Many people use Windows PC and Android phone all day long. Getting these two platforms to work together is important, and that’s where Microsoft Phone Link, formerly known as ‘Your Phone’, comes in. We will explain why you should use it.
What can Phone Link do?
Phone Link in Windows 11. Microsoft
Microsoft Phone Link is part of a two-pronged approach to connecting your Windows 11 or 10 PC to an Android device. “Phone Link” is the Windows app, while “Link to Windows” is its Android app. They talk to each other via WiFi and Bluetooth.
The feature most people are probably interested in when it comes to Phone Link is notification syncing. Once connected, notifications from your Android device will appear on your Windows PC.
Notifications from your phone appear in Notification Center like any other Windows notification. In some cases, you can take action on the notification without touching your phone. When you ignore a notification in Phone Link, it will also be closed on your phone.
RELATED: How to Get Android Notifications on a Windows 10 PC
The second big feature is the ability to receive and reply to text messages on your Windows PC. This works essentially the same as syncing notifications. The main difference is that messages live on their own tab and you can see the entire conversation history in the Phone Link app.
It’s not just about replying to incoming messages, either. You can start new conversations from the Phone Link app. Phone Link knows your phone’s contacts, so you can search for a specific person or enter a phone number.
RELATED: How to Send Texts From Windows 10 Using an Android Phone
The next tab in the Phone Link app is for photos. Here you can view photos from your Android device. More importantly, you can easily save them to your Windows PC and even just drag and drop them into other Windows apps.
RELATED: How to Sync Photos Wirelessly Between Windows 10 and Android
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Since the Phone Link app connects to your phone via Bluetooth, your Windows PC can essentially act as a Bluetooth headset. This makes it possible to make and receive calls from Windows when your Android device is connected.
Similar to the messaging feature, you can view your call log and make calls by searching your contacts or manually entering a phone number.
RELATED: How to Make Calls From Windows 10 Using an Android Phone
You can control the media being played on your connected Android device through the Phone Link app. This is useful if you’re casting music from your phone and want easy access to controls, or if your Bluetooth headphones are connected to your phone.
RELATED: Control Your Phone’s Music From Windows 10
The latter feature was in beta and only available on select Samsung Galaxy devices at the time of writing in April 2022. App Mirroring allows you to wirelessly mirror apps from your phone to your Windows PC.
Windows 11 has support for Android apps, but this is different. App Mirroring mirrors your phone’s screen to your PC, but it’s more than just “mirroring.” You can actually control and operate the app from within Windows. It can be used to mirror your entire screen or open specific apps directly.
Samsung Galaxy devices that support this feature do not use the typical “Link to Windows” companion app. Instead, it’s integrated more deeply into the operating system and can be turned on or off via a Quick Settings toggle.
RELATED: How to Mirror Your Android Display to a Windows Computer
The Artist Formerly Known As “Your Phone”
Microsoft Phone Link was originally branded as ‘Your Phone’. It was released in October 2018 as part of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. The Your Phone app was a replacement for the underused “Phone Companion” app.
At launch, the Your Phone app supported syncing text messages between Windows and Android, including the ability to send messages from your PC. It also synced photos from your Android device and showed notifications from your phone on the PC.
That was the basic features for a while, but Microsoft has added a few extras over the years. In March 2022, Microsoft rebranded the Your Phone app to “Phone Link” and the companion Android app to “Link to Windows.”
Your modern Windows PC already has it
Phone Link may only work with Android devices, but that didn’t stop Microsoft from pre-installing it on all PCs running Windows 11 and Windows 10. If you want to use Phone Link, it’s already on your computer. Check the Microsoft Store listing for updates.
That is one of the great advantages of Phone Link. There are plenty of third-party services that have brought similar functionality to both Windows and Android. Phone Link is already installed and is better integrated than any app.
All you need to do to get started is download the Link to Windows app from the Play Store. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, you don’t even have to. After you’ve installed and updated both apps, check out our full walkthrough on how to set them up. This is a great feature to use if you live in Windows and Android.
RELATED: How to Link an Android Phone to a Windows 10 PC Using Microsoft’s “Your Phone” App
This post What is Microsoft Phone Link on Windows 10 and 11?
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