Projecting your Windows Phone screen to a PC

wp_ss_20140418_0001One of the common questions I’ve been getting over the past week from folks has been how to take advantage of this semi-obscure ‘Project my Screen’ entry that was added to the settings collection with Windows Phone 8.1.

This entry is enabled in one of two ways: by using Miracast capabilities delivered in 8.1, and by using the Project my Screen app on a PC and connecting your phone to your PC using a USB cable (sorry – no WiFi yet).

I believe the ‘Project my Screen’ application has been one of the more eagerly awaited features by developers and technical enthusiasts alike. Since we launched Windows Phone 7.0, I’ve received at least a 2-3 mails/questions a month on how they can do demos like Microsoft presenters. With this enabled, anyone can fire up their phone and project a demo of their app or their phone. So, let me lay out how you can demo your app and phone. Smile

Project my Screen requirements
The application is a desktop/x86 application (not a Windows Store app), and should run on Windows 7 and later. And, talking to the team, there is currently no plan to expand this to a Store app, nor is there a plan to enable this to connect to a television or non-PCs. A lot of this stems from the core purpose of this viewing application is to enable demos. The use case for televisions and other device types will come along with Miracast support (I don’t have any details on this, but I will post more on this as I get more information).

How to install it
To make use of the Project my Screen app, you need to do the following:

  1. Download and install the Project My Screen app from the Microsoft Download Center
  2. Start up the application using the ‘Project my Screen’ shortcut on the desktop or program list. This will start up a full-screen – click <ESC> to get that puppy to window down
  3. Connect your phone to your computer using a data-transfer quality USB cable
  4. You should get a prompt for permission to allow screen projection, click ‘yes’
  5. At this point, your phone screen should show up (similar to below)

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Command cheat sheet

There is a limited number of commands available in the application to control the demo experience. The table below summarizes the commands available to you (you can get this list in app by hitting F1):

Action/Command Key
View the help screen <F1>
Quit to windowed mode <ESC>
Toggle background image on/off B
Toggle the expanded screen mode E
Toggle full-screen mode F or <Alt>+<Enter>
Toggle the phone shell image P
Toggle visibility of ‘touch dots’ T
Display the current [desktop] frame rate R
Force orientation to landscape left Left arrow key
Force orientation to landscape right Right arrow key
Force orientation to portrait up Up arrow key
Force orientation to portrait down Down arrow key
Reset orientation to match phone <spacebar>

…if your screen won’t project…

4-18-2014 2-27-16 PM

If you don’t get a prompt on your phone and the Project my Screen app remains blank/black, you may have some old phone drivers hanging around. To get rid of them, head over to your machine’s device manager (my preferred way of getting there on Windows 8.1 is to secondary-mouse-click on the Start button and select ‘Device Manager’ from the pop-up menu).

Once in the Windows Device Manager, you’ll want to remove + uninstall the drivers related to your device. When removing these drivers, it’s important that you get them all – not only the actual device itself, but the related USB device drivers.

To do this, do the following steps, keeping the plugged in:

  1. Right-click on each driver you want to delete and select ‘uninstall’
  2. A dialog will pop up asking you to confirm uninstallation. If you also have the option to delete/remove the drivers, select that
  3. Once they’ve all been uninstalled, unplug and replug in your phone back in and Windows should take care of the driver magic
  4. You should also now get the screen projection prompt shown above

4-18-2014 2-29-46 PM


Happy projecting!

102 thoughts on “Projecting your Windows Phone screen to a PC

  1. Unfortunately, Unable to project.. Even the troubleshooting step you suggested doesn’t applies in my case.

    1. Total side question – are you able to (a) see the phone in Windows explorer (to interact with pictures) and/or (b) developer unlock the device?

      1. While I know I’m not the OP I am in a similar position. Yes I can see it in Windows Explorer, and it is already developer unlocked (I use it to test an app I’m making)

      2. I can Project it but I cannot control my Phone with PC mouse, like I saw it on youtube videos. It works just in one direction. My mouse cursor on PC cant open or do anything when I click something on Projection.

