The Microsoft Emulator for Windows 10 Mobile may not be a well-known tool, but it is definitely useful. This emulator is primarily designed to help developers test their applications for use on Windows mobile devices. However, the emulator can also be useful for Windows admins. You might use the emulator to test how your organization’s mobile device management strategy will work on Windows mobile devices. Deploying the emulator is a simple process, and Microsoft offers numerous configuration options that you can use to make the emulator do whatever you needed to do.
Before you can install the emulator, you will need to make sure that your computer meets some prerequisites. Specifically, you will need to be running a 64-bit professional edition of Windows, with Hyper-V enabled. Although not technically a requirement, Microsoft strongly recommends that your computer be running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or something newer. You will also need to make sure that your computer has enough memory to host the emulator image. The images vary in size, but some are as small as half a gigabyte.
To get started, you will need to go to this Microsoft website and download the emulator. The download consists of a single file called EmulatorSetup.exe.
Upon launching the Emulator Setup executable, Windows will launch a utility that will help you to install the emulator. As you can see in the image below, the installer gives you the option of deploying the emulator locally or of downloading the emulator for a later installation to a different computer. In either case, downloading the emulator requires roughly about 4.5 GB of disk space.
Upon making your selection, click Next, and you will be taken to the Windows Kits Privacy screen. This screen asks if you want to participate in the Microsoft Customer Experience Program. Specify either Yes or No, and click Next. At this point, you are prompted to accept the license agreement. Click Accept, followed by Install, and the installation process will begin. When the installation process completes, click Close.
Launching the Windows 10 Mobile Emulator
You can launch the emulator by selecting the Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile Emulator option from the Windows Start menu. Upon doing so, you will be taken to the screen that is shown in the next image.
The first thing that you will probably notice when looking at the screen above is that the lower portion of the screen displays a number of different emulator configurations. There are several things that you will need to pay attention to before selecting one of these emulator configurations. First, make note of the Windows version associated with each emulator. If you look closely at the screen capture above, you will notice that options near the bottom of the window reference newer version numbers, then the options closer to the top of the window.
Another thing that you will want to pay attention to is the emulated screen size. The options provided by Microsoft allow you to emulate devices with screens ranging in sizes between 4 inches and 6 inches. Just as the screen sizes vary, however, so do the screen resolutions. An emulated 5-inch device, for instance, uses a display resolution of 720p, while a 6-inch device uses a 1080p resolution. Of course, one more difference between the various emulated devices is the amount of memory they are equipped with. Some of the emulated devices shown in the previous screen capture have as little as 512MB of memory, while others allow for up to 3GB of memory.
Microsoft emulates enough devices that you will probably find one on the list that meets your needs. If not, you have the option of customizing an emulated device simply by selecting the device and clicking the Edit button. You can see what the Edit Emulator Device screen looks like in the screen capture shown below.
One more thing that I want to be sure and mention before I move on is that you might not necessarily be limited solely to using the emulator versions that are shown in the previous screen captures. The emulator’s File menu includes a Download Emulator Image option that you can use to acquire new emulator versions. When I wrote this article, there were preview versions available for download, as shown below.
As you have probably already figured out, you can launch an emulator by simply selecting it and then clicking the Start button. The first time that you do this, there is a good chance that you will see an error message indicating that you do not have permissions to modify the internal Hyper-V network adapter settings, which are required to run the emulator. To fix this problem, all you have to do is to click the Retry button shown below.
Upon doing so, the emulator should load. Incidentally, this can be a time-consuming process. Even if you have a fast PC, it can take a couple of minutes for the emulator to load its operating system. As you can see in the next image, the emulator is nearly identical to the one that Microsoft used for Windows Phone several years back. Even though the emulator looks suspiciously like a Windows phone, it actually runs a mobile version of Windows 10.
Your emulator is up and running
At this point, the emulator is ready to go. You shouldn’t have to do anything to connect it to your network. You can now begin testing whatever it is that you need to test. Incidentally, there is a menu to the right of the emulator, and you can use that menu to access a variety of additional tools that allow you to enable or disable sensors, simulate activities such as walking or jogging, and to access any number of other settings.
Featured image: Pixabay