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Getting started with Samsung Flow on your Windows 10 PC

The setup process takes just a few minutes, after which you kind of feel like a magician.

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Earlier this year, Samsung announced its Flow app would soon expand beyond Samsung PC's and would work with any Windows 10 device. The service extends the Galaxy phone or tablet experience to the PC, making it possible to share files, view notifications, and more between the devices.

If you own a Galaxy phone or tablet and find yourself wishing it integrated better with your Windows 10 PC, you're in luck. Here's what you need to do to get Samsung Flow up and running.

Requirements

  • A Windows 10 PC with the Creators Update installed. Not sure if your device has the Creators Update? Read this
  • A Samsung Galaxy phone running Android Marshmallow or newer. (Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, A5, and A7 is officially listed on the Samsung Flow listing.)
  • Samsung Galaxy tablets must be running Android Nougat or newer. (Galaxy TabPro S, Galaxy Book, for example)

Get the software

If you have a compatible device, you'll need to install a couple of apps. Download Samsung Flow from the Windows Store, then install Samsung Flow from the Google Play store on your Android device. 

The first time you run the Flow app on your Windows device, a prompt will instruct you to install the Samsung Flow Driver. Clock Download and follow the prompts.

Connect all the things

connect-samsung-flow-devices

 Samsung Flow app on Windows 10 during setup process. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

With the Samsung Flow apps installed on your PC and phone or tablet, it's time to get the two devices talking to one another.

Open Samsung Flow on both devices, then click Pair in the Windows app. Using Bluetooth, your PC will look for an available Galaxy device with Samsung Flow running.

After a few seconds, you should see your device show up on the bottom portion of the Flow app on your PC. Select your device, click Pair and then verify the pairing code on both devices. You may be presented with a button titled Register device; click on it, and follow the prompts if so. 

Now what?

samsung-flow-app-on-android-device

Left: Shared file history between Samsung Flow devices. Right: Settings for Samsung Flow on a Galaxy phone. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

With Samsung Flow set up and working, you can view notifications sent to your Android device on your PC, reply to text messages from your PC, share files between the two devices (select Samsung Flow as the sharing app on your Android device), or, more conveniently, your PC will now auto-unlock when you're nearby with your phone or tablet unlocked.

Alerts and notifications will show up as native Windows 10 alerts in the Action Center.  

You will need to enable the Simple Unlock feature on your mobile device in the Settings section. With it enabled, you only need to unlock your phone and wake your PC to skip having to enter a password or PIN on your PC. It's kind of magical.