One of the most interesting highlights of Windows 11 is its compatibility with Android apps. This means you can run Android apps without using third-party emulators on your Windows PC. But how do you run Android apps in Windows 11?
According to the official announcement, this function is currently only available to Windows Insider users in the US. However, for others, there is still a workaround. So here’s how you can sideload and run Android apps in Windows 11 without using the Insider build.
How to run Android apps on Windows 11 without Windows Insider
To successfully sideload Android apps to Windows 11, you need several software components. The list includes Windows Subsystem for Android, Android Debug Bridge (ADB) setup and of course, the APK file for the app you want to install.
These components will be briefly explained in later sections of this guide, so get started now.
Step 1: Install Windows Subsystem for Android
Windows Subsystem for Android allows your Windows 11 device to run Android apps available in the Amazon AppStore and via sideloading. However, this feature is currently only available through the Beta and Dev channels of the Windows Insider program in the US.
Since you are not running the build preview, the article will use a third-party utility to download and set up the Android environment. Here’s how to install Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 public release.
2. Click the drop-down menu and select URL (link) .
3. Next, click the RP drop-down menu and select Slow.
5. The link generator will show several options on the screen. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the MicrosoftCorporationII.WindowsSubsystemForAndroid_1.8.32828.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe.msixbundle file .
6. You may have to allow the file to download because the browser may flag the file as unsafe. Wait for the download to complete.
7. Next, press Win + S and type powershell.
8. Click Run as Administrator from the search results.
8. To install Windows Subsystem for Android, enter the command Add-AppxPackage -Path , followed by the location of the downloaded file in quotes.
Add-AppxPackage -Path “C: \ Users \ Tashreef \ Downloads \ MicrosoftCorporationII.WindowsSubsystemForAndroid_1.8.32828.0_neutral ___ 8wekyb3d8bbwe.Msixbundle”
Wait for the installation to complete. Once installed, open Start and you’ll see Windows Subsystem for Android among many other apps. You must restart your PC to access the Amazon AppStore, part of the package.
Step 2: Enable Virtual Machine Platform
You must enable Virtual Machine Platform in Windows 11 to set up Windows Subsystem for Android. It enables platform support for virtual machines and is required for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2). WSL2 is an optional Windows 11 feature, and you can enable it from the classic Windows Features window.
To enable Virtual Machine Platform:
1. Press Win + I to open Settings .
2. In the left pane, open the Apps tab .
3. Click Optional Features.
4. Scroll down to the Related settings section and then click More Windows features .
5. In the Windows Features window that opens, locate and select Virtual Machine Platform .
6. Click OK to apply the changes.
Restart the PC to save the changes. After the reboot, we will install the minimal ADB setup needed to sideload Android apps in Windows 11.
Step 3: Install Minimal ADB Setup in Windows 11
Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a command line tool that helps you communicate with a compatible device. Since it supports many different commands, you can use it to sideload and install Android apps using Command Prompt. Here is how to install ADB setup for Windows 11 system.
1. Go to the ABD and Fastboot site and download the Installer file .
2. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
3. After installing the setup, you can proceed to install Android apps in Windows 11 using the app’s APK file.
Step 4: Sideload Android Apps in Windows 11
To sideload an Android app, you need the app’s APK file. You can download “clean” APK files from third-party sources, such as APKMirror. This is a trusted source to download APK files safely. Here’s how to do it.
1. Go to APKMirror.com , then search and download the APK file for the app you want to install.
2. Next, launch Windows Subsystem for Android.
3. Under Subsystem resources , select Continuous.
4. Next, turn the switch to set Developer Mode to On.
5. Next, copy the IP address. If the IP address is not visible, click the Refresh button . If that doesn’t work, click the File Explorer icon in the Files section to restart the system. Click the Refresh button again and you should see the IP address.
6. Press Win + R , type cmd and click OK to open Command Prompt .
Adb connect YourIPAddress
8. Next, type adb devices to see if the connection is established.
adb install C:\Users\Tashreef\Downloads\com.rovio.dream_1.37.1-25240_minAPI21(arm64-v8a,armeabi-v7a)(nodpi)_apkmirror.com.apk
10. Press Enter and wait for the success message.
11. After successful installation, the application will appear in the Start menu and search results. You don’t need to configure the input device at this point, so go ahead and launch the app.
How to sideload Android apps without Command Prompt
If you don’t want to mess with Command Prompt when installing applications, you can use WSATools. This is a third party apk installer for Windows Subsystem for Android and comes with File Explorer integration for selecting and sideloading APK files.
To install APK with WSATools:
1. Go to the WSATool page and install the application.
2. Next, launch and click Select an APK .
3. Select the apk file you want to install and click Load APK.
4. Click the Install button to complete the installation.