Snapchat has exploded in popularity among teenagers and millennials since launching in 2011. The app lets you send photo and video messages that disappear after being viewed – called "Snaps". You can also video chat in real-time, overlay fun effects and lenses on selfies, build Stories to share updates, and more.
While Snapchat is designed for smartphones, you can also use it on your Windows PC or Mac computer. This gives you a bigger screen, mouse and keyboard controls, and more convenience chatting.
In this guide, I‘ll show you step-by-step how to install and use Snapchat on desktop using the Bluestacks Android emulator. Follow along and you‘ll be Snapchatting from your computer in no time!
Why Use Snapchat on Your Computer?
Here are some of the benefits of using Snapchat on PC or Mac:
Bigger screen – View Snaps and Stories on a large monitor rather than tiny phone display. Makes Snapchat much more immersive!
Enhanced controls – Use your mouse, keyboard shortcuts, and trackpad for easy Snapchat navigation.
Webcam for selfies – Access your computer‘s webcam for selfies, videos and video calling in higher quality.
Multitasking – Snapchat open on desktop while also using other apps. Quickly switch between conversations.
Screenshots – Easily take screenshots on PC for saving funny or important Snaps.
Privacy – Computer allows more privacy when Snapping rather than mobile.
I‘ll cover how to get set up with Snapchat on desktop using Bluestacks, some tips for optimal usage, troubleshooting problems, and more. Follow along!
Downloading Bluestacks – Your Snapchat Installer
The key to getting Snapchat on a Windows PC or Mac is using an Android emulator. This software mimics an Android environment on desktop allowing you to access apps from Google Play Store.
The most popular and safe emulator is Bluestacks. With over 130 million users globally, Bluestacks makes it easy to install mobile apps on computer.
I‘ll walk you through downloading and installing Bluestacks below. But first, let‘s look at the minimum system requirements:
Windows PC Requirements
- Windows 10, 8, 7 (latest service packs)
- Intel or AMD processor with at least 2 cores
- At least 4GB of RAM
- DX9 (Shader Model 2.0) capabilities
- Minimum 5GB of free disk space
- Up-to-date graphics drivers from manufacturer
- Mac OS X 10.10 or higher
- At least 4GB of RAM
- Intel core chipset
- At least 5GB free disk space
- Latest graphics drivers from Apple
As long as your computer meets these requirements, you‘ll be able to smoothly run Snapchat using Bluestacks. Now let‘s get it installed:
- Open your favorite web browser and go to the Bluestacks website. Click the big orange Download button.
The installer .EXE file will begin downloading. Choose a location to save it.
Once finished, open the Bluestacks installer. Make sure to scan the file for viruses first just to be safe.
You‘ll be guided through the installation process. Accept the license agreement and choose a folder location to install Bluestacks.
- After several minutes, Bluestacks will finish installing. The main interface will open up automatically.
And that‘s it! Bluestacks is now ready to use on your Windows PC or Mac. Time to get Snapchat installed next.
Logging Into Google Play on Bluestacks
To install Snapchat on desktop, we first need access to the Google Play Store within Bluestacks. Here‘s how:
- In the Bluestacks home screen, click on the colorful Google Play Store icon.
- A window will pop-up prompting you to sign into your Google Account. Click Sign in.
- Enter your Gmail address and password. Then click Next to log in.
Once successfully logged into your Google account, you‘ll have full access to Google Play Store and can install any Android apps you want directly within Bluestacks.
Time to finally get Snapchat!
Downloading Snapchat on Desktop
With access to Google Play, we can now download and install Snapchat:
- In the Play Store search bar, type in "snapchat" and press Enter.
- The official Snapchat app will show up. Click on it.
- On the Snapchat page, click the green Install button.
The installation process will now begin. Be patient as this can take a few minutes to complete.
Once finished, you‘ll see an Open button. Click this to launch Snapchat on desktop!
