On Windows 11, how do I sideload Android apps?

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Photo: A9 Studio (Shutterstock)

techno.rentetan.com – Unsupported Android apps may be installed and run on Windows 11 with the correct tools. Android applications may be run on Windows 11 as if they were native PC software, however just a few are officially supported as of this writing. However, similar to how you may install third-party apps on your Android phone, there is a technique to sideload unsupported software to Windows 11.

To pull this off, you’ll need a few items. You must first be a member of the Windows 11 Insider Program and have the Windows Subsystem for Android app installed on your device. More information on entering the beta may be found on Microsoft’s announcement webpage. Second, you’ll need to download and install the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) software on your computer. A guide for installing ADB on Windows 10 is available, and the procedure is the same for Windows 11.

Finally, the APK files for the apps you wish to install are required. APK Mirror, APKPure, F-Droid, Github, and the XDA Developer forums are all good places to look. Just be sure you’re downloading authentic (non-pirated) content from sources you trust. Bootleg APKs may include malware or be hosted on potentially dangerous domains, and downloading unlicensed software is, well, illegal.

Finally, in order to run apps that check for Google Play Services verification, you may need to sideload the MicroG APK. MicroG is open-source software that effectively mimics Google’s services, allowing you to run apps on devices that would otherwise be unsupported. This is an optional step; you’ll need to install MicroG using the instructions below, but it’s required if you wish to run any Google applications or apps that require Play Store verification.

Let’s get those apps sideloaded now that we’ve gotten those prerequisites out of the way. It may appear difficult at first, but once you understand how to do it, it’s rather simple.

  1. To begin, go to the “All Apps” area of the Windows 11 Start menu and select “Windows Subsystem for Android.”
  2. Find and activate “Developer Mode” in the Windows Subsystem for Android settings window.
  3. To open Android on your PC, go to the “Files” tab at the top of the settings menu.
  4. Back in the options menu, scroll down to the IP Address option and click “Refresh” next to it (it’s just below the Developer mode toggle). Click “Copy” when you see the IP Address.
  5. Then, as an administrator, run Windows Terminal. To access All Apps, go to the Start Menu. Select More > Run as administrator after hovering your mouse pointer over “Windows Terminal.”
  6. Type adb connect (IP address) in the Windows Terminal window, using the IP address obtained in stages 4 and 5. adb connect 1234.5.6.7 should look like this.
  7. To run the command, simply press Enter. “Connected to [IP address]” should appear if everything went well. We may now use the Windows Subsystem for Android to sideload APK files saved on your computer.
  8. Type adb install followed by the folder path and filename in quotation marks in the Windows Terminal window. adb install “C:com.whatsapp minAPI16(x86 64)(nodpi) apkmirror.com” is an example of a complete command.
  9. If everything is in order, the installation will begin with “Performing Streamed Install” and end with “Success” in Windows Terminal.

And that’s all there is to it. The software has now been installed on your computer. You can launch sideloaded apps from the Windows 11 Start Menu just like regular Android apps. They’ll be found in the “all applications” section. To run the program, double-click it, and it will launch in its own window.

If the app isn’t working, try installing MicroG as suggested above. You may also use an Android emulator on Windows to run the app.