How to use your iPhone on Windows 11 with Phone Link

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How to use your iPhone on Windows 11 with Phone Link UP

The Phone Link app for Windows 11 lets you connect, sync, and use your iPhone right from the comfort of your Windows computer. While this app is still a work in progress and still in its infancy when it comes to working with iPhone, it can help you be more productive at times. There are only three features you can use with iPhone: notifications, messages, and calls. On top of that, at the time of writing, they also had some annoying limitations. But, without further ado, here’s what you can do with Phone Link and what to expect when syncing your iPhone to a Windows 11 computer:

NOTES: Before you can use your iPhone from your Windows 11 computer, you must first pair the devices using the Phone Link app. If you need help with that, check out this guide first: How to connect iPhone to Windows PC with Phone Link. Also keep in mind that your iPhone must be running iOS 14 or later, which means very old iPhones (iPhone 6 and earlier models) are not supported. For this tutorial, I’m using a tall iPhone 12 mini running iOS 16.5.1.

How to use iPhone from Windows 11 computer

As previously mentioned, the Phone Link app for Windows 11 lets you connect, sync, and use your iPhone right from your computer’s desktop. Although the app is not as feature-rich as for Android devices, there are a few things that make it valuable for you. Here’s what to expect when syncing your iPhone to a Windows 11 PC:

Check your iPhone status

The Phone Link app is divided into sections and pages, and one of them is the iPhone status area. It’s found in the top-left corner of the window, and is always visible. This is where the app tells you if your iPhone is Connected to your Windows 11 computer, and where you can trigger sync actions between the two devices. You can do this by clicking or tapping the small button next to iPhone status.

Connected iPhone status

To the right of the iPhone status and sync buttons, you will also see a small battery icon which should notify you of the iPhone’s battery level and charging status. However, with my iPhone 12 mini, Phone Link can’t seem to read the battery status, always says it’s unknown.

Unknown battery status

If Phone Link fails to connect your smartphone to your Windows PC, the Connected button changes to Disconnected. In this case, you have to check if Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone.

iPhone Disconnected from Windows 11

Another iPhone condition I noticed while using Phone Link was Bluetooth Off. It’s quite easy and useful, as it immediately tells you that you need to enable Bluetooth on your Windows 11 computer to sync your iPhone.

Bluetooth off status on Phone Link

That’s all there is to say about the iPhone status area in Phone Link. Let’s now take a look at the rest of the app’s interface and what you can do with it:

Check your iPhone notifications on your Windows 11 PC

Phone Link on the left side is home to one of the most important parts of the app: Notifications. Here, you will see and interact with notifications received on your iPhone.

Notification area in Phone Link

Unfortunately, no matter what I do, my iPhone doesn’t sync notifications to the Phone Link app on my Windows 11 computer. Even though I have lots of notifications coming in on my iPhone, none of them show up in the Phone Link app. In my opinion, this is definitely a bug that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

Read and send text messages from Windows 11 through your iPhone

The Messages section of the Phone Link App, which you can select from the top of the window, allows you to receive and send text messages from your Windows 11 PC. However, this feature also has a difference: your message history and any messages sent directly from your iPhone will not sync to your PC. In other words, Phone Link can only display messages you sent from Windows 11, and will only display messages received when both devices are connected.

To read a message, select a contact in the Messages list, and the conversation you have is loaded in the chat area on the right.

Text message on Phone Link

To send a reply, in the chat area, type the message you want in the “Send message” field, and click or tap the Send button.

Send text messages from synced iPhone to PC

To send a message to new people, click or tap the New Message button at the top of the Messages list. Then, in the To field on the right, type the name or phone number of the person you want to call. Finally, enter your message and hit Send.

Send a new message

Note that another limitation of Phone Link when it comes to iPhones is that the app can’t send group messages, and unlike on Android devices, you can’t send photos or GIFs.

Make and receive phone calls on Windows 11 with your iPhone

The third and final major feature that Phone Link offers when you connect your iPhone to your Windows 11 computer is the ability to pick up or make phone calls directly from your PC. To make a phone call, select the Calls tab at the top of the Phone Link app. Then, if the person you want to call appears in the recent calls list, click or tap their name. Then, click or tap on the small accept button next to it.

Call someone from an iPhone connected to a PC

Alternatively, you can use the dial pad on the right side of the Phone Link window. Type a name in the Search for your contacts field at the top, or dial the phone number on the numeric keypad. Then, start a phone call by pressing the Dial button.

Use search or the keypad to make phone calls

During a phone call, a small window appears on your Windows 11 computer. Apart from telling you who you called and how much time you spent on the call, it also lets you mute calls, create conferences, use the keypad, or pause conversations. Of course, you also get a big red button to end phone calls.

Phone call in progress

If you don’t need access to additional phone call options, you can minimize the window by clicking or tapping the small arrow to the right.

Minimize Calls window on mobile devices

… and there it is!

Are you using your iPhone on a Windows 11 PC?

Now you know how to use iPhone on your Windows 11 computer. You’ve seen what the Phone Link app can do once you connect your iPhone to your Windows 11 PC. Did you use Phone Link to access your iPhone from your computer? Do you like it, or do you feel that the app’s current limitations make it unfit for use? I appreciate it, but I wonder if other people like it despite all the bugs and hiccups. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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