New Windows 10 update gives it Windows 11’s photo-sharing capabilities with Android devices – but you might want to hang on

Woman sitting at desk with laptop, holding a phone and looking at it
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi)

Microsoft has recently released an optional update, KB5037849, for Windows 10 that brings in a useful feature that we’ve only seen in Windows 11 thus far, one that improves integration with Android devices.

This development is a little unexpected as Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 users to transition to Windows 11, and reminding them that its end-of-support date is approaching - so you’d expect that adding new features to the older OS would be shoved down the priority list by now, but apparently that’s not the case.

After installing KB5037849, Windows Latest noticed that the 'Mobile Devices' feature page, previously seen only in Windows 11, had been introduced to Windows 10. This feature enables you to access photos taken and stored on your phone instantly on your PC. It appears as a ‘Mobile Devices’ page found in the Settings app, and when you toggle ‘Allow this PC to access your mobile devices’ on, it will prompt you to ‘Download and install Cross Device Experience Host’ from the Microsoft Store

Apparently, it does require that you’re logged into a Microsoft account, but it doesn’t need setting up via the Phone Link app (which allows users to fully sync their Android or iPhone with their Windows PC towards all kinds of ends). 

Once you do this, you can head to the ‘Manage Devices’ page (via the ‘Mobile Devices’ panel) and turn on ‘Get new photo notifications.’ You will then receive notifications on your PC when you take new photos on the Android phone that you’ve linked, allowing you to view the photos and edit them with the Snipping Tool in Windows 11. Or indeed you can also open the photos with Paint, or share them with others via Windows Share

Microsoft Surface tablet on desk with businesman and businesswoman

(Image credit: Worawee Meepian / Shutterstock)

How to get this new photo-sharing with Android feature

For now, Windows 10 users will have to install the optional May 2024 update to gain these capabilities, but all Windows 10 users are set to get this feature as part of the mandatory June 2024 Patch Tuesday update. 

Remember that any optional update is still in testing, and could have unpredictable results, so you may want to wait for the full release of the patch (which happens a week today, in fact, so it’s not far off).

If you can’t wait and want to install the optional update KB5037849 now, go to the following location: Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update. Then click on ‘Download and install’ where the optional update is flagged up (check for updates if it isn’t).

This update also delivers several bug fixes, as well as other changes, that you can check out in more detail on Microsoft’s official support page for the patch. 

I’m glad Windows 10 is still receiving new features, even if they’re not the biggest updates, and it’s good to see Microsoft hasn’t completely given up on the OS, despite the scheduled end-of-support date being just over a year away.

Hopefully, Microsoft will continue to add features to improve Windows 10, although I’d imagine the company will halt this practice in the near future, as resources are likely to be redirected elsewhere, which will no doubt disappoint Windows 10 fans even further. 


Computing Writer

Kristina is a UK-based Computing Writer, and is interested in all things computing, software, tech, mathematics and science. Previously, she has written articles about popular culture, economics, and miscellaneous other topics.

She has a personal interest in the history of mathematics, science, and technology; in particular, she closely follows AI and philosophically-motivated discussions.