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How control your Windows 10 PC or phone with another computer with the Connect app

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update doesn't add a few new features and change a few things — it continues Microsoft's quest to bring devices closer together. One new feature is part of this quest: "Project to this PC".

Project to this PC is very similar to remote desktop, but with the difference that the remote device is the one establishing the connection to the new Connect app. You can project a Windows 10 Mobile phone or remote PC to your computer screen using Miracast wireless technology or through a local network without the need for an username and password.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to project devices to your computer screen on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and later version.

How to use the 'Project to this PC' feature on Windows 10

Project to this PC has two parts: you first need to customize the settings, and then use the Connect app to establish a connection.

Customizing 'Project to this PC' on Windows 10

To customize the experience do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Project to this PC.

In order to make your device discoverable by the other device you're trying to project, you have to customize the "Windows PCs and phones can project to this PC when you say it's OK" option.

From the drop-down menu, you need to choose one of the following:

  • Available anywhere on secure networks
  • Available anywhere
  • Always Off

You can also select to "ask to project to this PC":

  • First time only
  • Every time a connection is requested

In addition, Project to this PC offers the option to pair devices using a pin with the Require PIN for pairing option. If you don't enable this option, you'll connect directly without any extra steps.

Because users are likely to use this feature on a laptop, there is also an option to make your computer discoverable only when it's plugged in. (So, if you're trying to use this feature and you're unable to connect, you probably have this option turned on, and your laptop is running on battery mode.)

You even get a link to rename your PC to make easier to discover the device on the remote host.

Projecting a device to your computer

Once you have configured all your settings, open the Connect app on the device you're trying to project a remote screen. Then on the remote device, such as your phone or another Windows 10 PC, do the following:

  1. Open Action Center.
  2. Click the Connect button.
  3. Click the name of the device you're trying to project.
  4. Check the Allow input from a keyboard or mouse connected to this display option as necessary.

Once connected, you'll also be able to control the remote screen with your keyboard and mouse. However, keep in mind that the experience performance will vary depending on the device you're using and network speeds.

This is also a great alternative to use Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile, when you don't have a display adapter to use your phone as a PC.

The secret feature

The best part about this new feature is that you're not only limited to project your main computer screen, you can also use "Project to this PC" to transform your computer into a secondary monitor for another PC.

When you connect another PC to your main computer screen there is a "Change projection mode" option (see above image). When you click this option, you'll also get the Windows Project options, including: Disconnect, Duplicate, Extend, and Second screen only. If you click the Extend option you will be able to expand your workspace real estate as you were connecting a secondary monitor.

Wrapping things up

Microsoft is touting the "Project to this PC" as a business feature to help you quickly show PowerPoint, Word, or another type of documents to a colleague, but anyone can use it.

It's important to note that devices projecting to the Connect app on your main PC are not required to be running the Anniversary Update (version 1607). This feature will work perfectly OK with devices running the November 2015 Update (version 1511) or later.

These instructions also apply to Windows 10 Mobile devices — the only difference is that you'll have access to the Continuum experience, not just the phone screen.

Do you like the new Project to this PC feature on Windows 10? Have you tried it? Tell us in the comments below.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

