One of Windows 11’s main features is the ability to natively run Android apps. This was previously only possible using third-party software, and you’d never been able to fully integrate phone apps within the Windows desktop before.
However, there are two big caveats to be aware of. Android apps on Windows 11 require an SSD and at least 8GB of RAM, despite older HDDs and 4GB of RAM being compatible with Windows 11. Microsoft even recommends 16GB for the best experience, something most devices don’t have.
But even if your device can run Android apps smoothly, you might still be underwhelmed with the experience. That’s because it uses the Amazon Appstore, which offers just a fraction of the apps available on the Google Play Store. But what if you could have both?
A workaround means it’s technically possible, but that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and try it. Here’s the current situation.
Should you install Google Play Store on Windows 11?
Before we describe a potential method for installing Google Play Store, a word of warning. The process described here keeps changing and is requires access to your PC’s sensitive files. This might cause it to stop working properly, or become completely unusable.
What’s more, one of the previous methods was ridden with malware, so you also need to keep in mind that this is VERY unofficial and might bring with it a lot of security risks.
Additionally, the method below couldn’t be verified, as it refused to work on both devices tried. What’s even worse, it stopped almost at the very beginning, restarted the PC and refused to turn on again. The PC needs to be restored to the previous system image, as something in System32 folder breaks.
Still, we’ll describe the process in general and link you to a more thorough explanation. However, it has to be said that, at the time of writing, we strongly recommend not going ahead with this. If you really need to use an Android app on your PC, try sideloading that specific one or using just the Amazon Appstore.
How to install the Google Play Store on Windows 11
Before proceeding, it’s worth noting that this process only works with x86, 64-bit devices or those that are ARM-based. It won’t work if you’re running 32-bit hardware – head to Settings > System > About and check ‘System type’ if you’re not sure.
You’ll also need to make sure virtualization is enabled. Head to Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off. Make sure the boxes next to ‘Virtual Machine Platform’ and ‘Windows Hypervisor Platform’ are both ticked, then click ‘OK’ to confirm. It’ll take a while to find the necessary files, then you’ll need to restart your device.
If you’ve already installed the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), you’ll need to uninstall it. Open Settings > Apps > Apps & features and search for it. If nothing appears, it’s not installed. Once that’s all done, you’re ready to proceed:
- Head to Settings > Privacy & security > For developers
- Under ‘Developer Mode’, click the toggle to turn it on, then click ‘Yes’ to confirm
- Now is the time to download Windows Subsystem for Linux. To do so, you’ll need to open Microsoft Store and search for Windows Subsystem for Linux. Once you’ve found it, click install and let it download.
- Once you’ve done that, stay in Microsoft Store for a while longer. It is now time to download your Linux Distribution. For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll be recommending Ubuntu – probably the most common and well-known version. In the Microsoft Store, search for Ubuntu and download the first result.
- Once installed, type Ubuntu in your search bar. Right click on it and select ‘Run as administrator’.
- Create your username and password in the Ubuntu terminal that appears. Once you’ve done that, leave the terminal window open.
- Go to MagiskOnWSALocal page on GitHub
- Click the Code option on the right and copy the URL in the HTTPS field
- Open the Ubuntu terminal and type the following command together with the link that you’ve just copied:
git clone https://github.com/LSPosed/MagiskOnWSALocal.git
- Press enter
- Now type the following commands:
- Now you’ll have to run the script from GitHub. To do so, simply run this command:
- This will download Magisk, the Google Play Store and Windows Subsystem for Android. You’ll know the process is done when an installer opens up
- In the Intro to MagiskOnWSA installer, select OK
- You’re most likely on a x64 CPU, so select the x64 option. If your PC has an ARM processor, choose the arm64 option instead.
- When asked for WSA release, choose Retail Stable
- When asked to root WSA, choose NO
- In the following dialog asking you to install GApps, click on YES and choose MindTheGApps option next
- Now the installer will ask you whether you want to keep the Amazon Appstore. Click YES or NO, depending on your preference
- In the ‘Do you want to compress output?’ dialog, choose NO
- Now, Magisk will generate Windows Subsystem for Android. Wait for the process to complete. Once it’s downloaded, you’ll need to install it
- Go to the File Explorer and click on the Linux\Ubuntu folder
- Go to the folder where MagiskOnWSA is installed
- Open your WSA folder. It’ll start with WSA_ and some numbers then, following by the info whether you’ve removed Amazon and which GApps you’ve chosen. For example: WSA_2302.40000.9.0_x64_Release-Nightly-MindTheGapps-13.0-RemovedAmazon
- Copy all the files and folders from this folder. Then navigate to your C:\ drive and create a folder called WSA. Paste the copied files there
- In the search bar, type cmd, and run the Command Prompt as an administrator.
- In the Command prompt, type this code:
- Follow it with the following command to install the package:
PowerShell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File .\Install.ps1
- Now the WSA will install. Wait for the installer to complete and ignore the PowerShell errors
- Now it’s time to enable Developer Mode in Windows Subsystem for Android. In the search bar, type Windows Subsystem for Android and open the app
- Open the Developer tab on the left, then toggle the Developer mode switch to On
- You’re almost there. Open the Play Store App now and sign in with your account. After that, you’re all done – the process is complete and Google Play Store should be fully functional