How to Set Up the Phone Companion App in Windows 10 on Android and iOS

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The day has finally arrived. You’ve got your Windows 10 installation booted up, configured to your exact specifications, and customized to suit your needs best. But what about mobile integration? That’s where Microsoft’s new Windows 10 Phone Companion App comes into play.

Choose Your Mobile Platform

To get started, first you’ll need to make sure that you’re logged into your machine using a verified Microsoft Live account, and that you have your Android or iOS device on hand.

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Right out of the gate you should know that least for the time being, it looks as though Microsoft will only be opening up 5 of the 7 available apps to iOS and Android, while Windows Phones will be equipped to experience the full gamut of what Windows 10 integration has to offer from the day of its release, no extra setup required.

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Phone Companion Setup in Android and iOS

OneDrive/OneNote/Office/Skype/Outlook

As an example, we’re going to feature a walkthrough on how to set up the OneDrive companion rather than breaking down each application individually, as each setup is more or less identical as the others.

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First, the companion app will ask you to enter your Microsoft Live login on the desktop.

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Once this has been verified (which goes double if you opt to pre-activate the desktop link to Cortana) and your password is cleared, a prompt will appear that will give you the opportunity to send a link to the corresponding application on the app store of your choosing.

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You can either find the app this way, or simply navigate to the appropriate page on the phone itself.

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Once you download the app on the mobile device, you’ll be asked once again for your matching username and password.

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After this, there are several different sets of permissions that you’ll be asked to clear so the data on your phone can be shared openly with the desktop client.

RELATED: How to Make All Your OneDrive Files Available Offline (or Online-only)

In the case of OneDrive in particular, the app will attempt to gain access to your phone’s photo albums, as well as the option to stream images from the phone to your desktop over cellular networks whenever it detects you’ve changed your location.

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Once the permissions are cleared, jump back onto the desktop, and verify that you’ve signed onto the mobile app by clicking the two boxes highlighted below.

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After the last Camera Upload permission is set to communicate, you’re good to go!

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Keep in mind that for every app you want to link, you’ll need to download them separately through either the Google Play or iTunes App Stores. Also, you will have the option to link multiple phones and tablets across both mobile operating systems to the same desktop account (an iPhone and Android tablet each running OneDrive, for example), without Windows 10 experiencing a conflict of interest.

Be aware before you do this, however, that unless you specifically label photo albums or calendars as separate beforehand, the Phone Companion will indiscriminately combine all your images, calendar dates, and Office documents into the same folder, regardless of which device they were sourced from.

Cortana and Music Anywhere

For now, it looks like we’re still waiting on the whims of Microsoft before the full range of options and features of its flagship OS will be offered up to competing mobile ecosystems.

RELATED: Why I’m Excited About Cortana in Windows 10

According to the company, we’ve been told that both Cortana and Music Anywhere will go live in their respective app stores “sometime this fall”, although any further details on exact dates beyond that are still slim pickings.

Stay tuned to How-To Geek for all the updates on the debut of Cortana for iOS and Android as they’re released, and we’ll be here with all the info you need as soon as the app is sent out into the wild!


Whether it’s photos in OneDrive, spreadsheets in Excel, or a to-do list in OneNote, now anything you do you on your phone in the ecosystem of Windows apps will be automatically synced to your desktop, and vice versa.

Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised around tech from birth, he's had an interest in PC hardware and networking technology for years, and has come to How-To Geek to contribute his knowledge on both. You can follow him on Twitter here.