- Connect Your Android Phone to Windows 10 with “Continue on PC”
- Connect an Android Phone with Windows 10
- Summing Up
- How to connect my Android smartphone to my Windows 10 PC
- How to connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC, using a USB cable
- 1. Transfer files between your Android smartphone and your Windows 10 PC, using a USB cable
- 2. Transfer photos and videos between your Android smartphone and your Windows 10 PC, using a USB cable
- 3. Charge your Android smartphone from your Windows 10 PC
- Did you manage to connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC?
- How to connect Android to Windows 10 with Your Phone Companion
- First things first: About Your Phone and using it to connect an Android to Windows 10
- Connect your Android to Windows 10 using the Your Phone Companion app
- Connect your Samsung Android to your PC with Your Phone and Link to Windows
- Connect your PC to your Android device when you install Windows 10 with Your Phone Companion app
- Did you successfully link your Android to Windows 10?
- Connect an Android phone to a Windows 10 laptop or PC via Bluetooth
- First things first: About connecting an Android phone to Windows 10 via Bluetooth
- Step 1. Enable Bluetooth in Windows 10
- Step 2. Enable Bluetooth on your Android device
- Step 3. Connect your Android phone to a Windows 10 laptop, PC, or tablet through Bluetooth
- BONUS: What to do if Windows 10 doesn’t find or discover your Samsung Galaxy device
- Did you connect your Android to your PC? Was it to enable Bluetooth tethering or something else?
Connect Your Android Phone to Windows 10 with “Continue on PC”
Your smartphone today has a ton of computing power, but not everything can be done on it. A lot of times, for complex tasks you need to complete your workflow on a PC. Microsoft understands this, and with the upcoming Fall Creators Update, it’s introducing a new Phone-to-PC linking feature that lets you start work on your phone, and then transition it to your Windows 10 system.
We have shown you how to use Continue on PC with iOS and here’s a look at connecting your Android phone with Windows 10. Note that for this to work you’ll need to be running Build 16251 or above.
Note: Since this article was originally written, Microsoft has rolled out the “Your Phone” app. It continues to gain features regularly. Make sure to read our article: How to Send Text Messages from Windows 10 with the Your Phone app.
Connect an Android Phone with Windows 10
To start off, you need to pair your Android phone with Windows 10. To do that head to Settings > Phone and then select the “Add a phone” button.
Next, you need to enter your mobile phone’s number to receive an SMS message.
An SMS message will be sent to your Android phone with a link to Microsoft Apps in the Play Store. Tap the link to install it.
After that, take a look at your Windows 10 system in Settings > Phone and you should see that your phone is paired with Windows 10 and listed as a device you can manage.
Back on your phone, open the app and in the Windows Insiders section tap on “Try It Now” and you’ll get a short tutorial and then introduction screen – tap Get Started.
To test out if it’s working, browse to a website you want to share with Windows 10 and tap the options button and then Share. That will open up the menu of sharing options on your phone — select Continue to PC.
If this is the first time sharing an item you’ll first need to log into your Microsoft Account and approve the connection via Microsoft Authenticator.
After you’re signed in, you won’t need to sign in again until you use a different device or log out of your account. Another step in the process to point out is when you tap the Continue on PC action, you’ll get the option to send now or later. After that, your phone will scan your network for devices capable of receiving the item. In the example below I have two different systems to choose from.
When you send an item over to the PC, you will receive a notification in Action Center that an item has been sent from your Android phone to the PC. For example, here I sent a link to one of our articles.
Keep in mind that this feature is still under development and, at the time of this writing, it’s definitely not perfect. I, like my colleague Andre with iOS, had varying degrees of success trying to send over websites. In my testing, I used a Nexus 6P running Android Nougat, a Lenovo Flex 2, and Dell Inspiron desktop (both running Windows 10 Build 16257). Sometimes nothing would be sent over, and sometimes I would receive the notification, but it wouldn’t open in my browser.
