Microsoft has invested a lot in both the Android and iOS ecosystem. One of the efforts made is Your Phone app. Its a built-in feature in Windows 10, which brings notifications, the ability to reply to them, receive and send SMS, view images on Your Phone app. That’s a lot! The feature should also be able to manage calls, but it seems to be a phased rollout. In this post, we will share how you can set up and use Your Phone app in Windows 10.
How to use Your Phone app in Windows 10
There are two parts to this entire experience. One is setting up the app or connecting the app to the computer. Second is configuring the app in terms of notifications:
- Setup Your Phone app in Windows 10
- Manage notifications, access images, and SMS
- Remove Your Phone link.
Before we go ahead, make sure the minimum requirement is fulfilled:
- A PC running Windows 10 April 2018 Update or later.
- The phone is running Android 7.0 (Nougat) or above.
The setup process is a bit different for Samsung Phones.
1] Set up Your Phone app in Windows 10
Windows 10 has a Phone section in Windows 10 settings, but it’s different from Your Phone app. The Phone section lists down all the connected phones and linked to the Microsoft account. It also helps you connect and link an Android or iPhone to Windows 10 PC. While it makes the setup process easy, you can always add the phone without it. But first, let’s learn how to do it the usual way.
- Open Windows Settings using WIN+ I. and then click on Phone section
- If you have previously connected any phone, it will be listed here. If this is the first time, then click on Add a phone button.
- It will launch the Your Phone App.
- The next screen will ask the type of phone, i.e., Android or iOS. Select and continue
- It will then send you a text with a link to the Your Phone Companion App (Android)
- You need to install the app and sign in using the same account, which is on the Windows 10 computer.
- The app on the computer will wait in the background until the process is complete.
- As soon as you sign-in, the PC application will get notified, and it will connect.
Since the application on PC and phone will connect, you will have to permit so it can run in the ground, and access the files. It may impact battery life as it will keep running in the background.
The companion app on your mobile has zero configuration. The only job is to send notifications that arrive on the phone to your Windows 10 computer.
At the start of this section, I shared that there is another way to setup. All you need to is install the application and sign-in with the Microsoft account. When you do that, the app on the phone will show how you can do the setup on the PC — either way, its the same thing.
2] Manage notifications, access images, and SMS
Your Phone App, not the Phone section in settings, allows you to manage how mobile connects to Windows 10 PC. If you have multiple phones, then you can manage them individually.
It is the first thing you should setup. Launch the app, and then click on the cog icon at the bottom left. Here you can configure settings for Photos, Messages, and notifications.
- Photos: A single option that will disable access to pictures. If you often transfer photos between computer and phone, then keep this on.
- Messages: You mustn’t miss any SMS notification, especially if it’s from your bank or anything related to finance. If notifications are too much, I would suggest you to at least keep either the banner or badge on the taskbar turned on.
- Notifications: Here, you can configure notifications from apps. It is turned off by default, and when you enable it, it will allow for all the apps on the phone. You must configure which app can show the notifications; else it will be too many distractions. Expand the link which says “Choose which apps notify you” and then toggle off for the least essential apps.
The best part of app notification is it supports reply. You can reply to SMS, text, WhatsApp, or messenger from the mobile without launching the application.
It displays 25 recent photos, which also includes screenshots. It is clear that its not for transferring pictures, but only to access recently taken screenshots and photographs quickly.
If you click on it, it will open the image in the default photos app, but if you want to share it, make a right-click. You can then choose to Copy, Share, and Save as. When you click on share, it will open the default share menu app, which will allow you to send it to Apps and Mail configured on Windows.
Read and Send Messages
It is probably the best part of the app, which allows you to read the SMS, send back a reply, and also create a new message. I remember Google launching the web version of Android messages, but this solution is a lot better.
If you hate picking up mobile to check the latest notification, you are going to love this section. It replicates the mobile notifications. When you dismiss a notification on PC, the notification is also removed from the phone. In case the notifications don’t sync, read out our troubleshooting guide —Your Phone app Notifications are not syncing or working.
Microsoft has done an excellent job with this app, and you can almost be phone-free while you are working on the PC. It was expected to have the Calling feature to become available with Windows 10 v1909, but I still can’t see it on my computer.
Cross-device copy and paste
It’s a fantastic feature in Your Phone App which allows to copy-paste data between Windows 10 and Android smartphone. However, as of now, it is only supported on Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip devices only.
To enable this feature, make sure Your Phone App is on the latest version on both Android phones and the Windows 10 device.
- Open Your Phone App in Windows 10 PC
- Go to Settings > Cross-device copy and paste
- Toggle is On for “Allow this app to access and transfer content I copy and paste between my phone and PC.”
Now whatever you copy on either of the devices will be available in the other. If your phone and PC are not on the same Wifi, then it will use the mobile data to transfer copied data.
As of now, it is only possible to copy text and images between your devices currently. During the transfer, it will resize the images of size above 1MB, and there can be a loss in formatting.
How to Remove Your Phone link
There is no option to remove the connected device from the Windows 10 computer. The easiest way is to sign out of the companion app on the phone. It is useful when you want to disconnect temporarily. If you are looking for a permanent solution, then follow the steps:
- Open Windows Settings > Phone
- Click on the Manage all devices linked to your Microsoft account
- It will open in the browser, and you will have to sign-in with the same Microsoft account that you have on the computer.
- The link will take you the page where all the devices associated with Microsoft account is available. Find the phone you want to remove.
- Click on Manage, and then choose to unlink.
- Select the checkbox and click on remove to complete the process.
I hope the tutorial was easy to follow, and you were able to understand how to use Your Phone app.