From transferring files to hotspotting your phone data, there's loads of reasons why you would want to connect your phone and laptop together - whether that's by cable or wirelessly. Check out our tips that will have the two devices connected in no time.
There's so many ways you can connect your phone and laptop together, including:
- A USB cable
- Screen mirroring
- Data hotspot (only for sharing internet connection)
Connecting your phone and laptop via USB is really easy. This method is great for transferring files or backing up your photos and videos. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Make sure that the USB cable that you use is compatible with the socket on your phone. Generally, the later iPhones have a lightning connection, and Android's have USB-C connections, but double check this before you buy.
2. Plug them straight in.
If you're wanting to transfer files, the best way to connect your phone and laptop is using Bluetooth. Follow these simple steps to get started:
1. Go to the settings on your phone and laptop and make sure Bluetooth is turned on. This will make sure both of the devices are findable.
2. You may see a button that says 'Find devices' if you see this, click it.
3. Either on your phone or laptop, click the device you'd like to pair to.
4. You should now be connected.
In a debate of wired vs wireless connection, wired is always going to be more reliable - especially if you're wanting to transfer high amounts of data. However, if you're just wanting to quickly transfer a few photos over or play your music, connecting wirelessly is quick, convenient and gives you freedom to move around.
Want to watch a film or video on the big screen? Who can blame you? The best way to do this is to mirror your phone screen on your laptop. It's only possible to mirror an Android phone to a Windows PC at the moment. You'll just need to make sure your PC is running the latest version of Windows 10 or 11, and then follow these steps...
1. To download the screen sharing app on your PC, click the Windows Start Button, go to settings and select 'System'. In the left-hand navigation or on the search bar find and click 'Projecting to this PC'.
2. You'll then need to click on 'Optional features' and add 'Wireless Display'. Make sure you've checked the box next to 'Wireless Display' on the list of options, select 'Next' and click 'Install'. This will download the app - make sure you launch this.
3. On your phone, go to your settings and find 'Screen Mirroring' (sometimes called 'Cast Setting')
4. Click your PC's name and your screen should automatically show up on your laptop. All that's left to do then is to grab the snacks and decide what you want to watch.
If you're out and about but want to use your laptop, a great way to still access the internet is by connecting it to your phone's hotspot. This uses your phone's data plan to access the internet. You can do this by going to your phone's settings, clicking on your mobile data option. Here you should then see an option to turn on your hotpot. You can create a password at this point to make sure only you can access it. Then, on your laptop, go to your network settings and click on the name of your phone. Enter the password (if you set one up) and then you should be all connected. Easy-peasy!
To use the internet when you're on-the-go, you're best connecting your laptop to your phone's hotspot. Interested in knowing how? Follow our guide above. Just keep in mind that your phone plan will need to have a high data allowance if you're going to be using your laptop for long amounts of time.
If you've got the TV apps on your phone, but you want to match them on a bigger screen, your best bet is 'screen mirroring'. This is when you wirelessly connect your phone and laptop, so your phone's screen appears on your laptop screen. We've a step-by-step guide above if you'd like to know more.