How to Set Up And Use Microsoft's Your Phone App

Text from a PC and transfer photos with the Windows 10 Your Phone app

A phone on a laptop's keyboard
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Microsoft is working to bring your phone into your computer, and one of the first steps is Microsoft Your Phone. This set of apps—one for your computer and one for your phone—brings texting, photos, notifications, and one other neat little tricks to your computer.

Your Android phone is your hub for communications and photography, so it makes sense that Microsoft would want to tap into those functions. Your Phone uses a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer a month's worth of text messages, your last 25 photos, and incoming notifications to your computer. Everything is done locally. There is no cloud sync. There are no privacy issues and this complies with GDPR regulations in Europe.

The steps in this guide can be very different if you have already downloaded either app or you are already signed in to a Microsoft account, but it should get you pointed in the right direction.

To get started, you need to install an app on your phone and an app on your computer. We'll start with your Android phone.

How to Download the Windows 10 Your Phone App

System Requirements: Your Phone requires a PC running Windows 10 April 2018 Update or later and a phone running Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later.

  1. Open the Google Play store and search for Your Phone.

  2. Tap Install for the app called Your Phone Companion—Link to Windows.

    Play Store icon, your phone search, Install button
  3. Tap Open once the installation is complete.

  4. Tap Sign in with Microsoft.

  5. If you have already signed in to a Microsoft app (Outlook, OneDrive, etc.) anywhere else on the phone, you'll get the option to use the account that is signed in. Otherwise you will need to log in with your Microsoft username/password.

    Open, Sign in with Microsoft, Next button
  6. Tap Continue.

  7. Tap Allow on the four permissions boxes that open.

    Note

    Note: If you have ever had the Your Phone app installed before, rather than choosing allow for various prompts, you are sent to the apps list in Settings to allow the permissions via toggles.

  8. Tap Continue.

    Continue, Allow, Continue buttons in Microsoft Your Phone app for Android
  9. Tap Exclude.

  10. Tap Show me.

    Exclude and Show me buttons in Microsoft Your Phone app

How to Set Up Windows 10 Your Phone

Now it's time to set up your computer. Don't put your phone away though—you'll be back to it shortly.

  1. Sign into a Microsoft account on the computer, if you haven't already done so (though you probably have). Go to Start > Settings > Accounts and sign in with your username/password. If you have already logged into your Microsoft account, then you may continue to the next step.

    Accounts button in Windows Settings
  2. Click Start > Microsoft Store.

    Microsoft Store button in Start menu
  3. Search for "Your Phone" in the Microsoft store, and then click the Your Phone app in the search results.

    Your Phone icon on Windows app store
  4. Click Install.

    Install button for Your Phone app on Windows
  5. When the app finishes installing, click Launch.

    Launch button in Microsoft Store for Your Phone app
  6. When the app opens, you'll need to switch to your phone. On your phone, you'll get a notification, asking you to allow the connection to your PC. Tap Allow.

    Allow button on Android
  7. Back on the computer, click Notifications on the left hand side of the Your Phone app, then click Get Started.

    Notifications, Get started buttons in Your Phone on Windows
  8. Back on the phone, tap the Your Phone Companion toggle in the notification access screen.

  9. Tap Allow on the next prompt.

    Your Phone Companion toggle, Allow button

How to Use Microsoft Your Phone

It's a fairly extensive process to get going, but now that everything is set up, you'll receive notifications, receive and reply to texts, and even be able to drag and drop photos from your phone to your computer. It's really powerful.

Plus, it comes with an added bonus. When you are surfing the web on your phone in any browser, you can move that web page over to your computer. Simply tap Share > Continue on PC, then select the PC to which you want to send (if you have more than one set up). That web page will open on your computer's web browser. You can even push a notification to open the web page later if you want.

Share, Continue on PC, PC sharing options in Your Phone