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How to set up Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 PC

Google has released Android 14 beta for your Pixel phone. As a die-hard Android fan, you’ll want to get the latest software and try out all the new features as soon as possible.The good news is installing the Android beta on your Pixel is really easy.

As an avid Android user, I was thrilled when Microsoft announced the Windows Subsystem for Android. Finally, a way to run my favorite Android apps on my Windows PC! The process of activating it is quite easy but not entirely clear. Since I’ve gone through the steps myself, I thought I’d share how to get Windows Subsystem up and running for Android on your Windows 11 computer. If you want to use apps like Instagram, TikTok or mobile games on your PC, then read on to find out how to enable this useful feature. Fair warning, there are some requirements you should check first on your system, but if you meet them you’ll be running Android apps on Windows in no time.

What Is Windows Subsystem for Android?

Windows Subsystem for Android lets you run Android apps directly on your Windows 11 PC. As an Android user, this means you can now enjoy your favorite mobile apps on a bigger screen.

To get started, you’ll first need to enable the “Virtual Machine Platform” optional feature in Windows. Open the Start menu, go to Settings > Apps & features > Optional features, and click “Add a feature”. Select “Virtual Machine Platform” and click Install.

Next, open the Microsoft Store app on your PC and search for “Windows Subsystem for Android”. Click Get to install it. This may take a few minutes to download and install.

Once installed, you’ll get a notification letting you know the Windows Subsystem for Android is ready to go. Open it up and sign in with your Microsoft account. This links your Windows and Android accounts so you can access apps you’ve already purchased.

The Amazon Appstore will open, giving you access to download compatible Android apps and games. Not all apps are available, but major ones like Netflix, Spotify, and Candy Crush are ready to go. As a bonus, if you’ve made any in-app purchases on Android, you won’t have to buy them again.

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The Windows Subsystem for Android is still in preview, so you may encounter some bugs or glitches. But overall, it works quite well and is a great way to use your favorite mobile apps without needing an Android device. Let me know if you have any other questions!

System Requirements to Run Windows Subsystem for Android

To run the Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 PC, there are a few requirements your system needs to meet. As someone who just upgraded my own laptop to Windows 11 to use this feature, let me walk you through what you’ll need:

First, you’ll need a Windows 11 PC with an Intel processor. AMD and ARM processors aren’t currently supported. My laptop has an Intel Core i5, which works great.

You’ll also need virtualization enabled in your PC’s BIOS. This allows your Windows 11 PC to run the virtual machine that powers the Windows Subsystem for Android. I had to dig into my BIOS settings to turn this on.

A minimum of 8GB of RAM is recommended for decent performance. I have 16GB, and Android apps run very smoothly. More memory means better performance for running multiple apps at once.

At least 64GB of free storage space is needed. The Windows Subsystem for Android uses storage for the virtual machine and to install Android apps. I cleared some space on my C: drive just to be safe.

Finally, your PC will need to be running Windows 11 build 22000.xxx or higher. To check your build number, go to Settings > System > About. I had to update Windows to the latest version before I could install the Windows Subsystem for Android.

With the requirements met, you’re ready to enable the Windows Subsystem for Android and start running your favorite mobile apps on your Windows 11 PC. The setup isn’t too difficult, but having a system that can handle it is key. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Turn on Windows Subsystem for Android in Windows 11

To enable the Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 PC, you’ll need to turn on a few options and install some software. It’s pretty straightforward, but let me walk you through the necessary steps.

Make sure your PC meets the requirements

Before getting started, double check that your Windows 11 PC meets the minimum requirements to run the Windows Subsystem for Android. You’ll need a 64-bit CPU, at least 8GB of RAM and an SSD with at least 20GB of free space.

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Enable virtualization

Virtualization allows your PC to run virtual machines, which is what the Windows Subsystem for Android uses. In your PC’s BIOS or UEFI firmware settings, look for an option like “Enable Virtualization” or “Enable VT-x” and turn it on. The steps to access your firmware settings vary between PCs, so you may need to consult your PC’s manual.

Turn on “Developer Mode”

Open the Settings app in Windows 11 and go to Privacy & security. Click on “For developers” and turn on the toggle next to “Developer mode”. This will allow you to sideload apps from outside the Microsoft Store.

