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How to sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11

Although Windows Subsystem for Android allows Windows 11 users to install Android apps on their Windows computer, you can sideload apps as well. If the desired app is not available on the Amazon Appstore, you can sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11 with the help of this step-by-step guide.

It is quite straightforward to install Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 when you are from the USA. However, if you do not live in the USA, you will get some issues installing apps from Amazon Appstore even if you use the manual method to install Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11. It is not possible to install any app from Amazon Appstore without a US-based Amazon account. If you do not have one, you can sideload Android apps without any issues.

Before getting started, you must know that Google apps won’t work using this method. As those apps require additional libraries, you cannot sideload any Google app using this particular way. Other than that, some online movie and web series streaming apps, such as Netflix, etc., also don’t work by sideloading.

How to sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11

To sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Download APK file
  2. Download SDK Platform Tools
  3. Enable Developer mode in WSA
  4. Copy IP address
  5. Open Windows Terminal in platform-tools folder
  6. Connect to the IP and install app

To learn more about these steps, continue reading.

1] Download APK file

It is the first step you need to follow. You must have the APK file on the Android app you want to install or sideload using WSA. There are several websites from where you can download the app’s APK file to your computer. For example, apkpure.com, apkmirror.com, etc., are some of the best websites in the market.

However, do not download any pirated version of any paid application. You may end up getting some issues by doing so.

2] Download SDK Platform Tools

As per the official statement, Android SDK-Platform Tools is the component for the Android SDK. In this case, you need to download the Platform Tools to run the ADB command, which is necessary to sideload apps on Windows 11 using Windows Subsystem for Android.

Therefore, you can visit the developer.android.com website and click the Download SDK Platform-Tools for Windows link.

Following that, accept their terms and conditions and start downloading the Platform Tools on your computer.

Once done, extract the compressed file and place the platform-tools folder somewhere safe.

3] Enable Developer mode in WSA

How to sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11

It is one of the essential steps in this process. Without enabling the Developer mode, you cannot sideload apps on Windows 11. To enable the Developer mode in the WSA, follow these steps:

  • Open Windows Subsystem for Android app on your PC.
  • Find out the Developer mode option.
  • Toggle the corresponding button to turn it on.

However, if it is already enabled, you can skip this step.

4] Copy IP address

How to sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11

  • Open Windows Subsystem for Android app on your computer.
  • Find out the IP address option.
  • Click the Copy button.

However, if you cannot find the IP address and instead it shows an Unavailable message, you need to click the Files option and click the Refresh button.

Then, you can find the IP address under the IP address label. Once done, you can click the Copy button.

5] Open Windows Terminal in platform-tools folder

You need to open Windows Terminal in the platform-tools folder and ensure that the Command Prompt instance is opened. For that, double-click on the platform-tools folder that you extracted in the second step of this tutorial. After opening, right-click on empty space, and select the Open in Windows Terminal option.

How to sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11

If it opens Windows PowerShell, you can click the arrow icon in the Title bar and select the Command Prompt option.

Next, you need to navigate to the platform-tools folder only if it is not done yet. For that, you can use the following command:

cd [platform-tools-folder-path]

6] Connect to the IP and install app

Now, you need to connect to the IP from the host computer. For that, enter the following command:

adb connect [IP]

Don’t forget to replace the [IP] with the original IP address you copied earlier from the WSA window.

After entering this command, it should show a success message. Next, you need to copy the APK file path. For that, right-click on the APK file that you downloaded in the first step of this tutorial, and select the Copy as path option.

Following that, enter the following command:

adb install [apk-file-path]

How to sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11

Once done, you can find the app in the Start Menu.

How to run Android apps on Windows 11?

To run Android apps on Windows 11, you need to follow the aforementioned guide. First, you need to download the APK file and the Platform Tools from the respective websites. Then, turn on the Developer mode in the WSA, and copy the IP address. After that, open Windows Terminal’s Command Prompt instance in the platform-tools folder and enter the adb connect command. Following that, copy the file path of the APK file, and enter the adb install command.

Hope this tutorial helped you sideload Android apps on Windows 11 using Windows Subsystem for Android.

How to sideload Android apps using WSA on Windows 11

This article was originally posted on 9to5linux.com. Read here

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