How to connect an Android smartphone to Microsoft Windows 10


Connecting your Android smartphone to Windows 10 using the built-in app can improve your productivity. This tutorial shows you how to make the connection.

For many businesses, the modern workforce is mobile. Employees are expected to get work done while they are on the move. Ideas are brainstormed, working teams are formed, collaborative documents are started, and email is exchanged–all from the confines of a smartphone.

But once that workforce reaches the office, the work performed on the mobile device must be transferred to the desktop. With ubiquitous cloud computing that transfer process is relatively easy, however, employees will often have to navigate to the working point where they left off on their smartphone.

Connecting your Android smartphone to your Microsoft Windows 10 workstation can simplify the transfer of working environments even more by allowing employees to resume work exactly where they left off on their smartphone. This quick tutorial shows you how to connect your Android smartphone to Windows 10 using the free tool located in the Settings menu.

SEE: Windows 10 Start menu hacks (TechRepublic Premium)

Connecting your phone

Open the Settings screen by right-clicking the Start button and navigating to the Settings item in the list. From the Settings screen, click the Phone entry. You should see something that looks like Figure A.

Figure A

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Figure A

Click the Add A Phone link to start the connection process. Note: You will need an internet connection and a Microsoft login for this to work. Microsoft will ask you to open a web browser on your smartphone and type in the URL shown on the screen (Figure B).

Figure B

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Choose the Microsoft app you want to install from the list displayed. The first choice is Microsoft Launcher, which will allow you quick access to many common Microsoft applications recoded for Android. Alternatively, the Microsoft Phone Companion app will allow you to control your smartphone from your PC, receive and write messages, and view photos and images on your device but not alter the layout of your smartphone.

Once your chosen app is installed on your smartphone, click the Yes, I Finished Installing The Application checkbox on your PC and then click the Open QR Code button to create a screen like the one shown in Figure C.

Figure C

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Then open the Microsoft app on your smartphone and tap the Is There A QR code On Your PC link (Figure D). Using your smartphone’s camera, you will scan the QR code and complete the login and permission process that will pair your Windows 10 PC with your Android smartphone or device.

Figure D

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You could also opt to enter your Microsoft login credentials directly and bypass the QR code procedure, if you wish.

With the Microsoft Launcher active, you can get quick access to Microsoft specific applications like Outlook, OneNote, and Excel (Figure E). More importantly, you can send the work you do on your Android smartphone directly to your Windows 10 desktop, so you never lose time searching for your last stopping point. 

Figure E 

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Figure E

Caveat

It is important to note that switching to the Microsoft Launcher completely changes the interface of your smartphone. If you are used to, and comfortable with, the way the Android interface works, the switch may be a shock to the system and take a while to master. Connecting your smartphone in this way is a commitment and will tie you into the Microsoft ecosystem, but it may be well worth it depending on your work environment and habits.

If you later decide you want to unlink your Android smartphone, navigate back to the Phone app in Windows 10 and click the appropriate link. You can also switch back to the Android interface on your smartphone at any time by clicking the Home button. Perhaps you want to use Android for personal tasks and the Microsoft Launcher for work activity?

Editor’s note: The author updated this article to reflect changes to the installation process.

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Your thoughts

What do you think of the Microsoft Launcher? Do you prefer it over the standard Android smartphone interface? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.

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