With Windows 11, Microsoft introduced the ability to natively run Android apps for the first time. It’s arguably the most exciting feature in the new OS, allowing users to fully integrate phone apps into the Windows desktop.
However, there are some big caveats to be aware of. The feature requires an SSD and at least 8GB of RAM, but Microsoft recommends 16GB or more for the best experience – plenty of devices running Windows 11 aren’t compatible. A final version hasn’t even been released yet, with the feature still in testing and only for US users.
But the big thing that counts against it is being limited to Amazon Appstore. Its selection of apps pales in comparison to the Google Play Store, but what if you could have both?
We’ve tested and can confirm that the method in this article lets you install the Play Store and download apps from it. There’s also no malware, something which was included in another workaround.
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. There’s a separate link below for ARM-based devices, but it won’t work on 32-bit hardware.
You’ll also need to make sure virtualization is enabled first. Head to Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off. Make sure the boxes next to ‘Virtual Machine Platform’ and ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’ are both ticked, then click ‘OK’ to confirm.
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.
Before proceeding, there’s just one more thing you need to do. In the search bar next to the Start menu, type ‘Powershell’, then right-click the Windows PowerShell and choose ‘Run as administator’. You can close the window straight away, but this ensures the following steps work properly:
- Head to Settings > Privacy & security > For developers
- Under ‘Developer Mode’, click the toggle to turn it on, then click ‘Yes’ to confirm
- Head to GitHub and create an account if you haven’t already. You’ll need to verify your email address
- Next, go to the LSPosed / MagiskOnWSA page and click ‘Fork’ from the top-right corner, then ‘Create fork’ to confirm
- From the top-right corner, click your icon in the top-right corner and choose ‘Your repositories’
- Click ‘MagiskonWSA’, then ‘Actions’ from the tabs at the top
- You’ll see a warning saying ‘Workflows aren’t being run on this forked repository’. Click ‘I understand my workflows, go ahead and enable them’ to confirm
- From the left pane, choose ‘Build WSA’
- Click the ‘Run workflow’ drop-down, then green ‘Run workflow’ button to confirm
- This process will take a few minutes to complete, after which you’ll see the orange marker change to a green tick
- Click the hyperlinked Build WSA heading
- Scroll down to the ‘Artifacts’ sub-heading and click the option which mentions ‘x64’. But if you’re using an ARM-based device such as the Surface Pro X, choose the ‘arm64’ version instead
- It will automatically begin downloading, although the actual files are smaller then the listed size. Once complete, locate it within File Explorer and ‘Extract all’ to another location. This will take a few seconds
- Within the extracted folder, find the file named ‘Install’, then right-click it and choose ‘Run with PowerShell’
- Click ‘Open’ if a security warning appears, or ‘Run’ if PowerShell requires permission
- After a few seconds, a message should appear saying ‘The operation completed successfully’. A few more processes will be completed in the following minute or two, before you get an ‘All Done’ message
The Play Store will now be installed as a separate app on Windows 11. Just open it and sign in with your Google account, then you can download any app you like. Some will work better than others, but all can be pinned to the taskbar and are compatible with Windows 11’s multitasking features.