After Microsoft retired its efforts to get a Windows Phone in the hands of as many people as possible, it had two choices. It could concede the mobile market entirely to the iPhone and Android and stick to notebooks, desktops and tablets. Or it could build out an ecosystem that works perfectly on all smartphones, despite not having a viable operating system of its own in the space. Microsoft did the latter, and that’s why it’s easy to get Android notifications in Windows 10 today.
Since the demise of Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft has been careful to also release apps and services that work on the iPhone and devices running Android. The shift in focus has allowed the company to stay relevant in mobile, even as its hardware aspirations went into a death spiral. It’s been more than a year since Microsoft introduced a rival to the iPhone, but OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook and more are available on millions of Android devices. Cortana is another Windows Phone experience that’s now on Android and iPhone, and it’s that app that allows you get Android notifications in Windows 10.
Here’s how to get Android notifications on your Windows 10 PC.
How to Get Android Notifications in Windows 10: Before We Begin
Before you get started making your alerts and notifications available in Windows 10, there are some things that you’ll need. Chief among those is the Cortana app that allows notification syncing to happen. Microsoft makes Cortana on Android available for free from the Google Play Store. Pick up your Android phone and connect to the internet. Go ahead and install the app to your phone.
Once you’ve got Cortana installed on your Android phone, you’ll need to provide it with the same Microsoft Account that you use on your Windows 10 PC. Your Microsoft Account is what you probably use to log into your PC. It’s required for Skype, Outlook.com and the Xbox.
If you can’t remember your Microsoft Account username, go to the Settings app. Tap or click on Accounts. Your account username should appear underneath your user account name in the Your Info area.
Unfortunately, a lot of what Microsoft has built into Windows in the last few years requires that you have a Microsoft Account paired to your PC. The company won’t let you get Android notifications in Windows 10 without a Microsoft Account. Cortana uses the account to sync information about you between multiple devices.
How to Get Android Notifications in Windows 10: Let’s Get Started
Begin by setting up Cortana on your Android device first. Walk through the setup process, including providing your Microsoft Account. You’ll need to give Cortana permission to access your Android notifications for syncing. You may be asked to give her the ability to store information about you in her digital Notebook. Any information that she learns about you can be removed.
Now go to your Windows 10 PC.
Tap or click on the Ask Me Anything search bar in the Taskbar. If you haven’t customized where it is, this bar is in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
Tap or click on the Settings cog on the bottom-left edge of the Cortana window.
Welcome to the Settings area. From here you can enable lots of the different Cortana features.
Come back here to explore her options later. Scroll down in the window until you see an option labeled Sync Notifications Between Devices. If it’s off, turn it on.
With the option on, click or tap on Edit Sync Settings.
Here you’ll find a breakdown of Cortana’s syncing options. Beyond just syncing notifications from Android, Cortana can also sync PC notifications to your Android device. For the best experience, you’ll want the option to sync notifications to the cloud turned on. This should help keep your PC from duplicating notifications across your devices.
Look for the name of your Android phone in the list of devices with syncing turned on. For our example, we’re using the 2014 Motorola Moto X. It surfaces in Cortana as the Motorola XT1097. If your device doesn’t show up in this list, go back to your Android smartphone’s version of Cortana and make sure notification syncing is on in its settings.
Soon, you’ll start getting notifications sent to your Android phone on your Windows 10 PC’s Action Center.
How to Get Android Notifications in Windows 10: Important Things to Keep in Mind
Cortana will alert you of new text messages, emails and anything else that gets sent to your device. Regardless of where the alert came from, it’ll surface in the Action Center saying that it’s from your Android device. When you tap or click on these notifications, some of them may take you to a companion app available on Windows. From the cog in each alert, you can decide which apps send alerts to your Windows 10 PC and which don’t. This is especially helpful if you’re worried about some devices sharing notifications with your Windows 10 PC that you don’t want synced.
Good luck getting Android notifications in Windows 10. Microsoft may be behind in mobile, but at least it’s making up for that by embracing the devices users already know and love.