How to sync Android with Zorin OS 16

Jack Wallen walks you through the process of connecting Zorin OS to Android for easy file sharing, SMS management, and more.


My two primary operating systems are Linux for desktop and Android for mobile devices. I need both of them to stay productive. But one thing I was missing is the ability of the two to communicate with each other in a way that is productive. So when I looked at the developers’ latest version of Zorin OS (read “Zorin OS 16 is exactly what a Linux desktop distro should be”), I was blown away by how easily it made the connection between Linux and Android had. Once connected, you can share files between operating systems, manage your text messages, and a lot more (one thing I’d like to add is the ability to sync contacts).

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Of course, I realize that other desktop environments have done this feat before. In fact, KDE Connect allows you to sync Linux and Android from both the KDE and GNOME desktop environments. But what Zorin OS has done is take it one step further in terms of ease of use. With Zorin Connect, syncing your Linux and Android devices has become incredibly easy.

Let me show you how.

I’m demonstrating it on Zorin OS Pro and Android 12 (running on a Pixel device).

How to install the Android app

The first thing you need to do is install it Zorin Connect Android app from the Google Play Store. Install this app using the following steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Looking for Zorin Connect.
  3. Tap Install.

That’s it. Open the app and let’s go to the desktop.

How to pair Android and Zorin OS

Find Zorin Connect in your Zorin OS desktop menu. Once it opens, go through the wizard until you land on the page listing your device (Figure A.).

Figure A.


My Pixel 5 is available for Zorin OS.

Tap the entry for your Android phone. Back on your Android device, your desktop should be listed (Figure B.).

Figure B.


Zorinpro is the desktop I want to connect to.

On Android, tap the entry for your desktop and then tap REQUEST PAIRING. When prompted on the desktop, click Accept (Figure C.).

Figure C.


Accept the connection request from the desktop.

Make sure to tap Pair on your Android device as well (if prompted). You will then see the different options you have for Zorin Connect (Figure D.).

Figure D.


We are now connected and can share things between the desktop and mobile device.

If you click on the Zorin Connect icon in the system tray of your desktop, you will see the entry for your device. Click this entry to view the various actions you can take (Figure E.).

Figure E.


Everything we can do with Zorin Connect from the desktop.

How to fix location error after installing Zorin OS

You get a location error on the desktop. This is because you didn’t provide Android local storage directories. Unless you take care of it, you will not be able to share files between devices. To fix this, scroll down to the bottom of the Android Zorin Connect configuration page for your connected device and tap on View File System.

When prompted, tap OK to view the file system, then tap Add Location (Figure F.).

Figure F.


Adding a location for Zorin Connect on Android.

Tap Location / Click to Select. Find the directory on your Android device that you want to make available to Zorin Connect and tap on the relevant directory. When prompted, tap Use this folder (Figure H.), then tap Allow and OK.

Figure H.


Adding the Documents folder on Android as a shared connection to Zorin OS.

And that’s it. You are ready to sync your Android device to your Zorin OS desktop. Enjoy.

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