How To View an Android Screen on a PC
Many devices, including smart TVs, support screen sharing. For example, sharing your Android smartphone screen with an Android smart TV is pretty straightforward with the built-in Google Cast feature.
But what do you do if you want to view the Android screen on your PC?
The setup is a little more complicated, and there are several ways to go about it. You can establish a wired or wireless connection that allows you to view the Android screen on your PC. We’ll guide you through all the steps, including how to mirror your Android on Windows and macOS computers.
How to View an Android Screen on a Windows PC
Let’s start with the Windows operating system first. Android users have two options, either mirror the screen using a Miracast wireless display or a USB cable and third-party app. Both versions offer a few benefits and downsides, so it’s important to understand how it all works.
Connecting Android to Windows PC Wirelessly
Before going into details on how to establish a wireless connection between your Android and PC, it’s vital to understand the concept of Miracast. Essentially, this is a wireless display standard designed for screen mirroring.
Unlike Google Cast (or Chromecast,) Miracast doesn’t support the cross-platform standard. This means you can’t play something on Netflix, cast it on your PC, and set the phone aside. Instead, your Android device stays on and your PC mirrors the screen.
Still, this is an incredibly practical solution, especially if you have a large PC monitor.
Windows 8 and above have an integrated Miracast capability via the Windows Connect app. In 2020, Windows removed the app, but you can still access it with a few clicks.
- On your Windows PC, open Settings and select “Apps.”
- Select “Optional features” under “Apps & Features.”
- Click on the “+” icon next to “Add a feature.”
- Either enter “Wireless Display” in the search field or scroll and select this option.
- Click on the “Install” button.
- Go to Settings again and select “System.”
- Click on “Projecting to this PC” on the left-side pane.
- Select “Available everywhere” from the drop-down menu under “Some Windows and Android devices can project to this PC when you say it’s OK.”
That’s all there is to it. The Connect app will appear in your list of Windows apps.
Using the Connect App
Once you successfully install the Connect app that provides your PC with screen mirroring capabilities, you can view your Android screen on a PC.
Here’s what that process looks like.
- Launch the Connect app on your Windows PC.
- On your Android device, go to “Settings” followed by “Display.”
- Select “Cast” and check the “Enable wireless display” checkbox.
- Agree when prompted to allow screen sharing from an Android device.
Your devices will automatically connect anything you do on your Android device, which you’ll see on your PC. The Connect app allows you to go full screen to better view what shows on the Android screen.
When discussing Android casting features, it’s essential to point out that each Android device may have a different approach and name. The steps we’ve listed above are pretty generic, and many will apply to many different Android devices.
Some Android manufacturers refer to screen mirroring as “Smart View,” which is the case with Samsung devices. But it can be something different, like “screen sharing.”
If you’re unsure of the name of Miracast on your Android device, search settings for keywords or check the manufacturer’s website. Some Android device manufacturers may not offer a Miracast wireless connection.
Even though Miracast is designed to replace cable connectivity, it’s not the most reliable way to view Android screen on PC because users often struggle with establishing a connection and experience continuous delays. Still, it comes in handy, and it’s pretty easy to configure.
Connecting Android to Windows PC Using USB Cable
If you want a more stable solution for viewing an Android screen on your Windows PC, the USB cable connection is your best option. You’ll first need to enable USB debugging on your Android device.
USB debugging allows Android devices to communicate with a PC in order to complete more advanced functions, like sharing the screen. Enabling USB debugging is not enough. Android users will also need to download a third-party app that will support USB connectivity. An excellent option is AirDroid, but you can also try Vysor.
First, follow these steps to enable USB debugging on your Android device.
- Go to “Settings,” followed by “System,” and “About phone.”
- Scroll down and tap seven times on the “Build number” section. You’ll receive a pop-up message informing you that you’re in the Developer mode.
- Go to “Settings” again and select “Developer options”
- In the “Developer options” section, turn on the “USB debugging” toggle switch.
- When another pop-up window appears, tap “OK.”
Now you can use the AirDroid app to connect and view the Android screen on a Windows PC.
Here’s how it works.
- Download and install the AirDroid app from the Google Play store.
- Connect your Android and PC devices using a USB cable.
- Launch the AirDroid app and search the list of available devices from the dashboard.
- Select your Android device and tap the “USB” option as the preferred connection method.
You should immediately see the Android screen on your PC monitor or laptop.
How to View Android Screen on Mac
The screen mirroring process is effortless if you own an iPhone and a Mac computer. All you need to do is use the built-in AirPlay Receiver, the dedicated screen-sharing feature. You’ll need a workaround solution if you own a macOS desktop or laptop and an Android mobile device.
Whether viewing an Android screen wirelessly or using a USB cable, you’ll need a third-party app like AirDroid. You should make sure to install the app on your Android and macOS device before following the steps below.
- Launch the AirDroid Cast app on your mobile device.
- Scan the QR Code or entering the Cast Code provided by the Mac computer.
- Tap “Start Casting.”
The screen mirroring will start instantly.
The process is similar if you prefer to connect your devices with a USB cable. Instead of selecting AirPlay, tap the USB option.
You can also opt for the Wireless option, which means connecting Android and macOS devices using the same Wi-Fi network. Remember, screen mirroring or casting utilizes Wi-Fi direct technology, which means the devices bypass the network and connect directly.
How to view an Android screen on a Chromebook
If you have a Chrome OS device, you’ll need a third-party app to mirror your Android device. The good news is that Chromebooks already have the Google Play store integrated, and you can search for reliable apps directly from the laptop.
Can you screen mirror from one Android device to another?
Yes, you can. For example, you may want to watch a movie with a friend simultaneously on your Android tablet. By using the screen mirroring feature, you’ll view every scene at the same time.
Or perhaps you want to share your Android smartphone screen with an Android smartphone screen. The most straightforward way to do so is by installing a third-party app and setting up the connection.
What are some of the benefits of screen mirroring?
Sharing an Android screen with a PC or a laptop has many practical benefits. For example, perhaps you’re at work and want to share something with a group of colleagues.
Instead of everyone huddling together to look at your phone screen or showing everyone the screen individually, you can share it with a PC monitor.
Ideally, the computer will already have built-in Miracast capability, but if it doesn’t, a quick setup can solve that problem. If someone has a USB cable, it’s also an easy fix.
Is screen mirroring via USB cable better than wireless?
In some ways, it is. If you have a high-quality USB, the connection between Android and PC establishes quickly, and users rarely experience errors or fails. Wired transmissions are generally a more stable option, especially if you’re streaming something on your Android device. With wireless screen mirroring, that’s not always the case.
Effortless Android to PC Screen Mirroring
Viewing an Android screen on a PC may seem a little complicated if you have never had to cast your smartphone screen on a TV before. The only real task here is choosing a reliable third-party app that supports screen mirroring.
If you’re a Windows user, you’ll need to install the Connect app, as that’s no longer the default option. Within minutes, you’ll have everything you need to cast your Android screen to a PC or connect the device with a USB cable.
While a cable connection is typically more reliable, a wireless connection is far more convenient.
What is your preferred way to view an Android screen on a PC? Let us know in the comments section below.