143 Comments
  • Does this work on sp4?
  • yes
  • Did you read the article?
  • My computer doesn't have Miracast but I can't seem to connect my phone to it via local network. Only Miracast works with phones?
  • You can plug your phone into the USB port of your PC and project that way. I do that from my Lumia 950 to my work laptop (HP EliteBook 8470p) lacking Miracast or WiDi and it works flawlessly...
  • Using the new connect app?
  • 1. Plug in phone with USB to PC
    2. Fire up Connect app on PC
    3. Press Connect in Action Center on phone and select PC's name
    4. Go to the Winchester and wait for all this to blow over.
  • LOVE STEP 4. Best reference that could have been put in here!
  • Yay! Someone got the reference! :-)
  • PC not appearing... Says searching for wireless devices
  • Thanks for this. I will uninstall the project my screen app on my PC now..
    Edit: Nop I won't. This process lags alot
  • It wasn't working, until I realized I was projecting Continuum with the Wireless option in the Continuum app. For anyone not being able to project to your laptop with USB, make sure you have the Wired Dock option selected.
  • I chose wired dock but then what should I do? It still doesn't detect the computer
  • Hmmm... That's odd. Do you have USB 3.0 on your computer? That could be a requirement as USB 2.0 may not be fast enough to receive Audio/Video fast enough. That's my take on it.
  • I indeed have usb 2... A shame if that's the issue
    So no Miracast, no usb 3 :(
  • Shame. Is there anyone else who can confirm this?
  • Well at least I have the old project my screen app:D
  • It turns out USB type on the computer does not matter. I tested it on another laptop. What phone do you have?
  • I have Lumia 950 with latest non-insider updates
  • Now that's really odd. I have no idea what the problem could be now. USB type is not the issue, your device is not the issue, only thing left that could be the issue is your computer then.
  • I don't have USB 3 on my laptop either... works fine for me.
  • Yup, I checked on an old laptop, USB type on the computer doesn't matter.
  • Still having no luck... Could you please give me a step by step guide just in case I'm doing something wrong? Thanks
  • The article you're commenting on is a step by step guide. To use USB instead of wireless, though, simply use the steps I wrote above after you've allowed projecting to your PC, as described in the article (which you only have to do once). Oh, one other thing I almost forgot, not all USB ports are the same. Make sure you're using one with the SS symbol on it (as opposed to the one with the lightning symbol, which does *not* work for this purpose on my laptop. The same goes for using the Windows Device Recovery Tool.
  • I can't allow the pc. It says " We are still trying to determine the feature capabilities". It has been saying that since installation of the anniversary update.
  • Could you explain that a bit more? I can't connect through USB.
    Using Lumia 730.
  • You can project your exact phone screen on your pc using the 'Project my screen app' which you have to install on the pc. Research the app on bing for download link
  • 730 does not support projecting through USB. It can only use Miracast to project.
  • Try ensuring that you use a USB port with the SS symbol and not the lightning (charging) symbol.
  • That's a slice of fried gold!
  • do I have to have a phone that supports continuum? I have a lumia 640 and after entering the code and waiting to connect it fails
  • Huge thumbs up on Step 4! :)
  • Works with usb 3.0 and 2.0 ports on my pc confirmed :) Thanks a lot :) I can also confirm, It works with WiFi as well if PC and phone are in the same network. Open the connect app, and the pc will show up in the phone just like for USB. No need for any Miracast and stuff.   Wish it would work the other way around, so that I can use my WP as a secondary display for monitoring my system.
  • I believe there's quite a bit of confusion here. The method you're describing is still using a wireless display, not USB. Check the throughput on your WiFi adapter. There doesn't appear to be a way to use USB directly for the Connect app which is a huge disappointment.
  • I just realized. The wifi was on when i tested it. It doesnt work with just USB Project my screen app works but not connect app :(
  • Don't forget the pint in step 4. That's a critical component to that step. :-)
  • I'm able to make this work on wifi, but not through USB. I chose "Wired dock" in the Continuum app. Nothing comes up (SP4+L950). The Connect app on the PC specifically states "[HOST] is ready for you to connect wirelessly". If you turn off wifi on phone and PC does this still work via USB?
  • Again, after you start up the Connect app on the PC, go into the action center on the phone, tap Connect, and choose your PC. Don't start up the continuum app first. Also no need to turn off Wi-Fi or anything else. Seriously folks, I'm bout messing with you. I use this every day at work.