However, when things did work as advertised, it showed the potential of how this will surely be handy in the future. Right now it seems to be limited to just sending over websites, and not other items like Office documents. Although, I was able to send over searches from the Bing app for Android.
One more thing to point out is with Microsoft Apps for Android, which allows you to easily find official Microsoft apps has a lot of potential for this Continue on PC feature. Once the functionality gets integrated into more of the available Microsoft apps (and other apps for that matter), there is a ton of potential moving forward.
How to connect my Android smartphone to my Windows 10 PC
Android smartphones have a USB port that you can use to charge them, but also to transfer files such as pictures or documents to your computer. Although the steps you need to take to do that are rather simple and intuitive, there are a few things to which you should pay attention. If you want to make sure that you do everything by the book when you connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC, read this guide. It applies to all Android smartphones, no matter which company made them (Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, Nokia, ASUS). Let’s get started:
NOTE: To write this tutorial, we used a Huawei P10 lite running Android 8.0.0. Although your Android smartphone might be using a different version of Android or Samsung or another manufacturer may make it, everything we are showing should look and act similarly on your smartphone too.
How to connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC, using a USB cable
Find a proper USB cable for connecting the smartphone to the PC. If you still have the original cable that you got with your Android smartphone, use that one. Plug the USB cable into your Windows 10 computer or laptop. Then, plug the other end of the USB cable into your Android smartphone.
Once you do, your Windows 10 PC should immediately recognize your Android smartphone and install some drivers for it, if it hasn’t them already. Your smartphone should also ask you what kind of USB connection you want: Charge only, Transfer files, or Transfer photos.
If your Android smartphone does not ask you about the USB connection, you should be able to trigger this dialog from the notifications drawer. Swipe from the top of the screen and tap the Settings notification.
Tap once more to open USB dialog, for more options.
The “Use USB for” dialog is shown. The only difference is that this time it is shown on the entire screen, instead of in a popup window.
Let’s see now what each USB connection does:
1. Transfer files between your Android smartphone and your Windows 10 PC, using a USB cable
If you want to transfer files to or from your Android smartphone, select the “Transfer files” option.
Then, on your Windows 10 PC, open File Explorer or any other file manager you prefer. In the This PC section, you should see a new device that bears the name of your Android smartphone. Double-click or double-tap on it.
Then, you should find one or two drives. The first one’s the internal memory of your Android smartphone. If you get two drives, the second is the SD memory card in your smartphone.
Double-click or double-tap on the drive from which you want to transfer data. This gives you access to all the folders and files on your phone, so you can start transferring the files you wanted, to or from your Windows 10 PC.
Cut, copy, and paste the files you want, from your smartphone to your PC, as you usually do with the files and folders found in Windows 10.
2. Transfer photos and videos between your Android smartphone and your Windows 10 PC, using a USB cable
Similarly, you can also choose to Transfer photos, on your Android smartphone. The name of this option is a bit misleading because it lets you transfer photos and videos.
The Transfer photos option is the same as the Transfer files one but only shows you the DCIM and Pictures folders that contain the images and videos on your Android smartphone. You only see these folders in File Explorer.
Cut, copy, and paste your pictures and videos as you wish, to your Windows 10 PC.
NOTE: If you want to transfer pictures wirelessly, between your Android smartphone and Windows 10 PC, read: Send files from an Android smartphone to Windows 10, with Bluetooth.
3. Charge your Android smartphone from your Windows 10 PC
If all you want from your Windows 10 PC is to charge your Android smartphone, in the “Use USB for” dialog, choose the Charge only option.
This option makes your Windows 10 computer or device provide electricity to your smartphone. That is the only thing it does. The PC does not identify the smartphone as a device with which it can communicate and transfer data.
Did you manage to connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC?
It is not that complicated to use a USB cable to connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 computer. It is just a matter of choosing what you want to do and then use File Explorer to transfer all kinds of files and images. If you have any questions or problems with this process, comment below and let’s discuss.
