t bother reading comments in all CAPS

    5. Assuming you are on a legacy bios platform and already having windows do this.

      1.Use “MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition” to create a small partition such as 32gig on your windows drive

      2.Format the partition you created to ext4 or ext3 your preference

      3.Reboot the pc and boot from your remixos pendrive

      4.Select the 2nd option which is “persistent” and press tab to edit

      5.Add this to the line “INSTALL=1 DEBUG=” without the “” and press enter

      6.This will open an installer. Remember to add windows to grub

      7.Make your disk read and write and DON’T install “efi grub” just the normal grub

      8.Reboot and enjoy native dualboot like I am with 32gigs of storage and faster booting

    6. Just Create Another Partition with EXT4 and You’ll Have More Space and Can Store any Data Size.

  8. Worth mentioning that this apk of the Google Play store is riddled with broken English and obviously some sort of pirated version. Installer beware.

  9. Do you know why an Android device must be certified by Google to have legally the Google Play inside ? Because Google want be sure that is a real Android device compatible with Google guidelines, so if an user download an app from Google Play and this app have a problem or not work correctly, the fault must be of the app and not of the OS. If the OS is not certified and the core source code is different from the original Android, you can complain with the developers with bad votes on Google Play also if the fault come from your OS. And this is not correct. I like the UI, but Android is only one. I tested Remix OS, i also rooted it, but many apps are not working in the correct way. There are many problems, not solvable. Android 6 x86 rooted that you can download and install in every pc like remix os is many times better. I think 10000 times better, because is Android.

    1. Actually … no. This whole certification process is pretty much about Google making sure to get enough brandspace on the device.

      1. Actually..yes. There’s literally nothing in the certification process about apps that have to be pre-loaded other than the common sense ones like a Launcher or a Clock.

        The agreement device makers have with Google in regards to GMS is completely separate.

  10. Hi Brad. Have you seen anything in remix that wouldn’t allow a machine resume from standby?

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