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How to get started with Android apps on Windows 11

Windows 11 Android Apps
Windows 11 Android Apps (Image credit: Windows Central )

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 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. Also, the support is currently limited to the United States, and you need a United States-based account to access the Amazon Appstore.

In this Windows 11 guide, we 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 (stable channel).

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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the main drive.
  2. Confirm the media type is SSD. If it's "HDD," you won't be able to install WSA.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, you want to check for updates to make sure that the system has the latest patches installed and the latest 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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

Check for Microsoft Store update

The computer must also have the Microsoft Store app version 22110.1402.6.0 or higher for the Amazon Appstore app to show up for download.

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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Profile menu and select the App settings option.
  2. Confirm the version is equal to or higher than 22110.1402.6.0.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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 the 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Set up button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Download button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Restart button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Sign in with your United States-based Amazon account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the application.
  2. Click the Get button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Download button.

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 bit of 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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 Apps & features page from the right side.

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

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Uninstall button again.

After you complete the steps, the Android 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.

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

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Uninstall button again.
  2. Restart the computer.Quick note: Restarting isn't a requirement, 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 advanced 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.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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.

You can also assign the graphic card that the platform should use when running applications using the "GPU use for apps for Android." You will also find the option to enable Developer mode, find the IP address to connect with the debugging tools, and shut down the current instance. Furthermore, there's even an option to reset the platform to its default settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Although bringing Android apps support is a welcome addition to Windows 11, you cannot run any app you want. For starters, the Amazon Appstore only includes around 50 apps, most of which 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 on Windows 11 using this community list at 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 the United States. However, you can get around this by changing the region settings on Settings > Time & language > Language & region and changing the "Country or region" setting to 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 Windows resources

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

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

12 Comments
  • I'm curious how much RAM each app uses, compared to say Bluestacks
  • First of all, bluestacks can run on older systems that have less ram speeds regardless of memory capacity so this might be a tad unfair for bluestacks on old hardware. However if you look at the minimum ram requirements to install android apps, being 8gigs I'd say its somewhat similar plus its more of a native emulation service handled by Windows in comparison to bluestacks that's an external emulation service so I'd expect a better gain cause Windows has done good with its own integrated emulation service since 32bit apps are emulated on 64bit systems, I wont be expecting wonders right off the bat but I'd probably hope to see some decent functionality in comparison to 3rd party programs like bluestacks, the downside is that you wont get to use anything that relies on google play /google services to function/login or such.
  • people say they can sideload the store. later
    -1
  • I feel like the gain from this would be mostly for app dev's at the moment but it might also open up a bit of a push towards amazon store getting some extra apps on it, since folks who would love to run apps through this system might simply port over their apps for ease of use, plus it would be an easier port for dev's who already have their android apps on Google play store. in the long run it will help users run their favorite android app on their PC's, saving them time and mostly not having to deal with a phone all the time.
    I've good battery capacity(5000mAh) on my phone as well but its never enough, apps just drain those batteries fast, so I'd say emulation on PC if plugged in, it would truly help reduce my concern about my phone batteries.
  • I'm running the Amazon app store on my Samsung Galaxy book flex 2 alpha. It works, but with only a few apps right now, it's pretty useless. 95% of the apps are games.
  • So I'm trying to get this to work on my Surface Pro X... 8GB model with Win11 Home. Got on Insider Beta program, updated everything, enabled "Virtual Machine Platform" feature, , updated store app, have a later store version than required... but when I go to the Amazon AppStore app, it still says "This app will not work on your device." Any ideas?
  • oh man... I just realized I joined the Dev channel, not Beta. I guess I'm starting over...
  • My laptop meets all the requirements and the link to the Amazon Appstore says Appstore is currently unavailable
  • OK i downloaded it from the Microsoft store and when i run it i get gfxstream_backend.dll and vcruntime140_1.dll not found errors and reinstalling doesnt fix it
  • WSL done, PC met all requirements. Amazon Appstore says I need "Redeem Code"
  • Computer need a SSd to run Andoird Apps, it really checks to see if there is a SSD in the computer? There are still people that run a normal spinny drive in their machines, granted not many, but there are some, because of the price for large capacities. As for Android Apps on my computer, no, thank you, I don't even use the Windows store, so no chance of me using Amazon store for Apps, not that I am using Windows 11.
  • I can't get my sideloaded Facebook APK to run. I installed it via ADB Push. Everything went fine. The icon is in the Start Menu, but when I click it, nothing happens.