Your Phone Companion is Microsoft's attempt to keep you in front of your Windows 10 computer even while you're using your Android device. The app syncs your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC, helping you get notifications, calls, and texts on your desktop. This tutorial illustrates how to set up and use Your Phone Companion to connect your Android smartphone or tablet and your Windows 10 computer or device:
NOTE: The features presented are available in Windows 10 May 2020 Update or newer. If you are using an older version of Windows 10, you might not have access to all the features. Check your Windows 10 build and, if necessary, get the latest Windows 10 update available. This guide applies to Android 10, and it was created using Nokia 5.3 and Samsung Galaxy A51.
First things first: About Your Phone and using it to connect an Android to Windows 10
Your Phone Companion is an app developed by Microsoft to connect your Android device, as well as pair your iPhone to your Windows 10 PC. This might seem simple, but the app is far from perfect, and you might need a bit of patience to set it up.
To clarify any confusion, we want to start by presenting each of the apps and features illustrated in this tutorial. In order to connect your Android smartphone to Windows 10, you must have the Your Phone app installed on your PC. If Windows 10 is up to date, the app should be installed by default on your computer. However, if you can't find the Your Phone app on your PC, you can get it from the Microsoft Store. Learn how to find it and more by reading 10 things you can do in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10.
The Android app you need for most devices is Your Phone Companion - Link to Windows from the Google Play Store. However, the name displayed after you install it is "Your Phone Companion" - the same name we're using for it to avoid any misunderstandings.
If you're using a Samsung Galaxy Android, you probably don't have to install an app, since some devices have a built-in setting to connect to Windows 10. The Samsung feature is called "Link to Windows," and you can find out more about it by scrolling to the dedicated chapter in this tutorial.
If you already signed in to one of Microsoft's apps on your Android, your account is already linked to the device, so skip those steps in the tutorial.
Your Phone Companion is clearly a work in progress, with new services expected as early as November 2020. If you are having any issues, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure everything works as intended:
- Use a Microsoft account to log in on your Windows 10 PC. Your Phone does not launch if you're using it on a local account. The Microsoft account does not have to match the one you use to connect to the app. You can change it during the setup.
- The devices you're trying to pair must be connected to the internet, preferably on the same wireless network.
- Your Android smartphone or tablet should have an active SIM card.
- Turn off any blocking features, like battery saver, Airplane mode, or Do not disturb, on both devices.
- Make sure Your Phone is allowed to run in the background, by accessing "Settings -> Privacy -> Background apps" and activating the switch next to the app on your Windows 10 PC.
- Turn on "Nearby sharing" and "Share across devices" from "Settings -> System -> Shared experiences."
- Restart the app(s) and your device(s). Especially if you changed any settings, closing and reopening the app(s) might help establish the connection between your Android and Windows 10.
Connect your Android to Windows 10 using the Your Phone Companion app
You can use Settings to access the Your Phone app on your Windows 10 computer or device. Open Settings using the keyboard shortcut Windows + I and click or tap on Phone.
The next step is easy since you only have one tab and one button here. Press "Add a phone."
To open Your Phone in Windows 10, you can also insert the following in your browser: www.aka.ms/linkphone or just click here to follow the link. Then, press "Open Your Phone."
Regardless of the method you chose, the next page asks you to select the type of phone you want to connect to Windows 10. Select Android, and then click or tap Continue.
The next page should display the name of your Microsoft account in bold letters. Click or tap on Continue.
NOTE: If that is not the account you want to connect to your Android smartphone, use the "Sign in with another account" link and then either choose from the list of available Microsoft accounts or add a new one.
On the next page, you are required to install "Your Phone Companion" on Android. At the top, there are instructions and a short link you can type in your browser to access the app. You can see a greyed-out "Open QR code" button at the bottom of the window. We'll resume from this page later on, after setting up the app on your Android.
Now switch over to your Android, fire up the Google Play Store, and get the Your Phone Companion - Link to Windows app.
If you need any help installing an app, this guide can provide more details. You can also use the link seen above to access the app's page in the Play Store.
Launch Your Phone Companion, and the first screen gives you two options to connect to your Windows 10 PC. It's easiest to login using a QR code, so tap on the "Is there a QR code on your PC?" link at the bottom and allow the app to take pictures and record video. Your Android smartphone displays a screen similar to camera mode, with a highlighted rectangular section.
Switching back to your PC, check the box that confirms installing the app, and then press the "Open QR Code" button.
Next, scan the QR code on the screen by pointing the Android device at your computer monitor and framing it inside the rectangular section.
After you scan the code, Your Phone Companion lets you know it needs "a few" permissions. Press Continue.
Next, you are prompted to allow the Your Phone Companion app to access your contacts, photos, media, and files on your device, to make and manage phone calls, and to send and view SMS messages. I'm afraid to imagine what a lot of permissions mean in Microsoft's book. 🙂
There is one more permission required, that lets the app sync to your Windows 10 PC at all times. Tap Continue, and you can allow this on the next screen.
Next, let your Android smartphone connect to the Your Phone app on Windows 10.
