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How To Use Samsung DeX: Everything You Need To Know!

Did you know that your Samsung phone can be used like a desktop PC? This is a great way to play games on a bigger screen, or get work done without your laptop. In this article, I’ll explain what Samsung DeX is and show you how to set it up.

What Is Samsung DeX?

Samsung DeX mode is a unique feature of Samsung’s newer Galaxy smartphones. With a special dock or a USB-C to HDMI cable, you can connect your Samsung to an external monitor. When connected, the display will show a desktop experience, and apps can be opened in their own resizable Windows.

The user interface may remind you a lot of Windows PCs, as the primary FOCUS of DeX mode is the desktop and its app shortcuts!

Which Phones Are Compatible With Samsung DeX?

Several Samsung models can use DeX, including every S model since the Galaxy S8 and every Note model since the Note8. These are the only Galaxy models compatible with the DeX Station and DeX Pad too.

Every Z Fold model and the Galaxy A90 can also use DeX when connected to a monitor with a DeX or HDMI cable.

Getting Started With DeX

The easiest way to use Samsung DeX is to get a USB-C to HDMI cable. Plug in your Samsung Galaxy device and connect it to the external monitor of choice.

Once you connect the monitor and the phone, you may see a pop-up on your phone asking if you want to use DeX or screen mirroring. Select DeX to get started. You should see the desktop screen appear on your monitor.

Using DeX With Your Phone As a Trackpad

Now that you’ve started using Samsung DeX, there are some important things to know about using the interface. First, if you don’t have a keyboard and mouse connected to your phone, you will have to use your phone as a trackpad. You should see a notification on your phone that you can tap to use your phone as a trackpad.

With the trackpad screen on your phone, you can move the cursor on your monitor and tap on things. You can also tap with two fingers to right-click, and long press to click and drag Windows around the screen.

When you select a text box to type, the on-screen keyboard will appear on your phone. Just starting typing and your text will appear on the monitor.

Using Bluetooth Keyboard Mouse

Using your phone as a trackpad and keyboard isn’t the most ideal way to use a desktop experience like Samsung DeX. The best thing to do is connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your phone.

Pairing a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse

To connect these devices to use with Samsung DeX, swipe down from the top of your phone screen and tap the gear to open Settings. Then, tap Connections.

Tap Bluetooth and make sure Bluetooth is on by tapping the button at the top of the screen. Then, press the pairing button on your keyboard or mouse. It’s best to connect these devices one at a time.

When connecting your keyboard, you may have to type a set of numbers and press enter to verify that this is the keyboard you want to connect. When you see the device appear in the pairing list on your phone, tap on it, and then use the numbers that it gives you to type in the code.

For your mouse, you shouldn’t have to do anything special except tap it in the pairing list. Once you have paired both devices, you shouldn’t have to pair them again.

Using Keyboard Mouse With Samsung DeX

Your keyboard and mouse will function just as they would on a desktop PC. If you want to snap Windows to the right or left of the screen, press the Windows key on the keyboard and tap the left or right arrow keys.

If you want to change the mouse sensitivity, double-click on Settings on your desktop in Samsung DeX. Then, click on Samsung DeX. Pointer Settings. From here, you can adjust the mouse sensitivity if you find it to be too fast or too slow.

Can Samsung DeX Replace Your PC?

Probably not. Samsung DeX has a lot of useful features, but it lacks the usability and power of a dedicated Windows PC. Portability could also be an issue as you’ll need an external monitor to use as a display.

However, you can use a portable monitor to help resolve this issue. When using a portable monitor, a USB-C to HDMI cable, and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can effectively transform your Samsung Galaxy into a modular laptop. Although limited, Samsung DeX is an invaluable tool to add to your smartphone arsenal and can help you stay productive and even play games.

Which Samsung Is Best For DeX?

Can’t decide which Samsung phone is right for you? Check out our cell phone comparison tool. Be sure to click Brands Models, then Samsung to filter for Samsung devices.

