Windows 10 April 2018 Update – Connecting Your iPhone to Your Windows 10 VM


The Windows 10 April 2018 Update was released on April 30, 2018, and it has a number of new features that Mac users will care about.

This is the first in a short series about these new Windows 10 features: Connecting your iPhone to your Windows 10 VM.

Microsoft has long been accused of copying features from the Mac® OS. Remember the line from the 2004 Steve Jobs’ keynote (and used for several years afterwards): “Redmond: Start your photocopiers.” (See Figure 1.)

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Figure 1_Apple tweaks Microsoft (figure from Ars Technica)

Personally, I’m fine with this when Microsoft copies good features from the Mac. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (I get annoyed when Microsoft copies the bad features, but that’s a story for another time.)

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update copies a great feature from the Mac: Handoff. Handoff enables you to start some work on one Apple® device, and seamlessly continue working on another Apple device. Of course, Microsoft’s feature doesn’t have such a catchy name, but it does almost the same thing. They also explicitly call out iPhone® support in the Windows 10 setting where you enable it (Figure 2), although the feature also works with Android phones.

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Figure 2_The Phone setting in Windows 10 lists the iPhone

Setting Up the Connection

Setting up this new feature is quite easy. Start at the Phone setting (Figure 2). Tap on the link to set up a new phone, and you will be prompted to send your phone a text (Figure 3).

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Figure 3_Send your iPhone a text to set up a connection

Assuming your phone is an iPhone, the link in the text will prompt you to download the new Microsoft Edge browser app for iOS (Figure 4).

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Figure 4_Connection text received on iPhone

Sign in to the Edge browser with your Microsoft ID (and probably using the new Microsoft Authenticator to prove it’s really you), and you’re done. Your iPhone and your Windows 10 VM are now linked.

Using the Connection

Using the connection from your iPhone is even easier. If you want to pass a webpage to your virtual machine (VM), just click on the stylized “Continue on PC” icon at the bottom of the Edge screen (Figure 5).

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Figure 5_The Continue on PC button in the Edge browser

You can see the entire process in this video:


This is just one of several features in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update that will be of particular interest to Mac users. Watch for future blog posts on the others. Remember to upgrade your VM to theApril 2018 Update to take advantage of these new features.

Try Parallels Desktop for free for 14 days and start connecting your iPhone to your Windows 10 virtual machine today!

Kurt has been a Mac developer since before the Mac came out. Today he is the Senior Product Manager at Parallels where he works on both Parallels Desktop for Mac and Parallels Access. Prior to Parallels, he was the Senior Mac Evangelist in the Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) at Microsoft Corp. Kurt is the author of three books and has lectured internationally on object-oriented programming, UI design, and virtualization. Kurt is also a Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS Accredited Support Professional for 2014 and 2015. Outside of work, Kurt has been a fencer for many years, has four times been a member of the US team at the world championships, and has also been the coach of the US team:

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