  • I fully understand the steps to make this work, but it doesn't work for me. As long as wifi is turned on on my L950 (USB cable is connected the whole time), I can find the pc and connect to it (using wifi). I then go to Continuum and choose "Wired dock". If I now turn off wifi on the phone, the Connect app fails when searching for devices, saying: "Make sure that the device is turned on and is discoverable". So it's always trying to use wifi, the USB cable connected or not makes no difference. So what I'm arguing is that as long as wifi is turned on, it's using wifi (at least on my setup...). I'd love to be proved wrong, because I'd like to use this! I'll add also that Microsoft's documentation doesn't include direct USB connection as a way to make Continuum work: "https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/mt608594(v=vs.85).aspx#how_it_works_​" As a sidenote I have a message in my Connect app on my SP4 though, this same message is also highlighted in yellow in Settings under Projecting to this PC. It has always been there as long as I've had this SP4, it states: "This device might have trouble displaying your content because its hardware wasn't​ specifically designed for wireless projection". Is that message standard for all, or just me..?
  • thanks but it does not work, I try to connect my lumia 950xl Insider last build with pc windows 10 insider last build also. Same result, My pc does not have miracast message. Thanks anyway for the tip.
  • Make sure you have the Wired Dock option selected in the Continuum app.
  • But...the issue is on the PC side...And if I don't have a wired dock (Lumia 830)? Does it mean it will only work with native W10M devices?
  • Well if the phone does not support continuum (830 does not) then you will not be able to mirror the screen unless you have Miracast support on the computer. Only USB Type-C can display A/V, AFAIK.
  • At this point, this article is very misleading...You need a wifi enabled PC AND a W10M native device..
  • Not necessarily native, as 650 does not support continuum. You need a 950/XL or a PC with Miracast. I think it's the USB Type-C found on the 950/XL that is the key.
  • Yes, you'll get that message... as I stated elsewhere, you just need to go into the Action Center on your phone and click Connect... it'll then show your laptop's name in the list... tap on that and it'll start working
  • No feature that Microsoft introduces works correctly.
  • It's likely still connecting wirelessly.  Try disconnecting the USB cable while projecting and see what happens. :)
  • You don't need Miracast, it works via Wi-Fi too, just follow the instructions in guide and it will work. I tested this with a 8 years old laptop and a Lumia 950, and it works pretty good. Thanks, Mauro
  • So is this like a wireless continuum?
  • No, this is Continuum... and as always, it works both wirelessly and wired. Wireless is limited to 30 frames per second, though. This also works for wired connections if you plug your phone into your PC through USB.
  • Oh ok I see
  • I think this is a misunderstanding. From what I can find, and what also others have pointed out in the comments, this doesn't work with USB. You need a dock to make this work, OR do it via wifi.
  • And how do you get the connect app on your phone ? Searching in the store does not yield any relevant results
  • You don't. You can only project from your phone. Not to your phone. From your phone, you can click on the Connect button in the Action Center to initiate a connection.
  • Too bad mine always crashes, I wanted to try this. Lumia 640DS :(   Is this specific to the Continnum-enabled devices?
  • Replying to myself: seems like my Connect app is installed to my SD card, and for some reason, I can't move it back to the internal storage.
  • No, you can use any device that can mirror its screen too... including even Android phones!
  • How do you get that using Android?
  • Anything that allows you to mirror/cast your screen via Miracast will work with the Connect app.
  • Use the Continuum App on your Phone and use the Wireless Option to connect
  • I can smell that scammers on the phone has a new way to scam people.....and its easier as well
  • I think you may be referring to Quick Assist, which is the remote tech support thing built into Windows, which is not what we're talking about here.
  • I tried this out a few days ago. It was ok.  The latency is a big issue, but that just might be because of my limited hardware- Surface 3 and a lumia 640.  It's a neat feature, but I don't see the practicality of it, I think I'd rarely use it.
  • You're out and about with your laptop. No WiFi available or want only secure network. You use Continuum to: Shoot out a couple emails quickly by typing on the laptop keyboard. Show people some photos that you have on your phone on a big screen, instead of passing around the phone with a small screen. Work on Excel/Word/PowerPoint document on your phone or cloud more efficiently with a keyboard and mouse. Surf the web via phone's browser. Project your friend's Android phone to your Surface Pro 4 just because Win10 can. You'll find your own use case. It can be useful. This could allow me to remove tethering on my phone plan and save money.
