Microsoft unveils major Windows 11 Start menu upgrade — integrates Phone Link messages and notifications

Phone Link on Windows 11
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft just began testing new Phone Link features among Windows Insiders.
  • Key features include being able to view phone information in the Start menu and picking up where you left off when switching from your phone to your PC.
  • To try the new features, you need to be a Windows Insider in the Beta Channel.

Microsoft is testing several major additions to Phone Link that will connect your smartphone and your PC. Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel can now try three new features for Phone Link: viewing phone information in the Start menu, accessing phone messages, calls, and photos from the Start menu, and picking up where they left off when switching between a phone and a PC.

New Phone Link features in the Windows 11 Start menu.  (Image credit: Microsoft)

The new features are rolling out gradually to Beta Channel Insiders running Windows 11 Build 22635.3790 or later. The new features require Phone Link version 1.24052.124.0 or higher as well.

There are three key features on the way to Phone Link outlined by Microsoft:

  • Effortless Connectivity: View your phone’s battery status and connectivity right from the Start menu on your Windows 11 PC.
  • Unified Communication: Access your phone messages, calls, and photos directly from Start, ensuring you never miss an important update or moment.
  • Continuity of Experience: Pick up where you left off with the latest activities from your phone, all seamlessly integrated into your Start menu experience.

Phone Link already allows you to connect your smartphone and your PC in several ways. The exact feature list depends on if you have an Android device or an iPhone. There's also some variation between different Android phones when using Phone Link. But the new features in testing integrate Phone Link more deeply with Windows 11, bringing information from your smartphone directly into the Start menu.

Though Microsoft has not announced it officially, the tech giant is also working on a feature that lets you navigate files from your smartphone through Windows 11's File Explorer when connected wirelessly.

Phone Link | Free at Microsoft

Phone Link | Free at Microsoft

Phone Link lets you connect your smartphone to your PC to sync text messages, images, and make and receive calls. Functionality varies depending on which phone you have connected. Select devices can sync their entire screen to your PC through Phone Link!

Phone Link comes preinstalled on Windows 11 and Windows 10. But if you need to reinstall it for any reason, you can grab it from the Microsoft Store.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

  • tom bae 2023
    Windows Central said:
    Phone Link and Windows 11 are about to get even closer. Microsoft just started testing Phone Link features that let you view notifications and your phone's battery status directly in the Start menu.

    Microsoft unveils major Windows 11 Start menu upgrade — integrates Phone Link messages and notifications : Read more
    They said , " Live tiles are bad and useless. " and , they had removed it from the Start menu .

    They had made the " widgets panel '. and years later , they know that removing the live tiles were the big mistake .

    they also realize that we want the live tiles back , and they are showing the Widgets along side with the Start menu for now which are just Live tiles .

    Microsoft should know that they must not repeat this kind of the huge mistakes again !!!