Sometimes, you want to see your Android smartphone’s screen on your PC. How do you do that?
Well, if you have a rooted smartphone, it’s easy. But if you haven’t rooted your device, there are still some simple ways to get your phone or tablet’s screen to show on your PC or Mac.
Why mirror your screen? There are plenty of reasons. You might be a developer in the middle of coding and want to check your app without having to constantly reach for your phone. You might want to share your pictures on a big screen without uploading them. Or you might need to give a presentation quickly while the projector is connected to a PC.
The quickest and easiest way, as you will find out, requires no installation on your phone, and just a Chrome browser app. Yup, you can’t get rid of Chrome that easily.
What You Need
Vysor, made by prolific Android developer Koushik Dutta, is the simplest way to get your Android screen onto your PC or Mac’s screen. Here’s what you need to get started:
- Download Google Chrome and the Vysor Chrome app. Since Chrome works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, this app will work on all platforms, including Chrome OS, which you should give a chance.
- A USB cable to connect your phone to your PC.
- An Android smartphone or tablet with USB debugging enabled.
Enable USB Debugging Mode on Android
We have a full explanation of what USB debugging mode is, but you don’t need to concern yourself with that here. All you need to know is how to enable it.
- Go to Settings > About Phone
- Scroll down and tap Build Number seven times
- Go back to Settings > Developer Options (a new option you will see now)
- Scroll down and Enable USB Debugging Mode
- Confirm the action when prompted
Share Your Screen to Your PC or Mac via USB
Now that you have USB debugging mode activated, the rest is simple.
- Start Vysor from the Chrome App Launcher
- Click Find Devices and select your phone
- Vysor will start up, and you will see your Android screen on your computer
- Optional: You can set your phone to connect automatically every time the USB cable is plugged into it
With this, you are ready to go. Your mouse and keyboard work within the app, so you can start any app you want and type in it too. There are plenty of apps that don’t have a web client, so this is a good way of using your physical keyboard for your phone’s apps.
Vysor’s Appeal Lies in Four Aspects
- You don’t need anything installed on your Android phone.
- It works on Windows, Linux, or Mac.
- The USB cable makes your screen reflect in almost real-time, as opposed to wireless solutions where there is distinct lag. Vysor still has a slight lag, but it’s much faster than working off wireless.
- You can interact with your phone’s screen through your computer.
How to Share Your Screen Wirelessly
One of the new features of Android 5.0 Lollipop is that Google has made it easier to mirror the screen of any device on this operating system. For a wireless, cross-platform solution, Koushik Dutta has another app.
How to set it up:
- Download AllCast Receiver for Chrome.
- Download Mirror for Android.
- Make sure your computer and smartphone are on the same WiFi network.
- Start AllCast Receiver through the Chrome App Launcher.
- Start Mirror on your Android phone.
- In Mirror, choose the Network Device that matches your PC. It will still start with “Chrome @” followed by an IP address.
Just like that, your screen will be wirelessly mirrored on your computer. This is the easiest way to share your Android screen wirelessly, and it supports other devices on the same network too, including Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and more.
Mirror has a few disadvantages:
- You cannot interact with your screen through your PC. The interaction is limited to your phone itself, but you will see what’s happening on the big screen. Unfortunately, that means no typing with your computer’s keyboard on your phone.
- Unfortunately, that annoying “Mirror” floating watermark is going to stay, and there is no way to remove it. This can be a dampener for presentations and slideshows.
If you are ready to root your device, then there is a much better option than Mirror. Instead, you can install the awesome Airdroid 3 suite on your Windows or Mac computer and choose the AirMirroring feature.
This mirrors your screen on your computer and lets you interact with it too, using your mouse and keyboard. It works seamlessly and is, in my opinion, the best solution here. In fact, I’d say it’s reason enough to root your Android.
What Do You Use Screen Mirroring For?
Now that we’ve listed the several ways you can mirror your smartphone screen to your computer, there’s just one thing left to answer:
What do you use screen mirroring for? I’m genuinely curious, so drop a line in the comments!