    2. when you select Unistall the phone under universal serial bus devices, be sure you Check the box for “Delete the driver software for this Device”

    3. Hi
      The same problem. Cannot get this to work!
      My device manager shows 3 drivers: WinUSb Device (2) and Nokia USB Connectivity

      I tried reinstalling them and then that didn’t work. My phone just doesn’t show the prompt and moreover the application project my app always appears to be searching even when the phone is connected.
      I have a LUMIA 720.

  2. After I stalled this app, all animation are executed in SLO MOTION, everything, opening is quick as Always, but the animation speed is slow!!!

      1. It happened with the PC after rebooting (without the phone being connected). A forced restart (via power button) fixed this. It was really strange, the computer itself was okay, but all animations/transitions and even alt+tab not. Like, took 3 seconds to the animation of switching programs to finish.

  3. Oh, and by the way, if you unplug the phone while in the Device Manager, you can’t unistall the drivers (because the DM refresh itself after removing a device), so you should keep the phone pluged in.

    1. I haven’t tried it on 7 (as all my machines are used with the SDK – which has been 8 for a long time). My guess is it is win8.

  4. I see the portable device and my phone is under it, but under universal serial bus devices I just have three drop downs and they are all WinUsb devices. I uninstalled just my phone then plugged it back in, and im still unable to project to my screen

    1. I was told on twitter that deleting the device from the Win8 ‘add a device’ app (don’t recall name and being on my phone doesn’t help… But same place you add a printer or a mouse) would remove the device and USB drivers. Let me know if that works.

  5. Dear sir, it seems my computer (running Windows 8.1) lacks of driver. How do I add the driver to my computer? (Note: I can use my phone with PC to transfer data normally).

  6. People who are having troubles, I have found a solution.
    Install the app, reboot the PC once the installation has been completed.
    Now, open up the app from desktop and then connect the USB.
    If there is no prompt on the screen go device manager (right click start menu, there should be an option), DO NOT unplug the USB from the phone.
    At the bottom there will be a section called “universal serial bus devices” Uninstall all the drivers that are linked to your phone. Once they disappear, disconnect your phone.

    Now, close the app on the desktop and launch it again. Then connect the phone via USB. You should have the prompt on your phone now.

    If you are stuck at any points feel free to reply to my comment.
    I hope it works for you as easily as it did for me.

    1. Mine still isn’t working… :/ Tried all the steps above numerous times. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Win 8.1 Pro Update 1.

      1. I think I might have some old Lumia 920 drivers on here that I’d probably also need to get rid of. How do I get rid of all the Nokia drivers without having the phones to plug them in?

        1. Someone commented above that trekking device manager to show hidden drivers should get them to show up.

          Let me know Monday morning if it’s still giving issues and I’ll ping the devs who own the tool.

          1. i’ve deleted all the driver relating to my lumia 920, and reset pc after that. After i plugged in cable, nothing show up.

          2. Well that worked for me, i had a black screen, jumped to device manager & showed up the hidden drivers, deletted all “lumia” & “nokia” drivers, after that i plugged in the phone, after it’s installed them back, i start the tool & it’s works 🙂

          3. I’ve been struggling for a few hours to connect USB, reinstall the ProjectMyScreenApp and deleting all the drivers from device manager, but to no avail. Then activating “show hidden devices” in Device Manager does the trick! There’re some hidden/old drivers there.

    2. So, I deleted all the drivers linked to the phone, restarted the app, then the notification on my phone popped up when I plugged it back it, but the program on my computer (I’m running Windows 8.1) was still blank. I tested clicking on the projected screen in the PC program and it opened up something on my phone, so obviously it is connected, but the actual screen is not showing up. Any clue as to what could be causing this?

  7. Hi Cliff , thanks for the post. Works perfectly after following your blog post. I had to re-install the drivers on my Windows PC 8.1. I have lumia 820. Working great.

