How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

On October 5, Microsoft originally planned to release the Android Subsystem for Windows 11 as one of the most significant new features. But sadly, Microsoft needs more time to test the subsystem to make it more efficient.

Recently, the Amazon Appstore has been integrated with Microsoft’s Store, which means you can’t access the massive Google Play Store collection of apps and games on Windows’ native Android subsystem. Microsoft and Amazon have teamed up. 

There’s another way that allows you to sideload Android apps on Windows 11 without signing up for the beta program. A working debugging option in Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for the Android environment. This allows you to debug the underlying Android layer within the Windows 11 operating system by utilizing the standard Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) binary.

In this article, you will learn how to sideload Android Apps on Windows 11.

What You’ll Need to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

Before anything else, here are a few things you need to sideload Android apps on Windows 11. 

For starters, you’ll also need to enable hardware virtualization on your Windows 11 PC. Like a virtual machine, Windows 11 runs Android on a virtual computer. Virtualization may be checked in the Task Manager by navigating to the “Performance” tab. You can easily access your Task Manager by using Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

If your hardware virtualization is not yet enabled, the first thing you need to do is to allow the Intel VT-X in your desktop’s UEFI firmware (BIOS). But if your system has AMD hardware, find AMD-V in your desktop’s UEFI firmware settings instead.

How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

You’ll also need to have the Windows Subsystem for Android software loaded on your phone. If you wish to install any apps, you’ll need the app’s APK file. APK Mirror, APKPure, F-Droid, Github, or the XDA Developer forums are good places to look for these. 

If you’re going to download a file, be sure it’s legitimate (meaning it wasn’t pirated). It’s illegal to download pirated software, and bootleg APKs may be infected with malware or housed on hazardous domains.

Note: You must install the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your PC.

How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

Now that you have all these ready, we can finally work on the steps for sideloading Android apps on Windows 11.

Install Windows Subsystem for Android and Amazon Appstore

Installing Android apps on Windows 11 requires the Windows Subsystem for Android. Before installing the platform, the motherboard’s BIOS must allow virtualization. If you don’t have this function, contact your computer’s manufacturer for instructions. 

The Amazon Appstore requires at least 8GB of RAM, an SSD with a compatible processor.

Setting Up Your ADB

Sideloading Android apps in Windows 11 is made possible using the ADB command-line tool (Android Debug Bridge). Without the ADB tool, it’s impossible to connect the Windows and Android filesystems. There is no method to get an APK file into Android’s file system if this is the case.

Installing and running Android apps has three steps. First, set up the Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) tools to connect and install apps. Then supply the .apk file to install the app. 3rd, stream and install the package into the Windows Subsystem for Android virtual machine using ADB.

Setting up ADB

Installing APK Files

Note: Download the APK version of the app or game of your choice from a reliable source. Make sure to check out the relevant topic on XDA forums or similar platforms if it’s a community-created project. In addition to their GitHub repository, you can find open-source apps’ APKs in shops like F-Droid. Finally, it’s worth checking out APK hosting services like APK Mirror and APKPure.

Once you secure your APK files, run the Windows Subsystem for the Android environment. First, open your Start Menu, then click on the “All apps” option and “Windows Subsystem for Android.”

Installing APK files

Ensure that the “Developer mode” toggle is turned on by going to the bottom of the page.

How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

Start WSA on Windows 11 by clicking the Manage developer settings option (if applicable). Find the “IP address” field; click the Refresh button once found. You can copy the IP address of the Windows 11 Subsystem for the Android virtual machine.

How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

Take a look at the Start menu. Right-click on the “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as administrator”. 

How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

Step 1: To get to the platform-tools folder, type the command and press Enter: cd C:\platform-tools

Make sure to change the path to the spot where you extracted the files before running the command.

Step 2: Connect to the Windows Subsystem for Android app by entering the command: adb connect 

Note: Change your WSA instance’s IP address in the command.

Step 3: To sideload the Android apk app onto Windows 11, enter the following command: adb install gmail.apk

Refer to the snapshot below:

How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11

To install an apk file on Windows 11, enter the name of the apk file you downloaded elsewhere. There are two things to keep in mind when storing the.apk file.

Now that you have finished the steps, your Android app will install on Windows 11, and it’ll be available from the Start menu like any other software.

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