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Windows Subsystem for Android: How to Get Play Store and Gapps on Windows 11

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When Windows 11 announced the ability to install and use Android apps, everybody was over the moon. People were excited to run social media apps, games, and more directly from their PC. Sadly this excitement was cut short when Microsoft revealed that they would be using the Amazon App Store instead of the Google Play Store.


For comparison, the Amazon apps store only has around 460,000 while the Google alternative has 3.48 million apps in total. This is one of the reasons many users have been looking to install Google Play Services and Store manually. Are you in the same boat? Then we have the perfect guide for you!


Use the methods below to get and use Google Play Store and Gapps on your Windows 11 PC.


Related: How to Ungroup Icons on Windows 11 Taskbar With a Registry Hack


Method #1: Install custom WSA with Gapps and Play Store pre-installed


A simpler way to get Google Apps and Google Play Store with WSA is by using a pre-modified WSA that has the Gapps pre-installed. This WSA was shared by a Redditor called Rageman666 (see here). Once downloaded, you can use the mod given below to sign in to Google Play Store with your Google account.


What do you need



  • Modified WSA | Download Link (Mirror | Mirror 2)

  • ADBToolkit | Download Link

  • Important: You will need to uninstall the original WSA from your system in case you have it installed before proceeding with this guide. 


Step-by-step guide


We will first need to enable developer mode on your installation of Windows 11. Press Windows + i on your keyboard and select ‘Privacy & security’ from the left sidebar. 



Click on ‘For developers’ on your right. 



Click and turn on the toggle for ‘Developer Mode’. Click on ‘Yes’ to confirm your choice.  



Now download the WSA linked above to a convenient location on your local storage. Unzip the files to a new folder named ‘WSAUnpacked’. Click on the address bar in the ‘WSAUnpacked’ folder and copy the path to your clipboard.



Press Windows + S on your keyboard, search for ‘Powershell’ and click on ‘Run as administrator’ once it shows up in your search results.



Type in the following command and replace PATH with the path we copied to your clipboard. Ensure that you remove the quotes from the pasted path. 


cd PATH


 


Now type in and execute the following command.


Add-AppxPackage -Register .\AppxManifest.xml



The modified WSA will now be installed on your system. Press the Windows key and launch the same from your Start menu.



Once the Subsystem launches, click and enable ‘Developer Mode’. 



Now click on ‘Files’ at the top so that it launches Windows Subsystem for Android on your system. 



Close the Files app. We now need to use a workaround to sign in to the Play Store.



Download ADBToolkit linked above and extract it to a new folder on your desktop named ‘ADBToolkit’. Once extracted, click on the address bar at the top and copy the address to your clipboard. 



Press Windows + S on your keyboard and search for Powershell. Click on ‘Run as administrator’ once Powershell shows up in your search results. 



Type in the following command and replace PATH with the path to ADBToolkit we copied earlier. 


cd PATH



Note: Ensure that you remove the quotes from the pasted path to ADBToolkit. 


Now switch back to the subsystem window and copy the address given below ‘Developer Mode’.



Execute the command given below to launch and connect ADB. Replace ‘ADDRESS’ with the address copied to your clipboard (from above). 


.\adb.exe connect ADDRESS 



Type in the following command to launch ADB shell.


.\adb.exe shell



Now use the following command to gain root access. 


su



Now type in the following command. 


setenforce 0



Type in ‘Exit’ to exit PowerShell. 



You can now close all the windows open on your desktop. Press Windows + S and search for ‘Play Store’ now. Click and launch the app once it shows up in your search results. 



Now click on ‘Sign in’ and sign in with your Google account. 



You will now be signed in with your Google Account and you should now be able to use Google Play Store on your Windows 11 PC. 



And that’s it! You can now download and install the desired Android apps on your system directly from the Google Play Store. 


Related: Sideload APK on Windows 11 using ADB manually | Automatically with a script


Method #2: Install WSA and then install Gapps yourself


The method above is much easier and thus easy to go with even though not exactly recommendable, as it’s a pre-modified (custom) WSA package. But if you want an official WSA package from Microsoft and want to install Gapps yourself over this, then this is the method for you. It’s quite complex btw, so may often wonder whether simply installing a custom WSA package that comes with Gapps pre-installed is worth it, which we’d say, is.


