Windows Phone might now be consigned to the recycle bin of history, but Android and iPhone users can still connect their devices to a Windows 10 PC. Doing so means you can take advantage of extra features such as sending articles you find on the web straight to your laptop. It’s easy to set up and get going in only a few minutes. We show you how.
If you have an old Windows Phone and are considering upgrading to a new device, then you might also want to take a look at our guide to the best phones of the year.
Using Settings on your PC
When Windows 10 first launched there was a ‘Phone Companion’ app that was used to connect your smartphone. This is due to be retired very soon, possibly by the time you read this, so instead there’s now a new section in the Settings menu.
To get started, tap the Windows key on your PC, then either type in Settings or click on the little cog icon in the bottom left of the screen.
You should find the Phone option on the top line between Devices and Network & Internet. Click on it to begin.
On the next screen you’ll see a section entitled ‘Your phone’ in which there is a button marked Add a phone.
Click on this and another window will appear, asking you to enter your phone number. Do so, then click the Send button.
A text message will arrive on your phone, containing a link to download Microsoft Edge (sneaky move, there, Microsoft).
Although you may consider this an underhand way of tricking you into installing Microsoft’s browser on your phone, you do need to do this in order to use the features we’ll describe below.
Tapping on the link should take you to your phone’s app store, so install the app and you’ll be ready to move onto the next step.
When Microsoft Edge is installed, launch the app and sign in with your Microsoft account. You’ll be given the option to sync your passwords. You can either choose to do this now, or later on if you prefer, but if you leave it then you won’t be able to share information across devices if it requires the aforementioned password.
Should you opt to sync passwords you’ll need to verify your Microsoft account by entering your account details.
With this done there’s just the final decision to make, which is whether to share your browsing history with Microsoft? Again this can be done at a later stage, and to be honest is only really useful if you intend to make use of Cortana.
You’ll now be presented with the Edge browser’s search page. Here you can begin to look for something that interests you, say that wonderful retro-movie, comedy podcast everyone’s been talking about (yes, we can do sneaky links, too).
Navigate to the page you want to share, then at the bottom of the screen you’ll an icon of a vertical rectangle with an arrow sticking out of its right side. If you can’t see this just scroll the screen up or down a little and it should appear.
Tap on the icon, then your phone will search for any linked PCs nearby. Choose your one from the list, tap its name, then the webpage will automatically open in the Edge browser on your PC.
Using Continue on PC app
If you don’t want to replace your browser with Microsoft Edge, then there is an alternative. Search in the Google Play Store or App Store for the Continue on PC app by Microsoft. Install this, enter your Microsoft account details, then you’ll be able to send web pages from your browser of choice, using the normal Share option.
On iOS you’ll need to scroll to the far right of the Share options until you see the More button. Tap this, scroll down until you find Continue on PC, then toggle it on. Now it will appear in the Share menu automatically whenever it is opened.