In 2019, Microsoft finally got its own system for managing Android notifications from Windows. Since then, it’s been possible to see notifications from your Android phone on your Windows 10 or 11 PC as they come in and to retrieve your entire SMS history along with any pending on-demand notifications. You can even reply to messages and compose new texts from your computer. Formerly called Your Phone, the Windows app has recently (and rightly so) been rebranded as Phone Link.
Here’s how to get started. (These directions assume you’ve updated your PC to Windows 11, but the process will be similar for Windows 10.) You’ll be going back and forth from your computer to your phone, so be prepared.
First, on your Windows computermake sure you have the latest version of the Your Phone app:
- Open the Microsoft Store and search for: Phone link.
- If the app is not already installed, install it.
- If the app is installed, click Open.
- You will be taken to the Your Phone app. Click Get started†
- You will be reminded which Microsoft account you are signed in with. Unless you want to switch accounts, click Get on†
I get it? Good. Time to move to the phone side of things.
- You will be given instructions on where to go on your Android phone to install the Link to Windows app. For most phones, type the provided web link or you can search for it on the Play Store itself and then install it. If you have a Surface Duo or select Samsung phones, Link to Windows is already installed.
- Open the Link to Windows app and tap Link your phone and PC.
Now back to you computer†
- You should see a checkbox with the text I have the Link to Windows app ready† Check it and then click Link with QR code. You will get a pop-up with a QR code.
back to you phone
- You should see a box asking if the QR code is ready on your PC. Tap on Get on on your phone. Allow Link to Windows to take photos and record video.
- Scan the QR code on the computer with your phone. It should connect.
- Grant the app the various permissions it requests.
- You are warned that staying connected may affect your battery life. Tap Get onand then allow or deny it to run in the background.
- Your phone will tell you to check your computer and your computer will tell you that you are all set.
On your computer
- You will be welcomed to the app and invited to pin it to your Windows 11 taskbar. You’ll then be introduced to everything you can do, such as view notifications, text, view photos, or make calls.
But you’re not quite done yet. There’s only a little bit of setup left, the part that allows notifications to be forwarded.
- If you are still in the home screen, you can click See my notifications† Otherwise, if you are in the main Phone Link app window, you will see Notifications in the menu on the left; click on that. You will be asked for permission to sync notifications.
- click on Open settings on the phone. On your phone you should have been taken to Device and app notifications† Find the Link to Windows app in the list and activate the switch next to it.
- Tap Allow in the confirmation window that appears.
That is it! All notifications you receive on your phone will now be moved to the Phone Link app. You can receive and reply to text messages, view your photos, and even make calls (as long as they’re paired via Bluetooth). You can also control four functions of your phone via buttons: Do not disturb; Bluetooth; volume on/off; and audio player on/off.
Update April 8, 2022, 11:45 AM ET: This article was originally published on July 30, 2019. It has been updated to reflect changes to the app and operating system.