Using Windows 10 on an Android tablet
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I recently got myself a Tesla L7.1 3G tablet, which has modest specs (a Mediatek Quad-core processor at 1.3GHz, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a 1024x600 IPS display). The display isn’t that nice and scratches very easily, but overall it’s a good tablet. It runs Android 6.0. Now, that’s a problem. I originally intended to get a tablet with an Intel SoFIA CPU and run Windows on it, but they stopped selling them and now only sell the ARM version.
So, I thought, what if I could somehow run Windows 10 on that tablet? Hmm... As you may know, I do all my computing on a remote server in the “cloud”, and just use remote desktop to access it from my desktop with two monitors or laptop. That got me thinking…
What if I could access my cloud server from the tablet? And it turns out, that is possible.
Step 1: Obtain a Windows 10 Pro PC
This guide only works if you have an existing Windows 10 Pro PC. It can be in a virtual machine, or it can be a real computer. I will be using my Win10 in a VM running on Ubuntu. I allocated it 16GB of RAM, but this guide will even work with only 4GB of RAM total.
Step 2: Prepare the Windows 10 PC
First, create a local account named “Tablet”. Make sure to give it a password, it will not work without a password! Then, go into This PC, right click, open Properties, go to Advanced System Settings, and Remote, and check “Allow remote connections to this computer”, then click “Select Users” and type in “Tablet” and click OK.
Now, download RDPWrap from here, extract it and right click on “install.bat” and Run as Administrator. Then press enter in the command line when it says so.
The RDPWrap installation will allow us to use multiple accounts over RDP at the same time, so for example you can have yourself accessing the Tablet account, and using the PC, or as is in my case, having me, my mother and the tablet accessing the server at the same time.
Step 3: Install Microsoft Remote Desktop on your tablet
Type in “com.microsoft.rdc.android” in the Search in the Play Store and install the “Microsoft Remote Desktop” app.
Step 4: Add a server
In the app, tap the + (Plus) icon in the top right and enter the IP address of your PC. Create an Account with the username Tablet and the password you specified on the PC and under resolution select 1312x768 and select 120% scaling.
Step 5: Launch the RDP connection
If everything goes according to plan, you should now see your Windows 10 desktop on your tablet. Tap the bottom right corner and select Tablet mode in the right panel to enhance the experience.
Step 6: Disable Android navigation bar and notification bar
However, you may’ve noticed that if you swipe up or down you get Android controls. This is okay if you want to use your tablet in both Windows 10 and Android mode. But if for example you need to setup a Kiosk-like tablet, or want to use gestures in Windows 10, you need to disable Android’s UI.
To do this, go into Settings on the tablet, go into About tablet, tap a few times on the Build number until it says “You’re now a developer”, then go back into Settings, go into Developer mode, and enable USB debugging.
Open the remote desktop app on the tablet now and connect. This is important as you won’t be able to open it when you disable the UI.
Install ADB on your computer, plug in the tablet via USB and run the following commands from cmd:
adb shell settings put secure user_setup_complete 0 settings put global device_provisioned 0
Now, you should see the navigation bar and notifications bar disappear and they will not be appearing when you swipe. To revert this just re-run the commands, this time replacing the 0 at the end with 1.
If you reboot the tablet in this mode, it will go into setup mode, so just connect it via USB and re-run the commands with 1 to re-enable the UI, then go into the app and then again re-disable the UI.
This post was last updated on March 28th, 2020.