It’s amazing how we can control our smart devices.
Using only an app on our phone.
Or even just our voice.
But if you’re a PC user, you’ve likely been curious.
“Can I actually control my smart home from my PC?”
Well, yes you can. And it’s easier than you think.
Continue reading to find out:
- Why you can no longer use Window’s Cortana for your smart home.
- The limitations of what you can do when using a Windows computer.
- 3 platforms that you can easily use to control your smart home from your PC.
- An easy workaround to install the virtual assistant Google Home on your Windows device.
- And this is just the beginning…
How to control a smart home from a pc?
To control a smart home from a PC, download 3rd-party smart home platforms. Then install them on your PC. Some of the most popular ones you can use include Alexa and SmartThings. It’s also possible to install Google Home on your PC. But you’ll have to use an Android emulator for that.
3 easy ways to control smart home from PC
A note about Window’s Cortana.
In March 2020, Microsoft released a statement about Cortana.
They’ve essentially shifted focus. They no longer see Cortana as a competitor to Alexa or Google Assistant.
And that’s why we’re also no longer able to use it for smart home control.
So if you’d like to control your smart devices with your PC…
You’ll need some 3rd-party smart home platforms instead.
And we’ll walk you through an easy way to use 3 of these platforms.
#1: Alexa for Windows
When building a smart home, many choose Amazon’s Alexa as their main ecosystem.
And why not?
Alexa has the widest array of compatible devices.
Some of the most common devices that work with Alexa include:
You name it. Almost any smart device you can think of. You can likely integrate it with Alexa.
And if you’re one of those using Alexa.
And you’d like to control your smart devices with your PC…
You’ll simply need to download and install the Alexa for Windows app.
Here’s how you can download it:
- Open Microsoft Store. You can find the icon for it in your PC’s Taskbar. You may also type in “Microsoft Store” in the search box and press Enter.
- Search for the Alexa app.
- Click the download button.
Once you’ve downloaded it, you may begin the installation process.
This is how you do it:
- Launch the Alexa app on your PC.
- Enter your Amazon account details.
- Accept the Terms and Conditions.
- You’ll be asked if you want to use Alexa with your voice. If you select Allow, you’ll need to give Alexa permission to access your PC’s microphone.
After that, you’re all set. You should now be on the main page.
Navigate to the Smart Home menu. You can find it on the left side of the Alexa app user interface.
There you’ll be able to see all of your devices connected to Alexa.
Click on any of your devices on the list.
You should then be able to see their controls. Whether it’s changing your smart bulb’s color. Or adjusting your thermostat.
And that’s it! You’re all set.
You can now control your smart home through your PC via Alexa.
If you’d like a visual guide, you may refer to this video:
#2: SmartThings Windows app
SmartThings is another popular smart home platform.
Founded in 2012. And purchased by tech-giant Samsung in 2014.
According to their website, there are now over 100 brands that work with their platform. And that includes over 1000 devices.
So this is another excellent ecosystem for your smart home.
And recently, they’ve released the SmartThings app for Windows.
So if you’re a SmartThings user, you can now control your smart home from your PC.
And no, it’s not just limited to Samsung Galaxy Book devices.
This will work on any laptop brand. As long as you have at least a 64-bit Windows 10 20H1.
Just a heads up. Its controls are pretty limited.
Here are the limitations of SmartThings for Windows:
- No access to device details.
- Cannot edit or create Scenes.
- No access or control to Automations.
- Won’t be able to connect new devices.
Having said that, there is still plenty that you can do.
Such as the following:
- Make modifications to your Rooms.
- Switch your connected devices on or off.
- Turn on the Scenes that you’ve previously created.
Still more than enough to be able to control your smart home via PC.
Now here’s how you can download and install the SmartThings app:
- Open the Microsoft Store on your PC.
- Search for SmartThings.
- Click the Download button.
- After download, run the file to begin the installation.
After installation, you may go ahead and launch the app.
The interface in the PC app should be pretty similar to the phone version.
You should find the Devices option on the left.
Click it to see all of your devices connected to SmartThings.
You should then be able to control them from there.
Read next: SmartThings vs Google Home: Which Is Better?
#3: Google Home through an Android emulator
Now if you’re a Google Home user. And you want to use your PC for your smart home.
It’s also possible. But it’s a little tricky. And we’ll need a bit of a workaround.
You see, Google Home is actually not available on Microsoft Store.
It’s only compatible with iOS and Android devices.
That’s why for the workaround, we’ll need an Android emulator.
“What exactly is an Android emulator?”
It’s an app that you can download and install on your PC. It’s designed so you can run Android-compatible devices on your Windows computer.
For our guide, we’ll be using BlueStacks. It’s one of the best Android emulators.
How to download and install BlueStacks:
- Go to the BluStacks website.
- Click the Download for Windows button.
- Run the downloaded file and follow the prompts to install.
Once you’ve installed BlueStacks, the app will automatically launch.
You should see a sign-in message for your Google Play account. Go ahead and sign in.
You’re now ready to download and install Google Home.
Here’s how to download it:
- On your BlueStacks emulator, look for Google Play and click it.
- Search Google Home.
- Click Google Home to download and install.
After a successful installation, return to BlueStack’s homepage.
You should now be able to see the Google Home icon.
When you launch Google Home, you’ll once again be asked to enter your Google account info.
After that, you should now be able to see your smart home devices.
You’re now all set to control them.
You might also like: 9 Easy Steps To Connect Google Home With SmartThings