It has been a few days since Windows Subsystem for Android was released to the public. The Subsystem first showed up in the beta preview for Insider builds and was soon adapted for developer previews. Since then users have managed to source and install WSA on their system in various ways, including a very simple custom WSA package that also comes with Gapps pre-installed.
But as the Subsystem is still in its early beta stages, we are yet to see Microsoft’s implementation for the final release. If you install WSA manually on Windows 11, then you will need to sideload apps on it using the ADB install command, which is pretty painful even though cheekily geeky. Oh yes, there is a way to sideload APK on WSA automatically with a double-click using a script, but still we always thought there should be a better way about this. Luckily, there’s more to it.
While you could circumvent the issue and get the Play Store, there is now another utility available that helps streamline the entire process of getting and modifying WSA on Windows 11, appropriately called WSA Toolbox. Here’s all you need to know about it.
What is WSA Toolbox?
WSA Toolbox is a new project on Github that allows you to install WSA on your system, get a third-party Android app store, and the ability to execute ADB commands. All these features are packaged in a neat GUI and the whole project has been inspired by Fire Toolbox for Amazon Fire devices.
WSA Toolbox also comes with a renamed version of Simple Android Launcher which is aptly named Android Apps for the Windows Start menu. You can use WSA Toolbox to install and set up WSA with a third-party App Store and Launcher on your system simply with just a few clicks.
Is it safe to use WSA Toolbox?
For now, WSA Toolbox seems to be safe. It is open-source, hosted on Github with a detailed explanation of the commands and forks used to achieve this compact executable. If you are worried about privacy, you can use this Github guide to compile and set up WSA Toolbox on your system locally.
How to get and use WSA Toolbox
You can use the guide below to install and use WSA Toolbox on your system. There are a few requirements that have been listed below as well and additionally you will need to meet Microsoft’s basic requirements to run Windows Subsystem on your PC. In addition to TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot, you will also need 8GB of RAM and an SSD on your system mainly. You can find the rest of the requirements for this guide at this link.
What do you need
- WSA Toolbox: Download Link
- Important: Uninstall any previous modified or unmodified WSAs installed on your PC before proceeding with this guide.
- Additional Windows Requirements for Windows Subsystem for Android | Link
Open the link for WSA Toolbox above and click on ‘WSAToolbox.exe’ to download the same to your local storage.
Once downloaded, double click and run the program on your PC.
Now click and install the respective WSA depending on your region. It is recommended you choose international instead of North America so that you don’t have to use VPN if you are anywhere else in the world.
Wait for the WSA to be installed on your system. This could take a while depending on your network speed and you can track the same in the CMD window in the background. Once you have installed WSA, click on ‘Install Aurora Store (Google Play Alternative)’. This will install Aurora Store on your system.
Once installed, we recommend you install the App Launcher. This will help you find all your Android apps in one place however, this is completely optional. You can also access all apps from your Start menu by pinning them or searching for them.
And that’s it! You can now close the WSA Toolbox app and launch WSA from your Start menu to access your Android settings. You can also directly launch the Aurora Store to start downloading apps on your PC.
Cool WSA Toolbox Features
You get the following features when using the latest WSA Toolbox from Github. There are also a few upcoming features that have been listed below.
Install APK files
Install Aurora Store
Install Simple Android Launcher
Launch and use ADB shell to execute ADB commands
Install Windows Subsystem for Android; North American as well as International version
WSA Toolbox is a new utility and here are a few common queries about it that should help you get up to speed on your system.
Which WSA should you install?
The beta versions of WSA seem to be region-locked for some reason. This could carry forward to the final release but we do not have confirmation on the same for now. If you are in North America, then you should install the North American WSA however if you are anywhere else in the world then it is recommended you use the International version instead. Using a mismatched version will cause you to be locked out of the Amazon App Store which you will then have to circumvent using a VPN.
Why use an App Launcher?
An app launcher can help you find all your Android apps in one place. You will also be able to manage privacy settings for these apps and change their behavior. Hence an App Launcher can help you do all of this in one place. The Simple Android Launcher bundled with WSA Toolbox should be the best choice for now however, if you wish to install another launcher, you can download an APK and install it manually on your system.
Is Aurora Store safe?
Aurora Store is a quite popular and safe way to get apps apart from the popular mainstream platforms like Amazon App Store or the Google Play Store. If you are concerned about Aurora Store, then you can opt for a different store and install it manually using the first option in WSA Toolbox.
Is there any way to get Play Store on Windows?
Yes, you can get the Google Play Store up and running on Windows 11 by either using a modified WSA or by modifying a WSA manually. You can follow our comprehensive guide at this link to get Google Play Store up and running on your Windows 11 system.
Will Google release Play Store for WSA or Windows 11?
No, this is highly unlikely considering Microsoft announced Android compatibility bundled with the Amazon App Store. It is expected that Amazon will have a dedicated store with more listings up and running at the time of final release but native support for Play Store seems highly unlikely. You can, however, use this comprehensive guide from us to install and use Google Play Store manually on your system.
