Windows 11 will stop supporting Android apps in 2025 - here's why

Windows 11 android apps
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has made the controversial decision to end Windows 11 support for Android apps. And it’s unclear why — and how Android users will respond.

Microsoft said on Tuesday (March 5) that it will no longer support Android apps running on its operating system via Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) starting on March 5, 2025. 

“As a result, the Amazon Appstore on Windows and all applications and games dependent on WSA will no longer be supported beginning March 5, 2025,” Microsoft wrote in a developer document. The company said it will continue providing technical support on the Windows Subsystem for Android until then, and cautioned that Android apps will only be available to Windows 11 users until March 5 of next year.

The move is nothing if not a surprise for both developers and Android users. In 2021, Microsoft launched Windows 11 along with support for Android apps via the Windows Subsystem for Android. Through that subsystem Windows users could install Android apps on their Windows PC, albeit only from a select group of Android apps available on the Amazon Appstore.

Android apps have been downloadable for some time via the Amazon Appstore section of the Microsoft Store, but by March 2025 they'll be gone for good. (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

A Microsoft spokesperson told Tom’s Guide at the time that the company was “excited” to bring Android apps to the operating system, and access to native Android apps was one of the big selling points of Windows 11 when it debuted in 2022.

Now that selling point is going away, and it's unclear why. Although Microsoft and Google have had their fair share of issues over mobile ecosystems over the years, the companies seemed to have found common ground in Windows 11.

What’s unknown, however, is how many Windows 11 users really turned to their laptops and desktops to download and play casual Android games or other Android apps. It’s possible, given this latest announcement, that Android app uptake wasn’t as strong as Microsoft had hoped. And perhaps it’s simpler and more resource-efficient to kill the feature off rather than keep supporting it.

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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.

  • Infinite88
    This is total BS! How are we supposed to run apps like Audible, that only run through WSA?! The only way to run them on windows will be through third party apps, which will either be unsecure, buggy, adware, or pay-to-use.

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