Windows 11 Brings New Ways to Connect Your Phone

Windows 11 Brings New Ways to Connect Your Phone


Windows 11 introduces exciting new ways to connect your Android or iPhone directly to your PC. As someone who frequently uses both a smartphone and a Windows computer, I’m eager to take advantage of these new integration features to improve my productivity and streamline workflows. In this article, I’ll provide an in-depth look at the new phone connectivity options in Windows 11.

Connecting Your Phone to Your PC

Android Phones

One of the biggest new features is the ability to connect your Android phone to your Windows 11 PC. This allows you to access your phone’s apps, photos, and notifications directly on your computer.

To set this up, you first need to download the Microsoft Phone Link app on your Android device from the Google Play Store. This app enables the integration features.

Next, go to the Settings app on your Windows 11 PC, click Bluetooth and Devices, then click Add Device. Your Android phone should show up in the list of available devices. Select it and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the pairing.

Once connected, you’ll see a Phone Link notification icon in your Windows taskbar. This allows quick access to your phone’s notifications, recent photos, apps, and more. It essentially puts your phone’s functionality right on your PC.


Windows 11 also introduces new integration with iPhones, although the capabilities are more limited compared to Android.

To connect your iPhone, plug it into your PC using a Lightning to USB cable. A prompt will appear asking if you want to set up your iPhone with your PC. Accept this prompt and follow the on-screen instructions.

This allows you to access your iPhone’s photos directly through the Photos app on Windows 11. You can browse, manage, and edit your photos without needing to transfer anything manually.

Notifications and other phone functions aren’t integrated like they are with Android phones. But having streamlined photo access is still a useful new feature.

Using Your Phone’s Apps on Your PC

One of my favorite things about connecting my Android phone is the ability to install and run Android apps directly on my Windows 11 PC.

After linking your phone, you can access the Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store. This provides Android apps optimized for Windows.

You can browse through popular Android apps, install them on your PC, and then launch the apps just like any other Windows program. The apps run in resizable windows and support keyboard, mouse, touch, and pen input.

This allows me to easily continue working on apps like social media, messaging, note taking, and more on the big screen. It makes moving between my phone and PC feel much more seamless.

Responding to Notifications

Another great benefit of linking your phone is the ability to view and respond to notifications from your PC.

Whenever you get a notification on your linked Android phone, it will show up as a pop-up banner in the lower right of your Windows desktop. This allows you to quickly glance at incoming texts, app alerts, and other notifications.

For Android phones, you can even respond or take actions directly from these notifications on your PC. There are inline reply options for messages, the ability to dismiss or snooze notifications, and one-click buttons for common actions like accepting a call.

Having these notifications mirrored on your PC makes it easy to stay on top of incoming communications without having to constantly check your actual phone. It’s a super convenient feature.

Transferring Files and Photos

In addition to mirroring apps and notifications, connecting your phone also enables quick file and photo transfers between devices.

You can easily copy and paste or drag and drop photos and other files from your phone onto your Windows 11 desktop or any folder. This makes it simple to save photos from your phone or move files between devices.

There’s also a dedicated Phone Link folder in File Explorer. You can access your phone’s photos and screenshots through here. It’s essentially like having your phone’s storage directly integrated into File Explorer for easy access.

Being able to seamlessly transfer files and photos without cables or workarounds makes connecting your devices so much more functional.

Unlocking Your PC with Your Phone

Windows 11 introduces a new way to unlock your PC using your phone, rather than typing a password. This feature, called Dynamic Unlock, uses Bluetooth proximity to detect when your linked phone is nearby.

When your linked phone is close to your PC, Windows will automatically unlock your desktop without prompting you for a password. Once you walk away and your phone disconnects, the PC will lock itself again.

To enable this, go to Settings > Accounts > Windows Hello, and turn on Dynamic Unlock under More Unlock Options. You’ll need to confirm some security prompts on both devices.

This makes unlocking your PC quicker and more seamless. As you approach your desktop, it will recognize your phone and bypass the lockscreen automatically.

Wrapping Up

Connecting your Android or iPhone to your Windows 11 PC provides some great new integration features. You can mirror notifications, transfer files seamlessly, run mobile apps, unlock your PC dynamically, and much more.

I’m very happy with how much more functional the experience is when linking your phone and desktop in Windows 11. The new capabilities allow me to streamline my workflow and transition between devices more easily. I’d definitely recommend trying it out to see how much productivity and convenience you can add to your cross-device experience.



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