Many people use their Windows PC and Android phone all day long. It’s important to make these two platforms work together, and that’s where Microsoft Phone Link – formerly known as “Your Phone” – comes in. We will explain why you are using it.
What can a phone link do?
Microsoft Phone Link is part of a two-pronged approach to connecting a Windows 11 or 10 PC to an Android device. “Phone Link” is the Windows app, while “Link to Windows” is the companion Android app. They talk to each other over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The feature that most people are probably interested in 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 the Notification Center like any other Windows notification. In some cases, you can take action on the notification without touching your phone. When you dismiss a notification in Phone Link, it is dismissed on your phone as well.
Related: How to get Android notifications on Windows 10 PC
The second big feature is the ability to receive and reply to text messages on your Windows PC. This basically works like syncing notifications. The main difference is that the messages are on their own tab and you can see the complete conversation logs from 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 recognizes contacts from your phone, so you can find 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 see photos from your Android device. More importantly, you can easily save them to your Windows PC and even simply 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 basically act as a Bluetooth headset. This makes it possible to make and receive calls from Windows when your Android device is connected.
As with the messaging feature, you can see your call history 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 the connected Android device from the Phone Link app. This is useful if you’re sending music from your phone and want easy-to-access controls or maybe a Bluetooth headset connected to your phone.
Related: How to control your phone’s music from Windows 10
This latter feature was in beta and only available on select Samsung Galaxy devices at the time of writing in April 2022. App Mirroring allows apps to be mirrored wirelessly from your phone on a Windows PC.
Windows 11 supports Android apps, but that’s different. App Mirroring displays your phone screen on your PC, but it’s more than just “mirroring”. You can actually interact and control the application from Windows. It can be used to mirror your entire screen or directly open specific apps.
Samsung Galaxy devices that support this feature do not use the typical “Link to Windows” companion app. Instead, it is integrated more deeply into the operating system and can be turned on or off by toggling the quick settings.
Related: How to mirror Android screen on Windows PC
The Artist Formerly Known As “Your Phone”
Microsoft Phone Link was originally marked as “Your Phone”. It was released in October 2018 as part of the October 2018 Update for Windows 10. The Your Phone app was a replacement for the untapped “Phone Companion” app.
When turned on, the Your Phone app supported text message syncing between Windows and Android — including the ability to send messages from your computer. It also syncs photos from your Android device and displays notifications from your phone on your PC.
This has been the main feature set for a while, but Microsoft has added a few good things over the years. In March 2022, Microsoft renamed the Your Phone app to “Phone Link” and the companion app for Android to “Link to Windows”.
Your modern Windows PC is already there
Phone Link might only work with Android devices, but that didn’t stop 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 PC. Check the Microsoft Store listing for updates.
This is one of the big 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 third party app.
The only thing you need to do to get started is to download the Windows app link from the Play Store. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, you don’t need to do this. After both apps are installed and updated, check out the full instructions on setting it 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