Microsoft made your dream to run Android Apps on your PC come true when they launched Windows 11. We will show you how to install and run your first Android App on your Computer.
For quite some time, Microsoft has been working hard to bring Android Apps experience on windows. Their internal exertion dubbed Project Latte was the major highlight when they launched Windows 11.
You can run Android Apps on Windows 11 using Windows Subsystem for Android, concurrently with other Windows apps. Amazon Appstore is the official way to install Android apps on windows 11, but you can also use Android Debugging Bridge-ADB tools to sideload android apps.
As of now, if you are a Windows Insider in the beta channel, you can access Windows Subsystem for Android to install and run some of the app available on the Amazon App Store. Here is what you need to know about installing and running Android Apps on Windows 11
Requirements to Run Android Apps on Windows 11
Before you run android apps on windows 11, ensure your PC meets the following requirement:
To help you understand better, the following table shows the minimum system requirement your PC should have to get Windows 11
|Component||Windows 11 System Requirement|
|Storage||SSD- 64 GB or above|
|RAM||4 GB or above|
|Computer Processor||1 GHz or higher2 or more cores on a 64-bit processor or Chip (SoC) system|
|Display||High definition display of 720p or above that is bigger than 9 inches diagonally.8 bits for a color channel|
|Internet||High-speed internet of 3 Mbps or above|
|Current OS||Windows 10|
|Graphics card||Compatible with at least DirectX 12 with WDDM 2.0 driver|
|Trusted Platform Module (TPM)||Version 2.0|
|Firmware||Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Secure Boot Capable|
How to Check Systems Requirements
You can check your system requirement on Windows settings.
Go to the about section and check CPU and RAM under Device Specification.
On windows specifications, ensure that the number against OS build is 22000.XXX or above.
To check if your system is SSD or HDD, select advanced storage settings under storage management. Select the Disks and Volumes settings. Select the main Drive and confirm if you have an HDD or SSD. If it’s HDD, you can’t install the Windows Subsystem for Android.
If your system meets the above requirement at this stage, you can join the beta channel.
Windows Insider Beta or Dev Channel
Microsoft says that you need to have a Windows Insider Beta channel for your system to support the Android App experience. To be in the windows insider program, navigate through Settings-> Windows update->windows insider. Ensure you are in a beta channel.
Important: According to Windows Insider Blog, Windows insiders in the Dev channel in the U.S can now install, run and have android support on their PC.
Here is how you can register for the Windows Insider Program:
Use your Microsoft account credentials to register. These are the same details you use other Microsoft services like emails, OneDrive, or Microsoft office. You can also register a business Windows Insider Program using your work email.
Accept the terms in the Program Agreement and Privacy Statement. And there, you are in the Windows Insider Program.
Your Microsoft account version should be 22110.1402.6.0 or above. To update your version, go to the Store on your library and check for the updates. Click Get Updates.
You must have an amazon account (US-based) which you will use to access the Amazon App Store. Your PC location should also be in the US- as of now.
To check if your PC is virtualization enabled, go to the taskbar, then click on the Performance button. At the bottom right, you will see ‘Virtualization: enabled’ if it is indeed enabled. If it’s not, you need to enter your BIOS and enable it.
How To Install Android Apps On Windows 11
Before installing apps on your PC, you need to have an Amazon app, windows subsystem for android, or google play store, assuming you meet all other requirements as stated above. Let’s discuss how you can get these app stores before you can run the actual apps on Windows 11
Installing Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA)
Windows insiders can run the android app on windows 11 without setting up any emulators. You can install WSA on any version of Windows 11.
But what is the windows subsystem for android? It is a new Windows platform that allows you to run android apps on your OS. WSA has android OS 11, Linux kernel, and pre-installed Amazon App Store, which allows you to run android app available in the store efficiently VirtualBoxit.
To install the Windows subsystem for Android, all you need is to search for the Amazon Appstore on your Microsoft Store. If you are not in the windows insider program, you will need to install it manually, but expect bugs and issues- it is not common, though.
