Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer?
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It isn’t hard to think of times when it would be easier to control your phone with your computer.

Maybe your phone isn’t easily accessible, at the bottom of your bag or charging in another room. Maybe you’re at work, and your boss wouldn’t like it if you took your phone out and started messaging someone. Or maybe you need to type a lot of text MakeUseOf Tests: What Is The Best Android Keyboard? MakeUseOf Tests: What Is The Best Android Keyboard? In this follow-up to our post from 2011 featuring 6+ fantastic Honeycomb keyboards, I’d like to take a good hard look at four of the most popular and well-regarded sliding keyboard. Call it a “keyboard... Read More  or just look at something on a bigger screen.

Fortunately, accessing your Android phone on a computer is easy.

The best solutions come from two apps called AirDroid and Vysor. The first gives you access to all your phone’s key features and data in any desktop web browser. The second mirrors the device Mirror Your Android Screen to a PC or Mac Without Root Mirror Your Android Screen to a PC or Mac Without Root Looking to share your Android phone or tablet's screen to your desktop? It's easy, and your phone doesn't even need to be rooted. Let us show you how to do it. Read More on the desktop in its entirety. Let’s take a look at both.

AirDroid

AirDroid is the ultimate multi-screen app. While it doesn’t mirror your device, it gives you desktop access to most of the common features on your phone. And you don’t even need to create an account to use it.

Visit: AirDroid Website

Download: AirDroid (Free)

Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer? airdroid connect

AirDroid has a desktop app for Windows and Mac, or you can use it on any platform via any major web browser. This is a super easy and quick option. And because you can use it without logging in, it’s safe to use on a shared computer 5 Ways to Make Sure Public Computers You Use Are Safe 5 Ways to Make Sure Public Computers You Use Are Safe Public WiFi is dangerous no matter what computer you're on, but foreign machines demand even greater caution. If you're using a public computer follow these guidelines to ensure your privacy and safety. Read More . You do need to install the AirDroid app on your phone, though.

To get started, point your desktop browser to web.airdroid.com. A window will pop up containing a QR code. Launch AirDroid on your phone, hit the Scan icon at the top of the screen, and scan the code. Next, tap Sign In (even without an account), and you’re connected. It’s that easy.

Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer? airdroid

The AirDroid web interface resembles a desktop and looks great if you switch to fullscreen mode. Available apps and functions are shown as icons on the left, while tools and info about your phone are on the right. At the top is a panel that you can use to search for apps, make calls, set alarms, and so on.

AirDroid Features

The first thing to note about AirDroid is that you cannot use it with third-party apps. The Apps icon enables you to install and uninstall apps, and nothing else.

But that’s the only major limitation. There is a ton of functionality elsewhere.

Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer? airdroid camera

You can make calls, and send and read text messages. You can view the photos and videos stored on your phone, and listen to music. It’s also possible to control the camera remotely 4 Ways to Wirelessly Control a DSLR Camera With a Phone or PC 4 Ways to Wirelessly Control a DSLR Camera With a Phone or PC In the last few years, it’s become a lot easier to control your camera from afar. Previously, it required cables, computers, and a lot of hassle, but wireless is now an option. Read More .

In addition, there are lots of tools that seamlessly link your phone and desktop. These include the ability to wirelessly transfer files between the two. You can enter a URL on the desktop and have the webpage open on your phone, and you can install APK files 4 Useful Ways To Manage Your Android APK Files 4 Useful Ways To Manage Your Android APK Files Managing the Android APK files yourself means you get more support and flexibility. Read More  remotely.

Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer? airdroid app

Another neat feature is the shared clipboard How to Share Your Windows Clipboard with Your Android Device & Vice Versa How to Share Your Windows Clipboard with Your Android Device & Vice Versa Ever wished you could share a URL or a snippet of text from your phone to your PC or vice versa? Your wish shall come true. We'll show you how to sync your clipboards. Read More . Copy something on your phone, and it will appear in the Clipboard section of the Toolbox in AirDroid. It works the other way around as well and is a powerful way to “hand off” from one device to the next.

A few features do require an account, and some are limited on the free version. AirDroid Premium is a subscription service priced at $1.99 per month (or less if you sign up for one or two years in advance). All but power users should find the free option to be enough.

