windows APK

how to install android apps from apk files

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Windows 11 22H2 update introduces compatibility with Android apps. While it is possible to download them from the Amazon App Store, you can also install them directly with the APK installer files.

After a year of Insider testing, and only in the US, Microsoft has finally rolled out the Amazon Appstore (and Windows Subsystem for Android) to users around the world. Thanks to it, you can now download and install Android apps on your PC, and run them as native apps in Windows 11.

Unfortunately, even if Microsoft announced that the arrival of the Amazon Appstore on the international market allowed it to offer more than 20,000 Android applications and games on devices running Windows 11, the current situation seems much less brilliant.

Because after installing the Amazon Appstore, the catalog of applications offered pales in comparison to the catalog offered on the Android version of the Amazon Appstore. While waiting for Microsoft and Amazon to correct the situation, it is possible to install Android applications manually on your PC, using the installation files in APK format directly. Besides the ability to manually install apps, this will allow you to install alternative stores like F-Droid. To perform this operation simply, free tools exist.

Be careful however, the Windows subsystem for Android does not embed Google Web Services, a large number of applications originally offered on the Google Play Store and which use them are not functional under Windows 11.

1. Download WSATools

Start by downloading WSA Tools on your machine. This free utility, available directly from the Microsoft Store, is one of the first tools to have been developed to simplify the installation of APK files on Windows 11.

© WF News

2. Download APKs

There are many online platforms to download APK files to manually install Android apps. Among the most famous, apkmirror and APKPure should allow you to find your happiness.

You can even find some APK installation files directly in our repository on Download.com.

3. Enable ADB in Windows Subsystem for Android

Click on menu To start upthen on All Apps. Scroll down the list to the letter P and open them Windows Subsystem Settings for Android.

Windows Subsystem for Android Windows 11© WF News

Once the Windows Subsystem Settings window for Android, go to the section Developer to activate the Developer Mode.

Windows Subsystem for Android Windows 11© WF News

4. Configure WSATools

Now open the app WSA Tools previously downloaded then, in the main window, click on Install an APK.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

Logically, when using the tool for the first time, a pop-up indicating ADB is missing (ADB is missing) should open. The application indeed needs ADB (Android Debug Bridge), a programming tool that in principle allows developers to debug the applications they develop. Fortunately, the developer of WSATools has everything planned and offers to download and install ADB directly on your PC. To do this, click on the button Install.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

You must now select a directory where ADB will be installed. Click on Select Folderchoose the folder where WSATools will install ADB and click Install ADB here.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

For WSATools to work, this folder must not be moved or deleted in any way. So be sure to choose a directory where you won’t make any changes.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

5. Install your first APK

After installing ADB, WSATools will immediately offer you to select an APK file to install it. Select your file and click Download APK.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

WSATool now displays APK name, version number and size in its main window. Click on the button Install at the bottom left to install it.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

WSATools will then start and connect to the Windows Subsystem for Android to complete the installation of the file.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

A window Do you want to allow ADB debugging? should open somewhere on your screen. Check the box Always allow from this computer and click To allow.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

Wait a few moments until WSATools displays the message Application installed successfully at the bottom of the window.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

The window can sometimes be very discreet and only appear in the background. If you don’t see it, be sure to check in the Windows 11 taskbar where it should appear using the Windows Subsystem for Android icon.

6. Launch the app

If you didn’t click the button OpenApp displayed in WSATools, you can open Android applications installed in Windows directly by clicking the menu To start up.

WSATools Windows 11© WF News

Microsoft’s operating system should suggest them to you in the section Our recommendationsbut you will also find them in All Appsin the middle of your native Windows applications.