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Sideloading apps to get more Android power in Windows 11

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Sideloading apps is a way to get around a platform that prohibits the distribution of certain software. It’s easy to do if you know how to follow the process properly, but keep in mind that not all devices allow these kinds of changes.

Installing Android apps on Windows 11 is now possible thanks to Microsoft. However, some applications still won’t get through, that’s why it’s necessary to sideload the unsupported apps.

To get started with this process, follow these steps.

Sideloading apps not supported by Android in Windows 11

(Photo: Unsplash’s Denny Müller)
Here’s why you should sideload applications, how to do it, and the risks involved.

Pre-sideloading phase

Before diving into the actual procedure, make sure your system meets the required specs for each app. Apparently you need a mid-range computer of at least an 8th generation i3. For this part, a Snapdragon 8c or an AMD Ryzen 300 is sufficient.

Make sure that the Android subsystem has at least 8 GB of RAM. However, if you want a smoother installation, you may need to expand your RAM to 16GB.

Apart from that, SSD storage is required for Windows 11. The traditional hard drive is good, but the newer storage is faster and more convenient.

Of course you need to install WSA as this is the one you enable when sideloading. To get started, you must:

  1. Go to the WSA settings.

  2. In the ‘Developers’ tab, activate developer mode.

  3. Save the IP address that you will use later.

Search for Android apps

Since some apps are not searchable in the App Store or Play Store, you need to download their APK files from the Internet.

If you’re using an Android handset, you’ll need to use ML Manager or a similar extractor app. This way, transferring your files to your computer becomes much easier.

For PC users, you can check out F-droid and APK mirror, the reliable websites where you can find APKs.

Some people tend to stick with the dark side which means they pirate the software to get it. While it is applicable, your device may acquire malware that can compromise your personal information.

The sideloading process

You must access the Platform Tools from Google’s website. Once done, open the command terminal where the tools are located. From here you can now link it to the Android system.

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