How to Install and Run Android Apps on a Windows 11 PC

Windows 11 is far superior in terms of design and providing ease of convenience to the user. However, Microsoft didn’t stop at that and went one step further by making it leaps ahead relative to any other previous iteration of Windows in terms of interoperability as well.

With Windows 11, you can officially install Android apps on your Windows PC through the Amazon Appstore. Plus, you can also sideload Android app APK files and run them on your PC.

Note: As of the time of writing this article (21st October’21), this feature is only available for the users enrolled in Windows Insider Program.

Getting your Windows 11 Computer Ready

Before you straight away jump to download and install Android apps on your Windows device, you need to make sure ‘Hyper-V’ and ‘Virtual Machine Platform’ optional features are enabled on your PC.

To get started, launch the Settings app from the Start Menu of your device or by using the Windows+i keyboard shortcut.

Next, click on the ‘Apps’ option present on the left sidebar of the Settings window.

After that, click on the ‘Optional features’ tile from the right section of the window.

Then, click on the ‘More Windows features’ tile present under the ‘Related settings’ section. This will open a separate window on your screen.

Now, from the ‘Windows Features’ window, locate the ‘Hyper-V’ option and click on the checkbox preceding the feature to select it.

Then, scroll down locate the ‘Virtual Machine Platform’ feature, and click on the checkbox preceding it to select it as well. Finally, click on the ‘OK’ button to install both of these optional features on your Windows machine.

This action will open a separate window on your screen to download the required files, wait patiently till the installation completes.


Download and Install Windows Subsystem for Android with Amazon App Store

Windows Subsystem for Android is a new component layer on top of Windows 11 that powers the Amazon Appstore as it comprises of Linux kernel and Android OS which runs the Andriod apps on your system.

The tech jargon may feel a bit too complex for the uninitiated. But that being said, Microsoft will distribute the ‘Windows Subsystem for Andriod’ as an app from the Microsoft Store for an easy download and install experience to the users.

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First, launch the ‘Microsoft Store’ app from the Start Menu of your Windows device or search for it in Windows Search.

On the Microsoft Store window, click on the search bar and type ‘Windows Subsystem for Android’, and hit Enter on your keyboard to perform a search.

Alternatively, you can also navigate to the app by heading to the official Microsoft Store website at microsoft.com/windows-subsystem-for-android… and then click the ‘Get’ button on the webpage.

Next, you will receive a prompt asking you to if you wish to be redirected to the Microsoft Store, click on the ‘Yes’ button. This will open Microsoft Store on your Windows machine.

Once you are on the app page on the Microsoft Store, click on the ‘Get/Install’ button present on the Microsoft Store window to install the app.

Manually Install Windows Subsystem for Android

In case for some reason you are not able to download the Windows Subsystem for Android from the Microsoft Store, you can also install it manually on your system by downloading the installation package for it.

Pre-requisites

  • Windows Subsystem for Android msixbundle (Link)
    ProductId: 9P3395VX91NR, Ring: SLOW
  • Amazon App Store for Windows msixbundle (Optional)

Install Windows Subsystem for Android using Windows Terminal

Once you have the installer package for Windows Subsystem for Android, it is pretty straightforward to install it on your system.

Before you proceed with the installation, head to the directory containing the installer package and right-click on it. Then, choose the ‘Properties’ option. This will open a separate window on your screen.

Then, select the path specified to the right of the ‘Location:’ field and keep it handy as it will be needed during the installation process.

Next, press the Windows+Xshortcut on your keyboard to bring up the Windows super user menu. Then, click on the ‘Windows Terminal (Administrator)’ option from the list to open an elevated window of the Windows Terminal.

After that, type or copy+paste the following command to install the package on your computer.

Add-AppxPackage -Path "\.msixbundle"

Note: Replace the placeholder with the path address you copied earlier, along with placeholder with the exact name of the package in the command below.

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Powershell will now start installing the package on your system, wait till the process finishes.

Once installed, you will be able to locate the app under the ‘Recommended’ section of the Windows Start Menu.

Reportedly, some users do not get the ‘Amazon Appstore’ along with the ‘Windows Subsystem for Android’. If that’s the case with you as well, you will need to install the Amazin Appstore separately.

To do so, head back to the elevated window of the Windows Terminal. Then, type or copy+paste the following command in the PowerShell window and hit Enterto install the app on your system.

Add-AppxPackage -Path "\.msixbundle

Powershell will now install the app on your system, wait while the process runs in the background.

You will be able to locate the Amazon Appstore under the ‘Recommended’ section of the Start Menu, once it has been installed on the system.


Installing Android Apps on Windows 11 using Amazon Appstore

Once you have installed the Windows subsystem for Android along with Amazon Appstore on your device, you are all set to enjoy Andriod apps on your PC.

To get started, open the Start Menu and click on the ‘All apps’ button present at the top right corner of the flyout.

Next, locate the ‘Amazon Appstore’ from the alphabetically ordered list and click on it to launch the app.

You will need to sign in to your Amazon account on the first launch of the app. Once done, you will be greeted by the Amazon Appstore home screen.

To install any application of your choice, click on the ‘Get’ button present on individual tiles of the app.


How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11 via APK Files

Along with the apps available through the Amazon Appstore, you can also sideload apps of your choice on Windows 11 provided you have a .apk file for the app you wish to install.

First, head to the official Android developer website developer.android.com/platform-tools. Then, locate the ‘Downloads’ section and click on the ‘Download SDK Platform-Tools for Windows’ option. This will open an overlay window on your screen.

Next, scroll down and click the checkbox preceding the ‘ I have read and agree with the above terms and conditions’ field, and then click on the ‘Download Android SDK Platform-Tools for Windows’ button to initiate the download.

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Once the download has been completed, head to the download directory and right-click on the zipped folder. Then, choose the ‘Extract all’ option from the context menu to extract the folder.

Next, head to the directory containing your .apk file. Copy the file using the context menu or Ctrl+C shortcut. Then, paste the file into the extracted folder by pressing the Ctrl+V shortcut on your keyboard.

Note: Make sure to copy the name of the file you wish to install and keep it handy as it will be needed in further steps.

Now, open Start Menu and click on the ‘All apps’ button present at the top right corner of the flyout.

Next, scroll to locate and click on the ‘Windows Subsystem for Android’ tile to launch it.

From the WSA window, locate the ‘Developer mode’ option and toggle the following switch to the ‘On’ position. Also, note the IP address displayed on the tile.

Now, back to the extracted folder, click on the address bar of the folder and type cmd. Then, hit Enteron your keyboard to open a Command Prompt window set to the current directory.

Next, type or copy+paste the following command to connect to Android Debug Bridge (ADB).

adb.exe connect 

Note: Replace the placeholder with the IP address present on the ‘Developer options’ tile of the Windows Subsystem for Android window.

After that, type or copy+paste the following command to sideload the application on your Windows machine.

adb.exe install .apk

Note: Make sure to replace placeholder with your current file name to install the .apk on your system.

Once the app has been successfully installed, you will see a message stating so on the screen.

Finally, head to the Start Menu, and click on the ‘All apps’ button. Next, scroll down to locate your app from the alphabetically ordered list and click on it to launch.


That’s how you can run Android apps on your Windows 11 PC.

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