After a few loading screens, the Snapchat app should open within Bluestacks. You can now log in or sign up for a new account.
And that‘s all it takes to start using Snapchat on your PC! The full Snapchat experience is now at your fingertips.
Tips for Using Snapchat on Computer
Here are some tips and tricks for taking full advantage of Snapchat from your desktop:
Resize the window – Make the Bluestacks window larger or smaller to customize your Snapchatting display.
Navigation – Use your mouse, trackpad, or keyboard arrows to smoothly navigate Snaps and Stories.
Video call – Video chatting with friends is amazing on a big monitor. Be sure to allow Snapchat access to your webcam and mic.
Computer webcam – Your PC webcam will give you much better quality for selfies, videos, and voice/video calls versus using your phone.
Screenshots – Taking screenshots on desktop is as easy as pressing Print Screen or Ctrl+PrtScn. Useful for capturing funny Snaps.
Copy/paste – Use keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to conveniently copy and paste text when chatting.
Multitasking – Bluestacks runs in a window so you can have Snapchat open while also using other computer programs simultaneously.
Privacy – Desktop allows more privacy when Snapping vs mobile. But still be careful about oversharing personal details or location.
Logout – To sign out, go to your Snapchat profile → Settings → Log Out
Take your time personalizing settings and getting used to the desktop Snapchat experience. Let‘s look at solving any issues next.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
Here are some common troubleshooting fixes for Snapchat on Bluestacks:
Webcam not working?
- Check webcam privacy settings and grant access to Bluestacks
- Enable webcam access in Snapchat settings
- Try restarting your computer
Microphone not detecting voice?
- Make sure your default mic is set properly in Windows/Mac Sound settings
- Grant microphone permission to Bluestacks
- Test mic in another app to isolate the issue
Snapchat crashing or lagging?
- Restart your computer and clear Bluestacks cache
- Update your graphics drivers to latest version
- Allocate more RAM to Bluestacks in settings
- Lower video resolution in Snapchat settings
Can‘t log in to Snapchat?
- Log out and log back in
- Uninstall and reinstall Snapchat through Play Store
- Reset your Snapchat password
Account locked or suspended?
- Carefully review Snapchat‘s terms to avoid banned content
- Contact Snapchat support if you believe your account was wrongly suspended
Still having trouble? Try reinstalling Bluestacks or upgrade to the latest version. Increasing your computer‘s RAM can also help improve performance running mobile apps on desktop.
Top Alternative Emulators for Snapchat
While Bluestacks is the most popular and safe Android emulator, here are a few alternatives worth checking out:
I recommend sticking with Bluestacks as your best bet for a smooth Snapchat experience. But feel free to test these other emulators if you prefer.
Is Snapchat on PC Safe? What About Legality?
Using Android apps like Snapchat on your desktop through emulators is completely legal and safe. However, it‘s crucial you only download apps from official stores like Google Play.
Lower quality emulators sometimes bundle in spamware, malware and other nefarious software in the installer. Bluestacks is widely trusted with no major security issues reported.
I also recommend running the Bluestacks installer through VirusTotal before installing just to be safe.
To keep your identity and data secure while Snapchatting on PC, here are some tips:
Always use a strong unique password for your Snapchat account
Enable Two-Factor Authentication in Snapchat settings
Avoid connecting Snapchat to any third-party apps or services
Be selective about what personal information you share in Snaps
Use a VPN like NordVPN to encrypt traffic and prevent spying
Following general cybersecurity best practices will keep you secure whether Snapchatting from desktop or mobile.
I hope this guide was helpful for learning how to install and use Snapchat on your Windows PC or Mac. The Bluestacks Android emulator makes it easy to get the full Snapchat experience on desktop.
Take advantage of the bigger screen, enhanced controls, and computer webcam when Snapping from your computer. Stay secure by enabling extra privacy settings and being cautious about what you share.
If you run into any issues, use the troubleshooting tips provided. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Happy desktop Snapchatting!