What is Microsoft Phone Link on Windows 10 and 11?
Many people use Windows PC and Android phone throughout the day. It’s important to make these two platforms work together, which is where Microsoft Phone Link, formerly known as “Your Phone”, comes in. We’ll tell you why you should use it.
What can Phone Link do?
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 application, while “Link to Windows” is the associated Android application. They talk to each other over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The feature that probably most people care about when it comes to Phone Link is notification sync. 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 act on the notification without touching your phone. When you dismiss a notification in Phone Link, it is also dismissed on your phone.
RELATED: How to Get Android Notifications on Windows 10 PC
The second great feature is the ability to receive and reply to text messages on your Windows PC. It basically works the same way as syncing notifications. The main difference is Live Messages in their own tab and you can see the full chat history from the Phone Link app.
It’s not just about responding to messages that come in, either. You can start new conversations from the Phone Link app. Phone Link knows your phone’s contacts, so you can find a specific person or enter a phone number.
RELATED: How To Send Texts From Windows 10 Using Android Phone
The next tab in the Phone Link app is for photos. This is where 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 applications.
RELATED: How to Wirelessly Sync Photos Between Windows 10 and Android
Since the Phone Link app connects to your phone via Bluetooth, your Windows PC can essentially act as a Bluetooth headset. This allows you to make and receive calls from Windows when your Android device is connected.
As with the messaging feature, you can view your call log and make calls by searching your contacts or entering a phone number manually.
RELATED: How to Make Calls from Windows 10 Using an Android Phone
You can control the media playing on your connected Android device from the Phone Link app. It’s handy if you’re streaming music from your phone and want easy-to-reach controls or maybe you have your Bluetooth headphones connected to your phone.
RELATED: How to Control Your Phone’s Music From Windows 10
This latter feature was in beta and was only available on select Samsung Galaxy devices at the time of writing in April 2022. App mirroring lets you wirelessly mirror apps from your phone to your Windows PC .
Windows 11 supports Android apps, but that’s different. App Mirroring shows your phone screen on your PC, but it’s more than just “mirroring”. You can actually interact and control the app from 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 built deeper into the operating system and can be enabled or disabled from a quick settings toggle.
RELATED: How to Mirror Your Android Screen to Windows Computer
The artist formerly known as “Your Phone”
Microsoft Phone Link was originally called “Your Phone”. It was released in October 2018 as part of Windows 10 October 2018 Update. The Your Phone app replaced the underutilized “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 displayed notifications from your phone on the PC.
It was the basic feature set for a while, but Microsoft added a few extras over the years. In March 2022, Microsoft renamed the Your Phone app to “Phone Link” and the Android companion app to “Link to Windows”.
Your modern Windows PC already has it
Phone Link may only work with Android devices, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from pre-installing it on all Windows 11 and Windows 10 PCs. If you want to use Phone Link, it’s already on your computer. Check the Microsoft Store listing for updates.
This is one of the great advantages of Phone Link. There are many third-party services that have brought similar functionality to Windows and Android. Phone Link is already installed and it is better integrated than any third-party app.
The only thing you need to do to get started is to download the Link to Windows app from the Play Store. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, you don’t even have to. Once you’ve installed and updated both apps, check out our full walkthrough to set it up. It’s a great feature to use if you live on Windows and Android.
RELATED: How to Link an Android Phone to a Windows 10 PC Using Microsoft’s “Your Phone” App