You can already run Android apps on Windows 10, before Windows 11 came along. Here’s how

Your Phone app allows Android phones to run apps on Windows 10 PCs.


Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 in June, and it includes a bunch of new features – including the ability to run Android apps (here is how to download windows 11). But there was already a way to do it, if you had a Samsung Galaxy phone. Some Android phone users can currently access Android mobile apps directly from their Windows 10 PC, thanks to a update to the Your phone application this Microsoft has deployed to the general public last August. Windows 10 also allows you to run multiple Android mobile apps side by side on your Windows 10 PC and supported Samsung devices.

This feature allows you to pin your favorite Android mobile apps to your computer’s taskbar or Start menu for quick and easy access. The apps will open in separate windows of the Your Phone app, allowing you to use them in essentially the same way you would on your phone, even if the Your Phone app is not open. Windows 10 also lets you find your previously pinned apps from your Starter Apps list, without needing to install the apps on your desktop or sign in to it again.

With many people moving to a remote or hybrid working environment due to the pandemic, the ability to access phone apps on a larger desktop or laptop screen, with a mouse, stylus, or touchscreen, could make multitasking easier.

Although the feature is available now, at this point it is only available for Samsung Galaxy Phones. Find it full list of supported phones on the Microsoft support site.

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What do you need to run Android apps on Windows 10 PC?

In addition to a Samsung Galaxy phone (at least for now), you’ll need a PC running Windows 10 October 2019 Update or later. Check which version you are using on your PC by going to Settings > Updates and Security > Check for update. (The latest version of Windows 10 is the May 2021 update.) If you still need to upgrade to Windows 10, you can download Windows 10 for free.

You’ll also need the latest version of the Your Phone app and a link to Windows. On your phone, you will need to be running Android 9.0 or later, with Link to Windows integration.

Finally, your phone and computer must be on the same Wi-Fi network for the feature to work.

Learn more about TechRepublic: Windows 10: a cheat sheet

How to run Android apps on your Windows 10 PC

Once you have everything you need and your phone and computer are connected, the Your Phone app window should appear on your desktop. To open your Android apps on your desktop:

  • Click the Applications shortcut in the left menu. You will see a list of all the apps on your phone.
  • Click on the desired application from the list and it will open in a separate window on your PC.

Note that not all apps will work with your mouse or keyboard, but many will.

And here are some more tips for interacting with your mobile apps on your desktop with your mouse and keyboard, according to Microsoft:

  • Just one click will behave the same as any touch / tap interaction.
  • Right click anywhere on your phone screen to go to the previous page.
  • Click and hold will behave the same as a tap / hold interaction.
  • Click and hold and drag to select the content.
  • Mouse scroll to move between pages vertically or horizontally.

For more information, see Windows 10 hacks you need to know and the best Android 12 features we found.

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