Vysor

For full control over your Android phone on your desktop, the best option is currently Vysor. This Chrome app 25 Unique Chrome Apps That Are Unusually Useful 25 Unique Chrome Apps That Are Unusually Useful There are so many unique, off-the-wall Chrome extensions that many people would not ever search for, but would actually find unusually useful. Here are just 25 of them. Read More  works on any desktop operating system with the Chrome browser installed. It mirrors your phone’s screen on your desktop and enables you to control it with a click and a swipe of your mouse.

Vysor is available in both free and paid versions. The free version is good enough to give you a taste of what’s on offer, but it’s very limited. You’ll see ads, be limited to wired-only connections (the paid version does wireless), and the video quality is low. You would need to upgrade to Vysor Pro if you plan on using it long term.

Visit: Vysor Website

Install: Vysor Chrome App

Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer? vysor app

There’s virtually no setup or configuration process for Vysor. Just install and run the app in Chrome, then connect your phone by following its instructions. The rest happens automatically. An app is pushed to your Android device along the way. If you ever want to uninstall this, you can do so by going to Settings > Apps on your Android device.

Vysor Features

Once complete, you’ll see your phone’s screen mirrored in a window on your desktop. There are handy buttons to take screenshots, record your screen, and control the volume. Everything else can be done with your mouse on the virtual touchscreen.

Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer? vysor desktop

Because Vysor is a screen-mirroring service, there’s no concern about app compatibility. Anything that runs on your phone will be useable on the desktop. This makes it especially ideal for messaging or typing large amounts of text, and it can replace the Android emulator if you’re a developer. Gaming is also possible, depending on the game. Those that require quick reflexes may be affected by a small amount of lag How to Fix Gaming & Video Lag With an Easy Router Tweak How to Fix Gaming & Video Lag With an Easy Router Tweak Tired of network lag when other people are watching videos and downloading torrents? Here's how to reclaim your network performance without any third-party tools. Read More .

Vysor’s a pretty good app, and one worth trying out for yourself. But its cross-platform capability will be short-lived. Google is phasing out support for Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux in late 2017, and they will stop working in early 2018. However, Chrome apps will continue to work on Chromebooks.

Other Phone-Controlling Apps

There are a few other apps you could look at as well. MightyText and Pushbullet have a similar approach to AirDroid. The former is based mostly around messaging, and the latter is a more expensive option.

Can I Control My Android Phone from My Computer? apowermirror

In addition, there’s ApowerMirror, a screen mirroring app similar to Vysor. It comes with a standalone app for Windows and Mac, so it could become a good choice when Vysor’s Chrome support comes to an end on those platforms.

But between them, AirDroid and Vysor should be enough to give you everything you need to control your Android phone from your PC. They both enable you to keep using your phone even when it’s still in your pocket. And both are easy enough to set up that they are accessible to all levels of user.

Do you want to control your phone with your PC? What do you use that functionality for? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov via Shutterstock.com

Originally written by Joel Lee on May 27th, 2013.

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  1. Manish Kr
    October 21, 2017 at 2:41 am

    These are ok apps but can you suggest how we can manage file and folder of Mobile from PC ??
    Because we want to delete or create, files/video /folder in mobile from PC . Even we want to copy files or folder from Mobile to pc just like other network pc , is it possible ??
    I think you understood me , my basic concern is can we get mobile access as like other pc on network also .

    hope i will get reply

  2. icandybee
    November 27, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I'm looking for complete control of my phone. I want to be able to access my apps as well as calls and texts. I've looked at all that's been recommended here and but for buying the j5create
    cord none of these do that. TeamViewer, and Soti are basically for meetings, MightyText, LazyDroid, and Airdroid are much the same but for notifications with Airdroid. Droid VNC server reqires a rooted phone Reviews on Wondershare read "ITS A SCAM!"... so, whew! any other suggestions to try?? Basically, I want to see my phone screen on my pc and have it function like I'm holding it in my hand.

    • Ben
      June 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Me too man. that's why I clicked this. Have you found anything?

      • donna
        July 24, 2016 at 7:50 pm

        I'm kinda sad bc I used to use mobizen for this, but for some reason it changed within the last year and now I need to unlock my phone in order to use it the same way. really bummed out. let me know if you find anything

        • Tom
          December 22, 2016 at 6:06 am

          ApowerMirror is definitely the best tool I have ever used to totally control my phone from PC. Very smooth. And I can access all my apps, messages, or play games with mouse.