How to connect Android to Windows 10 with Your Phone Companion
Your Phone Companion is Microsoft’s attempt to keep you in front of your Windows 10 computer even while you’re using your Android device. The app syncs your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC, helping you get notifications, calls, and texts on your desktop. This tutorial illustrates how to set up and use Your Phone Companion to connect your Android smartphone or tablet and your Windows 10 computer or device:
NOTE: The features presented are available in Windows 10 May 2020 Update or newer. If you are using an older version of Windows 10, you might not have access to all the features. Check your Windows 10 build and, if necessary, get the latest Windows 10 update available. This guide applies to Android 10, and it was created using Nokia 5.3 and Samsung Galaxy A51.
First things first: About Your Phone and using it to connect an Android to Windows 10
Your Phone Companion is an app developed by Microsoft to connect your Android device, as well as pair your iPhone to your Windows 10 PC. This might seem simple, but the app is far from perfect, and you might need a bit of patience to set it up.
To clarify any confusion, we want to start by presenting each of the apps and features illustrated in this tutorial. In order to connect your Android smartphone to Windows 10, you must have the Your Phone app installed on your PC. If Windows 10 is up to date, the app should be installed by default on your computer. However, if you can’t find the Your Phone app on your PC, you can get it from the Microsoft Store. Learn how to find it and more by reading 10 things you can do in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10.
The Android app you need for most devices is Your Phone Companion – Link to Windows from the Google Play Store. However, the name displayed after you install it is “Your Phone Companion” – the same name we’re using for it to avoid any misunderstandings.
If you’re using a Samsung Galaxy Android, you probably don’t have to install an app, since some devices have a built-in setting to connect to Windows 10. The Samsung feature is called “Link to Windows,“ and you can find out more about it by scrolling to the dedicated chapter in this tutorial.
If you already signed in to one of Microsoft’s apps on your Android, your account is already linked to the device, so skip those steps in the tutorial.
Your Phone Companion is clearly a work in progress, with new services expected as early as November 2020. If you are having any issues, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure everything works as intended:
Connect your Android to Windows 10 using the Your Phone Companion app
You can use Settings to access the Your Phone app on your Windows 10 computer or device. Open Settings using the keyboard shortcut Windows + I and click or tap on Phone.
The next step is easy since you only have one tab and one button here. Press “Add a phone.“
Another way is to access Your Phone is to search for the app in Windows 10. Type “your phone” in your taskbar’s Search bar, and then open the corresponding result.
To open Your Phone in Windows 10, you can also insert the following in your browser: www.aka.ms/linkphone or just click here to follow the link. Then, press “Open Your Phone.“
Regardless of the method you chose, the next page asks you to select the type of phone you want to connect to Windows 10. Select Android, and then click or tap Continue.
The next page should display the name of your Microsoft account in bold letters. Click or tap on Continue.
NOTE: If that is not the account you want to connect to your Android smartphone, use the “Sign in with another account” link and then either choose from the list of available Microsoft accounts or add a new one.
On the next page, you are required to install “Your Phone Companion” on Android. At the top, there are instructions and a short link you can type in your browser to access the app. You can see a greyed-out “Open QR code” button at the bottom of the window. We’ll resume from this page later on, after setting up the app on your Android.
Now switch over to your Android, fire up the Google Play Store, and get the Your Phone Companion – Link to Windows app.
If you need any help installing an app, this guide can provide more details. You can also use the link seen above to access the app’s page in the Play Store.
Launch Your Phone Companion, and the first screen gives you two options to connect to your Windows 10 PC. It’s easiest to login using a QR code, so tap on the “Is there a QR code on your PC?” link at the bottom and allow the app to take pictures and record video. Your Android smartphone displays a screen similar to camera mode, with a highlighted rectangular section.
Switching back to your PC, check the box that confirms installing the app, and then press the “Open QR Code” button.
Next, scan the QR code on the screen by pointing the Android device at your computer monitor and framing it inside the rectangular section.
