Smartphones are convenient, but sometimes it’s more trouble than it’s worth to pick up your phone when you’re already sitting at a computer. It would be nice to do whatever it is you want to do from the comfort of your PC—especially if you work at a desk. Thankfully, there’s a simple (and brilliant) way to completely mirror your Android device’s screen over USB with a Chrome app called Vysor.
What You’ll Need
Vysor may be a simple Chrome app, but in order for it to work, there are a few things you need to make sure are ready on your PC:
- The Android SDK needs to be installed and set up correctly, along with the USB drivers for your phone. (If you have multiple Android devices, the Universal ADB driver will make things much easier.)
- ADB should be placed in your System PATH.
- Enable Developer Options and USB Debugging on your phone.
Once you have all that stuff out of the way, you’re pretty much ready to start using Vysor.
Using Vysor for the First Time
First, launch Chrome and install Vysor from the Chrome Web Store. Then, plug in your phone.
If this is the first time you’ve connected your Android device to your PC (or the first time you’ve done so since enabling USB debugging), you’ll need to grant the PC access to the device. As soon as the phone detects an active USB connection, it should generate a popup asking you to grant access—you can also check the “Always allow from this computer” box to avoid having to do this again in the future on this PC.
Once USB Debugging access has been granted, Vysor should automatically detect the connection. If this doesn’t happen, make sure Chrome is running on your PC. Once the ADB connection has been detected by Vysor, it will automatically push the APK onto your phone. You’ll need to tap the install button on your phone, but past that it should be totally automated.
If for some reason Vysor doesn’t automatically launch on the PC, you can access it by jumping into Chrome’s app menu, which can be found in the bookmarks bar. From there, just find the Vysor icon and click it. That should get everything going.
Once it’s all installed and ready to go, you’ll get a quick menu that shows Vysor’s mouse and keyboard shortcuts, which are quite useful. Especially make note of the F2 to launch Vysor’s menu—this one is very useful for having full control over the device.
The device’s screen will now show up on your PC and you can interact with it in the same way you would using your finger.
A Few Additional Notes
There are two versions of Vysor: free and paid. For most uses, the free version is probably enough, but if you find yourself using Vysor often and want more advanced features, the Pro version is probably worth a look. While the free version will get your screen mirroring access and the ability to take screenshots, Pro adds higher quality mirroring, fullscreen mode, sharing, and drag and drop to the mix. For the power user, those can all be incredibly useful.
Lastly, don’t forget about Vysor’s menu. This is where you can power your device’s screen on/off, change the volume, and take screenshots—all very important for full control of your device from the PC.
Overall, Vysor is a pretty straightforward, useful app. If you find yourself needing full control of your Android phone or tablet often, then this app is definitely one worth checking out.