A Straightforward Guide to Getting Threads on Your Windows Desktop

Have you heard about Threads, the hot new messaging app from Instagram? Launched in 2019, it‘s gained a cult following for its creative tools focused on close friend communication. Up until now, the app has only been available on phones – but I‘m going to show you how to install Threads on your Windows PC.

I‘ll provide simplified steps to enable Android app support in Windows and sideload the Threads APK file. My goal is to make this guide easy to follow, whether you‘re a total beginner or tech expert.

By the end, you‘ll have Threads running smoothly on your desktop!

Why Bring Threads from Mobile to PC?

First, let‘s briefly discuss why you might want Threads on a bigger screen:

More Convenient Messaging

Chatting through a desktop keyboard and mouse is much faster and comfortable than constantly grabbing your phone.

Enhanced Productivity

Running Threads on a PC allows seamlessly switching between messages and other tasks. No more app switching eating up mental bandwidth!

Multi-Account Management

For social media managers, having multiple Instagram inboxes easily accessible can be a gamechanger.

Fun Features

Threads packs in playful tools for sharing status updates, polls, notes, and more with your inner circle. The capabilities keep expanding too!

Of course, the mobile app still wins for portability and camera integration. But I‘d argue most power users will benefit from access on desktops as well.

Who Actually Uses Threads?

Before we get to the installation process, let‘s analyse who really uses Threads:

% of Instagram Users Who Have Downloaded Threads13%
% of Gen Z Instagram Users Using Threads24%
Threads‘ % Share of Social Messaging App Downloads3%

Statistics from SignalFire Threads Case Study, 2022

So while adoption isn‘t as high as giants like WhatsApp or Messenger, Threads occupies a unique niche. Early data indicates above average traction with younger demographics as well.

Instagram will likely continue enhancing Threads as a differentiated portal to connect with closer friends seperate from your public feed.

Now let‘s jump in to getting the app set up on your desktop!

Step 1: Install the Amazon Appstore

The first component you need is the Amazon Appstore. This handles Android app support on Windows.

To install:

  1. Open the Microsoft Store via the start menu or taskbar
  2. Search for "Amazon Appstore"
  3. Click install/get

After setup completes, you‘ll have Windows Subsystem for Android ready for Threads.

Tip: If you run into issues later, try updating Windows store apps and restarting your PC.

Step 2: Enable Developer Mode

With the infrastructure in place, you need to enable a key setting:

  1. Search for "Windows Subsystem for Android"
  2. Under advanced settings, toggle on Developer Mode
  3. Leave this menu open for the next step

Developer Mode gives you permission to install Android APK files from outside the Amazon Appstore.

Heads Up: You may need to disable Ctrl + D if it conflicts with the WSA shortcut.

Step 3: Download the Threads APK

Now we can prep the Threads app package itself:

  1. Get the latest x86 architecture APK from APKMirror. If running Windows 11 on ARM, grab that version instead.
  2. Save the Threads_x.xx.xx.x_x86.apk file somewhere easy like your downloads folder.

Make sure to always grab the most up-to-date APK to avoid version issues.

Step 4: Import Threads via Sideloader

Next, an app called WSA Sideloader will handle Threads installation:

  1. Return to the Microsoft Store
  2. Search for and install WSA Sideloader
  3. Launch Sideloader from the start menu
  4. Click browse, find your saved Threads_x.xx.xx.x_x86 APK and open it
  5. Finally, click install!

After a few minutes your imported Android app will be ready to launch 🎉

Helpful Hint: If you get any ADB permission popups, just hit accept.

Step 5: Sign in and Start Chatting!

You‘ve reached the home stretch – actually opening Threads to sign in and chat:

  1. Locate Threads in your app list and launch the brand new desktop version
  2. When prompted, sign in with your Instagram username and password
  3. Accept any notifications or permission popups
  4. See your current message threads and status updates! 👋

Congrats, you now have the Threads app installed on your Windows 10 or 11 PC!

Troubleshooting Tips

Don‘t panic if you encounter issues getting Threads to function properly after following the steps above. Here are some troubleshooting suggestions:

  • Double check you installed the x86 architecture APK matching your CPU
  • Try updating all Windows Store apps and restarting your computer
  • Make sure notifications and camera access are enabled for the Threads app
  • If crashes occur on launch, reinstall the latest Threads APK file

Feel free to reach out in the comments if a specific problem persists after trying these fixes!

New Threads Features You Can Enjoy

Now that you know how to get Threads on desktop, let‘s discuss some of the fun features to try in the app:

Creative Tools

Threads expands Instagram‘s editing capabilities for casual camera phone content. You can add interactive stickers, drawings, GIFs, and filters to images in an intuitive design workflow.

It also has quick options to record short videos or capture streaks of photos into montages. This makes sharing daily moments with friends fun and personalized.

Unique Threads Creative Tools
Interactive StickersDrawing PenAR Masks
Text & EmojisFiltersCollage Maker

Close Friends List

The bread and butter of Threads is seamless messaging with your self-selected "Close Friends" from Instagram. Rather than typing out DMs individually, you broadcast updates to just this inner circle.

It‘s an effortless way to share casual check-ins that don‘t necessarily need to be public social media posts. You can also customize notifications toalways get alerts from these VIPs versus more casual conversations.

Shortcut Buttons

For super fast sharing, Threads has a row of shortcuts along the capture bar. With one tap, you can:

  • Record a photo or video
  • Share a text update
  • Update your status
  • Post your current location

This makes it incredibly simple to give rapid-fire updates from wherever you are. While subtle, it‘s one of my personal favorite features!

Why No Threads for Mac Yet?

If you‘re an Apple user hoping to get Threads on macOS, unfortunately that‘s not yet possible. Here‘s a quick explanation why:

  • Macs do not support an equivalent to Windows Subsystem for Android needed to sideload APKs
  • Apple is highly restrictive on apps distributing outside the App Store ecosystem
  • Instagram has not launched a Mac-optimized Threads app or web interface

The only option is viewing your iPhone screen while using Threads via AirPlay mirroring. Not truly a native experience.

Hopefully Meta will eventually launch either a Mac app or progressive web interface. But for now, it‘s either on mobile or Windows desktop only.

I try to remain platform agnostic – but Apple isn‘t making it easy by restricting useful app sideloading functionality!

Final Takeaways

And there you have it! With Windows Subsystem for Android enabling APK sideloading, getting the slick Threads app on your desktop is totally doable.

I aimed to provide simplified explanations and troubleshooting advice for even non-technical folks. Let me know in the comments if any part of the process needs more clarification.

While not yet endorsed by Meta, this under-the-radar capability unlocks cool features for those embracing Android/Windows interoperability.

I hope Instagram eventually launches Threads for macOS and as a web app for maximum access. But for now, the steps above should get your close friend DMs right on your PC.

Here‘s to more creative messaging and better productivity thanks to Threads on desktop! 😎

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