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Here's how to install Windows on Android tablets

Native installation isn't possible, but remote access saves the day.
By
October 15, 2022
Realme Pad tablet review in hand with browser
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

While there are some Windows 11 tablets you can buy, there are even more Android-based tablets available, and you can even use a bluetooth keyboard to work on them like a Windows desktop or tablet. But what if you wanted to install Windows on your Android tablet? Unfortunately, there’s no way to install the Windows operating system on Android tablets due to the difference in hardware and limited access to the bootloader. However, if you’re determined, Remote Desktop will get you close to the real experience.

QUICK ANSWER 

You cannot install Windows on an Android tablet, but you can use remote desktop apps like Chrome Remote Desktop if you have a spare Windows PC. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a cloud Windows virtual machine like RemotePC by Drive. Android apps are available for both, essentially letting you use a Windows desktop on an Android tablet.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS 

Using Chrome Remote Desktop

To use Chrome Remote Desktop, you’ll first need a powered-on Windows PC to remotely control from your Android tablet. Then, make sure you have Google Chrome installed on your PC.

Open Google Chrome on your Windows PC and head over to the Chrome Web Store. Search for Chrome Remote Desktop, and click it to open the page.

Chrome Remote Desktop web store
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click the Add to Chrome button. Then, click Add extension when the confirmation pops up.

Chrome Remote Desktop add extension
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Next, open Chrome Remote Desktop by clicking on the extension logo from the Chrome extensions list. Click Remote Access in the left navigation pane.

Chrome Remote Desktop web app
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click the Turn on button under Set up remote access. Enter a name for your PC, and click Next.

Chrome Remote Desktop remote access name
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Enter a PIN to secure access to your PC, and click Start. Make sure to remember this PIN. If Windows asks for any administrator permission, allow it.

Chrome Remote Desktop remote access pin
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

On your Android tablet, download and install the Chrome Remote Desktop app. Make sure you’re using the same Google account on your tablet as on your Windows PC, specifically the one in the Chrome window where you’ve installed the extension.

Open the app on your tablet and select that particular Google account if asked. On the app’s home screen, you’ll find your PC with remote support listed by the name you gave it earlier.

Click it and enter the PIN you had set earlier when prompted. Check the box next to Don’t ask for a PIN again… if need be, and click Connect.

Chrome remote desktop android tablet
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

That’s it. Your Android tablet will connect to your Windows PC, letting you use Windows on your Android tablet.

Chrome Remote Desktop install windows on android tablet
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Running Windows through the cloud

Chrome on Xiaomi Pad 5 Android tablet
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Since it’s not possible to install Windows on an Android tablet, your second best bet is to run a remote instance. While the above method borrows a spare Windows system that you have, the other option you have is to sign up for a Windows cloud virtual machine service and use the official app for the service on your Android tablet to access it.

These services are paid but you can get some for low annual prices. As long as you have a fast internet connection, though, the experience will feel more or less like a native Windows installation. Our go-to recommendation is RemotePC by iDrive, where $15 gets you unlimited remote access for a whole year.


Read more: Your guide to the best tablets