How-ToTech

Install Android Apps Directly On Windows 11 using WSA PacMan

Windows 11 preview build comes with native support for Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) which lets you install Android apps. Right now, you can download apps from the Amazon Appstore only as support for other stores is not available.

Amazon’s Appstore is not as huge as the Play Store, only a limited number of Android apps. Thankfully, you can use the command-line tool to install Android apps and even run the Windows Subsystem for Android on non-Insider PCs, as well as avoid using the WSA manager.

If you don’t want to use the command line (which can be tricky for beginners), there’s an easier way to do it. A new app called “WSA PacMan”, which is available on Github for review and feedback, lets you install Android apps without opening the command prompt or system settings.

As the name suggests, it’s a third-party open-source package built specifically for Windows Subsystem for Android. It acts as a GUI and it runs the ADB commands in the background to install Android apps.

Windows 11 Android subsystem

WSA PacMan is a GUI for the ADB commands and it relies on the original WSA included in the OS, so you do need to set up WSA for one time.

First, you will need a device that runs Windows 11 and supports Android Subsystem for Linux. Second, make sure you’ve installed or enabled Subsystem for Android and the debugging option is turned on. Otherwise, the package manager won’t be able to install apps on your device.

How to install Android apps with GUI

  1. Head to Github’s release page and download WSA PacMan.
  2. The PackMan app will automatically connect to WSA because it uses the default port 58526 for debugging.
    Android package manager
  3. As you can see in the above screenshot, you just need to locate the APK file you want to run.

WSA installer

If you followed the steps correctly, you should see an installation wizard similar to the native installer.

You can open installed apps as you would any other Windows app. Apps installed by the package will show up in your Start menu and they can be pinned to the taskbar.


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