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Want to run Android apps on Windows 11? You need 8GB RAM but should have 16GB, says Microsoft

You can run Android apps on Windows 11, but you'll need more than entry-level hardware to do it, Microsoft has revealed.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Yes, Windows 11 can run a bunch of Android apps from Amazon's store, but you might need better-than-budget hardware to experience it. 

Windows 11 came with a set of medium-level minimum hardware requirements, such as at least a 1GHz two-core CPU from AMD, Intel or Qualcomm, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of available storage and more. Many existing business and consumer PCs didn't make the cut for Windows 11.

Running Android apps on Windows 11 means even higher hurdles. The Android feature, enabled by Windows 11's Subsystem for Android, was much-hyped, but didn't make it to the initial mainstream release on October 5. However, Microsoft fixed that earlier this month with the Windows 11 mainstream release of the Amazon Appstore with 1,000 games and apps (up from just 50 originally).

SEE: Best Windows laptop 2022: Top notebooks compared

Microsoft's first release notes suggested an easy path to running Android apps on Windows 11: just install the Amazon Appstore Preview via the Microsoft Store and off you go. 

But now, via WindowsLatest, comes Microsoft's fine print in a new support page for running Android apps on Windows 11, which covers RAM, CPU models, and storage type. Warning: it's not pleasant reading for those on budget hardware.

You'll need not just Windows 11's minimum 4GB RAM, but actually 8GB to run Android apps on Windows 11. And that's just the minimum. Microsoft's 'recommended' memory complement is 16GB, meaning even the Surface Laptop 4's entry-level 8GB of RAM configuration just scrapes through. In other words, you may need to upgrade your RAM or choose a new PC that exceeds the entry-level configuration. 

In this case of the Surface Laptop 4, which starts at $980 for the Intel Core i5 version with 8GB RAM, you'd need to pay $1,499 for the 16GB configuration that Microsoft recommends for running Android apps.

Don't even think about using Android apps if you've bought one of the Windows 11SE Chromebook competitors, such as Microsoft's $250 Surface Laptop SE. It's got an Intel Celeron N4020 or N4120 CPU, but Microsoft lists the minimum Intel CPU for Android apps as an 8th-generation Intel Core i3 or above.

The same goes for Dell Latitude 3120 and 3120 2-in-1 for Education, which has a Celeron processor, and other recently announced Windows 11 SE laptops.

Other CPUs that meet the minimum requirement for Android on Windows 11 are AMD's Ryzen 3000 (minimum) or above, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8c (minimum) or above.

Also, don't look to run Android apps on Windows 11 if you have a PC with a cheaper hard disk drive (HDD); you'll need a solid-state drive (SSD), according to Microsoft. 

Microsoft notes that users will need to enable virtualization on Windows 11 to run Android apps.

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