Frequently Asked Questions

What is DesktopSMS?

DesktopSMS allows you to connect Android phone and Windows PC to synchronize and send SMS messages from computer via Android device. Browse your existing conversations and SMS/MMS messages with native Windows application, compose and send SMS messages comfortably using your computer keyboard.

What connection types are available?

You can use your local network (LAN, Wi-Fi), or you can use bluetooth connection. Local network (Wi-Fi) is widely available and well supported (you just need both devices to be connected on same network). Bluetooth is a bit more comfortable and private type of connection (it is point-to-point connection), but not all bluetooth adapters are supported by DesktopSMS Client, you need to give it a try.

Can I send message to multiple recipients?

Yes, use Send new message dialog to send single SMS to multiple recipients. Paste semicolon separated list of recipients or use GUI to build such list, write your message and hit send button. That simple.

How to pair with my Android device

Use DesktopSMS Client to find remote devices and pair with selected one. To make remote (Android) device discoverable please make sure that:

  • DesktopSMS Lite is installed on Android device.
  • DesktopSMS Lite application is running (application is launched!).
  • 'Available for pairing' option is enabled.
  • Connection (Wi-Fi or bluetooth) is enabled and ready (Wi-Fi connected, bluetooth discoverable, ...).

Please note that your device must be active (screen on, or even better unlocked) to accept remote discovery attempts. Pair request must be confirmed on Android device.

I am not able to connect to my paired device

If you encounter problems connecting to your remote device, please try these options:

  • Wake up your Android device (turn on screen, unlock your device).
  • Make sure that DesktopSMS Lite is running (launch DesktopSMS Lite application).
  • Enable 'Foreground service' in DesktopSMS Lite settings to make DesktopSMS Lite available for connection even when not being used for longer periods of time.
  • Check Wi-Fi or Bluetooth status, is it turned on?
  • WiFi connection: is Wi-Fi connected? Check IP address on Android device and see what IP address is used in device manager configuration on DesktopSMS Client.

I can send messages only 80 characters long, what is going on?

You are using free version of DesktopSMS Lite. Free version is limited with maximum of 80 characters and 10 recipients per message. Please consider upgrading to full version, you can do so easily within the Android DesktopSMS Lite app. Upgrading to full will remove all of the limitations and you will also support further development of the app. Thank you!

Connection seems slow, remote device is not responding well

Please try to plug USB/AC power to your Android device. Android system saves battery by throttling down resources for apps that are not running on foreground when device is not active (screen off). Throttling is not applied that much when on AC/USB power, so plug in power supply to keep connection smooth.

Sometimes my connection is dropped and I have to start DesktopSMS Lite again

Happens even when DesktopSMS is running using foreground service. This can occur on devices with newer Android versions (like 9 Pie) and especially on devices produced by specific brands such as Nokia, OnePlus or others. To squeeze a little extra battery out of your phone, some OEMs break apps and make your phone less capable. On such devices, low level system apps (or maybe services) periodically scan running background services and often kills them without any warning. They don't even care about the fact that services are running as foreground services. And this is the reason why DesktopSMS service might be killed and interrupted.

You can read more about this topic on web site at https://dontkillmyapp.com, where you can find list of most popular vendors that are using such techniques. Let's see if your phone is also affected.

What 'foreground service' means, why and how to use it?

DesktopSMS Lite is standard Android application that must operate in Android system context. Android system is doing it's best to keep your device operating as effective as possible and thus prioritizes applications running on foreground only. All other tasks and services are muted or even killed when inactive. That's fine and it is really good design that works well for majority of 'standard' apps that you interact with directly on your Android device.

But in case of DesktopSMS, most of the time you interact with DesktopSMS Client on your computer, not with DesktopSMS Lite on Android device. To prevent killing DesktopSMS Lite service on your Android device (and thus making it impossible to get connected with) you can enable 'Foreground service' in DesktopSMS Lite settings. Foreground service will ensure that Android system won't kill DesktopSMS service. Sticky notification is displayed in notification area when foreground service is active. You can easily disconnect remote device and/or move service to background from foreground service notification.