How to Mirror an Android Device to a PC or Laptop

With so many devices that people use daily, connecting them seems like the most natural thing to do. Depending on the combination of devices you have, this process can be a reasonably straightforward task. Unfortunately, some device combinations might require more effort.

How to Mirror an Android Device to a PC or Laptop

Such is the case if you want to mirror your Android device to a computer. Although this might seem like a prominent feature, it is not. Luckily, there are ways you can do this, and once you install all the necessary apps, the process becomes a piece of cake.

Preparing Your Android Device for Mirroring to PC or Laptop

Before you start mirroring your Android to a desktop computer or laptop, you need to set a couple of options on your mobile device. You may want to read the rest of the procedures in this article first before making any moves. That way, you can determine if this process suits your needs and works for you. Anyways, here’s how to enable Developer mode and USB debugging in Android.

Note: If you plan on using the Wi-Fi option, you can follow the “USB debugging” steps to also use it for “Wireless debugging.” Both options are available in the same area on your Android device.

Enable Android’s Developer Options

  1. Open “Settings” on your Android device.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and tap “About phone.”
  3. Tap on “Build number” five times in a row. You might have to confirm this action by entering your preferred security method. That can be a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint scan.
  4. You will see the notification that you have successfully enabled the “Developer Mode” on your device.

Enable USB Debugging (or Wireless Debugging for a Wi-Fi Connection)

  1. Open “Settings” on your Android device.
  2. Tap on “System & updates.”
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Developer options.”
  4. Scroll down to the “Debugging” section and toggle “USB debugging” on.
  5. Android will now ask if you are sure you want to allow USB debigging. Confirm by tapping “OK.”

Now, you are ready to proceed with setting up the mirroring feature for your computer.

Mirroring an Android Phone to a Windows PC

Mirroring your Android device to a Windows computer is possible through various dedicated apps. Although Windows 10 does have an option that allows you to do this, it does not work with every Android smartphone or tablet.

How to Use scrcpy to Mirror Android to a Windows PC

By far, the best and most straightforward app to use is “scrcpy.” This app allows for a wired connection or a wireless one, and it is super simple to use, yet the setup is rather complex. You can download it on GitHub, one of the most popular online services for developers. To do so, follow the steps below.

  1. Open a web browser on your computer, then go to the scrcpy page on GitHub.
  2. Scroll down to the “Get the App” section.
  3. In the “Windows” subsection, click on the downoad link for the “.zip” archive. It looks something like this: scrcpy-win64-v1.16.zip. Of course, the last few numbers will depend on the version that is currently available.
  4. Click the link to download the “.zip” file.
  5. Once the file downloads, it is time to extract it. Open the folder where you have downloaded the “scrcpy .zip” file.
  6. Right-click the file, then choose “Extract files…”
  7. The “Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders” window appears. Click on “Browse” to choose the destination for the extracted files. Once you choose the location, you can optionally tick the “Show extracted files when complete” checkbox. Click on “OK” to extract the files.
  8. Now, you can navigate to the location where the extracted files appear.
  9. Double-click the “adb.exe” file to install “Android ADB Tools.” This process is done in the background, so you will not see any feedback on the screen when the installation completes. It usually takes Windows about a second or two to complete this action.
  10. With your Android device ready for mirroring and having installed scrcpy to your PC, it is time to connect the two. Connect your Android device and computer using a “USB cable,” or for Wi-Fi setup, skip to “Step 15.”
  11. Double-click the “csrcpy.exe” file from the scrcpy folder to start it.
  12. Depending on your security settings, Windows might notify you that you are about to run an unrecognized app. To continue, first click “More info,” and then choose “Run anyway.”
  13. If your mobile device asks you whether you should allow USB debugging, tap “Allow.” To prevent this pop-up from appearing in the future, you can also tap “Always allow from this computer.”
  14. That’s it! The scrcpy window appears, showing the screen of your Android device using USB. For a Wi-Fi connection, read on.
  15. For Wi-Fi connections, ensure that your Android device has “Developer Mode” activated and “USB debugging” on (see instrucitons at the beginning of this article.). “Wireless Debugging” (not USB) also needs turned on.
  16. Connect Android and your PC or laptop to the same Wi-Fi network.
  17. On PC, open the “scrcpy” unzipped folder and launch “adb.exe.”
  18. Connect your Android device to your PC via USB so you can enter commands.
  19. On Android, obtain your IP Address by going to “Settings -> About Phone” or “ -> About Phone -> Status” and look for the “IP address” section, or just type the following in the command line:
    adb shell ip route | awk '{print $9}'
  20. On PC, enable adb over TCP/IP by typing the folowing in the commmand line:
    adb tcpip 5555.
  21. Disconnect the USB from the device and the PC. You no longer need a USB connection.
  22. On the PC, connect wirelessly to your device by typing the code below into the comman line:
    adb connect DEVICE_IP_HERE:5555 (replace DEVICE_IP with yours).
  23. Launch “scrcpy.exe” from the unzipped folder on your PC, and you are now done! You should see your Android screen on your PC or laptop.

