You may have wished that you could control your Android tablet or phone from your computer at times. Perhaps your phone is in your bag or you need a subtle way of messaging someone. You might need to read a lot or type more text.
It’s very easy to access your Android smartphone from a computer. These are the top options, from an app that is already part of Windows to a full-screen mirroring app.
1. Android Phone Control from Windows 10 or Windows 11
Windows users have a simple way to access their phones from their computers if they are using Windows. This is done through the Phone Link app for Windows 10 or 11, previously known as Your Phone.
Phone Link, a built-in application, allows you to view your most recent photos and send and receive SMS messages. It also lets you manage your calls from your computer. Microsoft offers a screen mirroring feature that supports only a few devices.
To establish a Phone Link:
- Install the companion app Link To Windows on Android and update the Phone Link app.
- Log in to your Microsoft account from both devices.
- Open the app on both your phone and computer and then follow the instructions on the screen to link them.
Although the setup can be temperamental at first, once it is in place it works great. It’s worth it if you only need to quickly answer your texts on your laptop.
2. AirDroid allows you to access your phone from a computer using AirDroid
AirDroid acts like a powerful version of Phone Link. You can access most of your phone’s important features from the desktop, without even creating an account. AirDroid is available for free. However, premium users can subscribe to get even more features.
Although the service has a desktop app that works on Mac and Windows, it is compatible with any web browser. It’s super simple and safe to use on a shared computer.
AirDroid allows you to control your Android phone remotely from a computer via the internet or wirelessly if both devices are connected to a network.
AirDroid is easy to use
- Install AirDroid on your phone. When prompted, accept the permissions request.
- Go to web.airdroid.com. A QR code will be displayed on the page.
- Start AirDroid on your smartphone and tap the scan icon at top of the screen.
- Scanning the QR code.
- Tap Sign in even if you don’t have an account.
- Now you are connected. You can access the features of your phone from the browser window.
AirDroid Web interface looks like a desktop. It is great when you go to full-screen mode. The left side shows your apps and functions, while the right side displays tools and information about your phone. You will find a panel at the top that allows you to search for apps and make calls.
AirDroid can’t be used with third-party apps. This means that you won’t be able to use Snapchat on your laptop. This is the only limitation. You get tons of other functionality. It can make and receive calls as well as send and read text messages. You can also access the photos and videos on your phone as well as locally saved music.
There are many tools that can seamlessly link your phone to your desktop. Wirelessly transfer data from your computer to your phone. You can also enter URLs on the desktop, have the webpage open on your phone, and remotely install APK files.
For some features, you will need to create an account. Some are not available in the free version. AirDroid Premium is available for $3.99 per month, or $29.99 per year. However, most users will find the free version sufficient.
3. Remote Access to Android from a Computer With AirDroid Cast
AirDroid supports basic mirroring, but you can get more control with AirDroid Cast. This allows you to control your phone from your computer.
To begin, download AirDroid Cast for Windows or Mac and Android AirDroid Cast app to your phone.
Now, launch both apps on the devices. You’ll see a QR code in your desktop app. Tap the Scan button, scan the code and then tap Start Casting. You’ll be asked to Allow from your desktop or Start Now from your phone for security reasons.
Once you have done this, your connection will be established. AirDroid Cast is free and allows you to mirror only. However, you can upgrade for $3.49 per month if you need full touch-control from your Windows PC or Mac. You can also try it for free to make sure it suits your needs.
Cast allows you to work with third-party applications, unlike AirDroid. You can also move files between your phone and other devices. The app mirrors the screen of your phone so you must keep it on.
4. Use Vysor to control an Android phone from a computer
Vysor functions in the same way as AirDroid Cast. It is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Chrome OS. You can choose from paid and free versions. Although the free version gives you an idea of what you can expect, it is limited and includes ads.
Vysor is great because it requires almost no configuration or setup. You will need to enable USB Debugging. That’s it. Simply install Vysor and connect your smartphone. All of it happens automatically.
The app will be pushed to your Android phone along the way. You can uninstall this app by going to Settings > Applications & Notifications.
After installation is completed, your phone’s screen will be mirrored on your desktop. You can take screenshots, record your screen and adjust the volume with these buttons. The virtual touchscreen can be used to do all other things with the mouse.
Vysor is an app-mirroring service so there are no concerns about compatibility. Everything that runs on your smartphone will work on the desktop. Gaming is included, but lag may be an issue for games that require fast responses.
You can also control your phone from a computer using other methods
You can also look at other apps to access your phone via a computer. MightyText focuses primarily on messaging and is similar to Phone Link. Pushbullet, while cheaper than AirDroid is more comparable.
ApowerMirror is another screen-mirroring app, similar to Vysor. The standalone app is available for Windows and Mac. However, there are limitations to the free version. Vysor is more expensive than Vysor.
Scrcpy is also available as a free open-source application. It offers many of the same features that Vysor. Although it sounds great, it is not user-friendly. You can’t adjust the settings of the app without a command line. This makes the setup more complicated.
If you are a more experienced user, it is worth considering. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our guide to setting up and using Scrcpy.
How to operate your mobile device from your laptop
You now know how to use your Android phone remotely via a computer or laptop. These options allow you to control your device from wherever it is most convenient.
Another option is to use an emulator to control your phone instead of controlling it directly. You can use your favorite mobile apps and play smartphone games on your computer by running Android within an app.