You’re All Set!

You’re now ready to use Samsung DeX! Thank you for reading, and please share this article with a friend who may not know how to use DeX on their Samsung phone. If you have any more questions about how to use Samsung DeX, please leave a comment down below.

Underrated Samsung DEX in 2022

Smartphone, tablet and desktop in a single device? Yes, that’s really possible! I ever dreamed for a device that could be a smartphone, tablet and desktop in a single device – one device to rule them all! In 2021 this finally came true with Samsung’s new Fold device. Within your regular usage you may just use it as a regular smartphone, later in the evening as a tablet on your couch or bed and when it comes to productivity – you can really use it as a full desktop replacement!

In the past I already played around with several phones that could do this but none of them did it well. Why? Well, there were just too many issues that stopped me from replacing my desktop with a smartphone. Microsoft already did a great job when the first Lumia devices where released where you were able to use it in a desktop mode with the desktop Dock. Unfortunately, too less apps were optimized for the ARM platform as well as the overall quality wasn’t that good. This was my first approach – and a huge mistake. Some years later I tried again with Huawei’s Easy Projection that was something like a desktop. Unfortunately, a big mistake – again. Most Android apps weren’t able to scale, many DRM apps stopped working and gave no further output and only Full HD resolution made me cry.

With the begging of the Samsung S10 I made my first steps on Samsung DEX and I was blown away. This was the first time I was able to use a WQHD resolution where everything looked smooth and sharp. Next to this, I was able to use DRM related apps like Netflix and a window manager with snapping and basic shortcuts.

Some years later Samsung DEX improved and beside this, we have a new hybrid device of smartphone and tablet. With the new improvements we can just spawn the browser multiple times to have a real multi app desktop feeling. We can search for information, write documentation, work on shell and watch videos on YouTube or Netflix at the same time. With already 16GBs of RAM we already have more RAM than the most today’s casual notebooks. We can just run the apps on our smartphone, we can use remote controlling apps like SSH, VNC or Remote Desktop. Whole video editing and encoding is possible on smartphones and even if you get bored, you may still play triple A games via xCloud, Stadia or Shadow.


Just like a notebook you may connect your phone with USB-C to any dock or hub where you can directly make use of an attached keyboard, mouse and display. If you’re unlucky with cables you may even connect you keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth. If needed, you can connect your display without cables when Miracast is supported (many TVs support this). This gives you the most flexibility and is up to you what you prefer.


With DEX you can finally work without any further issues on your documents. You can open multiple Windows of Microsoft Office or Google Office at the same time. Next to this, you can even browse the web for research or blog at the same time. While you can almost work like on a regular desktop, you may still encounter a big issues – the lack of drag and drop. Unfortunately, it’s still impossible to drag files like pictures directly to an app like Word or a browser. Therefore, you still have to use the file picker all time.


Is it usable for DevOp related tasks? Definitely! With Microsoft Visual Studio Code, multiple browser instances and Terminus for SSH management you may get solved the most of your stuff. Keep in mind that you may still execute other things via SSH. If needed, you may even use Microsoft Remote Desktop or VNC for UI related content. With the given picture you can see VSCode in action as a Python IDE and Terminus with a local shell. In my test I was able to analyze and debug given code in Python and Go from mates, work on my Github projects and to run my remote tests. To be honest, these tests run on remote machines. Therefore, this isn’t a big deal to proceed working on it with DEX since any SSH client would be enough.


Maybe you’re often abroad? Fill your time with triple A games from Stadia or xCloud! Just connect any controller via cable or Bluetooth with your phone and start gaming. Fly around your city in Microsoft Flight Simulator like shown in the image – no problem! Just play your games with friends over the internet and communicate with them as regular. It doesn’t matter where you’re. If you need a bigger screen you can just plug in any monitor with an USB-C adapter, dock or with Miracast without any further cables.


