Can I Control My Android Phone From My Computer?

Andy Betts Updated 10-12-2019

You’ve probably wished you could control Android from your PC at times. Maybe your phone is at the bottom of your bag, or you’re in class and want a subtle way to message someone. Or perhaps you need to type a lot of text or look at something on a bigger screen.


Fortunately, it’s easy to access your Android phone from a computer. Here are the four best options, from one that’s already built into Windows to a full-screen mirroring app.

1. Control Your Android Phone From Windows 10

If you’re using Windows, then you’ve already got a basic way to access your phone from your computer. This works through the Your Phone app in Windows 10.

Your Phone is a built-in app that enables you to see your 25 most recent photos, send and receive text messages, and manage calls on your PC. Microsoft is also rolling out a screen-mirroring feature, which supports a limited number of devices.

To set up Your Phone:

  1. Update the Your Phone app in Windows, and install Your Phone Companion on Android.
  2. Log into your Microsoft account on both devices.
  3. Launch the app on your phone and PC, then follow the on-screen instructions to link the two.

The setup process can be a little temperamental, but once it’s going it works pretty well. If you just need a quick way to answer texts on your laptop, it’s worth trying.


2. Access Your Phone From a Computer With AirDroid

airdroid access phone from computer

AirDroid is like a much more powerful version of Your Phone. It gives you desktop access to most of the important features on your phone, and you don’t even need to create an account to use it. While AirDroid is free, you can subscribe to a premium account for even more features.

The service offers a desktop app for Windows and Mac, but you don’t need those since it works in any major web browser on any platform. This is super easy, and makes it safe to use on a shared computer.

AirDroid lets you control your Android phone from a PC over the internet, or via Wi-Fi if both devices are connected to the same network.


To get started with AirDroid:

  1. Download and install AirDroid on your phone. Accept the permissions requests when prompted.
  2. Open a browser on your desktop or laptop and go to A page will load showing a QR code.
  3. Launch AirDroid on your phone and tap the Scan icon at the top of the screen.
  4. Scan the QR code.
  5. Tap Sign In (even if you haven’t created an account).
  6. You’re now connected. Your phone’s features are accessible in the browser window.

how to set up airdroid

The AirDroid web interface resembles a desktop and looks great if you switch to full-screen mode. You can see your available apps and functions on the left, with tools and info about your phone 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

airdroid with google photos


AirDroid doesn’t work with third-party apps, so you can’t use Snapchat on your laptop. But that’s the only major limitation. It packs a ton of functionality elsewhere.

You can make calls, plus send and read text messages. It also provides access to the photos and videos stored on your phone, as well as locally saved music.

In addition, there are lots of tools that seamlessly link your phone and desktop. You can wirelessly move data from your PC to your phone, you can enter a URL on the desktop and have the webpage open on your phone, and you can install APK files remotely.

You do need an account for a few features, and some are limited with the free version. The upgrade to AirDroid Premium costs $3 per month, but all aside from the most advanced users should find the free option sufficient.


3. Remotely Access Android From a PC With AirMirror

airmirror screen mirrorring

Once you’ve set up AirDroid you can use AirMirror, which mirrors your phone’s screen inside your desktop browser. To get it, you need to create an AirDroid account (which is free) and use the Chrome browser on your computer.

The setup process is a bit more complicated, making it more for advanced users. It requires you to enable the USB Debugging option in Developer Settings:

  1. Install the AirMirror app on your phone, and log into your account.
  2. On your laptop, install the AirMirror Chrome extension.
  3. Connect your phone to your computer via a USB cable. Enable USB Debugging in the Developer Options in Settings.
  4. Go to in Chrome and click the AirMirror button.
  5. Your phone screen will appear in the browser window once the two devices are connected. Once it does, feel free to disconnect the USB cable.

You’ve now got full remote control of Android from your PC. Use your mouse or trackpad to scroll and tap, and your keyboard to type. Unlike AirDroid, you can work with third-party apps in AirMirror, and you can also move files to and from your phone using the Save to Computer and Save to Device options.

Because the app mirrors your phone’s screen, you need to keep the screen turned on in order to use it.

4. Control an Android Phone From a PC With Vysor

set up vysor

Vysor works in a similar way to AirMirror, but is easier to set up. This makes it a good option for less tech-savvy users.

