You might find that for one reason or another, you want to control your Android phone right from your laptop. Maybe you have dreams of playing mobile games on the big screen, or maybe you just need to answer messages. Either way, the process is extremely simple with a little bit of software help. There are a few mobile apps you can try as well as a few web apps to consider. Here are the best ways to control Android from a PC.
See also: 15 best free Android apps right now
Ways to control your Android from a PC:
Price: Free or $4.99 per month
Pushbullet doesn’t go so far as to grant you full control over your Android phone from a PC. However, it does put all of your notifications right at your fingertips. You can send and receive files and messages with optional encryption and use universal copy and paste to manage messages faster. Pushbullet even lets you control multiple devices at the same time.
Although the basic platform is free, you’re limited to 100 messages per month if you don’t pay. Pushbullet Pro will run you $4.99 per month or $39.99 if you pay annually.
Price: Free or $2.99 per month
AirDroid is one of the more powerful ways to control Android from a PC, and it combines a number of features from the other apps on this list. You can manage your messages and notifications or go in-depth and mirror your screen and mouse. Not all of the mirroring features are quite as smooth as some other options, but they’ll do in a pinch.
AirDroid has another advantage over platforms like Pushbullet too — it only costs $2.99 per month. You can also download companion apps to add even more functionality.
Price: Free or $10 per year / $40 lifetime
Vysor is a bit simpler than AirDroid in that it places most of its emphasis on screen mirroring. It’s a great option if you’re a developer looking to test your app while you develop it or you just want to tinker with the perfect home screen setup. If Vysor is your chosen way to control your Android from PC, you can choose between speed and performance depending on your needs.
As usual, there’s a paid and a free version, and you’ll need to pony up if you want all of the features. A paid Vysor subscription offers things like wireless connectivity and full screen mirroring.
If you want to fully control your Android from a PC, Scrcpy goes even further than Vysor. It’s an open-source program though, so you’ll have to do a bit more work to reach the promised land. You can either use a USB connection or Wi-Fi to pair your phone, and Scrcpy allows for screen mirroring and notification management. However, if you want to tap into Scrcpy on Linux you’ll have to build out your interface from scratch.
This is one of the few free programs on the list, and Windows or macOS users can download ready-made options straight from GitHub.
Price: Free or $5.49
Instead of allowing you to mirror your screen, DeskDock keeps things remarkably simple. The app allows you to bring your computer mouse right onto your Android device with full control. It’s a developer’s dream, especially in the testing phase. You can easily fire up your app and use your computer’s mouse to test different functions quickly.
The base version with mouse sharing is free, though you can pay a monthly fee and share a bit more. Bonus features include keyboard and clipboard sharing for easier access.
If you want to control your Android phone from a PC, specifically a Samsung phone, then Flow is your best bet. It allows you to bring any of your Samsung products into the same fold and seamlessly share notifications and settings. If you want to bring your texts over to your Galaxy Tab, you can do so in seconds. The same goes for notifications on your laptop or Galaxy Chromebook. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a Samsung laptop in order to make Flow work.
If you have a newer device, you can also use Samsung DeX for a wired mirroring experience.
Price: Ful TeamViewer support from $49 per month
TeamViewer’s QuickSupport app is a small part of the much larger ecosystem, and it’s a must-have for just about any business. It allows you to provide tech support right from your laptop to an Android device, so long as you have the app as well as the desktop software downloaded. Like many options on the list, QuickSupport allows for file and message control remotely across almost all Android devices.
Of course, TeamViewer is slightly different than the other options in that it’s a full-service platform. It’ll cost a pretty penny, but you’re getting far more power for your money.