After you scan the code, Your Phone Companion lets you know it needs “a few” permissions. Press Continue.
Next, you are prompted to allow the Your Phone Companion app to access your contacts, photos, media, and files on your device, to make and manage phone calls, and to send and view SMS messages. I’m afraid to imagine what a lot of permissions mean in Microsoft’s book. 🙂
There is one more permission required, that lets the app sync to your Windows 10 PC at all times. Tap Continue, and you can allow this on the next screen.
Next, let your Android smartphone connect to the Your Phone app on Windows 10.
That’s it! Tap Done to complete the process on your Android.
As soon as you see the “Your phone and PC are linked” message on your screen, your Android is good to go.
Back on your PC, you have the option to “Pin app to taskbar” by checking the appropriate box. Click or tap on Get started and confirm pinning the app if you enabled the option.
Finally, the Windows app might require more permissions to enable different features. Follow the instructions on your screen to send notifications from your PC and grant permissions from your Android, and you should now have access to your smartphone from your computer. However, if the two devices don’t sync, consult the first chapter of this tutorial again, and make sure to follow the instructions in the bullet points.
TIP: If you grow tired with Your Phone Companion, you can always uninstall the app from your Android smartphone or tablet.
Connect your Samsung Android to your PC with Your Phone and Link to Windows
We explained earlier that Samsung Galaxy devices use their own built-in feature, Link to Windows, to connect to Windows 10’s Your Phone app. To begin, follow the instructions for Windows 10 from the beginning of the previous section to launch and sign in Your Phone with your Microsoft account. When you get up to the point where you have to switch to your Android device, grab your Samsung Galaxy smartphone and swipe down from the top of the screen to access Quick Settings.
Swipe down again to open the extended Quick Settings menu, where you can find the “Link to Windows” button. Tapping on it enables the feature.
TIP: If you use the feature often, you should consider customizing the Android Quick Settings menu to make Link to Windows more easily accessible (check out the dedicated Samsung section).
Alternatively, you can open the Settings app, scroll down, and access Advanced features.
On the next screen, tap on “Link to Windows.“
When you enable “Link to Windows” for the first time, you should see the screen below. Tap on “Link your phone and PC.“
The feature needs access to your phone’s camera in order to connect using a QR code. Tap Continue.
On the next screen, someone forgot to replace the app’s name with the Samsung feature. 🙂 As a result, you are granting permissions to the “Your Phone Companion” app. Tap Allow.
Switch back to your PC, check the box that confirms installing the app, and click or tap the “Open QR Code” button.
Next, scan the QR code on the screen by pointing the Android at your computer monitor and framing the code inside the rectangular section.
After you scan the code, you are prompted to give the app permissions. Press Continue.
Next, you are prompted to allow the Your Phone Companion app to access your contacts, photos, media, and files on your device, to make and manage phone calls, and to send and view SMS messages.
That’s it! The feature is enabled, and there’s a permanent notification displayed to make sure you don’t forget about it.
Back on your PC, you can “Pin app to taskbar” by checking the appropriate box. Click or tap on Get started.
Finally, the Windows app might require more permissions to enable different features. Follow the instructions on your screen, sending notifications from your computer and granting permissions from your Samsung Android, and you should now have access to your smartphone from your PC. However, if you can’t connect the two, consult the first chapter of this tutorial again, following the instructions in the bullet points to troubleshoot any issues.
Connect your PC to your Android device when you install Windows 10 with Your Phone Companion app
When you install Windows 10 or when you upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10, you get the option to link your phone and PC. When you see the screen below, choose your country, enter your phone number, and press Send. Then, press Next to move forward with the installation process.
On your Android smartphone, you should receive an SMS. Click or tap on the link included in the message.
This takes you to the app’s page in the Google Play Store. Install it on your Android.
Launch Your Phone Companion and sign in with the Microsoft account used during the Windows 10 installation process.
