How to Sideload Android Apps in Windows 11

Do you want to install Android Apps in Windows 11? Do you want to sideload Android Apps on Windows 11? If yes, follow this easy guide to learn how to do it apart from the Amazon Appstore.

Windows 11 has been out for quite a while now. With many new additions to features, changes in appearance, and several other updates, people across the world have updated their Windows PCs and laptops to Windows 11. Among all the newly added features, the one that we find most amusing and essential is the support for Android applications in Windows 11. Yes, that’s right. Windows 11 allows you to run Android applications on your computer.

However, there is one downside to that feature. You can only install and run applications available on the official Amazon AppStore. It has only a limited number of applications, which few of us will be immensely fond of. That is precisely why, in this article, we’ll be looking at how we can run almost all other Android applications on Windows 11 by sideloading them. So without any further delay, let’s begin.

Sideload Android Apps In Windows 11

Windows Subsystem for Android Requirements

Windows 11 restricts you from installing and running Android apps from any place other than the Amazon app store. However, it does not mean that we cannot install other Android applications on our computers via some other methods.

Windows 11 has two requirements your computer needs to meet before setting up the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA)  that further allows your computer to install and run Android applications. These two requirements are:

  • Windows 11 Insider Build 22000.282 or higher: In case a user is not a Windows insider, they can sign up by going to Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider
  • Virtualization enabled: Under the Performance tab in Task Manager, we can see if virtualization is enabled or not in the lower right part. Virtualization can be enabled by booting into the BIOS or UEFI of a system. However, the way of doing so may differ for different systems.

Now that your computer meets these two requirements, we can set up Windows Subsystem for Android on it. You can install it on your computer via the Microsoft Store or by navigating to its web page by clicking here.

Note that the Amazon Appstore is already included with WSA so that you can install all of the available Android applications on your Windows 11 computer directly via WSA and Amazon Appstore. It is a straightforward way of installing Android applications on Windows 11.

Coming on to sideloading Android apps on Windows 11, we’ll need a different tool to sideload Android applications on Windows 11, WSATools. Here is the Microsoft Store link for WSATools. This tool will allow you to install Android applications that are not available on the Amazon Appstore.

How to Sideload Android Apps in Windows 11

We’ll be discussing two methods to sideload Android apps in Windows 11.

  1. Using WSATools
  2. Using ADB

The first method, i.e., WSATools, also makes use of ADB. However, there have been instances of users facing certain errors when using WSATools. We will be using ADB and terminal commands to sideload Android applications on Windows 11 in the latter part of this article.

1] Using WSATools to Sideload Android Apps in Windows 11

As mentioned earlier, WSATools also uses ADB to install and run Android apps. Here are the steps you need to follow to install any Android app using WSATools:

  • From the Start menu, navigate to Windows Subsystem for Android Settings.
  • Locate the option Subsystem resources, and select the Continuous option under it.
  • Turn the Developer Mode on.Developer mode in Windows Subsystem for android settings
  • Launch WSATools, and select an APK file from your storage drives.
  • You’ll be prompted with the APK details and asked for final confirmation to install the APK. Click the Install button. Install APK In Windows with WSATools

There are hundreds of websites that you can use to find and download APK files. APKMirror and APKPure are examples of websites used across the globe for downloading APK files.

There might be some APK files that will face an error in installation when using WSATools. Whatever the reason be, there is always our second method of manually sideloading Android applications on Windows 11 using ADB.

2] Using ADB to Sideload Android Apps in Windows 11

Using this method will require you to download and extract platform tools for Windows from the Android developer website. You can download platform tools for Windows by following this link.

Once you have downloaded the platform-tools zip, navigate it under File Explorer, and extract it to a location or directory of your choice. Next comes downloading the APK file. You can download any APK file of the application you seek to sideload from APKMirror, APKPure, or any other website.

Save this APK file in the same directory where you’ve extracted the platform-tools zip. Once you’ve done that, follow these steps to sideload Android apps via ADB in Windows 11:

  • Search for Windows Subsystem for Android in the Start menu and open it.
  • Turn on the option of Developer Mode.
  • Copy the IP address written below and save it somewhere. Copy WSA IP Address in Windows
  • Navigate to the path where Platform tools are extracted and right-click on the empty area to open the context menu. From the context menu, select Open Terminal.
  • Type the following command:
adb connect WSA IP address

Replace the WSA IP address with the IP address you copied previously and hit Enter.

  • Type the following command:
adb install APK name

Replace the APK name with the actual file name of the APK file you wish to sideload. Once again, make sure that the desired APK file was saved in the same folder as the platform-tools. Hit Enter and the app will begin installing.

This article discussed Windows 11 and its feature that allows us to install and run Android applications on our computers. The emulation of the Windows Subsystem for Android is smooth and nice. Amazon Appstore may begin to include more Android applications in the near future, but as of now, the applications we get on it are limited in numbers.

We hope that with this easy-to-follow guide, you’ll be able to quickly sideload your desired Android applications on your Windows 11 and enjoy the essence of Android on your computer.

Is It Safe To Sideload Android Apps In Windows 11?

Yes, it is entirely safe to sideload Android apps on Windows 11. The Windows Subsystem For Android (WSA) works with the virtualization technology, which separates the Android system and your computer, so even if the APK behaves maliciously and causes issues, they will only be limited to WSA and won’t cause harm to your computer.

Can I Install Android Apps On Windows 10?

There is no inbuilt feature to install Android apps in Windows 10, unlike Windows 11. So, you cannot directly install Android apps, but you can always use widely popular Android emulators like Bluestacks to install Android apps on Windows 10.


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