Vysor is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. It comes in free and paid versions. The free version is good enough to give you a taste of what’s on offer, but it’s limited—it includes ads and you can only use a wired connection.

But what makes Vysor great is that there’s almost no setup or configuration process. You must enable USB Debugging, as with AirMirror, but that’s all. Just install Vysor on your computer and connect your phone. Everything 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. You can do everything else with your mouse on the virtual touchscreen.

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 includes gaming, though lag will be an issue in games that need fast reactions.

Other Ways to Control Your Phone From a PC

There are a few other apps you can look at for this purpose. MightyText is built mostly around messaging, similar to Your Phone, while Pushbullet is closer to AirDroid, albeit a more expensive option.

In addition, there’s ApowerMirror, a screen mirroring app similar to Vysor. It comes with a standalone app for Windows and Mac, with limitations on the free version. The upgrade to the full app is pricier than Vysor.

There’s also a free, open source app called Scrcpy, which offers similar features to those you’d have to pay for in Vysor. This sounds perfect, but unfortunately it’s far from user-friendly. The setup process is more involved, and you can only adjust the app’s settings through the command line. Still, it’s worth looking into if you’re a more advanced user.

Your other option is to not control your phone directly, but to use an emulator instead. This lets you to use your favorite mobile apps or play smartphone games on your laptop. See our guide to the best Android emulators for Windows 10 The Best Android Emulator for Windows 10 Did you know you can run Android directly on your computer? Here are the best Android emulators for Windows 10. Read More to learn about the best apps for this.

Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock

Related topics: Android, Mirroring, Remote Access, Remote Control.

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  1. Petric
    July 24, 2020 at 1:41 am

    I have a phone HTC One A9 with a nonfunctional (broken) screen. I cannot access the phone in any way. It is charging properly (the green light comes on and turns of when is fully charged). I can hear the buzz when I turn it on or off?!. Is possible to access it from my computer in any way at this stage?

  2. Royal
    April 2, 2020 at 4:56 am

    Is there a way to access phone settings with a app like this? (Or this app)

    • Ben
      April 18, 2020 at 4:29 am

      "With a[n] app like "this""; which one are you referring to? He discussed alot of app's in the article.

  3. Erick
    October 4, 2018 at 2:26 am

    I was wondering, is there anyway to make the screen I'm writing on bigger on the PC but not affect the size on my phone? I use a Samsung Note device and I'd love to see the notes I write out on a bigger as to see "the bigger picture" of what I'm composing.

    • Ben Leverett
      April 18, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      Have you "looked" at Samsung's' Dex mode?

  4. PrasantaShee
    December 22, 2017 at 6:00 am

    By using apps like R-HUB remote support servers etc. you can control your Laptop, PC from Android devices. It works on Windows, MAC, Android, iOS etc.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    • Ben Leverett
      April 18, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      SCRCPY is an app I've been using for this purpose, for quite a while now' and I must say "It's AWESOME!!!!!"; yeah, while the author of this article is right, that in order to leverage any of the settings, you have to use the command prompt, but (at least, if you use Windows) it's "faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" from "hard to use".

      It's available for any Windows machine here, as a self contained (available as a single zip file, only for neatness, and convenience) folder; with all the dependencies; inside that folder, are two specific files; "scrcpy.exe", and "scrcpy-noconsole.exe"; these, in essence, are the actual program, and (as long as you don't want to leverage its' additional features) the file ending in "noconsole", is just that, the version of the program you can run run without the command prompt window being open, the other file, you can probably guess, is the regular version; "I could really go off on quite a tangent here, but just read the whole page through, as it explains everything"; one last thing I would recommend, from my own experiences, is; "it get's very cumbersome to open the file explorer, and navigate to the folder every time, in order to start the program", so; set a shortcut (on your desktop, or in your start menu, it doesn't matter where) so you can just open it with just a single click.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Airdroid is complete solution.

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

    I use WonderShare Mobilego

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

    have you tried ??

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

    Have you tried

  13. 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???

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

    you forgot airdroid

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


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


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


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


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


  20. 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!

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

    wow amazing apps ,,,thanks for sharing :D

  22. 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.

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

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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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...

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

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

  28. 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

  29. 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.

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

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