Want to make Android notifications sync with Windows 10? Just install Cortana

How to record the screen on an Android device
We love platform convergence, because it allows us to sync our devices in newer and more useful ways. Take the growing compatibility between mobile Android devices and Windows 10. Where once the two were barely on speaking terms, you can now make Android notifications and alerts sync.

In practical terms, this means that you can keep track of everything happening on your smartphone while you work on Windows 10 — without glancing down at your phone screen every time. The key is Cortana, the digital assistant on Windows 10 and Xbox One; her capabilities include syncing between devices, and we’ll run you through exactly how to do so.

Step 1: Download Cortana for Android

Sync Android notifications - Cortana Notification Layout

While there are third party apps available that allow some Android-to-Windows communication, the easiest option is to let Cortana’s official app do that work. To do that, you need Cortana on your Android phone, so head over to the Google Play store on your phone and download the Cortana app. It’s free, and compatible with most modern Android mobile devices. However, if you are using your Android phone in a BYOD scenario, make sure that your company is okay with you downloading a voice assistant and linking accounts this way.

Step 2: Sign in

Sync Android notifications Cortana greeting screenOnce Cortana is installed, you should transition over to a welcome screen. If not, try restarting the Cortana app to kick it into motion. You will see a friendly, “Hi!” from Cortana, and then she will ask you to sign into your Microsoft Account.

You will need your own Microsoft Account and password for this step. If you aren’t sure if you have a Microsoft account or not, remember that it will be the same sign-in you used for past Windows/Xbox services. If you haven’t started using Windows 10 yet and don’t have a history with Microsoft, creating a login is very easy.

After you sign in, you will see an option to allow Cortana to actively listen for her “Hey Cortana” activation line in case you want to give commands to your Android device. This depends on your current use of voice assistants. Most Android devices have an “Ok Google” command option these days, and if you are already used to that, then there isn’t much of a reason to adopt a new voice assistant. But if you prefer Cortana to Google’s voice assistant — and there are reasons to do so — then check away and move onto the next step.

Step 3: Sync basic notificationssync android notifications Cortana Basic Notifications screen

Cortana will now begin to access information on your Android device, getting up to speed on your data. Yes, this does mean that Microsoft will have access to your Android data. You can read more about what Cortana does with your data here, and what sort of privacy you can expect.

When this is finished, go to the top left of your screen and select the three-lined button there. Here, look for an option that says, “Sync notifications.” Choose it, and that will take you to a another settings menu that will show you the basic notifications you can enable. Any of these Android notifications that are enabled will also show up on Windows 10 in your little Cortana alert box. The basic phone stuff is all here — low battery warnings, text alerts, missed calls, and so on, so pick which alerts you want to receive.

Step 4: Choose specific syncing for app alertssync android notifications Cortana Apps Sync screen

If you continue down the Sync notifications list, you will notice an option for App Notifications Sync (or possibly Choose what apps to sync, depending on your setup). Choose this and you can sync the notifications for any compatible Android app from a list. Chances are good that you have a lot of these apps, so take some time to go through them all and make sure only the important apps are selected. You probably don’t want any random browser notifications or additional calendar alerts, but if there are apps you’d like Android notifications from, swipe right to activate them and you will receive those alerts too.

Step 5: Hop over to Windows and restart

sync android notifications Cortana Info screenHead to your Windows 10 computer and restart it: It’s not always necessary, but it’s a good idea to ensure smooth syncing. After you login again, make sure that Cortana is showing notifications from your Android phone. After that, you are all set! Note that you may be able to increase compatibility with features like the Microsoft Phone Companion.

Reminder: If it isn’t working, check your Windows 10 Cortana settings to make sure that Cortana can access information from other devices.


Major video watcher? YouTube is now available on Nintendo Switch

After well over a year, the Nintendo Switch has finally received a free YouTube app. The app's functionality is similar to other devices such as Roku, but with touch support for the Switch's screen.

Google’s storage-management app gets face-lift, is now called ‘Files by Google’

Google has revamped its files management app with a new look and name. Now known as Files by Google, the app received the company's all-white material redesign -- offering the same functionality, but with a cleaner look.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts in the process.

After a month of bugs, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is finally here

After more thoroughly investigating and resolving all bugs and related issues, Microsoft is announcing the Windows 10 October 2018 is again rolling out to consumers starting today, November 13. 

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.