You can download the windows subsystem for android using online tools that generate links to the Microsoft Store package. These tools come up with a list of available links for your product ID. You can use these tools if you are not under the windows insider program.
Amazon App Store for Windows 11
Once you install the Windows Subsystem for Android, Amazon Appstore is installed by default. You can run any apps in the store on your PC. You can access all apps at the start menu. Ensure you have an amazon account which you will use to access the apps in the store.
Google Playstore in Windows 11
Setting up for Google play store to work on windows 11 involves a complex process. You will need to prepare your system to get ready for the steps. Before we start, we would like to caution you that this process takes longer than other methods.
ADeltaX, owned by an Italian student, is the company behind this process. He is a UX Designer at the University of Trento. He gave a detailed tutorial on YouTube to use google play store on windows 11.
Just like other methods, you need to meet the minimum system requirement and have windows 11 beta to go on with this method.
Important: This is not an official method to install google apps on windows. It involves modifying your windows subsystem for android and replacing the kernel with a modification. This may result in data loss or even damage your hardware. Reconsider before you use the method.
Prepare Your System
Here are things you need to set up the environment in your system:
- Uninstall the previous Windows subsystem for Android (WSA)
- Install windows subsystem for android and Ubuntu
- Enable the developer mode
- Install tools that extract files, like 7-zip
- Download original WSA, ADBkits, OpenGApps, and WSAGAscript.
How to Install WSL2
To install Windows Subsystem for Linux, you need a Linux distribution.
First, click on the start menu and search for the command prompt. Right-click and hit run as administrator. Use the command wsl –install to install WSL2 and Ubuntu. Press enter.
Restart your computer and follow the on-screen directions to run Ubuntu Distro.
How to Enable Developer Mode
To turn the developer mode on, go to Privacy and Security. On the security, tab click For Developers and turn it on.
Here are other applications you need to run google play store apps on windows 11
- 7-zip: This application will help you retrieve files from different sources. You can get this application on your Microsoft store.
- Custom WSA: To run Google play store apps on windows 11, you need to download Windows Subsystem for Android package from rg-adguard. Copy and paste the product ID 9P3395VX91NR on the productid option.
Use the slow option and click on the check button.
Click the link to download the WSA package.
- OpenGApps: Go to the Open GApps website to download. Use the x86_64 option. For the android version, select 11 and variate select pico. Download the file and save them on your computer.
- WSAGAScript: Get this script from the GitHub website. Use the code menu to download Zip. Save the file on your PC.
- ADB ToolKit: You will need the Android Debugging Bridge tool to use the Google Play Store at the end of the process. You can download the tool on the MediaFire website.
Note: You will use the 7-zip to extract all the download files in .zip folders.
How to Modify Windows Subsystem for Android
Open Ubuntu and run as administrator on your PC. Type the command sudo su and press enter and use the cd /mnt/c/GAppsWSA command to change the GAppsWSA directory location. Press Enter and then use sudo apt-get update command to update the system.
- Use the following commands and press enter to perform different tasks:
- Use sudo apt-get install unzip lzip to install the lzip tool.
- Use sudo apt-get install dos2unix to install dos2unix.
- Use dos2unix ./apply.sh to convert script to unix format
- Use dos2unix ./extend_and_mount_images.sh to convert script to unix format.
- Use dos2unix ./extract_gapps_pico.sh to convert script to unix format
- Use dos2unix ./unmount_images.sh to convert script to unix format
- Use dos2unix ./VARIABLES.sh to convert script to unix format
- Use ./extract_gapps_pico.sh to start with the first step
- Use ./extend_and_mount_images.sh to go on with the second step
- Use ./apply.sh for the third step
- Use ./unmount_images.sh for the fourth step
After those commands, go to the File Explorer and search for C:\GAppsWSA\#IMAGES, then select the following files altogether; you might hold the Ctrl key.
Copy the file using the command bar, then browse C:\WindowsSubsystemAndroid and paste. Select Replace the files in the destination.
