After all the press for Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk potentially taking it to each other in the octagon, the only analog we’re likely to see is Twitter versus Meta’s new darling–Threads. The platform has picked up 70 million sign-ups in the first couple of days, and it shows no sign of slowing down. The only trouble is that, right now, it’s mobile only. You can view individual posts in a browser, but you can’t post or read your whole feed.
Personally, my relationship with the blue bird has been in sharp decline over the last few months, so I decided to give Threads a try. The best way I can describe it is, it’s like rerolling a new character class in a game after having already been through the endgame content. You know, kind of refreshing.
Threads still falls behind because it’s mobile locked to Android and iOS devices, so I can’t really use it on anything other than my phone and tablet. But if you’re running Windows 11, there’s a quick path around that restriction using the Windows Subsystem for Android.
It all hinges on the Amazon Appstore and activating the ability to sideload Android APKs with the flick of a few switches. So this guide isn’t just for Threads, but more of a … meta guide for most Android apps that have available APKs. (I hope you see what I did there.)
Before We Begin
- Have Windows 11 installed.
- Have the latest Windows updates installed.
- Make sure Microsoft supports Amazon Appstore in your country or region. (Check here.)
Install Amazon Appstore/Windows Subsystem for Android
- Open the Microsoft Store and search for Amazon Appstore. Click Install or Get to begin the download.
- This will start you through a three-step setup process—just follow it through. It will ask for permission to make changes to a couple of utilities—allow them, and you’ll soon be prompted to restart your computer.
- When it comes back from restart, your PC will automatically begin installing the Windows Subsystem for Android. When that’s finished, you’ll be prompted with an Amazon Appstore login screen. (You don’t have to log in.)
- You’ll now be able to find Windows Subsystem for Android in your Start menu. Open it and select Advanced settings on the left, then toggle the Developer mode slider to the right.
Download the Threads APK
There are multiple options for downloading Android app APKs, but if you don’t know where you’re going, you can end up in some unsavory corners of the web. One of the safest in my experience is APKMirror.
- Get the Threads APK using the APKMirror link here.
- By default this will go into your Downloads folder.
While there are several options for apps that allow installation of Android APKs once the Windows Subsystem for Android is installed, WSATools is one of the simplest and most straightforward, and it’s another pickup from the Microsoft Store.
- Open the Microsoft Store and search for WSATools. Install it.
All the pieces are in place, let’s go!
- WSATools will now be available on your Start menu. Open it up.
- Click Install an APK. This will tell you the ADB is missing the first time you run it. Click Install and select or make a folder to install it into. Personally, I just made C:\ADB to be simple. (You’ll never have to do this again.)
- Once that’s done, you’ll get another prompt to find your file. Go to your Downloads folder and select our freshly downloaded Threads APK.
- Click Install when it shows the Threads icon and information.
- It is possible that it will ask permission for ADB Debugging. If so, click yes.
If this doesn’t work, or it says it can’t access the WSA, restarting your machine to try again will do the trick.
And that’s it! Threads should now be available in your Start menu, so when you’re at your desk at work or on your gaming rig taking a break between runs, you can open Threads on your Windows 11 PC with the same ease as Microsoft’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Windows apps. Happy spooling! (Is that what we’re calling it?)