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mobile phone to PC - this is how it works

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Linking a smartphone with Windows 10: that's what it takes
How to connect an Android smartphone to Windows 10
How to connect your iPhone to Windows 10
How to disconnect the smartphone and Windows 10

Windows 10 has offered the option of pairing a smartphone with the system for some time. We show how it works..

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Microsoft has largely withdrawn from the lucrative smartphone market. But that doesn't mean that the Redmond-based company no longer attaches importance to mobile devices - on the contrary! With the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has given its Windows 10 operating system the option of coupling your smartphone to your PC. This works with both an iPhone and an Android smartphone.

Linking a smartphone with Windows 10: that's what it takes

Connecting Android or iPhone to Windows 10 makes certain processes easier. This is especially true for users who are already active in the Microsoft ecosystem. For example, Android users can quickly send new photos to their PC without having to set up automatic synchronization. Connecting with a cable or via Bluetooth is no longer necessary. Microsoft's OneDrive online storage is used as the medium. Another practical feature is the ability to quickly exchange websites between a smartphone and a PC - the Microsoft Edge browser is required.

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You can also connect multiple smartphones to your PC.

In future versions of Windows 10, Microsoft wants to push the dovetailing of smartphones and PCs even further. It is conceivable, for example, that smartphone content will appear in the Windows timeline introduced in April 2018. The Windows assistant Cortana should also intensify the connection via the corresponding apps for Android and iOS. But if you are interested in this, you should also keep in mind that the link will only work properly if you share your personal information with Microsoft. You can read exactly what the company is doing with it in the data protection provisions: https://privacy.microsoft.com/de-de/privacystatement

How to connect an Android smartphone to Windows 10

Microsoft uses the in-house Android app Microsoft Launcher as an interface between Android smartphone and Windows 10 computer. This is an alternative interface for Android, which - according to Microsoft's will - appears automatically after installation when you press the home button on your smartphone. In addition to some practical functions such as a news feed, the Microsoft Launcher naturally focuses on the various app solutions from Redmond. The program recommends installing OneDrive, Skype and Co. and also uses the Bing search by default. All of this is optional, you can continue to use Google or other apps and even select another standard launcher later. The new function " Next on the PC ", which Microsoft has integrated into Android's Share menu, requires the launcher to be installed..

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The Microsoft Launcher is the interface between PC and Android smartphone.

How to link your Android smartphone to your PC:

  1. Open the Windows 10 system settings and navigate to the " Phone " submenu .
  2. Under " Your mobile phone " click on the " Add mobile phone " button .
  3. Windows 10 will now open an input field in which you have to enter your telephone number . Then click on " Send ".
  4. Microsoft will now send you an SMS with the download link to the Microsoft Launcher on your smartphone. At the same time, the cell phone and number are registered under Windows.
  5. Follow the steps to download and set up the Microsoft Launcher. Please note that you also have to give the app access to various telephone functions in order to function smoothly.

As soon as the Microsoft Launcher is running, you will find the new link " Continue on PC " in the " Share " menu of Android . This will allow you to easily send photos, links and documents to your Windows PC in the future. At the same time, you can transfer data to the smartphone from Windows 10. Tethering, the sharing of the Internet connection of a mobile device with other connected computers, is also easily possible with it. However, this only works via the share function of the Windows 10 apps from the Microsoft Store. "Classic" Windows applications do not offer this feature.

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Images, documents and links can be transferred more easily to a Windows 10 PC after linking.

How to connect your iPhone to Windows 10

IPhone owners can also link their device to Windows 10. The range of functions is not quite as extensive as in the Android camp. The reason: Apple does not allow alternative home screens on the iPhone. This means that the Microsoft Launcher is no longer an interface between a smartphone and a Windows 10 PC. A link between iPhone and Windows 10 is still possible. Microsoft uses its Edge browser for this purpose , which is also available in a version for iOS.

Note: To connect Windows 10 to your iPhone, you need a Microsoft account..

The actual connection of the iPhone with Windows 10 is similar to that of Android:

  1. Open the system settings of Windows 10. Here you navigate to the sub-item " Telephone ".
  2. On the menu, " your phone " to " mobile phone Add ".
  3. Enter your phone number in the input field that appears and tap " Send ".
  4. After a few seconds you will receive an SMS with the download code for Microsoft Edge . Download and launch the iOS browser.
  5. In order for the connection between iPhone and Windows 10 PC to work, you must sign in to Edge with your Microsoft account . It is important that you use the same account that is used on the connected PC.

As soon as the connection is established, your iPhone will appear on the PC under " Linked Cell Phones ". The interaction between the two devices is currently limited to the exchange of links to websites. If you open the Edge browser on the iPhone, you can send the current page to your Windows 10 PC using the icon in the top left. The link is then immediately called up in Edge. Microsoft developers may still find ways and means to expand the connection between iPhone and Windows 10 in the future.

How to disconnect the smartphone and Windows 10

Of course, you also have the option of canceling the connection between the PC and smartphone. This is worthwhile, for example, if you want to switch to a new smartphone or change your PC. The process is done in a few steps:

  1. Open the Windows 10 System Preferences and navigate to the Phone section .
  2. Here you will find the item " Unlink this PC " under " Linked Cell Phones ". Click on it.
  3. Windows will now open a browser window that will take you to Microsoft's account management. Log in here to get an overview of all cell phones connected to your account.
  4. Find the appropriate device in the list and click the Unlink Phone link . Confirm the process to remove the smartphone from your Microsoft account.
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Use the account settings to cancel the connection between the PC and smartphone.

The functions for exchanging files between PC and mobile phone are then no longer available. Of course, you can still use the Microsoft Launcher or the Edge browser on your Android smartphone or iPhone.


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