Microsoft allows you to sideload Android apps in Windows 11

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • According to Microsoft producers, you'll be able to sideload Android apps on Windows 11.
  • To sideload Android apps on Windows 11, you'll have to upload APKs to your PC, and they will work as intended.
  • Make sure you do not download APK files from unofficial and unreliable sources.

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Microsoft developers announced that Windows 11 will be able to sideload Android apps. From what they say, users can discover Android apps on the new and improved Microsoft Store, by acquiring them through the Amazon Appstore.

This looks like an answer to one of the most popular questions when Microsoft discussed bringing Android apps to the latest OS version, via the Amazon website.

However, Google’s decision could affect how we run Android apps on Windows 11, and it seems like users are not so happy with Microsoft’s decision to sideload apps through another Store, that isn’t Microsoft’s own, or the Google Play Store.

After Microsoft’s announcement, people believed that Amazon Store would be the only way to get Android apps on their latest OS models, but we are not limited to that!

What does sideloading apps mean?

For those who are unfamiliar with this term, by sideloading we mean the process of installing Android apps on your Windows device, without going through the Microsoft Store or Amazon Appstore certification.

You can download the Google Play Store mobile app, or simply upload APKs to your PC, and they will work without any issues on your Windows device.

You can also get Android application packages from a variety of websites. However, Windows 11 may block sideloading these kinds of apps by default. And why is that? The OS only wants to protect you and your device.

Note that only certified mobile or desktop apps are considered secure and certification also ensures that you’re installing or downloading a good app that has passed through Microsoft/Amazon’s rigorous security tests.

How can I sideload Android apps in Windows 11?

Before anything else, you should make sure if your device meets the minimum requirements for supporting the newest OS design. Since Windows 11 specifications and requirements are official, we recommend taking a look at a full list.

Considering that Windows 11 uses Intel Bridge technology to make Android apps work, some users might think that they’ll need such a device to run them.

Even if Intel Bridge is proprietary tech, you’ll also be able to run them both on ARM architecture and AMD Windows 11 PCs.

You can also run Android apps on your PC using the Your Phone app. However, this is an inefficient method of running applications.

While the Windows Store will be limited to Amazon’s Appstore, Windows 11 itself won’t be. That’s because you can sideload Android apps on Windows 11 without having to download them natively through the store.

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The ability to sideload Android apps also has some poor implications. That’s because, as of right now, we’re still not sure how you’re going to sideload apps on Windows 11.

Hence, it raises the question of whether you can pirate apps through the sideloading method. This wouldn’t be an issue for free-to-install apps like Snapchat.

However, in case this method doesn’t have the necessary security measures, paid apps might be pirated by users.

Microsoft is yet to lay down any safety mechanisms in place for sideloading apps. Android app developers don’t usually offer APK files to allow for sideloading on Windows.

End-users might download shady APK files from unofficial and unreliable websites. Thus, bad actors might use this method to sneak harmful malware into people’s computers. This wouldn’t be a problem if Microsoft could screen and scan these sideloaded apps like the Google Play Store.

Why would I want Android apps in Windows 11?

Over time, Microsoft producers tried to create a more unique experience while operating Windows. Now, it is mandatory that your PC or laptop feel like and be as responsive as your phone.

It seems like it is extremely necessary to perform the same actions regardless of the device. Thus, being able to open up Windows to Android apps means a greater selection of tools for productivity and content creation as well as entertainment and gaming.

In case you want to play your favorite mobile games on your Windows desktop, that will be possible now. For a larger selection of apps, we recommend LD Player, the main disadvantage with sideloading on Windows 11 is that you get the apps from Amazon which has a much smaller number of apps available.

But what does the addition of apps means? Producers are adapting more to your own needs than you having to adapt to what the OS can do.

Also, adding Android apps to Chrome OS gave Chromebooks a significant boost in appeal. In these terms, we can consider that the same flexibility to Windows should generate a similar effect.

You could take a look at these best Android apps for Windows 11, which you should try out today.

For those of you interested in finding out more on this subject, check out what will happen to Android emulators on Windows 11.

For any other questions or thoughts, feel free to let us know in the comment section listed below.

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