How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11 PC

How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11 PC

Hello Geeky, so today we are focusing on How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11 PC. So please read this tutorial carefully so you may comprehend it in a better helpful way.

Guide: How to Sideload Android Apps on Windows 11 PC

Android Subsystem for Windows 11 is one of the biggest new features that was originally supposed to come on October 5. It turns out that Microsoft needs more time to test the subsystem and it has started rolling out the feature to Insiders, but a simple trick now lets you sideload Android apps on Windows 11 without joining the beta channel. Microsoft has confirmed that testers in the United States can download and install Android apps from the Amazon AppStore on Windows 11. However, Android Subsystem for Windows 11 is rolling out in stages, so the Amazon AppStore may not download when the Store app is not updated.

Windows 11’s Android Subsystem is available on eligible devices with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors. Additionally, a minimum of 8GB of RAM is required to sideload Android APKs on Windows 11, while 16GB of RAM is recommended for the best experience on supported devices.

Thanks to WSA, we can sideload Android apps on Windows 11 without Google Play Store. It also lets you install and use mobile apps that you can’t find through app stores like Amazon, Google or Samsung. What’s great about the Android Subsystem for Windows is that it lets you install nearly all Android apps without making changes to device settings. The process is similar to sideloading apps on your phone, but you should be familiar with Command Prompt.

How to sideload apps on the Windows Subsystem for Android

Keep in mind that the whole Windows Subsystem for Android is a beta-quality software. The apps curated by Amazon and Microsoft are likely to be heavily optimized for the environment, which is why they managed to secure their seats in the first batch. Having said that, many other Android apps should work just fine out of the box. The only way to test the compatibility is to sideload them, and this is where this tutorial will come in handy.

To sideload any Android app on Windows 11’s Subsystem for Android, follow these steps:

  1. Download the APK file of your desired app or game from a trusted source.
    1. If it’s a community-developed project, check out the respective thread on XDA forums or similar platforms.
    2. APKs of open source apps are often found through their GitHub repo, or on stores like F-Droid as well.
    3. Lastly, there exist third-party APK hosting resources like APK Mirror and APKPure, which are worth looking for.
  2. Once you have your hands on the APK file, start the Windows Subsystem for Android environment. Click on the Start Menu, then click on the “All apps” button, and locate the shortcut named “Windows Subsystem for Android™️.” You can also type “subsystem” in the search box to make it quicker.
  3. At this point, you should see the Windows Subsystem for Android settings screen. Scroll down and enable the “Developer mode” toggle.
  4. Since this particular Android instance is running alongside the host Windows kernel, we can access it through the localhost (127.0.0.1) interface. In fact, the Android layer also binds itself to a random IP from the 172.30.0.0/24 private network, which can be seen under the IP address field.
    – If you are unable to see the IP address in the form of 172.30.x.x, click on the “Files” option at the top of the Settings screen to kickstart the Android layer by opening its integrated file explorer app. Then click the “Refresh” button to get the IP address listed. You can now copy it by the click of a button.
  5. As soon as the Android layer is running, we can connect it using ADB from the host Windows 11 OS. You can either use the localhost (127.0.0.1) with port 58526, or the IP address shown in the Settings window to establish the connection. Considering you’ve set up ADB to use it from any location on your PC, open a new Windows Terminal window and type one of the following: adb connect 127.0.0.1:58526 or adb connect <IP address>
  6. Now we can install our desired APK through ADB. The command should be as follows:
    adb install <full_path_to_the_APK_file>
  7. If everything goes right, then a shortcut of the Android app will be created under the Start Menu of Windows – just like any regular Windows app. Click on the shortcut to start the app.

In case you can’t find the shortcut of the Android app, you can manually run it using the following command:

%LOCALAPPDATA%MicrosoftWindowsAppsMicrosoftCorporationII.WindowsSubsystemForAndroid_8wekyb3d8bbweWsaClient.exe /launch wsa://<PACKAGENAME>

For example, to run Subway Surfers, enter the following in the Run prompt of Windows:

%LOCALAPPDATA%MicrosoftWindowsAppsMicrosoftCorporationII.WindowsSubsystemForAndroid_8wekyb3d8bbweWsaClient.exe /launch wsa://com.kiloo.subwaysurf

You can also invoke the app directly from a connected ADB shell window:

adb shell monkey -p <PACKAGENAME> 1

To start Subway Surfers, for example, the command should be:

adb shell monkey -p com.kiloo.subwaysurf 1

That’s it!

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