Microsoft has now released a preview of Windows Subsystem for Android in Windows Insider channels. In this article, we have detailed the steps to install and run Android apps on Windows 11.
Install Android Apps on Windows 11 (2021)
Requirements to Install Android Apps on Windows 11
- Windows 11 Insider Beta Channel
To be eligible to install and run Android apps on Windows 11, you should be running Windows 11 in the Beta channel. To be specific, you should be on Windows 11 22000.xxx series builds. If you are not sure about your build version, open the Run dialog using the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut ‘Win+R’, type winver, and hit Enter key to view your current Windows 11 version.
- Virtualization Support
If you satisfy the above criteria, you should now make sure you have enabled virtualization from your PC’s BIOS/ UEFI. You can check our linked guide to enable virtualization on Windows 11. To check if virtualization is enabled on your PC, open Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut Win+Shift+Esc. Then, switch to the Performance tab and check if it says “Enabled” next to “Virtualization” at the bottom right.
- Check Microsoft Store Version
After ensuring both of these, check your Microsoft Store version. Microsoft says you need Microsoft Store version 22110.1402.6.0 or higher to run Android apps. To check the Microsoft Store version, open the app, tap on your profile picture, and choose App Settings and you will see it at the bottom. You can update Microsoft Store by clicking the “Get updates” button from the Library section.
Also Read | How to Get Back Live Tiles on Windows 11
- Set Windows 11 Region to US
You should also check if your PC’s region is set to the US. IIf not, you can set your Windows 11 PC’s region manually. Navigate to “Settings -> Time & language -> Language & region -> Country or region” and choose “United States” from the dropdown list.
- US-Based Amazon Account
Lastly, you need a US-based Amazon account to test Android apps from Amazon Appstore. The catalog is fairly limited at the moment, and it includes only around 50 apps, including Kindle, Khan Academy Kids, and United Airlines. However, you can enable developer mode and sideload apps of your choice.
How to Install Android Apps on Windows 11 (Easiest Method)
1. To get started, you should first download Windows Subsystem for Android from the Microsoft Store. Use this direct link to access the Windows Subsystem for Android listing.
2. You will now see a green “Install” button if your PC is eligible. Click on it and follow the on-screen instructions to download and install Windows Subsystem for Android. As always, it mostly involves clicking ‘Next’ and ‘Download’ on the last screen.
Note: You will see a “Get” button if you have already installed WSA in the past and then uninstalled it. We did that for the purpose of this tutorial and are reinstalling it right now.
3. Microsoft is currently rolling out version 1.7.32815.0 of Windows Subsystem for Android. After installing the app, here’s what the Windows Subsystem for Android’s home screen looks like:
4. Now that you have installed Windows Subsystem for Android, it’s time to install the Amazon App Store. Use this direct link to download and install Amazon Appstore on your Windows 11 PC. If your PC is eligible, you will see an “Instal” button below the app’s name.
5. After installing the app, sign in to start downloading Android apps from the Amazon Appstore on your Windows 11 PC. As mentioned above, you will need a US-based Amazon account to access the app store.
6. After logging in, you get access to Android apps currently available in the store. It might look a bit different on your installation as this is the mobile version of the app.
7. To test out apps from the Amazon Appstore, I downloaded a game called Godus. As you can see below, it got installed and is working as you would expect.
Install Windows Subsystem for Android from Winget (Manual Method 1)
Note: This method may not work if you are outside the United States and usually results in a server error instead.
1. You can also choose to download WSA from Winget, the Windows Package Manager. You can check out this guide to learn how to install Winget if you haven’t already done that. Then, use the command below to download WSA from Winget:
winget install 9p3395vx91nr -s msstore
2. Enter ‘Y’ to accept the terms and start the installation process.
3. Similarly, the command for installing Amazon Appstore is as follows:
winget install 9njhk44ttksx -s msstore
Install Windows Subsystem for Android Msixbundle Package (Manual Method 2)
Note: If you have a copy of the Windows Subsystem for Android Msixbundle package, here’s how you can install it. Needless to say, we don’t support piracy and would suggest you not download packages from untrustworthy sources. It would be wise to wait for Microsoft to roll out Android support to other Windows Insiders channels, and eventually, the stable Windows 11 release.
1. Click the search icon (magnifying glass) in the taskbar and search for “Powershell”. From the search results that appear, choose Run as administrator.
2. Now, open the file manager and navigate to the MSIX package. Right-click on the file and choose “Copy as path” to copy the file path to your Windows 11 PC’s clipboard.
3. Switch back to the Powershell window you just opened and paste the path after the following command:
Add-AppPackage -path <path of package file>
4. All you have to do now is wait for the installation process to complete. It should take somewhere around a few seconds to a few minutes based on your PC’s hardware. After the process is complete, you will have successfully installed Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 PC. Now, you can try out apps from Amazon AppStore or sideload Android apps.
Fix ‘Unable to start Windows Subsystem for Android’ Error
If you are getting an error while trying to open Windows Subsystem for Android, the fix is simple. Just follow the steps below:
1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Apps -> Optional features, and scroll down until you find the ‘More Windows features’ option.
2. Now, enable ‘Virtual Machine Platform’ in the optional features and hit OK. Some users report enabling ‘Windows Hypervisor Platform’ helps, and you could enable it too if ‘Virtual Machine Platform’ doesn’t do the trick. Your Windows Subsystem for Android should now work without any errors on your Windows 11 PC.
Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11
The best part of the Windows Subsystem for Android is the ability to sideload apps, especially since the app library of Amazon Appstore has a limited number of apps right now. You can install popular Google Play Store alternatives like Aurora Store to help simplify the whole APK installation process.
We have tested sideloading multiple apps from Aurora Store and APKMirror and the installation process was seamless. To sideload apps, you should install ADB on your PC, enable developer mode, connect WSA to ADB, and use the adb install command. We are working on a dedicated guide on how to sideload Android apps on Windows 11, which should be live shortly.
Windows Subsystem for Android: First Impressions
In our brief testing, Windows Subsystem for Android managed to surpass our expectations. Most Android apps ran without any hiccups on a Windows 11 laptop with Intel Core i5-9300H CPU and Nvidia GTX 1650 MaxQ GPU. However, Rupesh on our team installed WSA on his AMD Ryzen laptop, and the performance wasn’t up to the mark. We noticed a bit of sluggishness while using an Android app on this laptop. However, one convenient aspect here is that you can open installed Android apps right from the Windows 11 Start Menu. That’s something you won’t find on the best Android emulators.
For input, it uses your laptop’s keyboard and mouse/ trackpad. You even have the option to resize supported apps, but they may act finicky and not fill up the whole screen as intended. Having said all that, the RAM usage starts to shoot up once you have over 3 Android apps running at the same time. Considering this is an early release, we could expect more optimizations ahead of the stable release.
Run Your Favourite Android Apps on Windows 11 with Ease!
Microsoft testing Android apps on the Windows 11 build 22000 series hints that we could get official support for Android apps by the end of the year ahead of next year’s feature update. While Microsoft adds finishing touches, we hope this article helped you get an early taste of Android apps on Windows 11. If you have any queries, let us know in the comments below, and we will try to help you out.