How to Install Unsupported Android Apps on Windows 11


Adding support for Android apps is one of the coolest features of Windows 11.


Unfortunately, Microsoft relies on Amazon Appstore to provide these apps and it’s much more limited than a storefront like Google Play.

That means a lot of your favorite apps are probably missing, but, with a little tech savvy, you’ll load just about anything.

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It’s not the easiest, and technophobes might want to steer clear, but it doesn’t take long and has the potential to unlock some very cool features.

We should also note that there’s no guarantee that unsupported apps will work properly, but we’ve had great success so far.

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about sideloading Android APKs on Windows 11.


What you need to get started

Before you start, you’ll need to check the specs of your machine, as the minimum requirements are a bit higher than you might expect.

You will need:

  • 8 GB of RAM or more (16 GB recommended)
  • 8th Generation Intel CPU / Ryzen 3000 / Snapdragon 8C or newer
  • An SSD boot drive
  • Windows 11

You will also need to go to the Windows Store and download the Amazon Appstore. Even if you don’t intend to use it, the Appstore installation process adds the Windows Subsystem for Android to your machine, and we’ll need it for the apps to work.

By the way, we found that the Amazon Appstore installation process was frozen for us, which is a bit strange. We fixed this by opening “Turn Windows features on or off” and enabling “Virtual Machine Platform”. You shouldn’t need this step, but we did, so we thought we’d mention it.

Establishment

Once you have installed the Amazon Appstore, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the The start menu or press the windows key
  2. Search and open Windows Subsystem Settings for Android
  3. Click on the left side Developer
  4. Click the toggle to enable developer mode
  5. Take note of the IP adress on this page, we will need it later
  6. Close settings menu

Next, we’ll need a command prompt tool called Android Debugging Bridge from our friends at Google. You can download it here.

Once downloaded, unzip it and we’ll come back to it later.

WSA Developer Mode

APK search

There’s always a risk involved with installing APKs from a third-party source, so if you want to be super safe, your best bet might be to use an extraction tool to save APKs from your phone. Android.

One such tool is ML Manager, and it’s nice and easy to use. Of course, this part is only useful if you have an Android device.

If you don’t have an Android phone or the app you want isn’t on the Play Store, you’ll need an online source. We’ve had great results with APK Mirror, just remember that you’ll only be able to access free apps – as downloading paid versions would be a hack.

Install an app

Once you have your app and all the prerequisites, it’s time to install it. We’re using the Netflix APK as an example, but the process is the same for any APK. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Access the unzipped Platform-tools folder you downloaded earlier
  2. In the folder, right-click on an empty space and choose Open in the terminal
  3. In the terminal window, type .adb connect ip-address (replacing the IP address with the numbers you wrote down earlier)
  4. Press enter, and if successful, the text will notify you that you are connected
  5. Find your APK, right click on it and select Copy as path
  6. Return to the terminal window and type .adb install
  7. Pastry the file path and press enter
  8. Wait a moment and the text should alert you to a successful installation

APK install Windows 11

If everything went as expected, you can close the terminal window and you’ll find your Android app in the Start menu, just like any other program. Work done.