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How to install Google Play Store on Windows 11
One of the most notable features in Windows 11 is the native Android emulation, which will let you run Android apps on Windows 11 without you needing to install a third-party app. While this feature didn’t ship in the release build, it’s now officially available in the US, and unofficially everywhere else.
The feature officially uses Amazon App Store for the Android apps, embedded inside the Microsoft Store. While the Amazon App Store is fine, it has a much more limited selection of apps. Sideloading is possible, but Google Play Services are missing, which means many apps that rely on them will not work. Google Play Store solves all of these issues. Here’s how to install the Google Play Store on Windows 11.
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How to install Google Play Store on Windows 11
There are many steps to installing Google Play Store on Windows 11. Many of these steps include getting your system and the subsystem files ready. It will take you some time to download all the necessary files, get the system ready, and carry out the final installation process. If you want to install some simple apps that don’t require Google Play Services, you might want to sideload APKs to the unmodified Windows Android Subsystem, as detailed in our guide linked below.
Steps here: How to run Android apps on Windows 11
The method comes courtesy of Yujinchang08 on Github. That is the method we will be following for our steps in this tutorial on how to run the Google Play Store on Windows 11. Remember that you will need to meet the minimum system requirements and be on the latest Windows 11 build for this to work. Check the guide linked above for steps related to that.
Note: This method works by modifying the Windows Subsystem for Android and replacing the kernel with a modified one. Therefore, this method is risky and may result in data loss or potentially even damage to hardware. Consider yourself warned.
Uninstall Windows Subsystem for Android and enable Developer Mode
For this method to work, you’ll need to uninstall the current version of Windows Subsystem for Android on your Windows 11 system. Head over to the Settings app in Windows 11. Click on the Apps tab from the left pane. Click on Apps & features. It should be the first tab in the Apps section.
Scroll down to Windows Subsystem for Android in the apps list. Click the three-dot menu, and click Uninstall.
Head over to the Privacy & security tab from the left pane. Click the For developers tab under Security. Turn on Developer Mode. Click Yes when the prompt shows up.
Getting and installing the modified Windows Subsystem for Android from Github
Click the Fork button in the top right corner. The process should take a few seconds, and open up the forked copy in your account. If you lose it, you can head over to Your repositories by clicking your profile icon.
Once on this page, click the Actions tab. You’ll need to give one-time permission for workflows to run. Click the green button that says I understand my workflows, go ahead and enable them.
In the left sidebar, click the Build WSA workflow. Click the Run workflow button.
You will get a pop-up. Leave all options as they are, except Variants of gapps. Click the dropdown that says none under it, and click pico. Press the green Run workflow button.
The task will take a while to process, showing an orange status marker. It will move from Queued to In progress. After it’s completed, which should take about five minutes, the marker will turn into a green tick.
Click on the Build WSA task label and scroll down to the Artifacts tab. You’ll have the Arm and x86 version of the modified WSA package ready for you. Click on your preferred version according to CPU type to begin the download.
The package will finish downloading in a bit. Note that this archive will have a smaller file size than the listed size, approximately 800MB. Extract the downloaded file into a folder.
Open the folder. Find the file named Install, right-click on it and click Run with PowerShell. Click Open when the security warning pops up. Also, click Run if PowerShell asks for permission.
The installation should finish pretty quickly. If PowerShell prompts you to agree to any terms and conditions, make sure to do so in the window. It may also ask you to restart the system, in which case you’ll have to rerun the Install file in PowerShell. Once finished, search for the Windows Subsystem for Android in the Start menu and open it.
Turn on Developer mode in the Subsystem settings. Click Manage developer settings to start the subsystem, allow/deny diagnostic data when prompted, and click Allow access when Windows Firewall requests it.
It’ll take a few moments, but Google Play Store should now be installed on your Windows 11 system. Look it up in your Windows search, and click to open it. You will need to sign in to see and download apps from the Play Store.
Using Google Play Store on Windows 11
The rest of the usage will be similar to using Play Store on a phone or an emulator. Just search for the app, and download it. Note that this is still a very early stage method, so you’re likely to run into issues. For example, on our test machine, the text in some of the apps appears wobbly.
However, there’s great potential here. It will take a few months for a stable version to hit Windows 11 systems, but when it happens, it will outperform most emulators, if not the native version, then the developer-modded versions that we’ll see for sure. Stay tuned for more.
Also read: The best Android emulators for PC and Mac