Pleco for Windows Desktop


Am I the only one waiting for Pleco Desktop Releases? I have been waiting for this release since 2019 and there has been no news yet. Any take on this query from the Pleco Staff? Thanks


Staff member
You can use our Android app on Windows via an Android emulator right now, the APK is available to download from our home page at

As for a potential native Windows port, the timeline is that we plan to release a Mac Catalyst version along with or shortly after the next major update to our iOS app, and if that's successful, we'll consider developing a Windows version (after we've finished porting that new version of our app to Android). If it's borderline successful, we might do a Kickstarter or some such for the Windows version and only release it if we make enough money through that.

The basic problem is that a Windows port is a *lot* of work (far more than Mac, which has gotten pretty easy thanks to Catalyst, at least once you have a fully-optimized iPad app) and yet we expect that most people interested in one would already own our mobile app and not be willing to re-purchase everything at full price to use it again on Windows. So we need to figure out if there's any price point for a native Windows version where we'd make enough money to cover the cost of development. That also includes opportunity cost - working on Windows means not working on something else that would grow our business - and the fact that going from 2 platforms to 3 means that every future update takes longer since we have to spend more time porting it.


I'm not a windows user atm, but I decided to check on the current state of development of MS's windows subsystem for android and found this:

The current catches: It's US-only and officially you can only use the US Amazon store for apps, no google play.

You can, however, sideload both the subsystem and the apps themselves if you're willing to jump through some [command prompt*] hoops.

Caveat is: haven't tested, don't know if it works with Pleco. Would do it though if I was running windows.



Just installed it today. It is actually pretty easy and no need for command line or having the location set up in the USA. I just downloaded from the link provided here, and double clicked the MSIXbundle. I found this link at other websites as well and was a little skeptical at first, but seeing that it gets provided by a legitimate microsoft website my reservations were dispelled. It's also signed by microsoft.

Then I downloaded the pleco app from the official pleco website and sideloaded it by using this application that is also available from the microsoft store. You also have to enable developer options which is quite easy and described step by step on the github site of the app. Do note that, in addition to USA and Japan, WSA is going to be available soon, or might even have been already made available, in more countries. Which means that you might be able to skip this altogether. The amazon app store is going to be installed anyway, so you don't have to go out of your way thinking that you can avoid that.

Now about it's performance on Windows, with the exception of handwriting input that is barely usable, there are no major issues with typical use. As mentioned here, there are also some workarounds. Now regarding the live OCR, that is not addressed there, it does not seem to work, at least in my case. However if you choose still OCR you can still take a picture.


That's awesome! Thanks for the report.

Just a little note: I wouldn't trust an app from MS Store just because it is the MS Store. Not to say that Apple or Google are great, but MS seems to be a notch lower. Suspicious me would try to get adb by installing the Android SDK via official channels and then proceed from there via command line...