Install the Windows Subsystem for Android

Open the Microsoft Store app and search for “Windows Subsystem for Android”. Click “Get” to install it. The app is around 250MB, so the download and installation should only take a couple minutes.

Complete additional setup

The first time you launch the Windows Subsystem for Android, it will prompt you to complete some additional setup steps. Follow the onscreen instructions to sign in with your Microsoft account, accept the terms of service and choose a drive to use for storage. Your Windows Subsystem for Android environment will then be ready to use! You can now sideload your favorite Android apps and games.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m happy to help you through the setup process.

Install Windows Subsystem for Android in Windows 11

display settings window

To enable the Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 PC, here are the steps I took:

Check System Requirements

First, I made sure my PC met the minimum requirements to run WSA, including:

  • Windows 11 (Build 22000.xxx or higher)
  • Virtualization enabled in BIOS
  • At least 8GB of RAM
  • Solid state drive (SSD) with at least 10GB of free space

Enable Virtualization

Virtualization allows WSA to run the Android OS in a virtual machine. I entered my BIOS settings by restarting my PC and pressing the BIOS key (often Delete, F2, or F12). Then I enabled the virtualization setting, usually called Intel VT-x, AMD-V, or something similar.

Install Windows Subsystem for Android

Next, I opened the Microsoft Store app on my PC and searched for “Windows Subsystem for Android”. I selected “Get” to install the WSA, which took a few minutes to download and set up the Android environment.

Complete Setup

After installation, I opened the WSA app from my Start menu. The first time opening the WSA, it goes through an initialization process that can take up to 10 minutes. Once complete, the WSA dashboard appeared.

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From there, I was able to do things like:

  • Install my favorite Android apps like mobile games, social media, and streaming services.
  • Customize settings like screen resolution, memory allocation, and default home screen launcher.
  • Access my WSA files and downloaded Android apps in Windows File Explorer.

Enabling and setting up the Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 was pretty straightforward. Now I can enjoy many of my favorite mobile apps directly on my PC! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Troubleshooting Windows Subsystem for Android

Getting Windows Subsystem for Android set up on your Windows 11 PC should be pretty straightforward, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. If you run into issues enabling or using WSA, here are some troubleshooting steps to try.

Make sure Windows Subsystem for Android is enabled

Double check that the “Windows Subsystem for Android” feature is enabled under “Turn Windows features on or off” in the Control Panel. If it’s not listed or grayed out, you may need to update Windows to the latest version.

Reinstall the Windows Subsystem for Android

If WSA was working before but now isn’t, it’s a good idea to uninstall it and reinstall. Go to “Apps & features” in the Control Panel, find “Windows Subsystem for Android” and select “Uninstall”. Then re-enable the feature like in the first step. This will reset WSA to factory settings and often fix issues.

Restart your PC

I know, it sounds too simple, but restarting your PC can refresh settings and clear any software glitches. After restarting, try enabling WSA again or launching any Android apps.

Make sure your account has admin access

WSA requires admin access to install and run properly. Log into your Windows 11 PC with an account that has admin rights and try enabling WSA again. If you share the PC with others, their standard accounts won’t work.

Check for Windows or driver updates

Outdated Windows versions, WSA software or device drivers can sometimes cause problems. Go to “Settings > Windows Update” and install any available updates. Then check your PC manufacturer’s website for the latest BIOS, chipset or other hardware driver updates and install those as well.

If you continue to face issues with Windows Subsystem for Android after trying the troubleshooting tips, you may need to contact Microsoft support for further help. But in my experience, one of the steps above usually gets WSA working properly again. Let me know if you have any other questions!

In conclusion, setting up Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 PC opens up a world of possibilities. With seamless integration of Android apps, you can enjoy a wide range of mobile applications directly on your desktop environment. By following the necessary steps and configurations, you can bridge the gap between Windows and Android, bringing convenience and versatility to your computing experience. Whether you’re seeking productivity tools or entertainment options, the Windows Subsystem for Android empowers you with access to a vast app ecosystem, making your Windows 11 PC an all-in-one solution for your digital needs. Embrace the future of cross-platform integration and elevate your Windows experience today.

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