Samsung DEX is definitely a step forward to replace a desktop system. It gives you the ability to use one device for everything and this implies that you do not need to share your files across clouds and keep it locally on a single device but you should still keep in mind that you need to make backups. While you can already do really much on this device you may still encounter several GUI related or workflow related issues like non scaling apps or missing drag and drop. Even customizing whole keyboard based shortcuts is missing (yes, there’re some but too less and not customizable) that may annoy you in your workflows when touching the mouse again. Currently, I use it really often and even edit photos and videos in DEX mode but when it comes to real productivity I still prefer a real desktop setup.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Samsung DeX

Samsung DeX promises to usher in a new era of mobile-powered desktop computing. Here’s a guide to understanding what DeX is, how it works, how it can replace your other computing devices and what benefits it can bring to you or your company.

What is Samsung DeX?

Samsung DeX is not hardware — it’s a platform that extends your smartphone into a desktop computing experience. It runs on all of Samsung’s flagship smartphones introduced since 2017, including the Galaxy S8/S8, Note8, S9/S9, Note9, S10e, S10, S10, Note10 and Note10. DeX is also available on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4, Tab S5e and Tab S6, where it can be used directly on the tablet’s screen with the keyboard case or on a connected monitor with an external keyboard and mouse.

In the initial iteration of Samsung DeX launched in early 2017, a docking accessory called the DeX Station was required to connect your smartphone to your monitor, keyboard and mouse. In early 2018, the DeX Pad was launched, which allowed users to use their phone as a touchpad in DeX mode, while still serving as a dock with USB, HDMI and USB-C ports. With the launch of the Note9 in August 2018, Samsung introduced the DeX HDMI adapter, cable and multiport adapter, eliminating the need for the previous docking accessories.

Once connected to a monitor via one of these adapters, the Samsung DeX platform boots up quickly on the monitor, presenting the user with a familiar desktop experience complete with resizable Windows, drag-and-drop functionality and keyboard shortcuts.

In August 2019, Samsung introduced DeX for PC. This enables users to connect their Note10 or Note10 to a compatible Windows PC or Mac to access DeX right from their computer.

Read on for more tips on navigating the DeX interface — but first, here’s a review of the pros and cons of the three accessories.

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Which DeX adapter is best?

The three available Samsung DeX adapters offer different advantages depending on where and how you use the platform.

Compact and able, the DeX HDMI adapter allows you to easily connect your phone to a standard HDMI cable on your monitor. Since there are no additional ports to connect a USB keyboard and mouse, you’ll instead need to use Bluetooth peripherals. For longer DeX work sessions, rely on wireless charging to keep your battery topped up.

The DeX cable is like the standard HDMI adapter but is 1.4 meters long, and plugs right into your monitor. It’s ideal if you plan to use DeX primarily in one location and can leave the cable connected to your monitor. It’s typically used in corporate hot-desking scenarios, where users drop by, connect their phone to the cable and get to work.

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With a full range of ports, the DeX multiport adapter offers the most flexibility in using DeX. In addition to the HDMI port to connect to your monitor’s HDMI cable, you have a USB 3.0 port to connect a keyboard or mouse, a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired internet, and a USB-C port to connect your phone’s charging cable. The multiport adapter is also compact and easily able.

How to set up Samsung DeX

Once you have your preferred adapter or cable, follow these steps to connect your Galaxy smartphone and start using DeX:

If you’re using the DeX cable, connect it to your monitor’s HDMI port. If you’re using the HDMI or multiport adapter, just connect the adapter to your monitor’s standard HDMI cable.

Connect your keyboard and mouse. If you’re using the DeX cable or HDMI adapter, you’ll be pairing a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. On your phone, turn on Bluetooth and scan for your peripherals; then follow the manufacturer’s instructions (which often involve holding down a Bluetooth button to make the device visible to your phone). If you have the multiport adapter, you have the option of connecting via USB 3.0.

If you are using the multiport adapter, you can also connect your phone’s charging cable to the adapter’s USB-C port and your Ethernet cable to the internet jack.

