How to Sideload APK app on Windows 11 Subsystem for Android

Windows Subsystem for Android™️ is now available for any users in Windows 11 Insider Program Beta channel. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sideload an APK app to the Windows Subsystem for Android™️ on Windows 11.

How to Sideload APK app on Windows Subsystem for Android

A major Windows 11 feature that allows you to run Android apps natively on your PC is finally available now for all users who enrolled in Windows 11 Insider Program Beta channel. As a start, Microsoft with a partnership with Amazon now lets you access only 50 apps and games that are available on Amazon Appstore. The list will grow over time as Microsoft has enough time to evaluate more apps and games.

Fortunately, it seems quite easy and straightforward to sideload any APK files onto the subsystem with Google ADB tools. Here is how to do that.

Download Google ADB Tools

To download Google ADB tools:

Enable Developer Mode

To enable Developer Mode on Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11:

  • Open Start Menu and look for an app called “Windows Subsystem for Android™️“.
  • Toggle on the “Developer Mode“.
  • Select “Copy” to copy the subsystem’s IP address for connecting via the Google ADB tool in the next step.

Side APK App to Windows Subsystem for Android

Make sure you have android APK files on your PC or you can download them from any hosted android app sites such as APKMirror or APKPure. Place those (.apk) files in the same directory as Google Adb tools, and continue the following steps.

  1. Go to the ADB tool directory. Right-click and select “Open in Windows Terminal”.
  2. Type the “cmd” and press Enter.
  3. Type “adb connect ip-address” with the IP address of your current Windows Subsystem for Android you copied earlier.
  4. Type “adb install app.apk“. Replace app.apk with the desired apk file you want to install.
    Command to install apk file to the subsystem
  5. Now the app is installed and should have appeared in the Start Menu automatically under the Recommended section.
    Microsoft Launcher app showed up in the Start Menu