Go to C:\GAppsWSA\misc and select the kernel the copy.
Browse C:\WindowsSubsystemAndroid\Tools and click on the kernel file. Rename the file to kernel_bak and Enter. Paste to the new kernel file.
At this state, the custom version of the Windows Subsystem for Android is ready to be installed.
How to Install a Custom Version of Windows Subsystem for Android.
Go to PowerShell and Run as administrator, then use Add-AppxPackage -Register C:\WindowsSubsystemAndroid\AppxManifest.xml command to install custom WSA.
Press Enter. By clicking Enter, you complete installing the custom WSA version.
Setting Up Google Playstore on Windows 11
Open the Windows Subsystem for the Android app and ensure the developer’s mode is turned on. Click Manage develop settings and uncheck Share my diagnostic data. Press Continue and close the window.
Open the Command prompt and Run as administrator. To change the location of ADBKit, use the command cd C:\adbkit and connect to WSA using adb.exe connect 127.0.0.1:58526 command.
Use adb.exe shell to open shell, su to gain root access, and setenforce 0 to activate Google Play Store. Press Enter. At this stage, you will be able to log in to the Google Play Store and install using the onscreen directions.
How to Uninstall Android Apps
To uninstall android apps on your PC, go to settings, click Apps, and then Apps & features. Select the Android app you want to uninstall, click on the three-dotted menu button, and select Uninstall. This method is appropriate for the apps sideload using ADB tools or Amazon Appstore.
Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11
This process involves setting up the ADB tools, downloading the .apk file to install the apps, and running the ADB command to the WSA package virtual machine.
Here is how to set up the ADB tools.
First, go to the android developer and download the link to download SDK platform-tools for Windows.
Accept the terms and continue with the download.
Go to your PC and extract the .zip folder you just downloaded. Select the file destination and go-ahead to open the platform-tools folder. From the address bar, select and copy the path.
Use a trusted .apk store to download the apps you want to install on windows 11.
Here is how to sideload apps on windows 11.
Open the Windows Subsystem for Android and ensure that the developer mode is turned on. Copy from the IP address and use the following command on the command prompt to change the platform-tools folder. cd C:\PATH\TO\platform-tools.
To connect the Windows Subsystem for Android, use this command and press enter: ADB connect WSA-IP-ADDRESS. Replace WSA-IP-ADDRESS with the actual WSA IP address.
Use the command adb install ANDROID-APK-APPNAME. Replace ANDROID-APK-APPNAME with the actual name of the apk app name. The app is now installed.
Access the apps from the Start menu just like any other native apps on your computer.
How Would the Android App Run in Windows 11
Using android apps on Windows 11 comes with a pretty awesome experience and features. However, there are some limitations and cons, but hopefully, Microsoft will address and fix them in the future.
Overall, the user experience is commendable. All the android apps you use on your phone are available on your PC. However, there are reports that some apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, etc., cannot access camera or PC galleries to upload and send pictures.
To have a good experience with android apps on your PC, you need to have at least 8 GB of RAM, and even a better experience, you need 16 GB RAM. This locks out many outdated computers. Maybe users will need to upgrade their RAM to buy new PCs to enjoy mobile apps on the computers.
The official to install android apps on windows is so easy, but it comes with only 50 apps on the Amazon Appstore as of now. This is a limitation as using other unofficial methods to get an app is not as easy as it may sound.
A great feature is that you can use your accounts across all the devices and back up data just like you do on your phone. All the controls you use on your mobile App are available on your PC.
You might experience some bugs with Android apps, as Windows 11 is still new, and your might PC lacks some of the requirements. With time, upgrades will wipe out such bugs and enjoy apps smoothly. However, this is not always the cause. Some users get full admirable android support on their computers.
Best Android Apps for Windows 11
As we had seen earlier, you can install any android app on your PC using three different ways. Here are some of the best apps available in the Amazon Appstore for users in the windows insider program.
