How to Easily Run Your Android Phone From Your Computer (Video)

So I’m not actually sure why you’d want to do this, as in I can’t think of any terribly important use cases, besides maybe using it to text from the computer, but it was still so cool and easy to do that I figured someone out there might want to use it for something and was worth me taking the time to make a video of it. So for this Tips and Tricks Tuesday, I’m going to show you how to easily run your Android phone on your computer (complete with mouse and keyboard input, etc.).

So this is all thanks to a crafty developer called ROM1v and it’s a program he’s called scrcpy which is a play on the Linux command strcpy (string copy vs screen copy, get it?) and the developer jokingly says he decided to go with scrcpy when a colleague challenged him to make a program name even more unpronounceable than his last project, Gnirehtet (a reverse tethering program he made). Success?

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make it work with Windows as it is a lot easier and the majority of you out there with Android devices have Windows. It does work on Linux and Mac, however, and here are instructions for those operating systems if you want.

Enabled USB-Debugging

Otherwise, for Windows, we’ll first go on the phone and go to Settings.

Settings

 

Tap on About Phone.

About phone

Then go to either Software Information, or it’ll possibly be listed directly in the About Phone settings, and find Build Number. Repeatedly tap on Build Number until it tells you that you are a developer.

 

Then hit back and go into the new Developer Options menu.

Developer Options

Turn on USB Debugging in there.

Enable USB Debugging

Install Scrcpy on Windows

Next, we can download the Windows package he created by going to this link here and download the .zip file under Windows (see below).

Windows Scrcpy

Extract it to your Desktop.

Scrcpy Extracted

Plug in the phone and right-click on scrcpy.exe and select Run as Administrator.

Run Scrcpy as Admin

Boom. Phone on screen. Now, there are other programs out there that can do this, but they require other apps to be installed, they might cost money, and they aren’t as lag-free as this.

Android Phone on Computer

Here is a list of commands you can use, for example, to bring up the multitasking option, back, home, adjust the volume, etc. here:

Action Shortcut
switch fullscreen mode Ctrl+f
resize window to 1:1 (pixel-perfect) Ctrl+g
resize window to remove black borders Ctrl+x
click on HOME Ctrl+h
click on BACK Ctrl+b
click on APP_SWITCH Ctrl+m
click on VOLUME_UP Ctrl++
click on VOLUME_DOWN Ctrl+-
click on POWER Ctrl+p
turn screen on Right-click
paste computer clipboard to device Ctrl+v
enable/disable FPS counter (on stdout) Ctrl+i

And there you go. Enjoy, send the developer some love if this helped you out and let me know in the comments below what use case you found for this that was cool.

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