Connect your smartphone to the adapter by way of your phone’s USB-C port. You should see the Samsung DeX logo appear on your monitor as it quickly boots up.

Using DeX with your PC

The classic, original version of DeX is all about powering a desktop experience without your PC. The new DeX for PC application available on the Note10 now lets you use DeX with your laptop.

To use DeX for PC, no additional adapter is required as you’ll simply use your smartphone’s USB-C charging cable to connect to your PC. You will, however, need to first install the DeX for PC application on your compatible Windows or Mac laptop. Once you’ve installed the app and connected your phone, DeX will boot automatically. You can view DeX for PC either in full screen mode or as a floating window alongside your laptop applications.

While the classic DeX is great for users who want to ditch their laptop and use just their phone, DeX for PC is about bringing together both devices on a single screen. While working on your laptop, you’ll be able to quickly access all your mobile notifications and messages, and even take calls. You can also transfer files and photos with an easy drag and drop.

Tips for getting started with Samsung DeX

Adjusting your display settings: When you first boot up DeX, you’ll be prompted to check that the desktop is correctly displaying on your monitor or TV. If the corners of the DeX desktop do not fit properly within the display, you’ll need to go into the settings menu of your monitor or TV to adjust the scaling. This is particularly common on TVs where the picture may be set to a certain aspect ratio. Select the “fit to screen” option and you should be all set.

Screen mirroring versus DeX mode: In your phone’s notifications menu, you’ll see several new options after connecting to your monitor, including the choice to move between screen mirroring and DeX mode. As its name indicates, screen mirroring will simply mirror what’s on your phone screen to the monitor. Screen mirroring is useful in some circumstances, but DeX gives you a much different, completely optimized desktop computing experience for productivity work on a larger screen. Tap the notification to go into DeX mode.

Use your phone as a touchpad: Also in the notifications menu on your phone, you’ll see the option to use your phone as a touchpad. After selecting this, you’ll be able to use your finger or an S Pen to navigate within DeX. This is great if you don’t have a mouse handy and want to open an app, Powerpoint or video, especially if you’re using DeX in a presentation setting. When using DeX on a tablet, you can also use your screen as a graphics pad to sketch and draw.

Launch and maximize your mobile apps: All of Samsung’s core applications are optimized for DeX, meaning you can resize and maximize the apps. You can also use right-click functionality and keyboard shortcuts. There are dozens of third-party apps that are fully optimized for DeX, including the Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Sketch, Gmail, Chrome, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting and all the leading VDI clients, to name just a few. For those that aren’t optimized for DeX, read on for the next tip.

Activate DeX Labs: DeX Labs offers access to “experimental” features that aren’t officially supported. Two current features include allowing DeX to force apps to resize and auto-open the last used app. To activate, click the DeX logo on the bottom right of your screen, open DeX Labs and toggle the features on. Now, when you open an app that is not DeX optimized, you’ll be given the opportunity to force resizing. This will allow you to view it in a larger window or even in fully maximized view.

Getting to know the DeX interface

Samsung DeX is intuitive and an easy learning curve for most Galaxy smartphone users, but here are a few tips to help you become familiar with the interface. We’ll start from the bottom left and run through the various on-screen menus.

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Lock or Exit DeX: Tap the DeX logo at the bottom right corner if you want to lock DeX while you leave your desk for a moment. You can also exit DeX mode here or switch to screen mirroring.

Apps Tray: Next to the DeX logo at the bottom left of the interface, the apps tray icon (the grid with nine dots) gives you access to all of the apps on your phone. They’ll be arranged just as you see them on your phone. You can browse between screens or use the search bar to find what you’re looking for.

Recent, Home and Back: The other three icons in the bar at the bottom-right of your screen will be familiar. They are the same recent, home and back icons you’ll see at the bottom of your phone’s screen, and give you a quick way to hop between apps and get back to your desktop. You can also use the shortcuts to your currently opened apps that appear just to the right of this menu.