Next, Your Phone Companion needs permissions. Lots of them. Press Continue.
The next screens contain permission requests similar to the one below. Let Your Phone Companion access your contacts, photos, media, and files on your device, to make and manage phone calls, and to send and view SMS messages.
One more permission is needed to let the app sync to your Windows 10 PC at all times. Tap Continue, and you can allow this on the next screen.
Then, allow your Android smartphone to connect to the Your Phone app on Windows 10.
Finally, tap Done to complete the process on your Android device.
The “Your phone and PC are linked” message on your screen lets you know you are done.
When Windows 10 finishes installing on your computer or device, the Your Phone app opens. Check the box if you want to “Pin app to taskbar” and click or tap on the Get started button.
The two devices are now linked. Finally, grant any necessary permissions to enable different features, and you can now use Your Phone app to see your photos, send text messages, and more.
Did you successfully link your Android to Windows 10?
Connecting an Android to Windows 10 with Your Phone Companion app was not easy, and I almost gave up before coming across the right settings. However, after the initial struggle, the app did surprise me, as it’s invaluable when it comes to sharing photos and texting. It even let me send a message from a prepaid SIM card that I never charged, so that was pretty awesome. We hope Your Phone Companion continues to improve in future Android and Windows 10 updates. Until then, share your experience with us. Did you manage to use Your Phone to connect your Android to Windows 10? How well does it work for you? Comment below, and let’s discuss.
Connect an Android phone to a Windows 10 laptop or PC via Bluetooth
Connecting an Android phone to a Windows 10 laptop through Bluetooth is a first step required to transfer files or share the internet connection between the two devices using Bluetooth tethering. Every Android mobile today supports Bluetooth, so it’s convenient using the popular technology to pair your smartphone with your Windows 10 device. This tutorial illustrates how to connect an Android phone to a laptop, PC, or tablet via Bluetooth in Windows 10:
NOTE: The features presented are available in Windows 10 October 2020 Update or newer. If you are using an older version of Windows 10, you might not have access to all the features. This guide applies to Android 10, and it was created using a Nokia 5.3 and a Samsung Galaxy A51. The procedures are similar on most Android-powered devices, although you might come across some small differences, depending on your device’s manufacturer. If you’re using a Samsung smartphone and you encounter difficulties, don’t miss the dedicated chapter at the end of this guide.
First things first: About connecting an Android phone to Windows 10 via Bluetooth
Bluetooth may not be the fastest or most reliable wireless technology, but it is still one of the most widely used methods of interconnecting various computing devices. While you can also use a USB cable to connect an Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC, pairing them via Bluetooth is more convenient in our opinion, for a number of reasons:
Connecting a phone to PC via Bluetooth lets you send files from an Android to Windows 10, enable Bluetooth tethering, and automatically lock Windows 10 with your smartphone.
The process is not complicated, as long as you follow the next steps.
Step 1. Enable Bluetooth in Windows 10
The first step is making sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your Windows 10 computer or device. There are several ways to enable Bluetooth in Windows 10, and activating it from Settings is one of them. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows + I on your keyboard and access Devices. This opens the “Bluetooth & other devices” tab, where you should see the Bluetooth switch on the right. If Bluetooth is turned Off, click or tap on its switch to turn it On.
Enable Bluetooth in Windows 10
As long as you keep the Bluetooth settings open, your Windows 10 PC can be discovered by other devices using Bluetooth.
IMPORTANT: If you don’t see a switch in the Settings app, your Windows 10 computer or device might not have a built-in Bluetooth chip. As a result, you cannot make a Bluetooth connection unless you add a Bluetooth adapter, like this one.
Step 2. Enable Bluetooth on your Android device
After enabling Bluetooth in Windows 10, you must do the same on the Android smartphone or tablet you’re connecting it to. Out of the ways to enable Bluetooth on Android, we think it’s easiest to use the Quick Settings menu. Swipe down from the top of your screen, and you should see the Bluetooth icon among the Quick Settings displayed on your Android. If it’s disabled, tap on it to enable it.
