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How to Get All Your Android Notifications on Your PC or Mac

android-notifications-on-pc

Your phone just made a sound, but you’re busy using your PC. Do you pick up your phone, unlock it, and look at the notifications? Don’t bother — just have all your Android notifications appear on your computer.

This feature requires a device running Android 4.1 or newer. Your Android notifications will appear in Chrome’s notification center on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, or Chrome OS.

Set Up PushBullet

Install the PushBullet app for Android from Google Play. Launch the PushBullet app and sign in with your Google account. You can use any Google account — you just have to sign into PushBullet with the same Google account in on each device.

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Follow the instructions on your screen to enable notification sharing and activate the notification mirroring service on Android’s settings screen. This gives PushBullet access to Android’s notifications. Only apps you allow access to here can see your Android notifications.

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Next, install the PushBullet extension from the Chrome Web Store on your computer. Click the PushBullet icon on Chrome’s toolbar and sign in with the same Google account you signed in with on your Android device.

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View Your Notifications

Notifications will now pop up on your computer when they appear on your Android device. PushBullet will hide them after a few seconds, but they’ll remain in Chrome’s notification center. Click the notification center icon in the system tray to view them. On a Mac, you’ll find the notification center in the upper-right corner of your screen.

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PushBullet allows you to quickly disable mirroring for an app if you don’t want to view its notifications. For example, you could tap, “Disable mirroring of Google Play Store,” and you won’t receive notifications about app updates on your computer.

The Dismiss on device button will dismiss the notification on both your desktop and your Android phone. Dismiss a notification on your PC and you won’t be bothered with it on your phone. Clear a notification on your Android and it will vanish on your PC, too.

Tweak Notifications

You can tweak PushBullet’s notifications settings from the Chrome extension’s options screen. Right-click the PushBullet icon on Chrome’s toolbar and select Options to view these options.

If you ever want PushBullet to stop bothering you, just visit this screen and click Snooze Notifications. If you’d like to disable notifications for a longer period of time, click the Notifications tab here and check, “Don’t show my phone’s notifications on my computer.” Re-enable notifications from here when you want to see them again.

Use the other options to control how PushBullet works. For example, you can have PushBullet stay running in the background when you close all Chrome windows. You can have PushBullet play a sound on your PC when notifications arrive, too.

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What Else Can PushBullet Do?

PushBullet isn’t just for notifications. It’s a two-way system designed for sending messages, links, files, locations, and other data between your phone and your PC. Click the PushBullet icon on your browser’s toolbar or visit the PushBullet website to send data back and forth.

This is ideal for quickly sending a link or file to your phone before you leave your PC and pick up your phone. It’s a bit like Google’s own Chrome to Phone service, but Google’s service hasn’t seen much love in recent years.

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Send SMS Messages From Your PC

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There are still some things you’ll need to pick up your phone for. Sure, you can reply to an email, Hangouts message, or tweet from your PC — but what if you need to replay to a text message?

Apps that allow you to send SMS messages from your PC work well alongside PushBullet. MIghtyText is probably the most polished option. When you see an SMS notification from PushBullet, you can continue the conversation from MightyText in your web browser instead of pecking or swiping at your phone’s touch keyboard.

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PushBullet is the sort of app Google should have created. Not only does it make Android and Chrome work well together, it makes Chrome’s notification center much more useful.

Image Credit: Johan Larsson on Flickr

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 06/8/14