Unable to Start Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11? Here’s how to fix

Fix: "Ensure that Virtual Machine Platform is enabled" Subsystem for Android Windows 11

With the release of Windows Subsystem for Android, users have been encountering the “Unable to start Windows Subsystem for Android” error message while trying to start the environment. The reason that this problem occurs is very well explained in the error message as well which essentially is virtualization. If you do not have virtualization enabled on your Windows 11 operating system, the Windows Subsystem for Android environment will not be able to initialize and thus the error message occurs. You can fix this problem pretty simply by enabling virtualization on your computer which is what we are going to show you in this article so just follow through.

Unable to Start Windows Subsystem for Android Error Message

As it turns out, Microsoft recently made the Windows Subsystem for Android available to the Insider Preview users which, much like the working of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, allows you to run Android apps natively on your computer. This means that you do not have to install a third party emulator on your system in order to play an Android game or use any other Android app on your computer.

However, since the feature is just available in the Insiders Preview Beta channel, there also are not many options to choose from when it comes down to installing the applications. This is because Microsoft has limited the apps, for now, and only a selected group of applications are allowed to be installed via the Amazon Appstore. Luckily, you can sideload Android apps which allows you to essentially run any Android application on your computer using Windows Subsystem for Android. In addition to that, since this is based on the Windows Subsystem for Android, you are going to enable virtualization on your computer otherwise the error message mentioned above will appear. This can be pretty easily fixed, so let us get started with that without further delay.

Turn on Windows Virtual Machine Platform

As it turns out, the first thing that you should do when you encounter the error message in question is to make sure that you have the Virtual Machine Platform feature enabled on your computer. Windows has a bunch of optional features that come built-in that you can choose to install or turn on via the Windows Features window.

While some of these features are enabled by default when you install Windows, most of them are not which is quite obvious because not everyone is going to need them. Thus, if you do need a specific feature, you will have to turn it on manually which is pretty convenient and easy to do. To do this, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, open up the Control Panel by searching for it in the Start Menu.
    Opening up Control Panel
  2. Then, in the Control Panel window, click on the Programs option.
    Control Panel
  3. There, click on the Turn Windows Features on or off option.
    Opening up Windows Features Window
  4. This will bring up another window called Windows Features.
  5. Inside that window, from the list of features, look for Virtual Machine Platform and click on the checkbox to tick it.
    Enabling Virtual Machine Platform
  6. Then, click the OK button.
  7. Once you have done that, go ahead and restart your computer for the feature to be installed.
  8. After your system boots up, try using the Windows Subsystem for Android again to see if the error message still appears.

Enable Virtualization from BIOS

In addition to turning on the Virtual Machine Platform feature on your computer, you will also have to enable virtualization from BIOS. Since you are going to run Android applications, virtualization is pretty important as it allows programs to emulate hardware which then enables it to run other operating systems like Android.

If this case is applicable, you can enable virtualization pretty easily from the BIOS menu. The exact steps may vary a little depending on the manufacturer of your motherboard but the overall procedure remains the same. Follow the instructions down below to enable virtualization:

  1. First of all, go ahead and restart your computer.
  2. As your computer is booting up, you will have to boot into the BIOS menu. To do that, press the respective key for your motherboard which usually is DEL, F2, F10 or ESC.
  3. Once you have booted into BIOS, you will have to go to Advanced Mode. For that, press the F7 button on your keyboard to switch from EZ Mode.
    Switching to Advanced Mode
  4. After you are in Advanced Mode, switch to the Advanced tab given at the top.
    Navigating to Advanced TAB
  5. There, click on the CPU Configuration option.
    Navigating to CPU Configuration
  6. Now, if you are using an Intel CPU, you need to look for Intel Virtualization Technology. Once located, go ahead and switch it to Enabled.
  7. In case of AMD processors, you should be looking for SVM Mode which stands for Secure Virtual Machine. Once you have found it, switch it to Enabled.
    Enabling SVM Mode
  8. After that, press the F10 key on your keyboard to save the changes and restart your computer.
  9. Once your computer boots up, you should no longer be getting the error message in question.

Enable Nested Virtualization

Finally, if you have installed Windows 11 in a virtual machine to use the Windows Subsystem for Android, you will need to enable nested virtualization for the virtual machine on the host. As apparent from the name itself, nested virtualization essentially allows you to run virtual machine instances inside a virtual machine. It is basically a virtualception.

Now, the process of enabling nested virtualization may differ depending on the hypervisor that you are using. For VirtualBox and VMware, the procedure is pretty simple as you can find the option in the virtual machine settings. In case of VirtualBox, the option is called Nested VT-x/AMD-V while in case of VMware, you will be looking for nested virtualization. If you are using Hyper-V, you will have to take a command line approach but it is rather simple to do and you can find various guides on the internet. Once you have enabled nested virtualization, the error message should just go away.

Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

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Unable to Start Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11? Here’s how to fix

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