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Smartphones & gadgets

Tech tip: How to connect an Android phone to a Windows 10 PC

Microsoft Windows is the most used operating system in the world. Windows 10 launched nearly six years ago and has been installed on more than a billion devices.

We are still finding tricks and tips for Microsoft’s popular OS as the tech giant itself releases updates and patches. Privacy should always be a priority, which becomes more important when using a PC shared by others. Tap or click here to see how to hide your files and folders in Windows 10.

The battle between Apple and Android will rage on for eternity, but even the most diehard Android fans use Windows for work, hobbies, business and more. A desktop app for Windows 10 lets you add your phone’s functions to your computer, whether it runs on iOS or Android. And guess what? Apple users don’t get nearly as much power with this function. Read on to see how it works.

Leave your phone in your pocket

Let’s say you’re busy at work and you get a text. Maybe your phone is in your pocket or a few feet away. Perhaps you don’t want your boss to see you messing around with your phone. The My Phone app lets you access your phone from your desktop, so you can make and receive texts and calls, check notifications, get into your photo albums and even open apps.

This feature works for select Android and Samsung devices. Here’s what you need to get started:

  • The Your Phone Companion app on your Android phone or the pre-installed Link to Windows app on your Samsung Galaxy phone. Both can be found in the Google Play Store under one name: Your Phone Companion – Link to Windows.
  • You’ll also need the Your Phone app from the Microsoft Store.
  • A PC running Windows 10 April 2018 Update or later. To check which version you are running, click the Start Menu and go to Settings > System > About. To update Windows, click the Start Menu and go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
  • An Android device running Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later. Go to your phone’s Settings to check your Android version and update if necessary.
  • Your phone and PC must be connected to the same Wi-Fi.

Now that you’re all set up, here’s how to link devices starting with your PC:

  • Open the Your Phone app and select Android from the list.
  • Sign in to your Microsoft account. If you don’t have one, you can create one at account.microsoft.com/account.
  • You’ll be prompted to install or open the companion app on your Android phone. Open a browser on your Android and go to aka.ms/yourpc to do this.
  • Sign in to your Microsoft Account on your phone and you’ll get a QR code. Tap or click here to learn how to scan a QR code on your Android without using any apps.
  • Back on your PC, select the checkbox for I have the Your Phone Companion app installed on my phone, then Pair with QR code. You’ll get a QR code on your screen.
  • Grab your phone and you should have a camera screen open within the companion app. Scan the QR code on your PC screen.
  • Accept the device permissions and your phone is now linked to your PC.

RELATED: Quick fix for one of the most annoying Windows 10 problems

You can also start the process from your phone:

  • Make sure you’re signed in to your Microsoft account on your PC first. Go to account.microsoft.com/account if you don’t have one.
  • Open a browser on your Android phone and go to www.aka.ms/yourpc and download the Your Phone Companion app. If you’re using a Samsung Galaxy, you’ll be asked to open Link to Windows instead, which is pre-installed on your phone.
  • Sign in to the companion app with your Microsoft account.
  • You’ll be prompted to scan a QR code with your phone. Open a browser to aka.ms/linkphone on your PC to get the code.
  • Use the companion app’s camera on your Android phone to scan the QR code on your PC.
  • Accept the permissions to allow your PC to access your phone.

Now reap the benefits

Now you can enjoy many of your phone’s conveniences without having to touch or even look at it. Join a video conference, answer a text and send a recent photo to your group chat. With the right phone and PC, you can even mirror your phone’s screen onto your desktop monitor.

Tap or click here for five more Windows 10 tricks.

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