  • Since this seems to be simply allowing the PC to act as a Miracast receiver, it should work with Android too. Anyone tried that yet?
  • I saw another article elsewhere showing that this works just fine... Android phones, Chromebooks, Windows phones, and just about any Windows device.
  • It should work. That's all this app really is. Allows you to turn your screen into a dummy screen.
  • Is this feature work only in continuum enabled phones or will work with other low and mid range phones?
  • Not sure, just give it a shot. It could probably work, but the only available option would be mirroring the screen.
  • It works on my Lumia 640, too. Too bad it doesn't support mouse and keyboard input, hope this gets changed. Nice feature, anyway.
  • This is extremely impressive. And if the apps on my phone I want to use don't support Continuum, I simply mirror my phone's screen. Plain awesome.
  • Has anyone else ran into your device is not compatible to be used with device's keyboard and mouse?
  • I ran into that with my 1520, not my 950. What device do you have?
  • I am seeing this with Lumia 640 (14393.10). I will update to 14393.67 and see if it changes anything.
  • I am sorry to report but with PC updated to 14393.51 and Lumia 640 updated to 14393.67 keyboard/mouse control is still not possible. Screen projection does work.
  • Actually played with this last week on my Surface Pro 2 and Yoga 2 Pro with my 950.... and loved it. Not surprisingly, it worked better on the surface...
  • Can a phone screen be projected to another phone?
  • Used to have a Nokia app to do that; can't remember the name though. Doesn't matter as it's no longer available.
  • O that's sad
  • It was the Lumia Beamer.
    Gone and forgotten.
  • Yeah but it was for photos only, wasn't it?
  • That one is Photo Beamer.
    Lumia Beamer projects everything you do on the screen.
  • Oh, got it...
  • Projected my L950 to my Surface 3, Continuum worked really well, just need MS to launch a low price dumb tablet and I would switch as all the apps I use worked
  • Would love to be able to do this! My PC says it doesn't support Miricast though. Also if i plug my phone in, and try using the connect app, still says can't connect wirelessly. Going to the connect on my phone yeilds nothing about my main pc. Any help?
  • Make sure you have the Wired Dock option selected in the Continuum app.
  • Thanks for the reply! I have done this, and i still don't see my pc showing up when i plug it in. On my PC, when i go into the system, projecting to pc, it won't allow me to change any settings and says this device doesn't support receiving miricast...
  • Same here. 950 on fast ring. New Dell Precision 7510, discrete graphics and ac wireless. I cannot imagine why this machine doesn't support miracast. Any thoughts?
  • I confirm, same problem here: unable to activate or change anything on my PC (this device doesn't support Miracast). Does it mean you need a specific hardware?
  • It could be. Hold on, ill try with my old laptop which has USB 2.0.
  • Do you have USB 2.0? Because that could be a problem. EDIT: Disregard.
  • 3.0 here
  • I have both, 2.0 and 3.0.
  • Nevermind...USB type is not relevant. My old laptop with 2 just ran continuum. I honestly have no idea why it works for some and why it doesn't for others.
  • Could it have to do with the fact that I have an intel 8620 wireless card? Intel's site talks about it being WiDi capable. Am I wrong or was WiDi a miracast competitor. Intel had stopped all work on WiDi, as far as I know. For those not getting this to work, what type of network card do you have?
  • I found this :"Miracast is a WiFi Direct (WiDi) technology. Your target device must support WiFi directly. It cannot just be connected to a network with a wire (ethernet) even if that network has WiFi access points. The phone, or other device, connects to the PC directly, point-to-point." No wifi, no chocolate :(
  • Huh, good to know. So they are not competitors.
  • I thought they were competitors. I know W10M supports Miracast. I am not sure about WiDi.
  • I found a WiDi update tool. I'll see if it helps. http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/emerging-technologies/000... Edit - No deal. Driver update failed. Said my computer doesn't meet WiDi requirements. Not sure which though. http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/emerging-technologies/000...
  • Do you know what part of the PC has WiDi on it? Is it the wireless adapter? Or something in the CPU?
  • It is nothing like Continuum but you can try this app 
    https://www.teamviewer.com/hi/download/mobile-apps/
    ​Worked really nice on my 640XL.
