What Is Samsung DeX and How to Use It on Your TV

Samsung Dex How To Use Guide

Want to use your computer to perform a certain task but don’t have it handy? Say hello to Samsung DeX: a mini computer that resides in your Samsung Galaxy phone. If that sounds exciting, continue reading to learn more about Samsung DeX and how to use it on your TV.

What Is Samsung DeX?

Samsung DeX is an app that creates an Android desktop computing environment on an external display – such as your PC, monitor, or Smart TV – using just your Samsung Galaxy phone. You can connect to the external display wirelessly or with a cable.

DeX will allow you to access and use all of your phone’s data (apps, settings, files, etc.) on a bigger display – but in a way that mimics the desktop experience of a Windows computer.

Samsung Dex Interface

You can do almost everything in DeX mode that you can do on a regular PC, such as open multiple apps at the same time, minimize them to a taskbar, drag and drop between the apps, edit photos, watch movies, browse the Internet, and reply to messages.

Samsung DeX runs independently of what’s happening on your phone, which means DeX doesn’t mirror your phone’s display. On the contrary, it creates a new space when connected to the big display. It allows you to continue using your phone as you normally would while your kids watch a movie that’s streaming from your phone to the TV.  

Basically, you have a mini-PC in your phone that you can activate anytime. Samsung DeX allows you to get a true second-screen experience to enjoy the benefits of two devices in one.

Samsung DeX Supported Devices

Samsung DeX is a super handy technology, but you must have compatible devices for it to work.

Mobile devices are at the time of writing limited to Samsung flagship phones and tablets launched in 2018 and later:

  • Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S10, S20, S21, and S22 series.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Note 9, Note 10, and Note 20 series.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, S6, S7, and S8.
  • Galaxy Tab Active Pro and Active 3.
  • Galaxy Z Fold, Fold 2, Fold 3, and Fold 4.

As mentioned earlier, you can connect your mobile device to an external display, such as a monitor, TV or PC via an HDMI or USB cable if you want a wired connection. You can also connect using Wi-Fi for a wireless connection without requiring any other accessory.  

A DeX wireless connection works with any brand of Smart TV, provided it supports Miracast technology.

DeX for PC is compatible with Windows 10 and above only. Samsung dropped the support for macOS in early 2022, so you will no longer be able to use DeX on Apple computers.

How to Start DeX Mode on TV

You don’t need to download an app on your TV to connect DeX mode on a Smart TV. Just follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your TV.
  2. Connect your Samsung smartphone to your TV with an HDMI or USB Type-C cable (for a wired connection) or connect both devices to a Wi-Fi network. If your TV isn’t connecting to Wi-Fi, learn how to fix Wi-Fi issues on your TV.
  3. Open Settings on your Samsung Galaxy phone and go to “Advanced features.”
Samsung Phone Advanced Features
  1. Tap on “Samsung DeX” and enable the toggle on the next screen.
Samsung Phone Dex
  1. If the screen says “DeX on PC,” tap on the three-dot icon at the top and select “Switch to TV or monitor.” If, however, it says “DeX on TV or monitor,” jump to the next step.
Samsung Phone Switch To Tv
  1. Your Smart TV should show up in the list of devices under the “Connect wirelessly” section.
Samsung Dex Connect To Tv
  1. Tap on the TV and press the “Start now” button in the “Start Samsung DeX on TV” pop-up.
  2. A desktop-like environment will be displayed on your TV screen.
Samsung Dex Interface
  1. In the future, if you want to quickly start DeX mode on a Smart TV, open Quick Tiles on your phone, then tap on the DeX tile and select your TV to connect.
Samsung Dex Quick Tile

Note: if you don’t see the DeX tile, scroll to the end of the Quick Tiles list, then tap on the “+” icon. Drag the DeX tile from the available buttons at the top to the bottom section.

How to Control DeX Using Your Samsung Phone

Your Samsung phone acts as a touchpad for DeX mode.

  1. Once DeX successfully shows up on your TV, open the notification panel on your phone and tap on the “Use your phone as a touchpad” notification.
Samsung Dex Use Phone As Touchpad
  1. The black screen that appears is your touchpad.
  2. You can control the DeX mode using your finger, just as you would do on a laptop, i.e., move your finger on the touchpad to move the cursor on the screen.
  3. Apart from that, you can use the following multi-finger gestures on the touchpad to control and navigate in DeX on TV.