Flight Tracker24: This app helps you to compare and choose the cheapest flight to any destination. All you need to do is download, sign up, and insert your departure location and destination. You will get all the cheapest flights instantly.
Subway Surfers: Previously on Windows Phone, Subway Surfers is a classic game with a continuous runner. As the runner, you escape a policeman by dodging trains, ducking hurdles, and jumping. The policeman has a dog. You collect as many coins as possible to power up, provided you don’t run into a hurdle, train, or anything else.
BBC sounds: This app allows you to listen to BBC radio stations, concerts, music, and podcasts. Registering is free, and you start listening immediately—all the world news in one app.
Hungry Shark Evolution: The game was previously on Windows Phone. This fun game makes you eat fish and people as you swim in the ocean. It is easy to play, but on PC, it seems a bit harder using a mouse.
Washington Post: This is a news app. You can sign up for free and access a few articles before you can subscribe to premium services. It gives you a chance to know what is happening around you and internationally.
There are other helpful android apps you can download on windows 11 like Khan Academy Kids, Yahoo Mail, Kindle for Android, Audible, ComiXology, and many others.
Running Android Apps Natively on Windows 11 vs Using Emulators
At this moment, comparing between running android apps natively on windows 11 and using an emulator isn’t easy. Why? There is not much known about android support on windows 11. But based on what we know, we can have some insightful comparisons to help you make the right decision. For this comparison, let’s use BlueStacks, which is a famous emulator.
Microsoft has given the requirement for installing Windows 11 but hasn’t clearly stated the requirements for running android apps. Here are the requirements from Microsoft in a picture.
On the other hand, BlueStacks requirements are Windows 7 or above, optional Enabled Virtualization, RAM of 8GB or more, optional SSD, 5 GB storage, Multicore AMD or Intel, and discrete graphic card.
From the look of things, Microsoft will use Amazon Appstore, which has fewer apps compared with the Google play store. This means Windows 11 users will have limited access to many apps. With an emulator, you can access all the apps on Google play.
Gaming is not something we can compare as of now. We cannot say much about gaming since android for Windows 11 is still in the initial stages.
Emulators work in a virtual environment, which means they don’t require a lot of hardware power. On the other hand, windows 11 android apps performance might be better since it has native support.
How to Run Android Apps on Pc (Windows 10 & Windows 11)
There are several ways to run android apps on a PC. You can mirror your phone windows, use Bluestacks, Genymotion, android-x86, Android studio, Amazon Appsore for windows 11 users, and Android SDK.
Let us see how you can emulate android apps on PC using Genymotion. It is a decent emulator with both free versions for personal use and paid versions for developers. You need to create your account on the official Genymotion website to get started.
Genymotion uses VirtualBox. You will need to install VirtualBox on your PC and select it for personal use. Also, you will need to have AMD-V or Intel VT-X, just like BlueStacks. You can set up this on your PCs BIOS.
There is a list of device templates to choose from when you start Genymotion. Install your preferred template and double-click to select android. Launch apps on the home screen and emulate events such as GPS location.
Note that Genymotion does not support Android version 4.4 to 10.0.
Using Android Studio and Android SDK
You can run Android studio on an emulator
Open Android Studio and create the Android Virtual Device (AVD). The emulator will use the AVD to install and run your apps.
Go to the toolbar and select the app from the drop-down menu. Select the AVD that you want to run your apps on.
Click run. Android Studio will install the AV and the emulator.
An android emulator has other requirements apart from Android Studio requirements. They include SDK tools 26.1.1 or above, CPU with unrestricted guest, the processor of 64-bit, and HAXM 7.2.0.
Different Methods to Run Android Apps on Your PC
As we have seen, there are different ways to run android apps on your PC, both windows 10 and windows 11.
Each method comes with its limitations, but you will install and run mobile apps on your PC in the end.
If you are a Windows 11 user, there is so much in the pipeline regarding smooth running unlimited apps on your devices. Keep it here for timely updates on windows 11 and more.