Getting Google Apps and Play Store on your PC on official WSA by installing Gapps package yourself is recommended as you wouldn’t need a pre-modified WSA which helps if you are concerned about the security of a custom WSA package under method 1. 


What do you need



  • WSGA script | Download Link (Gapps script for Windows Subsystem for Android)

  • Windows Subsystem For Android | Link

  • Store Adguard | Link

  • OpenGApps | Link

  • ADBToolkit | Download Link 

  • WinRAR | Download Link

  • WSL: Windows Subsystem for Linux

  • Important: Uninstall the original Windows Subsystem For Android if you already have it installed on your PC before proceeding with this guide.


Step-by-step guide


Visit the WSA link above and copy and paste the following link given below or above in the text box.


Link


Now click on the drop-down menu beside the text box and click on ‘Slow’. 


Click on the ‘Check Mark’ to process the given link.


Once processed, all the linked download files will now be available on your screen. Scroll to the bottom and click on the .msix bundle at the bottom and download it to a convenient location on your local storage. 


Now go to the downloaded file, right-click on it and open it with WinRAR. If you do not have WinRAR on your PC then use the link above to download and install the same. 


Once the bundle is open in WinRAR, scroll to the bottom and check the architecture of the .msix bundle. It should match your CPU architecture, if not, you can redownload the desired version and proceed with the guide. 


Double click and open the same bundle in WinRAR. 


Go to your desktop and create a new folder named ‘WindowsSubsystemForAndroid’. 


Now select all the files except the following folders and files. 



  • AppxMetadata (folder)

  • AppxBlockMap.xml (file)

  • AppxSignature.p7x (file)

  • [Content Types].xml (file)


Copy all the selected files to the new ‘WindowsSubsystemForAndroid’ folder we created earlier. 


Once copied, create another new folder on your desktop named ‘GAppsForWSA’.


Open the link for the WSGA script at the top and download the same as a .zip to your local storage. 


Extract the .zip to the new ‘GAppsForWSA’ folder that we created on your desktop.


Note: Extract the contents of the ‘WSGAScript-main’ folder contents inside the archive. 


We will now download GApps for your WSA installation. Visit the link for OpenGApps at the top and select the following options given below. 



  • Platform: x86_64

  • Android: 11.0

  • Variant: pico


Click on the ‘Download icon’. 


You will now be redirected to Sourceforge, wait a few seconds and the download should automatically be initiated for you. Download and store the archive in the following location in the ‘GAppsForWSA’ folder on your desktop.


Desktop\GAppsForWSA\#GAPPS


Now go back to your desktop, open the ‘WindowsSubsystemForAndroid’ and copy the following 4 files. 



  • vendor.img

  • system_ext.img

  • system.img

  • product.img


Navigate to the following location and paste all your copied files. 


Desktop\GAppsForWSA\#IMAGES


We will now install WSL for your system. WSL is a Linux Subsystem that will allow you to use executables and scripts developed for Linux. Press Windows + i on your keyboard to open the Settings app and then click on ‘Apps’ on your left. 


Now click on ‘Optional Features’. 


Scroll down and click on ‘More Windows features’. 


A new window for available features will now open on your screen. Scroll to the bottom and check the box for ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’. 


Click on ‘Ok’ once you are done. 


The Linux Subsystem will now be installed on your PC. You will now be prompted to restart your PC. We recommend you restart your PC at this point even if you are not prompted. 


Press Windows + X and select ‘Windows Terminal (admin)’. 


Click on the drop-down arrow at the top and select the same to launch a WSL terminal in the new tab. 


We’ll now need root access to modify your WSA with GApps. Type in the following command and press Enter on your keyboard. 


sudo su


Enter your password to grant root access. 


Go to your desktop, right-click on the ‘GAppsForWSA’ and select ‘Copy as path’. 


Switch back to the terminal window and type in the following command. Replace PATH with the path copied to your clipboard. Ensure that you remove quotes from the copied path when executing the command. 


cd PATH


Now type in the following command to install ‘lzip’ and ‘unzip’ which will be needed for this process. 


apt install lzip unzip


Confirm your choice by typing in ‘Y‘.