  3. Stephanie
    September 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    My phone screen is completely broken so I'm trying to recover some files e.g photographs, will the third programme allow me to do this without touching my phone and just having it plugged in via USB?

    • Andriana
      November 21, 2015 at 4:39 am

      I have this same issue and it wont let me download any pictures unless my phone is unlocked. Any help?

    • silverlokk
      April 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I was in a similar situation about a year ago, cracked screen. Fortunately, my phone supported USB On-the-Go (OTG), so I connected a keyboard and mouse through a USB hub.

      No OTG? Sorry, you'll need something else

  4. wendy
    August 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    SlickManage does a great job of managing multiple phones from a single website.
    All you have to do is install the app on all your android devices and you get to control them all from your computer! it's pretty neat.

  5. Sunil Jangir
    August 29, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Airdroid is complete solution.

  6. ralph
    August 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I use WonderShare Mobilego

  7. RJ
    June 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

    have you tried soti.net ??

  8. RJ
    June 26, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Have you tried soti.net

  9. Hisham Sliman
    June 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Does the LAZYDROID work if the phone is stolen so we can capture the phone's location or get a picture of the person who took it???

  10. e
    June 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    you forgot airdroid

  11. Aqil Nazeer
    June 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

    awsome

  12. Aqil Nazeer
    June 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

    time

  13. Aqil Nazeer
    June 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

    sony

  14. Aqil Nazeer
    June 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

    boys

  15. Aqil Nazeer
    June 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

    ausome

  16. bee
    May 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    great article. missed airdroid, but i love these types of posts: introducing me to new things, and being original (not some summary from another website.) Thanks MUO!

  17. vineed g
    May 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    wow amazing apps ,,,thanks for sharing :D

  18. Joe
    May 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I absolutely love Mightytext. I have been using it since the beta days back when another tech site did a promo for it and gave out beta keys. It has come a LONG way since then. Used to be you can only use it through the Google chrome add on but now you can use the web interface and it has gotten many facelifts including a recent one that will sync your pics for you as well when you take them. The other options you suggested sound great as well but I don't need that much control. Mightytext has definitely saved me tons of time allowing me to respond within seconds instead of having to pick up your phone and type out a reply which can take a lot longer. Add that up over the few years its been out and I know its saved me hours of wasted time.

  19. Jean-Michel A
    May 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Great idea but i like this product better i won't have to do any manipulation not majorly and it is fully interconnected with your PC http://www.j5create.com/our-products/android/juc600.html

  20. Paulo Bernardo
    May 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I use MightyText, but i'm gonna try LazyDroid. It looks kinda good.

  21. JonasEikeland
    May 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    For some devices you can also use TeamViewer, just download TeamViewer for you PC for free, and download TeamViewer QS (Quick Support), sync them together, and you'll be good to go

  22. barney
    May 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    So, I have to give up my ID or break existing law for remote access? I'll pass, thank you very much.

    • Catalin Petrescu
      April 1, 2017 at 7:12 am

      Use MyPhoneExplorer. There is no registration process and no cloud. Everything is done by syncing your Android phone with the PC via Bluetooth, USB or WiFi

  23. Krzysztof Buzko
    May 28, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I don't see any adventages of controling my phone from pc....

    • wtf
      October 2, 2013 at 5:11 am

      You dont have a job do you?

    • Krzysztof B
      October 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      I have a fulltime job. What is the link between these two ?

      • Damo
        December 26, 2016 at 10:28 am

        These apps save you a lot of time if you use your phone a lot when in front of your computer. If you don't have a job then you have plenty of free time so don't care about wasting time using your small phone screen and slow phone keyboard to do things...

  24. zoroz
    May 28, 2013 at 8:03 am

    AirDroid is the best all-round solution, and looks great.

  25. Spencer Partridge
    May 28, 2013 at 4:54 am

    LazyDroid is now called 3CX Remote Android Desktop if you are looking for it in the Play Store

  26. Louis
    May 28, 2013 at 4:41 am

    What about AirDroid 2? I don't even have an android phone and I would totally use it if I did.

  27. Mowy
    May 28, 2013 at 4:12 am

    DroidVNC... works like a charm. Its quick, its light and you just need any vnc client.