Notifications Menu: You also have easy access to your phone’s notifications menu in DeX mode — it’s the left-most of the three menu bars on the right side of your screen. Just tap the three dots to expand the menu to see all your notifications.

Quick Settings Menu: Next up is the Quick Settings menu (the one you normally access by swiping down from the top of your phone). Here you can see your battery life, alarms and Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. Hit the delta symbol to expand the menu and adjust your settings.

Not to be missed, the final menu at the far right gives you quick access to a virtual keyboard, volume settings, screen capture, a search bar and your calendar (just click the date). For complete access to all of your mobile phone’s settings, you can also open the regular Settings app in DeX mode.

Samsung DEX Is Awesome!. Gaming,Emulation,Work and Linux On Dex

Can DeX replace your PC?

Today’s smartphones offer enough computing power to complete most work tasks, but the limitations of smaller screens can make it difficult to multitask or do heavier productivity work. Using Samsung DeX with a full-size monitor, keyboard and mouse makes it possible to ditch the laptop or desktop PC for good.

For individuals, DeX is a great way to work more flexibly. Instead of booting up your laptop to catch up on work at home, just connect your phone to a monitor and get straight to work. You can run up to five apps at once and easily get most tasks done without hassle.

For business owners and IT decision makers, DeX allows you to consolidate your IT investment and device management. By using a smartphone as their primary computing device, your team will have access to corporate email and apps — instantly accessible, wherever they are. Rather than having a dedicated PC for each employee, you can deploy flexible workstations using a DeX cable, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, knowing that users can drop in and start working within seconds.

Even businesses that are reliant on legacy Windows applications that don’t have mobile or web versions should consider DeX as an option. You can leverage a virtual desktop app like VMware or Citrix within DeX to access a full Windows desktop.

What benefits can DeX bring my company?

Having one piece of tech that connects everything brings a wide range of benefits for both the employee and the business.

For the employee, it means using a single device, knowing how to instantly access all the information they need without having to navigate multiple OS platforms or remember to share projects and data from one device to another. It also means the employee can personalize the device to their needs, making it much more efficient than using multiple devices.

For the small or midsize business, there is the obvious benefit of reducing costs by decreasing the number of PCs and laptops you have to buy. But beyond those upfront savings, giving employees the flexibility to work means businesses can expect improved efficiency, communication and productivity.

Using DeX also brings security benefits. Samsung smartphones are protected by advanced biometric security and Samsung Knox, our defense-grade security platform that’s designed from the chip up to protect devices from the minute they’re powered on — so you can be sure your information is safe. With Knox, you’re given powerful tools to manage company devices and enable your own security protocols, including containerization and application allowlisting and blocklisting.

Mobile computing is already transforming productivity across many industries, and SMBs will want to get on board sooner rather than later. Samsung DeX provides a ready-made, out-of-the-box solution, with powerful security protections built in.

Learn how to increase your productivity even more with Dual Mode for DeX in this short video. Then download this free guide to taking your company mobile-only with Samsung DeX.

Using Samsung Dex As Your Only PC – Is It Possible?

Our smartphones are now so powerful that they rival certain desktop and laptop solutions. Within that slim phone body you’ll find a full-on general-purpose computer, limited only by the mobile operating interface designed for touchscreen use.

The Android operating system actually has an upcoming desktop environment where you can hook up a mouse, screen and keyboard to your Android device and use it pretty much as a PC. However, Samsung has done something special for their premium line of smartphones. It’s called Samsung Dex and offers a very intriguing value proposition.

What Is Samsung Dex?

Starting with the Galaxy S8 series of phones, users can buy a special Dex Station, which allows you to plug a screen, mouse and keyboard into the device. Your Galaxy S phone is then docked on the station and automatically launches the Dex environment.

At the time of writing, the Note 10 and Note 10 phones offer Dex without the need for a dock. You can use a USB-C cable and the Samsung Dex app to run Dex on Windows or Mac. Pretty useful if you want to have a private desktop environment on a public PC or any machine that doesn’t belong to you.

