An iPhone works seamlessly with Macs—photos from one show up on the other, as so do calls and messages. But what if you’re on the other side of the fence and use Windows and Android instead?
Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has worked hard to bring that kind of integration to Android smartphones. That work has seemingly paid off, as evidenced by the new Phone Link app.
What does the Phone Link app do?
With the Phone Link app, you can pair any Android smartphone with a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. Once it’s paired wirelessly (using a new QR code-based workflow), your PC will be able to get Android notifications on your PC. And, just like the Mac, you’ll be able to send messages and access your photo library.
How to set up the Phone Link app on your Android and PC
Before you can use Phone Link, there’s a bit of setup required. On your Android smartphone, install the Link to Windows app. On Windows, the Phone Link app is pre-installed, but it might not be updated, so open the Microsoft Store, search for the Phone Link app, and install any available updates.
Then open the Phone Link app on your PC. Click the “Get Started” button. Open the Link to Windows app on your Android smartphone and tap the “Link your phone and PC” button.
On your PC, the app will ask you if you have the Android app installed. Click the “Pair with QR Code” button. This will bring up a QR code on your PC. On your Android smartphone, the app will ask you if the QR code is ready. Tap the “Continue” button and scan the QR code that you see on the Windows PC.
Grant the required permissions and wait for the process to finish. On your PC, you’ll see an introduction to all that you can do using the app. Click the “Get Started” button and the Phone Link app will be ready to use. From the top, you can switch between the Messages, Photos, Apps, and Calls tabs. The notifications will be visible on the left-hand side.
There’s one last step required, and that’s setting up notification relay. From the Phone Link app, click the Notifications section in the left sidebar. Here, you’ll be asked for permission to sync notifications. Click the “Open settings on phone” button. This will launch the “Device and app notifications” section in Settings. Look for the “Link to Windows” app and enable the toggle next to it. Tap the “Allow” button from the popup box, and you’re set.
New notifications will automatically flow to your Windows PC, and you’ll be able to view, reply, send messages, take calls, and copy photos, all from the Phone Link app.