How to use Windows’ Your Phone app to connect your phone to your PC

Why does Microsoft think you need the Windows 10 Your Phone app? Because it preserves the most important functions of a phone: access to your photos, messages, notifications, calls, and even your phone’s home screen—without the need to remove your phone from your pocket.

That might sound ridiculous, but think again: Once you pull your phone from your pocket, you’re instantly lost in messages, email, Instagram—all of these distracting from your focus and flow while working on your PC. Theoretically, you could refuse to open Outlook on your PC and use your phone instead. But you don’t, right? Because the PC is much more convenient—and, in certain situations, playing with your phone is also quite rude.

Your Phone’s functionality is essentially complete, but the landing’s been a little rough. You’ll need to mix and match the right PC and phone hardware to get the most of Your Phone, but the most useful basic features are already available to the world at large. We can also show you how what the final vision looks like, and what (if anything!) you’ll need to get there. Your Phone is surprisingly simple and effective, and it’s much further along than during our first look at the Your Phone experience.

Microsoft Windows 10 your phone notifications 2 Mark Hachman / IDG

Your Phone can send these Android notifications right to your PC.

Setup: What you’ll need

Because of the “walled garden” approach Apple takes with iOS, Your Phone is essentially tied to Android. (Though Your Phone technically supports iPhones, Microsoft has stopped listing them among supported phones.) Even then, not every phone supports every Your Phone function right now. You’ll get the best experience right now with a Samsung Galaxy or OnePlus phone.

Any recent Android phone should be able to connect to Your Phone and receive Your Phone’s basic functions: photos, SMS texts, and notifications. The newer, more advanced functions—placing calls and interacting with the phone’s home screen—are limited to a smaller subset of devices (Galaxy Phones and recent OnePlus phones, basically). Unfortunately, Your Phone can link only to a single phone at the moment.

samsung galaxy a50 Samsung

Though we used a OnePlus 6T to test, dozens of different Samsung Galaxy phone models are also supported by Your Phone. 

Here’s a more detailed list of the hardware and software requirements for each Your Phone function, at present:

Photos, messages, and notifications:

A Windows 10 PC running the Windows 10 April 2018 Update or later, and an Android phone running Android 7.0 or later.

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