The Note 10 can also be used for Dex by connecting it directly to and external display via USB-C. The phone screen becomes a touchpad and of course you can also connect a keyboard wirelessly. Turning your phone into a desktop PC within seconds.

Finally, certain Samsung Tablets, such as the Galaxy Tab S4, can be switched to Dex mode with a tap. Connect a mouse and keyboard and it’s a bit like having a laptop.

Our Crazy Dex Mission

It’s a neat idea, but just how practical is Dex? The crazy mission we’ve accepted is to use nothing but Samsung Dex for one whole day of typical work. The goal is to see how viable it would be to use a Dex-enabled smartphone as your only computer. Taking the phone with you when away from a desk and docking it when you sit down for more serious purposes.

We’ll be using a Note 10 via the Samsung Dex application, but the test applies to any Dex-enabled phone. Apart from performance, which is obviously going to vary from model to model.

The Dex Desktop Environment

The Dex desktop should be pretty familiar to anyone who has used Windows, Ubuntu Linux, MacOS or any modern PC operating system. There’s a wallpaper, there are icons and a sort-of start menu.

The big difference here is having your apps open as Windows. Some apps, like Google Chrome, behave in a similar way to the Windows version when it comes to moving them about. Others are just the normal app encapsulated in a window.

It’s very simple and straightforward, which is a good thing overall. The UI is rather chunky and you’re always aware of this still being a phone you’re working on, but it gets the broad strokes right.


Given that your specific Dex device is up to it, multitasking is by and large a breeze. In the case of the Note 10 which we used for this experiment, there’s a whopping 12GB of RAM on tap. So opening a bunch of apps or internet tabs never posed an issue.

That’s not to say that there are significant niggles. For one thing, most apps aren’t designed with Dex in mind, which means they don’t conform to the same conventions. There are also limitations to software here that aren’t present on more traditional desktop setups.

Notably, Google Chrome doesn’t support having multiple Windows with tabs. For most people that is going to be a problem at some point, because splitting your screen into two Windows with specific sets of tabs is a common need.

Clearly this isn’t the fault of Dex, since Google would have to update Chrome to run in this manner, but it does expose how much of a kludge Dex is at the moment. After all, app developers are under no obligation to conform to Dex conventions.

Working With Windows

While Dex might look like Windows or something like it, the lack of refinement quickly becomes apparent when you actually try to work with UI elements such as Windows.

In Windows, it’s become second nature to use the various gestures that instantly snap open Windows into various configurations. The most used one has to be the good old side-snap. Pushing a window against the sides of the screen will make it take up half the space instantly. If you need to have, for example, a web page and a word processor open at the same time, this is a critical feature.

Unfortunately bumping a window against the side of the Dex desktop is about as effective as Simba bumping up against his dead dad in The Lion King. Which is to say that absolutely nothing happens. Manually resizing Windows is therefore a chore and really bogged down the whole experience.

The New Galaxy S23 Ultra Is Also Powerful Desktop PC! DEX Mode Is Amazing

Dashing Out Coming Back

One place where Dex really did shine is in staying out of the way. First of all, our phone blissfully kept working as a phone while Dex was running. It’s easy to forget that your phone is actually powering the PC experience. Until you thoughtlessly undock it and the picture disappears.

The good news is that simply docking the phone again brings things back exactly as they were, unless you manually killed an app while in phone mode. So as a solution where you can leave and come as you please, Dex gets full marks.

Is Dex Ready For Primetime?

The short answer is “no”. Dex is simply too limited and too clunky for anyone wanting to do sustained productive work. Where Dex really shines is in a pinch or for users who have very limited desktop PC needs. It’s a great way to temporarily convert a TV into a computer for the purposes of writing an essay, but as a daily production driver it’s not there yet.

Dex is close however, copying some of the quality-of-life features users have come to rely on in more mature desktop OSes will go a long way to making Samsung Dex viable. Convincing or sponsoring more developers of popular productivity apps to include Dex optimisation, will finally seal the deal.