Ever wish you could cut down how often you had to grab your phone when on your computer? For most of us, our phones are the first thing we grab in the morning, usually in our pockets throughout the day, and rarely out of reach. In this “always connected” world, where nearly 1 in 5 Americans rely on their smartphone for consistent internet access, productivity is key. A break from digging through our pockets to unlock our phones for every single message, notification, and reminder would be great.
In this article, we’ll go over how to link your cell phone to your Windows 10 computer (Windows 10 April 2018 Update or later) using the Your Phone app for Android devices 7.0 or later (iPhones are not currently supported). You’ll learn how you can receive & send text messages, sync your notifications, and wirelessly transfer photos back and forth, all from your PC.
The Your Phone app is one of my favorite applications in Windows 10. If you have an Android device you can use this app to text right from your PC, see all your phone’s notifications, and even quickly transfer photos. There are a couple of other neat features on the way that we’ll cover as well so stick around!
Set up Windows 10’s Your Phone app
Linking your cell phone to your PC is a breeze! The Your Phone app comes installed with Windows 10, but you can download it from the Microsoft Store if it’s missing from your app list in the Start menu.
1. Launch Your Phone app from your Start menu to get started.
2. Select “Android” and click Get started to link the app to your Android phone. Then you’ll be instructed to sign into the app with a Microsoft account. (Unless you are already signed into your PC with one. If so, skip step 3)
3. If you aren’t already signed in with your Microsoft account, sign in when prompted.
4. The automatic setup assistant will ask you to download Microsoft’s Your Phone Companion app to your Android phone and click Continue. For some newer Samsung phones, the companion app may already be installed on your phone – and it’s called Link to Windows.
5. Launch Your Phone Companion app on your Android phone and sign in with the same Microsoft account you use on your PC. Follow the step-by-step quick setup process.
6. On the final screen, tap Allow to link your PC to your phone. The text messages and photos from your phone will start showing up in the Your Phone app as it refreshes.
Transfer photos to your PC
The Your Phone app also displays recent photos and screenshots you’ve taken on your Android phone! Your Phone will show the most recent 2,000 photos or screenshots taken from your device. You can always change the number of pictures Your Phone displays in the Settings.
The Photos icon can be found on the sidebar just below the image of the connected cell phone.
From there, you can either drag photos to a folder in File Explorer or right-click and choose Copy or Save as to move them to your PC. You can also click Share to send the photo in a text or email. Watch this Your Phone video to learn how to do it.
Text from your Windows 10 PC
Your Phone displays all your text message conversations . You can send responses and see incoming text messages all in one place. Your conversations update to match your phone, so if you delete a message from your phone, it will disappear from the PC as well.
Texting from the Your Phone app is straight forward. The layout is similar to most email clients out there such as Gmail or Outlook.
1. Click on Messages in the left sidebar, and you should see all your current text messages. If you don’t, try clicking on Refresh.
2. Click on the message you want to respond to (kind of like you would the subject of an email).
3. Finally, simply type into the Enter a message box to respond. That’s it!
You can also scroll through your text message history if you want to see an older message.
Mirror Your phone’s screen to your PC
One of the most exciting features of the Your Phone app is screen mirroring for Android to your PC. In order to do this however, you do need specific devices that support Bluetooth 4.1. Please check here to see the list of phones capable of this feature.
If you meet these requirements, then you simply click on Phone Screen and voila!
Mirror notifications from your phone to PC
Notifications from your Android phone will appear on your PC as well. The notifications are linked so clearing the notification from your PC will clear it from your phone. You can customize which apps show notifications on your PC in the Settings menu. Feel free to limit them to notifications you care about and prevent duplicates. Follow the steps below to set up Notifications.
1. Enable notification access for the Your Phone Companion app on your Android phone the first time you use it.
2. Click Get Started.
3. Then click Open Settings for Me to continue. Your phone should automatically open your notifications settings.
4. Scroll down to Your Phone Companion and toggle it on. You’ll receive a message to confirm you want to turn on notifications. Tap Allow.
Wait a minute. If we enable all these notifications, won’t that constantly interrupt my session? I wouldn’t spend so much time in the beginning of the article highlighting all the notifications we live with every day without detailing how to limit them! The Your Phone PC app gives you control of which app notifications you see. You may want to adjust these settings.
1. To get there, click on Settings in the lower left-hand corner.
2. Then scroll down and click on the words Pick the apps you want notifications from.
3. From here, you can toggle off any notification setting you see from the app list.
Clearing the notifications from the Your Phone PC app also clears them from your Android phone.
Make and receive calls right on your PC
One of the newest additions to the Your Phone app is the ability to make and receive calls right on your Windows 10 PC. There are some specific Bluetooth requirements to use this feature, so double check that your PC is compatible here. Once you’ve set up the Your Phone app, all you have to do is follow the steps to set up calling. You’ll need to provide permission to access your phone’s contacts and call history. In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to make a phone call or answer one on your PC without having to take your phone out of your pocket.
Seamlessly copy and paste content between your phone and PC
With select Samsung devices, you can copy and paste text and images between your phone and your PC. To turn this feature on, go to Settings for the Your Phone app, and turn on the toggle for Cross-device copy and paste. Now, when you want to share a section from an article or an image from your photo library, just copy and paste it using your normal PC or phone shortcuts.
Overall the Your Phone app is one of the most useful features of Windows 10. It provides real value by letting you reach for the phone less often. Whether that’s to answer a text, check a notification, or move some pictures. If you haven’t tried it out yet and you have an Android phone, you should give it a chance. You may be very pleased with what you find.