  • I go onto the connect app on my 735, but it just lists my PC as a video display, not a 'PC' to project too. selecting the option just leaves a constant loading circle... changing settings on the pc, like asking for a pin, does trigger a pin dialog on my phone, but still no prompt on my PC. any tips?
  • That's not the famous Project to Nokia app, that's an extension of the connect to wireless screen inside feature. Standing by, still getting the "Still trying to find avalilable features" messages on  Settings
  • Cool but unfortunately my Dell Inspiron 15 5000s not compatible  I didn't know this and there is also something called Quick Assist as well....
  • Should this work from my 950XL to my PC?  When I try to connect via my phone the PC says "Windows Phone connecting..." then it times out.  My phone keeps trying and eventually I just kill it.  If I wait long enough it seems to really screw up my phone requiring a reboot (bluetooth stops working, once I got an SD card error, etc).  The phone's running 10586.494 and has the 16236.35006 firmware.
  • exactly the same issue as mine
  • Typo error in article title...
  • Fix the dang title. I'm just trying to help, don't know why you deleted my last post.
  • "Project to this PC is very similar to remote desktop..." no, it really is not. Remote desktop works over any transport you can layer TCP on top of, halfway across the globe if you need it too. "Projecting to this PC" allows your PC to play Miracast receiver and even that *only if it has appropriate hardware* -- Ethernet connected PCs need not apply, and I am not sure that every wireless device will work either. I am not arguing against it having its use cases, but, please, do not put it in the same sentence with the remote desktop.
  • Completely agree. This is almost the complete opposite of Remote Desktop... with Remote Desktop, you're initiating the connection from the display end, while Project / Connect is initiated by the client being mirrored or extended. Once the connection is established, though, it's almost identical to Remote Desktop (except the performance of RDP is significantly better)
  • I am afraid, you have misunderstood my point... this is "both devices are in the same room, talking to the same wireless access point" desktop. Admittedly, this could be someone's definition of "remote", but I would suspect that in this forum such people would be a minority. Try to use this feature to help aunt Jill down the hill with her Windows PC and you will immediately understand the difference. Who initiates the session is barely relevant at this point.
  • So wired continuum does not depend on USB type. Can be 2 or 3.0. But you can only project non Continuum devices if your computer supports Miracast. I don't think WiDi is supported by many computers.
  • This news should be updated with the pre-requirements to avoid people losing time trying to make it work.
  • I agree. I see that a lot of people are having unnecessary trouble with this feature.
  • Mine doesn't work I have Lumia 950 XL it show my PC name but while trying to connect and my PC said that it is connecting... then nothing happened, times out and my phone hang need to force restart. Weird both tried in Wire and Wireless mode in Continuum App.
  • Minimal requirements would be useful. It works great on my HP elite book 850 and Lucia 950xl. Nevertheless I am curious if it would work with a cheap Atom based ultra book as an alternative to a lapdock/new dock.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I don't normally complain about grammar or spelling errors, but right in the title? C'mon lol.
  • Is this English?
  • We are still trying to determine the feature capabilities . how to solve this ?
  • Work for android phone too ,if the android support miracast
  • I keep seeing a lot of similar articles about connecting to another machine, but how do you do this when you are somewhere else? Like trying to connect to my home W10 machine from another location, i.e. friend's house, work, on the go, etc? All these solutions require you to be on the same network, which almost makes it pointless. What is the MS first party solution for this?
  • This is unfortunate consequence of the writer using words "remote desktop". This *is not* remote desktop solution and was never intended as such. After digging a little into this one -- "being on the same network" is not required and is not sufficient. You need to have both devices within Wi-Fi reach from each other *and using compatible Wi-Fi devices*. I have run into the issue with the latter when I have stuffed USB Wi-Fi adapter into nearby Windows PC only to find out that the adapter uses 5GHz only and my Lumia 640 is limited to 2.4GHz. They both are "on the same network" (for some definition of that :) ), but they are not capable of establishing direct Wi-Fi connection, and thus mirroring does not work. I have tested Lumia with the different (2.4GHz) device and screen mirroring works and my Samsung tablet can see direct Wi-Fi connection advertised by the PC, but since the Lumia and PC are *not* really on the same network, no dice here... 'nuff said.