That's it! Tap Done to complete the process on your Android.
As soon as you see the "Your phone and PC are linked" message on your screen, your Android is good to go.
Back on your PC, you have the option to "Pin app to taskbar" by checking the appropriate box. Click or tap on Get started and confirm pinning the app if you enabled the option.
Finally, the Windows app might require more permissions to enable different features. Follow the instructions on your screen to send notifications from your PC and grant permissions from your Android, and you should now have access to your smartphone from your computer. However, if the two devices don't sync, consult the first chapter of this tutorial again, and make sure to follow the instructions in the bullet points.
TIP: If you grow tired with Your Phone Companion, you can always uninstall the app from your Android smartphone or tablet.
Connect your Samsung Android to your PC with Your Phone and Link to Windows
We explained earlier that Samsung Galaxy devices use their own built-in feature, Link to Windows, to connect to Windows 10's Your Phone app. To begin, follow the instructions for Windows 10 from the beginning of the previous section to launch and sign in Your Phone with your Microsoft account. When you get up to the point where you have to switch to your Android device, grab your Samsung Galaxy smartphone and swipe down from the top of the screen to access Quick Settings.
Swipe down again to open the extended Quick Settings menu, where you can find the "Link to Windows" button. Tapping on it enables the feature.
TIP: If you use the feature often, you should consider customizing the Android Quick Settings menu to make Link to Windows more easily accessible (check out the dedicated Samsung section).
Alternatively, you can open the Settings app, scroll down, and access Advanced features.
On the next screen, tap on "Link to Windows."
When you enable "Link to Windows" for the first time, you should see the screen below. Tap on "Link your phone and PC."
The feature needs access to your phone's camera in order to connect using a QR code. Tap Continue.
On the next screen, someone forgot to replace the app's name with the Samsung feature. 🙂 As a result, you are granting permissions to the "Your Phone Companion" app. Tap Allow.
Switch back to your PC, check the box that confirms installing the app, and click or tap the "Open QR Code" button.
Next, scan the QR code on the screen by pointing the Android at your computer monitor and framing the code inside the rectangular section.
After you scan the code, you are prompted to give the app permissions. Press Continue.
Next, you are prompted to allow the Your Phone Companion app to access your contacts, photos, media, and files on your device, to make and manage phone calls, and to send and view SMS messages.
That's it! The feature is enabled, and there's a permanent notification displayed to make sure you don't forget about it.
Back on your PC, you can "Pin app to taskbar" by checking the appropriate box. Click or tap on Get started.
Finally, the Windows app might require more permissions to enable different features. Follow the instructions on your screen, sending notifications from your computer and granting permissions from your Samsung Android, and you should now have access to your smartphone from your PC. However, if you can't connect the two, consult the first chapter of this tutorial again, following the instructions in the bullet points to troubleshoot any issues.
NOTE: You can easily disconnect your Android from your PC by following the instructions in How to remove your phone from Windows 10. However, the instructions there don't work on Samsung Galaxy devices on their own. You must also go to "Settings -> Apps -> Your Phone Companion > Storage" and tap Clear data and Clear cache to unlink your Samsung Android from Windows 10.
Connect your PC to your Android device when you install Windows 10 with Your Phone Companion app
When you install Windows 10 or when you upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10, you get the option to link your phone and PC. When you see the screen below, choose your country, enter your phone number, and press Send. Then, press Next to move forward with the installation process.
On your Android smartphone, you should receive an SMS. Click or tap on the link included in the message.
This takes you to the app's page in the Google Play Store. Install it on your Android.
Launch Your Phone Companion and sign in with the Microsoft account used during the Windows 10 installation process.
Next, Your Phone Companion needs permissions. Lots of them. Press Continue.
The next screens contain permission requests similar to the one below. Let Your Phone Companion access your contacts, photos, media, and files on your device, to make and manage phone calls, and to send and view SMS messages.
One more permission is needed to let the app sync to your Windows 10 PC at all times. Tap Continue, and you can allow this on the next screen.
Then, allow your Android smartphone to connect to the Your Phone app on Windows 10.
Finally, tap Done to complete the process on your Android device.
The "Your phone and PC are linked" message on your screen lets you know you are done.
When Windows 10 finishes installing on your computer or device, the Your Phone app opens. Check the box if you want to "Pin app to taskbar" and click or tap on the Get started button.
The two devices are now linked. Finally, grant any necessary permissions to enable different features, and you can now use Your Phone app to see your photos, send text messages, and more.
Did you successfully link your Android to Windows 10?
Connecting an Android to Windows 10 with Your Phone Companion app was not easy, and I almost gave up before coming across the right settings. However, after the initial struggle, the app did surprise me, as it's invaluable when it comes to sharing photos and texting. It even let me send a message from a prepaid SIM card that I never charged, so that was pretty awesome. We hope Your Phone Companion continues to improve in future Android and Windows 10 updates. Until then, share your experience with us. Did you manage to use Your Phone to connect your Android to Windows 10? How well does it work for you? Comment below, and let's discuss.