We will now install ‘dos2unix’ which will also be needed for this modification. Use the command below to install the same on your PC. 


apt install dos2unix


Now it’s time to modify your WSA image. Type in and execute the following commands in the terminal one by one in the same order. 



  • Command 1: dos2unix ./apply.sh

  • Command 2: dos2unix ./extend_and_mount_images.sh

  • Command 3: dos2unix ./extract_gapps_pico.sh

  • Command 4: dos2unix ./unmount_images.sh

  • Command 5: dos2unix ./VARIABLES.sh


Once the process completes, type in the following to clear up your terminal for better management. 


clear


Now that we have our scripts, let’s execute them. Type in and execute the commands given below one by one in the same order. 



  • Command 1: ./extract_gapps_pico.sh

  • Command 2: ./extend_and_mount_images.sh

  • Command 3: ./apply.sh

  • Command 4: ./unmount_images.sh


We are now done with the console, for now, go to your desktop and navigate to the following location. 


Desktop\GAppsForWSA\#IMAGES


Copy the following files to your clipboard. 



  • product.img

  • system.img

  • system_ext.img

  • vendor.img


Now navigate to the ‘WindowsSubsystemForAndroid’ folder on your desktop and paste all the copied images in the same location. 


We’re almost done with the modification now. Navigate to your ‘GAppsForWSA’ folder on your desktop and double click and open the ‘misc’ folder. 


Copy ‘kernel’ to your clipboard.


Navigate to the following location. 


Desktop\WindowsSubsystemForAndroid\Tools


Rename ‘kernel’ to ‘kernel_backup’. 


Now paste the kernel file we copied to your clipboard earlier in the same location.


We will now need to enable developer mode for your installation of Windows 11. Press Windows + i to open the Settings app and then click on ‘Privacy and Security’ on your right. 
Click on ‘For developers’. 


Enable the toggle for ‘Developer Mode’ at the top. 


Click on ‘Yes’ to confirm your choice.


Now press Windows + X and select ‘Windows Terminal (admin)’. 


Click on the drop-down arrow at the top and select ‘Windows Powershell’. 


Note: Do not select ‘Powershell’, ensure that you select ‘Windows Powershell’.


Now run the following command.


Add-AppxPackage -Register C:\Users\USERNAME\Desktop\WindowsSubsystemForAndroid\AppxManifest.xml


The modified subsystem will now be installed on your PC.


Press the Windows key and launch the same once the process completes.


Enable the toggle for ‘Developer mode’ in the Android Subsystem. 


Click on ‘Files’ at the top to launch the Subsystem on your PC. 


You might have to wait a few minutes now depending on your PC. 


Close the Files app once it opens and download the ADBToolkit linked above.


Now create a new folder on your Desktop and name it ‘ADBToolkit’.


Extract the archive in the same location


Click on the address bar at the top, type in ‘Powershell’ and press Enter on your keyboard. 


Go back to the Android Subsystem and copy the address shown below ‘Developer Mode’.


Type in and execute the following command. Replace ADDRESS with the address shown in the ‘Developer Mode’ section in the Android Subsystem. 


.\adb.exe connect ADDRESS


Once you are connected, execute the following command. 


.\adb.exe shell


Type in the following command to gain root access. 


su


Execute the following command next. 


setenforce 0


Now press Windows + S on your keyboard, search for ‘Play Store’ and launch the app once it shows up in your search results. 


Click on ‘Sign-in’ and sign in with your desired Google account now. 


Note: This will also enable Google Sync, which by default will sync your Google data to Windows including things like Contacts, Calendar events, Browser history, and more.


Once you are signed in, close the Play Store. We now need to restore your original kernel. Open the Windows Subsystem for Android window and click on ‘Turn off’. 


The Subsystem will now stop running in the background on your PC. Navigate to the ‘WindowsSubsystemForAndroid’ folder on your desktop and open the ‘Tools’ folder. 


Rename the ‘kernel’ file to ‘kernel_Root_mod’. 


Similarly, rename ‘kernel_backup’ to ‘kernel’. 


You can now close everything. We recommend you restart your system at this point. Once restarted, you should now be able to use the Play Store on your system while signed in with your Google account. 




We hope you were able to easily set up and use GApps and Play Store on your PC using the guide above. If you face any issues or have any questions, feel free to reach out using the comments section below. 


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