How to set up Samsung DeX on your Galaxy smartphone or tablet

Samsung is one of the top smartphone manufacturers in the world, and it also dominates the Android tablet market. This is because of their outstanding performance and user-friendly interface. Also, most of the recent Samsung Galaxy handsets and tablets feature Samsung DeX out of the box. If you’re unfamiliar with it, DeX allows you to unleash the full power of your smartphone or tablet and turn it into an actual desktop computer by connecting it to an external monitor and accessories, allowing you to use it like a PC . Read on to learn more about DeX and how it can help your phone replace your computer.

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What is DeX?

Samsung DeX is a way to turn your Samsung mobile phone or tablet into a handheld computer by connecting it to an external monitor and peripherals. DeX is compatible and comes built-in with most higher-end Galaxy devices released after 2017, namely the Galaxy S8 , S9, S10, S20, S21, and S22 phones, as well as the Note8, Note9, Note10, and Note20 devices and the A90 5G. In addition, the TabS4, 5e, Active Pro, S6, S7, S7, and Active 3 work with DeX, as well as the Fold, Z Fold2, Z Fold3, and Z Fold4.

To use DeX, you need a USB-C to HDMI connector and potentially an external keyboard and mouse. In some cases, you may not need an adapter, as you can wirelessly cast your screen to a compatible TV. Finally, if you have a Windows PC, you can use a USB cable to open DeX as an app on your computer, but this last step defeats the purpose of using your phone as a computer. Read on to see how to get started. The process is easy and doesn’ t require much IT knowledge.

How to use Samsung DeX with an external HDMI monitor

The easiest way to transform your Galaxy device into a computer is to plug it directly into an HDMI monitor using a USB-C to HDMI cable.

  1. Connect the USB-C end of the cable to your Galaxy phone or tablet and the HDMI one to the screen.
  2. Unlock your phone and, if prompted, tap continue and start.

  3. If your phone starts mirroring its display, scroll down from the top of the screen to open the notification tray and tap Samsung DeX.Confirm by tapping start.
  4. Your phone displays the DeX interface on your monitor, which looks similar to a regular desktop operating system. The notification tray is in the lower-right corner, and you can access the app tray using the icon in the lower-left corner of the screen.
    Screenshot_20221116_184339_Samsung DeX home

  5. To use your phone’s screen as a virtual touchpad, open the notification tray and tap Use your phone as a touchpad.

  6. To leave DeX mode, save your changes and unplug the HDMI cable. Alternatively, you can click the Apps icon in the lower-left corner and click Exit DeX.

How to use DeX with a wireless monitor

If you have a compatible TV, you don’t need to plug in an HDMI cable to use DeX. Wireless DeX works on 2018+ Samsung TVs and Smart TVs that support Miracast. Also, this feature requires One UI 3.1+, which not all the aforementioned Samsung devices have. If your monitor and phone are compatible, here’s how to connect them:

  1. On your phone or tablet, scroll down from the top of your screen with two fingers to open the Quick Settings panel.
  2. tap DeX.
  3. tap DeX on TV or monitor.
  4. If prompted, tap Allow.

  5. Select the TV or monitor you’d like to cast to.
  6. tap start.
  7. Your phone displays the DeX interface on your TV, which looks similar to a regular desktop operating system. The notification tray is in the lower-right corner, and you can access the app tray using the icon in the lower-left corner of the screen.
    Screenshot_20221116_184339_Samsung DeX home

  8. To use your phone’s screen as a virtual touchpad, open the notification tray and tap Use your phone as a touchpad.
  9. To leave DeX mode, click the Apps icon in the lower-left corner and click Exit DeX.

We recommend using DeX mode with a cable whenever possible. Wireless DeX can be hit or miss, and latency can quickly become a pain point.

How to connect accessories

Whether you use a cable or wireless connection, using your phone’s display as a touchpad is not necessarily the most convenient option. There are different ways to connect a keyboard and mouse to your phone, making it more convenient to use it as an actual computer.

For wired devices, you can use a USB-C hub, a DeX Pad, or a DeX station. For wireless devices, connect them using Bluetooth:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings.
  2. Go to Connections > Bluetooth.
  3. Put your keyboard or mouse in pairing mode and select the device you’d like to connect.

How to use DeX for PC

If needed, you can use DeX as an app on your computer. This is useful if you’d like to run your phone’s apps on your computer’s screen and transfer documents between your PC and phone. Here’s how it works:

  1. Open the Samsung DeX app on your computer.
  2. Connect your phone and computer using a USB cable.
  3. Your phone displays the DeX interface on your PC.
  4. You can use your computer’s mouse and keyboard to control DeX. You can also copy and paste text from Windows apps in DeX and drag and drop files from one to the other.
  5. To leave DeX mode, click the Apps icon in the lower-left corner and click Exit DeXor quit the DeX app on your computer.

How to use DeX on your tablet

If you have a Samsung tablet, you can use DeX on its screen, allowing you to multitask in a desktop-like environment without having to use an external monitor. Here’s how to access it:

  1. On your tablet, scroll down from the top of your screen with two fingers to open the Quick Settings panel.
  2. tap DeX.
  3. If prompted, tap start.
    Screenshot_20221116-133046_Samsung DeX

  4. The DeX interface loads on the tablet and looks the same as it appears on an external monitor. You can connect peripherals or a keyboard cover for added comfort and use your S Pen if you have a compatible tablet.
    Screenshot_20221116-133115_Samsung DeX home

Leave your laptop at home

With Samsung DeX, you can easily connect your phone to a monitor and work on the go. This is a great way to save bucks and avoid multiplying the number of devices you have at home since your Galaxy phone or tablet can work with monitors and TVs you already have without buying costly devices. If you’re a new Galaxy smartphone or tablet owner, you’ll want to spend a few minutes to learn more about One UI 5, Samsung’s custom Android skin.

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