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How to get started with Android apps on Windows 11

Windows 11 Android apps
Windows 11 Android apps (Image credit: Future)

On Windows 11, the Windows Subsystem for Android is a platform that lets you run Android apps on your laptop or desktop alongside Windows apps. Officially, you can only install apps from Amazon Appstore, but it's also possible to sideload Android apps using the Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) tools.

The platform is currently available as a preview for devices running the most up-to-date version of Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store app. Initially, the platform was limited to the United States and Japan, but it's now expanding to 31 additional markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

This guide will walk you through the steps you need to know to get started getting and using Android apps on Windows 11.

How to install Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11

You first need to check whether your computer meets all the requirements.

System requirements

These are the requirements to install Android apps on Windows 11:

  • Memory: 8GB (16GB recommended).
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 8th Gen, AMD Ryzen 3000, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, or better.
  • Storage: Solid-state drive (SSD).
  • Microsoft Store app: Version 22110.1402.6.0 or higher.
  • Windows 11: Build 22000.526 or higher.

Check system requirements

To check the system requirements, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the About page on the right side.
  4. Under the "Device specifications" section, confirm the RAM and CPU requirements.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Under the "Windows specifications" section, confirm the build number is equal to or higher than 22000.526.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the Storage page on the right side.
  4. Under the "Storage management" section, select the "Advanced storage settings" option.
  5. Click the Disks & volumes setting.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Select the main drive and click the Properties button.

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  1. Confirm the media type is SSD. (If it's "HDD," you won't be able to install WSA.)

(Image credit: Future)

Once you complete the steps, you want to check for updates to ensure that the system has the latest patches and the most up-to-date version of the Microsoft Store.

Check for Windows 11 updates

To download and install updates on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update.
  3. Click the Check for updates button.

(Image credit: Future)

After you complete the steps, restart the computer to finish applying the system updates.

Check for Microsoft Store update

The computer must also have the latest version of the Microsoft Store app to download the Amazon Appstore app.

To check the Microsoft Store version and check for updates, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Store app.
  2. Click on Library.
  3. Click the Get updates button.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Profile menu and select the App settings option.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Confirm the version is equal to or higher than 22110.1402.6.0.

(Image credit: Future)

After you complete the steps, you can enable the virtualization features on the UEFI firmware and Windows 11.

Enable virtualization

The Windows Subsystem for Android also requires virtualization to be enabled at the hardware and software level to run the virtual machine that makes everything happen. Since these steps are different per device, you may want to check your manufacturer support website for specific details depending on the computer. If you have a computer with modern hardware, this feature may already be enabled. Once virtualization has been enabled, you can turn on the "Virtual Machine Platform" feature on Windows 11.

To enable the Virtual Machine Platform feature on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Turn Windows features on or off and click the top result to open the experience.
  3. Check the "Virtual Machine Platform" option.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the OK button.
  2. Click the Restart button.

Once you complete the steps, you can install the Windows Subsystem for Android and the Amazon Appstore.

Install Windows Subsystem for Android

To install the Windows Subsystem for Android alongside the Amazon Appstore, use these steps:

  1. Open the Amazon Appstore page (opens in new tab).
  2. Click the Install button.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Set up button.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Download button.

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  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Restart button.

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After you complete the steps, you can finally install Android apps on Windows 11.

How to install Android apps on Windows 11

To install Android apps on your computer, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Amazon Appstore and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click the Sign in button.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Sign in with your Amazon account.
  2. Select the application.
  3. Click the Get button.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Download button.
  2. Click the Download button again.

Once you complete the steps, you can open the app from the Amazon Appstore, or it'll also be listed in the Start menu. If you can't find it, the app will probably be listed in the "All apps" section.

Launching an Android app will behave like a regular Microsoft Store app. You can maximize, minimize, and resize windows, and you can also use the mouse and keyboard for input. You can terminate the application by clicking the Close button like any other app, but it might take a little time.

How to uninstall Android apps on Windows 11

On Windows 11, you can uninstall Android apps like any other Microsoft Store app from the Start menu or Settings app.

Remove apps from Start menu

To remove Android apps from the Windows 11 Start menu, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for the app.
  3. Right-click the Android apps and select the Uninstall button.

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Remove apps from Settings

To uninstall Android apps from the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click the Installed apps page from the right side.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Select the Android app.
  2. Click the menu (three-dotted) button and select the Uninstall option.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Uninstall button again.

After you complete the steps, the app will no longer be available on the device.

These instructions work for removing apps from the Amazon Appstore or apps you sideloaded using the Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) tools.

How to uninstall Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11

To uninstall the Windows Subsystem for Android, Amazon Appstore, and installed apps, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click the Apps & features page from the right side.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Select the "Windows Subsystem for Android" app.
  2. Click the menu (three-dotted) button and select the Uninstall option.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Uninstall button again.
  2. Restart the computer.
  • Quick note: Restarting isn't required, but the system may need a refresh to remove any remaining files and configuration. Also, if you don't restart, if you are reinstalling the platform, you may get an error downloading the components from the Microsoft Store.

Once you complete the steps, the Windows Subsystem for Android, Amazon Appstore, and Android apps will be removed from the device.

Other details

Although the platform works out of the box, the Windows Subsystem for Android also comes with various settings you can change, which you can open from the Start menu.

The settings page includes an option to access files you created and downloaded using the platform, including images, audio, videos, documents, and more.

(Image credit: Future)

By default, WSA will remain dormant until you launch an application. However, the settings page also includes a "Subsystem resources" feature that allows you to choose to run the virtual machine continuously.

(Image credit: Future)

You can also assign the graphic card the platform should use when running applications using the "Graphics and Performance" setting. 

(Image credit: Future)

In the "Developer" section, you can enable "Developer mode" for testing and debugging.

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The "Compatibility" section includes a number of shims you can enable per application to make Android apps more compatible with the platform on Windows 11.

(Image credit: Future)

Although bringing Android apps support is a welcome addition to Windows 11, you cannot run any app you want. For instance, the Amazon Appstore only includes around 20,000 apps. While it may seem like a lot, it's not, and most of them are games. Also, if you sideload apps, you may be able to install virtually any app, but those that require Google Play Services like Gmail, Google Maps, and others won't work.

You can check which apps are compatible with Windows 11 using this community list on GitHub.

This guide showed you the steps to install WSA by installing the Amazon Appstore; however, you can also install the Windows Subsystem for Android app (opens in new tab), which will also install the Amazon Appstore.

The platform is only available in a handful of regions. However, if you are located in a country still not supported, you can get around this by changing the region settings. You can do this on Settings > Time & language > Language & region and change the "Country or region" setting to the United States.

If you are a developer, Microsoft has published various resources (opens in new tab) to optimize your Android apps to run with the Windows Subsystem for Android. The documentation explains the steps to set up the development environment and configure the platform settings. Also, you will find information to add support for keyboard and mouse, resizing windows, and more details on the virtual machine, security, and Amazon Appstore.

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources: