Microsoft is killing support for running Android apps on Windows 11

Amazon Appstore on Windows 11
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced that it is deprecating the Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11.
  • This means support for installing and running Android apps is being removed from the OS.
  • The feature will be deprecated on March 5, 2025.

In a shocking move, Microsoft has announced that it is deprecating the Windows Subsystem for Android, a feature that allowed Windows 11 users to run Android apps directly on their PCs. Tied to the Amazon Appstore, users have been able to browse and download Android apps since the launch of Windows 11 in 2021.

The death of the Windows Subsystem for Android was announced in a developer document:

"Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Subsystem for Android™️ (WSA). As a result, the Amazon Appstore on Windows and all applications and games dependent on WSA will no longer be supported beginning March 5, 2025. Until then, technical support will remain available to customers. Customers that have installed the Amazon Appstore or Android apps prior to March 5, 2024, will continue to have access to those apps through the deprecation date of March 5, 2025."

The company tells me that Android apps on Windows 11 will stop functioning after March 5, 2025. Users should migrate any data they may have in their Windows Subsystem for Android instance before that date to avoid losing any data. The company has already removed the ability to download new apps from the Microsoft Store.

It's likely that Microsoft is killing the Windows Subsystem for Android because not enough people use it. There's little use for Android apps on Windows, especially with the lack of Windows tablet hardware on the market these days. 

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads

  • GothardJ2
    Well this is both surprising, but also not surprising at all. The experience of running Android apps on Windows has always been subpar. especially with Phone Link doing a much better job. I'd think that Microsoft might want to put more effort into getting more Phone Link features on other Android Phone Manufacturer's devices. I wonder if Microsoft, and other partners have seen that Phone Link is paying off and moving resources from WSA to work on Phone Link would help get feature parity across device manufacturers.

    I would also think that Google would want to start working closer with Microsoft on this, especially with both being "Gatekeepers" in the EU. At the end of the day, anything Google can do to help get their app store on Windows over the Amazon store has to be good for them, right?
  • ShinyProton
    They teased about the feature for years... Then failed to fully deliver outside this badly crippled version with a laughable number of useless apps.
    Now, they pull the plug. Pathetic.
  • naddy69
    I always thought this was a bad idea. Running the apps from a competing OS is never a good idea. It might be a short-term boost, but in the long run it will do more harm than good. IBM OS/2 taught us THAT lesson.

    Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
  • NConley9
    Just in time for Windows tablets to explode in popularity with the Core Ultra series and Snapdragon X Elite. This is the most Microsoft decision to ever Microsoft.
  • Gabe Szabo
    Well, this is totally infuriating. They pull the plug, while most markets weren't even ever supported. I wasn't even able to try the feature out because of the half-assed launch and support.

    Meanwhile, the joke widgets app on Windows 11 which still won't allow devs to add their own widgets, and "Start" get their support, and Bing has like 5 different versions and a dedicated janky Android app available with some custom browser monster instead of them simply using and supporting Edge.

    We're getting close to Microsoft having to "Hit Refresh" once again, I feel. Panos leaving, Xbox going multiplatform, big layoffs everywhere, Surface not innovating and in decline, Duo killed off, Microsoft Launcher not getting features, the Microsoft-branded accessories being killed/spun off... We were here once before. Microsoft will probably realize once again that they have to have a leg in the consumer markets as well to drive the business side, after slowly draining all resources from consumer-facing products.
  • Jack Pipsam
    This was one of their main advertising features of Windows 11 lol.

    I suppose they couldn't figure out a way to shove Copilot into it so it wasn't worth investing in any further 🥴
  • fdruid
    Yeah, it wasn't a great idea in practice to begin with.
  • th3disturbed
    Add it to the graveyard. This was the only reason why I still own a surface pro. Even though had to mess around and get my own apks it gave me a few things I wanted from a tablet while keeping a pc.
  • bradavon
    This is the right move. It always was a silly idea and was never all that useful. Like MacOS supporting iPAD apps.

    It's all rather silly and not very useful. There was nowhere near enough Apps on the store to make it worthwhile.
  • bradavon
    Jack Pipsam said:
    This was one of their main advertising features of Windows 11 lol.
    Only to the legions of smartphone and iPad tech reviewers.

    It was never a feature that would be heavily used.