How to use your Android phone as a remote for your PC with KDE Connect

If your computer doubles as a media center, moving back and forth across your desk can be a hassle. Manipulating on the phone and returning whenever there is a notification on the computer is equally difficult. Fortunately, there is a powerful free and open source software that can help: KDE Connect.

With this app, you can use your phone as a trackpad and keyboard, a multimedia control tool, a remote control for presentations, and a file sharing device. Notifications are sent to both your phone and computer, so you can keep track of your messages no matter what device you’re using.

After installing KDE Connect on your PC, you will be able to:

Another useful feature is controlling media playback from your phone. If you are watching a movie from a media-center PC connected to a large monitor, it can be inconvenient to use the mouse and keyboard from the bed or couch. Instead, you can control movies and volume from your phone.

If the movie or music is playing while the phone rings, you can even set up KDE Connect to pause all media content until the call ends.

Also, to avoid having multiple notifications for the same app on both devices, you can control which device notifies you about which app. If you want to receive all email notifications from just one device, you can uncheck notifications from your email client or your browser from the app.

If you’re using your work PC for slideshows and multimedia, all of that can be done from your phone. No more “juggling” between remote, mouse or volume!

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First, you need to install the app on each device you’re using. With the application installed on the devices, you will be able to make communication between them.

Download KDE Connect from the link below.

The program is also available for Linux and macOS. While you’re waiting for the KDE Connect PC installer to complete, open the Google Play Store and install the KDE Connect for Android app.

Since it’s free and open source software, you can also download it from the F-Droid alternative app store.

KDE Connect allows you to automatically pair your devices.

First, make sure that both devices are connected to the same network. Then enable KDE Connect on the PC. You’ll see a device menu, ready to pair with any mobile device running KDE Connect.

Next, launch KDE Connect on the Android device. You should see your PC’s name appear in the Available devices menu.

If the devices are discoverable, you can move on to step 3. If you can’t pair them, you’ll need to determine your PC’s IP address and pair them that way.

Now, to pair, from the KDE Connect app on your phone, tap your device. You will see a message saying the device is not paired. Click Request Pairing.

Then go back to the computer. A menu will appear showing a request to pair with your phone’s name. Click Accept.

You should now be able to see your computer in Connected devices on your phone.

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Now, you just need to make sure the app is allowed to do everything it needs to. Fortunately, all access can be granted through the Android app from the connected device’s preferences screen.

For example, to have media content on your PC pause when you have a call, you’ll need to grant privileges to your phone calls. Also, to sync text messages between your phone and PC, you need to grant access to your messages.

If you want to manage notifications on phones and computers, you need to grant notifications privileges on your phone. This way, notifications from your phone will appear on your PC.

More setup permissions are granted if you’re looking to use your phone as a touchpad and keyboard, multimedia control, and slideshow remote. This means you will need to grant access to KDE Connect as another keyboard and give it accessibility privileges.

Now that the devices are connected, you need to ensure that they can communicate successfully. A simple way to do this is to send your computer a ping command. From the KDE Connect menu on your Android device, press the three-dot menu on the right and select Ping. This will send a notification to your computer saying “Ping”.

Again, from the main menu, you can test the Remote input feature by selecting it, then moving your fingers across the screen. If the PC’s mouse pointer moves around, everything is working fine. You can also perform a two-finger scroll gesture to scroll down web pages. This will eventually allow you to use your phone as a trackpad for your computer.

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To test the multimedia control functions, select your favorite website or application to play media content on your PC. A notification will appear at the top of your device, the same way you access your phone’s media control functions when you are playing music or video. Try pressing the pause and play buttons to make sure it works correctly.