Yes, you'll be able to sideload Android APKs onto Windows 11

Windows 11 Tiktok Androidstore
Windows 11 Tiktok Androidstore (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Windows 11 lets you run Android apps directly in the OS.
  • The Amazon store is the first Android one for the new Microsoft Store.
  • A Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft confirms users will be able to sideload Android APKs onto Windows 11.

One of the most significant announcements regarding Windows 11 was the ability to run Android apps directly in the new OS through the new Microsoft Store.

The system is called Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), and it works whether your PC runs an Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm processor. We also know that Microsoft would be OK if Samsung brought over its store, eventually, as the Microsoft Store is open to anyone, including Steam.

However, one question was about sideloading Android apps, aka APKs – could you do it? The default answer would be "well, duh," as everything else is open on Windows, and you can even sideload UWP Store apps.

And you would be correct. At least, according to Miguel de Icaza, Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft. While de Icaza is careful to note in his Twitter profile he does not speak for Microsoft, he did respond with an emphatic "Yes!" when asked about sideloading Android apps onto Windows.

Again, none of this is surprising, and our gut told us you would be able to bring your own Android apps over to Windows (it is a crucial function for developers, too). But it is nice to hear that you can do a lot more with Android on Windows 11 if your app is not found on Amazon's store.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.