That is it. This super-simple app works like a charm. Now you can use your keyboard and mouse to control your Android device. This action allows you to start apps, type messages, view your photo gallery, and even play mobile games on the large screen. What is more, by simply dragging and dropping files onto the scrcpy window, you can copy almost anything from your computer to your Android device.

Of course, like any other window, you can also resize, maximize, restore, and close the scrcpy app. If you want to see your Android device in full screen, press “Ctrl + F” on your keyboard at the same time.

How to Mirror an Android Phone to a Mac

Luckily, the highly convenient screen mirroring app scrcpy is available for Mac OS X devices as well. Unlike Windows computers, where you download a .zip file and unpack it, Mac does it differently. To use scrcpy, you will have to install the Homebrew app first.

  1. Open “Finder” on your Mac.
  2. Click “Applications” from the menu to the left. If this option is not visible, simply press “Command + A” on your keyboard.
  3. From the Applications list, open “Utilities.”
  4. Finally, start the “Terminal” app.
  5. Now select the entire command line below and copy/paste it into the “Terminal,” then press “Enter” to execute it.
    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"
  6. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for Homebrew to install.
  7. Once the installation is complete, it’s time to install Android ADB tools. To do so, type in or copy/paste the following command below into the “Terminal,” then press “Enter” to execute.
    brew cask install android-platform-tools
  8. Finally, it is time to install the “scrcpy” app. Copy the code below and paste it into the “Terminal,” then press “Enter.”
    brew install scrcpy
  9. Now wait for the installation to complete.
  10. To establish the connection between Android and Mac OS, connect your Android device using a USB cable.
  11. The USB Debugging notification appears on Android’s screen. Tap on “Allow to continue.” You can also tap “Always allow from this computer” to prevent the notification from appearing every time you connect.
  12. In the Mac Terminal, type “scrcpy” without the quotes to launch the application.

Finally, you’re now able to mirror your Android screen on your Mac OS computer or laptop.

How to Mirror an Android Phone to a Chromebook

Unfortunately, Chromebook users do not have the capability of using the scrcpy app to mirror their Android devices. Luckily, many other third-party apps work with Chromebooks. One of the most popular of such apps is “Reflector 3.” Although this is not a free app, it does the job exceptionally well and is well worth the price… and the reduction in headaches!

To start using “Reflector 3,” follow the steps below.

  1. Install the “Reflector 3” app from their website to both your Android device and your Chromebook.
  2. Connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Start the app on both devices.
  4. On your Android “Reflector 3” app, tap the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen.
  5. Select “Cast Screen/Audio.”
  6. Now, you should see the list of available devices for mirroring. Select your Chromebook to proceed.
  7. Finally, you should see your Android device’s screen on your Chromebook.

Hopefully, you now know how to mirror your Android devices to a Windows 10, Mac, or Chromebook computer. When using the scrcpy app, the process becomes simple. Although the setup might seem cumbersome, the step-by-step instructions in this article give you what you need. For Chromebook devices, the “Reflector 3” app, although it is not free, only requires two installations to set it all up.

Have you managed to mirror your Android to a computer? Which mirroring app do you find the most useful?

Additional FAQ

Do I have to mirror my entire screen, or can just part of my screen be mirrored?

The solutions you find in this article allow you to mirror the entire screen of your Android device. Essentially, any mirroring app will do so, but only without an option to choose which portion of the screen appears on your PC. Of course, you can look for apps that allow you to cast content from your Android. This way, you do not have to show your phone’s screen on a computer for others to see. Instead, you can start a video, slideshow, or presentation on your Android device and cast only that content to the computer.

Do I need to have Wi-Fi to mirror Android to another device?

No, you do not need Wi-Fi to start mirroring. Apps similar to scrcpy let you use the mirroring feature by connecting your devices via a USB cable. Therefore, you do not need a Wi-Fi connection at all. Conversely, some apps allow you to mirror your Android to a computer over Wi-Fi. Although this seems like a more convenient way to mirror, each app comes with its quirks. For some, you have to pay if you do not want ads to ruin your experience. Others may have cumbersome interfaces to navigate through. In the end, nothing beats the scrcpy app for its simplicity and base functionality, and it is entirely free and open source.

5 thoughts on “How to Mirror an Android Device to a PC or Laptop”

PopeLouis says:
scrcpy app is just the best, I was following the steps and at one end, BOOOM!! my mobile phone screen was present on my pc screen. I thought it was still a joke but no, I was living reality. Thanks a lot for this article. : )

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