For the first time, you can install Android apps on Windows. Android apps, games, and notifications are natively supported on Windows 11. However, the official Amazon Appstore is only available to Windows Insiders. But thanks to a few package alterations on the original Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), you can easily operate Google Play services on Windows 11. Follow the instructions in this guide to install Google Play Store on your Windows 11 device.
What Is Windows Subsystem for Android?
Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) is a Windows 11 component that runs Android apps on a Windows device in a Hyper-V virtual environment.
The program is designed as a virtualized Android operating system based on the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP). Once installed, Windows Subsystem for Android can be accessed from the “Apps & Features” section of Windows 11 and is uninstalled from there.
Through the Microsoft Store, Windows Subsystem for Android integrates with Amazon Appstore, which is an official partner that brings the Android experience to Windows devices. Currently, both Windows Subsystem for Android and Amazon Appstore are only available to U.S.-based Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel. To become an insider, follow the last section of this installation guide.
Microsoft is likely to spend some time running the Windows Subsystem for Android Beta to improve the user experience of Android apps in Windows 11. While they do that, you can sidestep the whole insider procedure to run a full-fledged Google Play services experience on your Windows device.
Downloading the Google Play Installation Software in Windows 11
To install Google Play on a Windows 11 device, you need a root access tool like Magisk. A developer has modified the official Microsoft WSA package to offer an integrated installer that combines Magisk with open Google Apps, which are integrated into most Android devices. It is a safe download link through a GitHub repository and integrates well in the Windows 11 environment.
- Sign in to your online GitHub account and visit the repository link to install the custom WSA.
- Click “Fork” to save the repository to your GitHub profile.
- You should clearly see the “forked from” menu change in your GitHub repository. Click “Actions” to proceed.
- If your GitHub repository doesn’t support workflows, then you need to enable that option by clicking “I understand my workflows, go ahead and enable them.”
- To prepare the download files, click “Run workflow.”
- You should now see a status message that reads: “Workflow run was successfully requested.” You have to choose your Android apps package, such as “pico,” the absolute minimum, or “full,” which contains stock AOSP apps.
- The workflow starts and displays an “in progress” status. Wait a few minutes for the process to complete.
- Once the download files have been prepared, you should see a status that reads: “xx jobs complete.” Click “Show all jobs” to review the tasks.
- You should see the WSA software with Magisk and Android apps software. Click the suitable download link, depending on your computer version (ARM4 or x4,).
- The download has initiated, and the repository ZIP file will be downloaded to your PC location.
Things to Do Before Installing Google Play Store on Windows 11
Before installing Google Play Store on your Windows 11 device, you have to follow through with the following prerequisites.
1. Enable Developer Mode
- Go to Windows 11 Search box or Start menu search and find “Developer settings.”
- Turn Developer mode on to be able to install apps from any source, including loose files.
2. Set Up a VM to Run Android Apps
Since WSA is a Hyper-V based environment, you need to configure the required virtualization settings on your Windows 11 device.
- Type “Windows security” and go to “Device security” in the search box
- Under “Core Isolation,” enable “Memory integrity” to configure the changes.
- Restart the device to apply the changes. You should see a status that reads: “Updates are underway. Please keep your computer on.”
- After the device has restarted, go to the search menu and type “Turn Windows features on or off.”
- Enable the options for “Virtual machine platform” and “Windows Hypervisor platform.”
- It will take a few minutes for the virtualization changes to be applied on your device.
- Your PC will restart to affect these requested changes.
- You will see an update status that reads: “Customizing features for you. You’re 100% there. Please keep your computer on.”
3. Change Region Settings to US
Currently, WSA and its included Google Play settings are only supported for the United States. Even if you’re not living there, you should still go to “Region Settings” from the search menu and change the Country/Region to U.S. and the recommended language to U.S. English.
Installing WSA and Google Play in Windows 11
To install Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) and the included Google Play on your Windows 11 device, follow the steps below.
- Copy the downloaded ZIP file of WSA and paste it to an accessible location on your PC, such as “Desktop.”
- Using 7-ZIP, WinRAR or other archival software, extract all the files to a folder on the same location.
- Navigate inside the unzipped folder and look for an “Install” file, which is a PowerShell script. It can be right-clicked and opened in PowerShell.
- The PowerShell window will open to execute the script. There may be a few permissions required. Enter “a” to confirm all operations.
- Wait just a few seconds for the deployment operation to complete successfully.
- The Powershell script exits automatically, allowing you to easily search for Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 device. It’s been installed along with Google Play, which is an internal component of the package.
Things to Do After Installing Google Play Store on Windows 11
After a successful installation, to initialize Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), you need to take few more steps.
- Go to WSA Settings from a Start menu search and make sure “Developer mode” has been enabled.
- Configure the “Optional diagnostic data” for WSA. You may keep it either “on” or “off.”
- Wait a few seconds for the WSA apps to initialize. This operation will require at least 8 GB RAM to be successful.
- Go back to the Search menu and open Google Play Store.
- You will be asked to sign in to your Google Play Services account. Be sure to wait for the updates to finish.
- Check whether Google Play Store has been installed properly on your device and if the apps are downloading easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I turn off Windows Subsystem for Android?
Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) can consume substantial CPU and other resources, especially if too many Android apps are open at the same time. To turn it off, go to WSA Settings from the search menu and turn WSA off. This means all apps will immediately close, and the WSA will restart the next time you open an app.
2. Are there any performance issues when you run Windows Subsystem for Android?
As the official Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) is still a work in progress, with Microsoft testing it on Windows Insiders, you can expect some performance delays, lags and visual problems.
Some of the performance issues include:
- Letter and Pillar boxing: when the aspect ratio of an app window does not align well with your PC resolution, you may have problems such as the window being wider than its height, or narrower than its length.
- Mouse input problems: as the apps are designed for a mobile interface, some mouse inputs may not work, such as right-click, hover effects, drag and drop.
Apart from WSA, you can always use emulators to run your favorite Android apps on your Windows device. Here are some of the best examples of such emulators. Are you still looking for ways to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11? Check out this ultimate compatibility guide.