Touchpad Gestures

  • Tapping with one finger: selects an item or opens an app, the equivalent of a left-click.
  • Tapping with two fingers: shows the “More options” menu, the equivalent of a right-click.
  • Swiping with two fingers: scrolls in the direction you swipe.
  • Pinching with two fingers: zooms in and out.
  • Tapping with three fingers: goes back to the previous screen.
  • Tapping with four fingers: opens the “Apps” screen.
  • Swiping up or down with three fingers: opens “Recents” or Home screen.
  • Swiping left or right with three fingers: switches between open apps.
  • Touch and hold on the touchpad: selects objects on the screen.
  • Touch and hold and move: moves objects around the screen or selects text.

Touchpad Buttons

  • Rotate: double-tap to change the orientation of the Touchpad.
  • ! (Exclamation mark): double-tap the icon to view available gestures.
  • X: double-tap to close the touchpad.
Samsung Phone Touchpad Icons

How to Control DeX Using External Mouse and Keyboard

If you connect an external wired mouse and keyboard to your TV, you can navigate in DeX mode. You can even use wireless input devices instead.

  1. Open the Settings app in DeX mode on your TV.
Samsung Dex Open Settings
  1. Go to “Connections → Bluetooth” and enable Bluetooth.
Samsung Dex Setting Connection
  1. Put your external device in pairing mode. It should show up in the list of “Available devices” at the bottom. Select the device to connect it.
Samsung Dex Setting Bluetooth

How to Type in DeX Mode Using Your Phone

  1. Open the app where you want to start typing while you’re in DeX mode.
  2. Place the cursor in the typing area. The default keyboard will open on your phone. Start typing.
Samsung Dex Phone Keyboard

Note: if the default keyboard doesn’t show up, tap on the “Keyboard” icon in the bottom-left corner and select “Enable on-screen keyboard.”

Getting to Know the DeX Interface

The DeX mode offers an intuitive interface that’s quite similar to that of an Android tablet and Windows computer.

Left Side of Taskbar

You will find a “Grid” icon in the bottom-left corner. Click on it to open the Apps screen to see all the apps installed on your phone.

Samsung Dex All Apps Icon

Tap on any app to open it or use the search bar at the top to find the desired app.

Samsung Dex List Of Apps

Tip: right-click on any app and select “Add to home” to add the app to the DeX home screen or view app shortcuts.

Next to the “Apps” icon are three navigation icons that perform similar actions to comparable apps on an Android phone. The three-bar icon opens the “Recent apps” screen, the center icon will take you to the Home screen, and the left arrow is the Back button.

Samsung Dex Navigation Icons

Tip: check out different ways to run Android apps on a Windows computer.

Center Taskbar

You will find the “Open apps” icon In the center of the taskbar on the right and the “Pinned apps” icons on the left side.

Samsung Dex Pinned Apps

Tip: to pin any app to the taskbar, right-click on its icon in the taskbar and select “Pin shortcut to taskbar.”

Right Side of Taskbar

On the right side of the taskbar is the “Sound and volume” icon in the bottom-right section. This is followed by the Screenshot button, then Notifications and other Quick Settings like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, battery, and date and time.

Samsung Dex Right Taskbar

How to Customize DeX on TV

  1. Open the Settings app in the DeX mode on your TV.
Samsung Dex Open Settings
  1. Go to Samsung DeX to customize the DeX mode font size, screen zoom, wallpaper, and input modes.
Samsung Dex Mode Settings

Tip: use the minimize, close, maximize, and pin icons in the top-right corner of the app window to manage the window.

How to Exit DeX Mode on TV

There are two ways to turn off DeX mode.

  1. Click on the grid icon in the bottom-right corner of your TV in DeX mode.
Samsung Dex Disconnect From Tv
  1. Select “Exit DeX” from the context menu to disconnect DeX mode.
  2. Alternatively, open the notification panel on your phone. Tap on the “Samsung DeX is running” notification.
Samsung Dex Turn Off From Phone
  1. Press on the connected TV listed under the “Connect wirelessly” section to disable DeX mode.

The Best of DeX

As you’ve seen in this tutorial, Samsung DeX is a very convenient technology. You can use it to play presentations on any Smart TV, watch videos on a separate screen, edit photos on a bigger screen, and much more. Read on to learn about additional apps you can install on your Android TV.

All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq.

Mehvish Mushtaq
Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she's always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She's been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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