So you’ve been playing around with Dex and you’re wondering if Samsung Dex can run Windows programs. Let’s see if we can get any Windows programs working on Dex-compatible phones…
What is Samsung Dex?
Samsung Dex is a feature on newer Samsung phones. What it does is transform the UI into a desktop-like experience, complete with a start menu, when connected to an external display via an HDMI adapter.
Can Samsung Dex Run Windows Programs?
There are also mobile versions of Windows apps, such as Office Mobile or Office 365 that work with Samsung Dex. The mobile version is quite different from the Windows version, so it might take some getting used to.
And finally, there are emulators for Android that let you create a virtual machine that can, theoretically, support Windows. However, it’s very unreliable, and Windows 10 doesn’t seem to want to work in that environment.
A common issue with this setup is the mouse cursor on Dex and Windows don’t synchronize. Some people were able to get Windows XP to work but that doesn’t really help us much.
The best (and easiest) option is to stream Windows to Samsung Dex using a remote control service like Chrome Remote Desktop. There are other services out there, but I think Chrome Remote Desktop works fine, and it’s free.
The setup steps are really simple too; download the installation file on your Windows 10 computer, install it, and a password. Next, open the app on your phone, tap the computer, enter the password, and boom you’re in.
Obviously, the resolution won’t match your phone, but it will if you connect it to a bigger display via an HDMI adapter and enable full-screen mode on Samsung Dex. If you have multiple displays, Chrome Remote Desktop will show them too.
From there, if you have a keyboard and mouse connected to Dex, you can use your Windows computer remotely, streamed through the internet, on Samsung Dex. And that means you can run all the Windows 10 programs too.
Note: You can also stream games from Windows like this but it’s not very reliable and the performance varies.
Do You Need a Dex Pad?
When the Dex was first announced, it required a Dex pad which didn’t make a big impact on the market. You can still buy Dex pads but they’re not required anymore, a simple USB-C to HDMI adapter can trigger Samsung Dex. But a Dex pad makes it easier to create a good Dex setup.
Having said that, Dex pads are still useful because they include two USB ports, an HDMI port, a charging port, and a convenient, fan-cooled, dock for your phone. On newer phones, you can use wireless Dex via Miracast. And you can also use Dex on a laptop or Windows machine.
If Samsung Dex is not working for you, take a look at our troubleshooting Dex guide.
Accessories for Samsung Dex:
To make the most of Samsung Dex, you’ll need some accessories. Here are some ideas:
- A 1080P HDMI Portable Monitor
- A USB-C to HDMI Hub with a Charging Port and USB Ports
- A Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
The most expensive from that list is the portable monitor, but they usually last for a long time, and you can slide them into a laptop sleeve in your backpack. They’re super convenient and you can use them anywhere.
So you can’t natively run Windows programs on Samsung Dex but you can get by with streaming Windows to your phone. There is a bit of lag – depending on your internet speed – but usually, it’s acceptable. I use Remote Desktop all the time on my phone.