How to Get Windows 10 for Android

Enjoy your favorite Microsoft apps on your Android device

A smartphone sits next to a laptop on a desk.

 Busakorn Pongparnit / Getty Images

Getting Windows 10 to run on an Android isn't a straightforward process due to the different types of CPUs used in PCs and Android devices. Microsoft Launcher is a great workaround when you want to access your Microsoft apps and services from your Android phone or tablet. You can even personalize the wallpapers, themes, and other settings.

A valid Microsoft/Outlook account and Android 4.2 or later are required to run Microsoft Launcher on an Android device. It's also possible to use Windows 10 apps on the iPhone and other iOS devices.

How to Link Windows 10 to an Android Phone

Microsoft Launcher is an efficient home screen app that makes switching between your computer and mobile device smooth and seamless. To ensure you're getting the most out of Microsoft Launcher, add your Android phone to your computer.

Skip this section if you plan to use Windows 10 on an Android tablet, or if you don't want to use Microsoft Launcher's calling capabilities.

  1. Press Windows logo key+X, then select Settings from the Quick Link menu.

    Settings on Windows PC
  2. Select Phone.

    Phone icon in Windows Settings
  3. Select Go to Shared experience settings.

    Go to Shared experience settings button

    If you don't see this option, go to step 5.

  4. Turn on the Share across devices toggle, then select the back arrow (next to Settings).

    Share across devices toggle ON
  5. Select Add a phone.

    Add a phone button
  6. Choose your country code, enter your 10-digit mobile phone number, then select Send.

    Link your Android or iPhone to this PC Send button
  7. When your phone or tablet is linked correctly, your device is listed under Linked phones.

How to Install and Set up Microsoft Launcher for Android

Now that your Android device is linked to your Windows 10 computer, it's time to install Microsoft Launcher. If you followed the steps above, you'll receive a link from Microsoft in a text message.

To set up Microsoft Launcher:

  1. Launch your default messaging app, open the text from Microsoft, then tap the Microsoft Launcher installation link.

    If you don't receive a link, search for Microsoft Launcher in the Google Play Store.

  2. Tap INSTALL.

  3. Tap OPEN.

    Launcher, Install, Open buttons in Google Play
  4. Tap Get started.

  5. Enter the user name for the Microsoft account you use with Windows 10, then tap Sign in with Microsoft.

  6. Enter the password for your Microsoft account, then tap Sign In.

    Get Started, Sign in with Microsoft, Sign in buttons on Android
  7. Tap Got it.

  8. Tap Allow for each permission. If you deny specific access to parts of your device, the launcher loses some functionality.

  9. Tap Let's go.

    Got it, Allow, Let's go buttons in Android Microsoft Launcher
  10. In the Select a Home app dialog box, choose Microsoft Launcher.

  11. Tap Turn on notification badges.

    Microsoft Launcher, Turn on notification badges on Android
  12. Scroll down and tap the Microsoft Launcher check box.

  13. Tap Sync now.

    Microsoft Launcher and Sync now buttons on Android
  14. Tap Got it.

  15. Turn on the Microsoft Launcher toggle to enable notification access.

  16. In the confirmation dialog box, tap Allow.

    Got it, Microsoft Launcher toggle, and Allow buttons on Android
  17. Now you're ready to start using Windows 10 apps on your Android device.

Personalize Microsoft Launcher on Android

Microsoft Launcher gives you the option to customize its look and feel with Windows 10-style wallpapers, themes, and icons. You can also change the default search engine from Bing to Google, Yahoo, AOL, or Ask.com.

You may be prompted to sign into your Microsoft account again when making changes to Microsoft Launcher.

How to Change Your Wallpaper with Microsoft Launcher

To change the background on your home screen within Microsoft Launcher on your Android device:

  1. Go to the home screen and tap Wallpaper. A new Bing wallpaper displays each time you tap Wallpaper.

    Wallpaper icon and desktop photos on Android
  2. To manually select a wallpaper, tap Launcher Settings.

  3. Tap Personalization.

    Tap Launcher Settings > Personalization to manually select a wallpaper.
  4. Tap Wallpaper.

  5. Tap Select a wallpaper.

    Wallpaper, Select a wallpaper buttons on Android
  6. Select a single wallpaper or a daily slideshow.

How to Edit Themes in Microsoft Launcher for Android

Go to Launcher Settings > Personalization > Theme to edit the header, theme, opacity, blur, and accent colors for Microsoft Launcher.

Personalization, Theme, options in Android settings

How to Change the Default Search Engine in Microsoft Launcher

Go to Launcher Settings > Search > Search engine and tap one of the available search engines to make it the default.

Search, Search engine, and Google checkbox in Android settings app

How to Add Applications to Microsoft Launcher and Access Your App Drawer

Microsoft Launcher keeps your Microsoft mobile apps organized in a single folder on the home screen.

To manage and add Microsoft applications to your Android device:

  1. Go to your home screen and tap the Microsoft folder.

  2. Tap the application you want to install.

    Microsoft folder icon on Android
  3. Tap INSTALL.

  4. Tap OPEN and follow the on-screen setup instructions.

    Install and Open buttons in Google Play for Microsoft apps
  5. Tap the double-horizontal ellipsis icon in the favorite bar (the first row of shortcuts) to open the app drawer.

  6. Tap the horizontal ellipsis menu in the upper-right corner to expand the app drawer settings.

    Ellipse menu, horizontal dot menu, App drawer settings on Android
  7. Manage your app drawer with the available menu options.

How to Sign in and out of Your Microsoft Accounts

Go to Launcher Settings > Accounts > Sign in or Sign out to log in or log out of your Microsoft account.

Launcher settings, Accounts, Sign out button on Android

How to Access and Customize Your Feed

It's also possible to customize your feed in Microsoft Launcher:

  1. Swipe right from the home screen to view your feed.

  2. Tap Launcher Settings.

  3. Tap Your feed.

  4. Tap the toggle next to Your feed, then tap Glance.

  5. Tap the toggle next to a widget to enable or disable it, or tap the widget for additional options.

  6. You can further customize settings for individual apps. For example, to change the types of news stories you see, go back to the Your feed screen, then tap News.

  7. Tap News interests or News market.

    News, News interests and News market, toggles for news interests on Android
  8. Tap the toggle next to the news category you want to enable or disable.

How to Use Continue on PC

Use the Continue on PC option in Microsoft Launcher to open your current Windows session on your computer:

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. Tap the Continue on PC icon (it looks like a phone with a right-arrow through it) in the bottom center of the screen.
  3. Tap your computer's name when it appears.

The web page opens in the Edge browser on your linked Windows 10 PC. If you tap Continue later, you'll receive a notification on your linked PCs.

Use the Continue on PC option in Microsoft Launcher to open your current Windows session on your computer.

How to Use Cortana Virtual Assistant in Microsoft Launcher

To use Microsoft's virtual assistant, Cortana, on Android with Microsoft Launcher:

  1. Go to your home screen and tap the microphone icon in the far right of the search box.
  2. Tap YES to enable Cortana's help.
  3. Review the Terms & Privacy, then tap AGREE.
  4. Ask Cortana something with a clear and audible voice.
  5. Cortana displays results for your inquiry or command.
Tap the microphone icon in the far right of the search box on your home screen to enable Cortana in Microsoft's Android Launcher.