  • There are no modern Wi-Fi devices that only operate at 5GHz. That's limited to 802.11a, and I don't think anyone is using that. All the other 802.11 protocols support either 2.4GHz only or both. That said, there are configuration options, so you have have set it up to only operate on 5GHz by accident, but that should be something you can change.
  • Both 802.11n and 802.11ac operate in 5GHz and manufacturers were making 5GHz only devices to add 802.11ac capabilities to the older notebooks for quite a while now (you need to sacrifice something to keep size small and why not 2.4GHz antenna). Device in question is Edimax EW-7711ULC AC433 Wireless USB Adapter and you can get one at about $20.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315148&cm_re=ed...). You are right in that, when size is not a constraint, both frequencies are (almost) always present, but this was the only thing I had laying around to shove into the Windows PC for experimentation... and learned something in the process.
  • Wow, you're right and I was wrong. I guess I'm not as current on some of these things as I used to be. I had never seen a 5 GHz-only adapter before for ac. Is that even in compliance with the ac spec? That means it no longer has backward compatibility to 802.11b or g, and even with n, 5GHz was optional. Main reasons to keep the 2.4GHz antenna are: compatibility and wall penetration. 5 GHz is particularly weak at passing through walls. More bandwidth available and often less congestion (due to older formats using primarily 2.4GHz with its fewer channels), but also more easily disrupted by barriers.
  • Why blame the article? Shouldn't Microsoft make their own article to show how it works? But they don't, because they're lazy.
  • I have not been able to get my phone to pair to any of my machines
  • So here is my setup, I have a Windows 10 Anniversary gaming laptop that supports Miracast I have a Windows 10 tablet that doesn't have Anniversary version but has Windows 10 version, if I would like to mirror my gaming laptop screen to my tablet would this be possible? I'm trying to have a portable game console so I can play on my tablet but using my laptop's juice. Is this even possible ?
  • One of my favorite things from Windows 10.
  • do I have to have a phone that supports continuum? I have a lumia 640 and after entering the code and waiting to connect it fails
  • Does anyone know if this would work with a Surface Pro 2 & 950xl? I cant get it to discover my device.
  • 'This device doesn't support receiving Miracast, so you can't project to it wirelessly' is what my Pc is saying in the 'Projecting to this PC' settings. Anything I need for this to work?
  • "We are still trying to determine the feature capabilities" Can anyone advise as to this issue?
  • With XBox One also running Windows 10, does anyone know if this will be coming to XBox allowing easy living room access on the big screen?
  • Does this need miracast technology? I cant get it to work
  • Your article says Miracast OR local network supported. This doesn't seem true for devices without Miracast trying to do PC to PC! So is "Project to this PC" intended for local network connections?
  • I think "Miracast OR local network" part was not researched well by the author -- if you network adapter does not support Miracast, you are not projecting anything anywhere. My last experiment was with Netgear A6200 WiFi USB adapter. The end result: "This device doesn't support Miracast, so you can't project to it wirelessly"... and that's all she wrote (I am on build 14393.67). The saving grace is that most wireless hardware, manufactured in the last year or two, will have necessary capabilities, but that does not make the "local network" part any less wrong.
  • After I turned this setting on on my SP3, it caused Windows to hang for 20 seconds every couple minutes or so. I was freaking out thinking I had to reinstall Windows, but then I remembered I turned this on when this started happening. Computer is back to normal once I turned it off... whew!
  • A feature should not be this hard to figure out. This article certainly adds to the confusion but the Settings and Connect "app" certainly don't clear up confusion either.
  • I eventually got mine working.  Setup is a pain, not sure why.  It's clear how this can be the future of computing for most individuals within a short amount of time. Sadly the app gap hurts its usefullness.
  • i would like this pjoecting using andriod also hope microsoft would allow andriod devices to connect  
  • Ive been looking for a version of this app for Win 7 so if anyone knows,a link or name of the app?? If none, then I hope they make this app/feature available to Windows 7 PC to project continuum since most of our company PCs are still in Win 7. . .it would be awesome to just connect your phone to any win 7 PC, , then run continuum. . .