    Just wanted to know if there way to send keyboard feedback from PC to the device. App works great but then for typing you have to use the on screen keyboard. Life would be much easier if i can start typing using my laptop keyboard. I wont need to use phone while im at work. Is it something developers are planning to integrate in future ?

  8. Not working ;(
    I uninstalled the drivers, restarted PC, it automatically updated required drivers itself but still it shows nothing on my computer screen, except the blank black screen in the app. Am I missing something?

  9. Ok I had problems with run app though unistalled drivers. We have to have unistall one more driver, called: NOKIA_BOTTMGR. After unistall that, app works fine. THX for the solution.

  10. Hi. Re: Project my screen on WP 8.1. Do you know if its possible to connect via USB to a TV to project, play a game, and use a controller? Have a 1520 and think this would be a pretty awesome option if available? Thanks for your help.

  11. I am not able to use mouse and keyboard to operate it in pc within project my screen app.

    Plz help.

  12. So will this evolve into being able to plug a windows phone into a TV and be able to project or is this something that will always require cooperating software on the other end like we have here. Also I was playing around and tried Hulu Plus. Everything worked as it should until the video actually started playing and the pc screen stayed blank. Anyone else experience this?

    1. can you please tell me what is displayed under device manager? I can’t get it to work under 7. tried removing all drivers and rebooting…

    2. It works with Mouse Input? I was able to make it run on Windows 8.1 update 1 but, on Windows 7 x64 it runs without mouse input =/

  13. Great guide after removing the “öld” drivers the app worked.
    I only made a mistake. after removing the first universal USB driver I disconnected my phone so al the driver also “disappeared” . After really removing them (phone connected to computer) it worked. Thanks

  14. Would someone who has this working be willing to post the Driver date and versions they’re seeing under Universal Serial Bus Devices to rule out the possibility that most current drivers are not being installed after un-install and reconnect?

  15. I have checked the “show hidden devices” and uninstalled the device and two entries under the usb devices section. (both the same name). I have rebooted my win8.1 update 1 x64 machine and my lumia 920 (wp8.1) seems to keep searching for available screens to project on. I have tried to open the app on windows before searching started and afterwards. I keep getting a black screen. I have no idea how to troubleshoot this.

  16. Thanks! same problem, no connection made until I uninstalled the phone driver. After that I got the prompt.

  17. Device OS Version

    Not Confirmed (but consistent from the few people I polled based on whether working or not).

    Device OS Version must match Ver. No of Project My Screen App – 8.10.12349

    As I said small random sample so more of a theory 😉

  18. for those who did all the steps above and don’t get the projection screen prompt directly. just wait for a few moments, then the projection screen prompt should appear.

    It’s just what I’ve done. And it’s works.
    I’m using L620 with Win7.

    1. I also use win 7 but I can’t install project my screen. “failed to initialize the application. hr=0x8876086a” what should I do???

  19. I can’t run the Project my screen app on my computer. After installing, I click its icon and it said “Failed to initialize the application. hr=0x8876086a”. What should I do now? Please help me :(((((

  20. Hi, I tried uninstalling the drivers as advised. But driver magic is not working. I tried the troubleshoot as described here . Im in a fix now that my phone is not at all detected by my pc. Tried formatting phone as well, but no luck. Cant format pc as well. Any workaround?

  21. I can make it work on my office computer (Win 8) but not on my laptop (Win 7). I did everything you suggest. But there’s another thing: on my Device Manager, under ‘Other Devices’, there’s 3 ‘Nokia Lumia 520 (RM-914)’ with yellow exclamation mark. Everytime I uninstalled them and reconnect my phone, the prompt on the toolbar said that the software for my phone is unsuccessfully installed. Which is weird because I can navigate the phone on my laptop, and I already installed the phone-computer connection app. Could that be the case with my laptop? If so, how to troubleshoot this?

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