Enable Bluetooth on Android
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that, for security reasons, some smartphones and tablets are visible to other devices only when the Bluetooth settings are open. To access them, touch and hold the Bluetooth option displayed in the Quick Settings menu.
Step 3. Connect your Android phone to a Windows 10 laptop, PC, or tablet through Bluetooth
After enabling Bluetooth on both devices, go back to Bluetooth settings in Windows 10 and click or tap the “Add Bluetooth or other device” button on top.
Add Bluetooth or other device to connect phone to laptop
In the “Add a device” window, click or tap on the first option: Bluetooth.
Choose Bluetooth in the Add a device wizard
Your Windows 10 PC starts searching for nearby Bluetooth devices. Give it up to 30 seconds to complete the scan and discover all the available options. Don’t forget to keep the Bluetooth settings open, as discussed in the previous chapter. As soon as it finds your Android smartphone, click or tap on its name to start pairing.
Find your phone in the list of devices you can connect to Windows 10
This prompts both your phone and computer to begin connecting. Shortly after, the Windows 10 wizard displays a six-digit code, which should also appear in a pop-up window on your Android smartphone. Make sure the two codes match to avoid connecting to the wrong device, and then click or tap Connect in Windows 10 to continue.
If the devices you are pairing show the same code, press Connect
Immediately after that, tap on the Pair button from the pop-up on your Android smartphone or tablet.
Unless you do this quickly, the connection between the Windows 10 PC and your phone might expire. If that happens, the pairing fails, and you must try again.
As you can see below, the prompt displayed on your Android device is not the same on all devices. Depending on your phone, you might also have the option to “Allow access to your contacts and call history” – as we do on our Nokia. If you’re using a Samsung Galaxy device, you should press OK instead of Pair.
Press Pair or OK as fast as possible on Android
If everything worked well, your Windows 10 computer is now paired and connected to your Android smartphone or tablet. Press Done to close the wizard.
Your phone was successfully connected to your Windows 10 laptop or PC
That’s all there is to it. Your phone and PC are connected, and you can start using the Bluetooth connection between Windows 10 and Android.
BONUS: What to do if Windows 10 doesn’t find or discover your Samsung Galaxy device
Like we said earlier, Bluetooth is not the most reliable technology, so you might come across some issues. While it did take quite a bit of time for Windows 10 to find our Nokia device, we weren’t able to discover our Samsung Galaxy at all when we started writing this tutorial.
If you are having the same issues, try the following:
To reset the network settings on your Samsung Galaxy device, open Settings, scroll down, and access General management. Then, tap Reset.
Press Reset in the General management settings of a Samsung Galaxy phone
Press “Reset network settings” from the available options.
Resetting network settings on Samsung Galaxy
Next, press the only option available, Reset settings.
NOTE: This resets all the network settings on your Samsung Galaxy device, so make sure you saved any important info first, like Wi-Fi passwords.
Tap Reset settings on Samsung Galaxy
Confirm your choice by pressing Reset again on the next page, and, as soon as it’s done, you should get a “Network settings reset” message on your Samsung Galaxy phone. You can now go back to Step 2 and continue following the tutorial to connect the phone to your laptop, PC, or tablet.
TIP: If you still can’t connect your Samsung Android to your Windows 10 computer, you can try something different. Samsung Galaxy devices have their own built-in feature that pairs them to Windows 10, and you can learn all about using it to connect a phone with a laptop or PC from our tutorial about Your Phone Companion – Link to Windows.
Did you connect your Android to your PC? Was it to enable Bluetooth tethering or something else?
Now that you managed to connect your phone to your laptop via Bluetooth, you should know that the connection remains active until you disable Bluetooth or turn off, unpair, or move one of the two devices out of range. Before you close this tutorial, we’re curious why you connected your Android to your Windows 10 computer. Was it to share files, enable Bluetooth tethering, or something else? Let us know in the comments below.