Windows 10 users can get the benefit of using Android apps on their desktop, via the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), thanks to a freshly discovered fudge – but it’s not something we’d recommend the average user takes the plunge with.
As you’re likely aware, one of the big steps forward taken by Windows 11 was to support Android apps with WSA, something Windows 10 missed out on, until now. Because as Liliputing spotted, a patch has been released which can be applied to Windows 10 22H2 to bring in Android support.
We say patch, but don’t get the impression that this simply involves downloading and applying a simple file to implement the workaround.
The method supplied via this GitHub project is somewhat convoluted, and involves pulling files out of Windows 11, modifying installers, and various other bits of tinkering which are likely to be beyond the scope of the computing knowledge that many folks possess.
Still, if you’re confident enough to undertake this kind of task, then there’s nothing stopping you from getting the Windows Subsystem for Android up and running under Windows 10.
Analysis: Question marks around risk factors
Even for those tech-savvy enough to be able to deal with the procedure for enabling WSA in Windows 10, there are obvious questions here. How stable will this fudged WSA be, exactly? And could it even damage your Windows installation (especially if you get something wrong when putting this into action)?
For those who are unsure but still like the idea, a safer route to play around with Android apps (or games, of course) on your Windows 10 desktop is to use a solution like Bluestacks. This is emulator software with a solid reputation and long track record at this point, though note that even Bluestacks 5 (the latest incarnation) is now touted as being optimized for Windows 11.
While an emulator may not be as slick as WSA, which is tightly integrated with the OS, we have our doubts that a fudged WSA install like this on Windows 10 could present some of its own issues as noted.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).