How to get updates in the future?
If you are worried about updates in the future then it depends on how you got the app installed on your system. If you used an app store, then you can update the app through its respective source app store. However, if you installed the APK manually, then you will need to download the latest APK and install it manually on your PC. However, this doesn’t’ apply to app stores installed manually as you will receive updates for the same through the ‘My Apps’ or ‘Library’ section.
We hope you were able to get WSA easily on your PC using the guide above. If you face any issues, feel free to reach out using the comments below.
- How to Get Google Play Store and Gapps on Windows 11 With Windows Subsystem for Android
- Installing Windows 11 on Unsupported Hardware: How to Remove Appraiserres.dll to Bypass Requirements When Using Setup
- Android Apps on Windows 11 Dev Channel: How to Install Windows Subsystem for Android Manually With Msixbundle
- Unable to Start Windows Subsystem for Android: How to Fix ‘Virtualization Not Enabled’ Error on Windows 11
How to sideload Android apps on Windows 11
- Save the platform-tools zip to the computer.
- Open the recently downloaded zip folder.
- Click the Extract all button.
- Update config.yml.
- Update nginx configuration.
- Install arvados-ws package.
- Start the service.
- Restart the API server and controller.
- Confirm working installation.
To install an Android app, click on the app icon, just like you would if you were using the Appstore on an Android for Fire device. Select install, and then let the Appstore take care of the rest. Once it's done, you'll see the install button switch to Open. Click it.How do I sideload Android apps using WSA Windows 11? ›
- Install WSATools from the Microsoft store. ...
- Download (or otherwise obtain) an APK file. ...
- Launch WSATools on your PC.
- Click Select an APK and choose one from your storage drive. ...
- Click Install.
- Step 1: Install Windows Subsystem for Android. ...
- Step 2: Enable the Virtual Machine Platform. ...
- Step 3: Install the Minimal ADB Setup in Windows 11. ...
- Step 4: Sideload Android Apps in Windows 11.
2. Enable Virtual Machine Platform
- Open Start.
- Search for Turn Windows features on or off, and click the top result to open the app.
- Check the Virtual Machine Platform option.
- Click the OK button.
- Restart the computer.
To start using WSL, open up a PowerShell terminal and type wsl . If you've set up WSL correctly, you'll enter a bash terminal running on the WSL distro of choice. From here, you can run any Linux commands you wish. Below you will find a reference to all of the options the wsl.exe provides when starting up.How do I download WSL? ›
- Step 1 - Enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
- Step 2 - Check requirements for running WSL 2.
- Step 3 - Enable Virtual Machine feature.
- Step 4 - Download the Linux kernel update package.
- Step 5 - Set WSL 2 as your default version.
- Step 6 - Install your Linux distribution of choice.
- Troubleshooting installation.
Thankfully, we're talking about Android apps here, so sideloading is absolutely an option. While you can absolutely use ADB on Windows 11 to install any APK file, it's not exactly the most intuitive process for many users.Is Windows 11 support Android apps? ›
The Amazon Appstore and the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app will then appear in the Windows 11 Start menu and be available on search, offering a catalogue of Android apps. The Amazon Appstore on Windows (a requirement for running Android apps on Windows 11) is currently only available in the US.
- Open Windows Settings ( WIN + I )
- Search for Region Settings.
- Under Region, change Country to United State (you can change it back later)
- Open Windows Subsystem for Android.
- Turn on the Developer mode toggle switch.
- Click the Manage developer settings option to turn on WSA (if applicable).
- Open WSATools app.
- Click the Select an APK button.
Setting up ADB to work with WSA
Launch Windows Subsystem for Android. Here, enable Developer mode then tap on Manage developer settings. Use your left mousebutton to scroll down until you find Wireless debugging. Tap to open it and enable it.
In March 2022, Microsoft released the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), aka the ability to run Android apps on Windows 11, in the stable channel for Windows 11 users. Your PC should be on Windows 11 Build 22000.526 or higher in the stable channel to run Android apps.How do I get Amazon Appstore on Windows 11? ›
To download the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11: Open the Microsoft Store. Select the Amazon Appstore banner or search for the Amazon Appstore. Select Get Started or Install.What is WSA in Windows 11? ›
Windows Subsystem for Android™️ enables your Windows 11 device to run Android applications that are available in the Amazon Appstore. Android is a trademark of Google LLC.How do I install Aurora on Windows 11? ›
- Get the stable Aurora Store APK from its official website.
- Install the Android Debugging Bridge. ...
- Navigate to the Platform Tools folder, right-click, and select Open in Terminal.
- Open Windows Subsystem for Android, go to Developer, and turn on Developer mode.
- Mirror Your Phone With Windows. ...
- Run Your Favorite Apps With BlueStacks. ...
- Emulate Full Android Experience With Genymotion.