Have you ever tried to remote access your computer with your smartphone or another PC? Have you ever messed up with using costly applications to access your computer from a different place? You’d be delighted to know that there’s is a free cross-platform app by Google which lets anyone access a computer over the internet.
Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is a freeware application which supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile OS(s) like Android and iOS. With the help of Chrome Remote Desktop, you can access your computer remotely on configured devices from any internet available area.
How to Set up ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ on your Computer
Open Chrome on your computer, whether it is a Mac, Windows, or Linux machine, doesn’t matter. Then in the address bar, type remotedesktop.google.com/access and open the link.
Find the card labeled as ‘Set up remote access’ and click on the blue download icon inside the card.
A separate window will open for you to add the ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ extension to your Chrome. Click on the ‘Add to Chrome’ button.
A popup will show on the screen to let you know of all the permissions ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ extension is going to use on your computer. Click the ‘Add extension’ button to proceed.
Once the ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ extension is installed in your Chrome browser, you’ll see a pop-up notification for the extension to let you know of its location. You can safely close the notification pop-up.
The ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ website will also try to download a desktop app installer file by the name ‘chromeremotedesktophost.msi’, make sure you allow the download. If you get a prompt to ‘keep’ or ‘discard’ the download, be sure to click on the ‘Keep’ button.
After Chrome finishes the download for the desktop app file, you’ll prompted to install the app on your computer. Click the ‘Accept & install’ button.
If you get a prompt to allow Chrome to open the downloaded file, be sure to click the ‘Yes’ button.
During the installation of the program, you might get a prompt to give administrator privileges to the installer. Do it or else the installation won’t be completed.
Finally, on the ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ website, you’ll be prompted to enter the name of the computer. By default, it’ll pick your PC’s name, but you can change it to your liking. Hit the ‘Next’ button once you’re done picking a name.
On the next screen, set up a PIN. This PIN will be used to authorize remote connections to this computer, so make sure you set a strong PIN. After entering a secure PIN code, click the ‘Start’ button.
It might take a few seconds to start and your computer will be ready for remote access.
How to Access ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ from phone
To access your computer remotely from your iPhone or Android device, you need to install the ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ app on your phone from the respective download links below.
After installing the app, open it on your phone and sign in using the same Google account that you used to set up ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ on your PC.
Once signed-in, the app will show all your devices under the ‘Remote devices’ section on the main screen of the app along with the ‘Online’ or ‘Offline’ status of the device.
To begin a remote session using the app, tap on the device you want to access from the main screen of the app.
The app will try to establish a connection with the selected device, if successful, you’ll be prompted to enter the PIN code to authorize the connection.
Enter the PIN code you set while setting up ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ on your computer, and hit the ‘connect’ button. You also (optionally) choose to remember/save the PIN on your phone so you don’t have to punch it in every time you want to access your computer.
Voilà! Your computer is now fully accessible from your iPhone or Android device over the internet.
While it’s being accessed remotely, a prompt will be shown on the computer so that (in case) anyone is using the computer, he or she will know that the screen is being shared.
On your phone, you can use the menu button on the bottom left corner of the device to access various options ‘Chrome Remote Desktop’ app offers to make it easier to use your computer over a touch screen.
You can use the ‘Show keyboard’ option from the app’s menu to use your phone’s keyboard to input text on the remote computer’s screen.
The app’s setting allows you to adjust the resolution in case you’re experiencing issues with the display. You can also select whether you want to use the computer in ‘Touch mode’ or ‘Trackpad mode’ (with a mouse cursor). While ‘Touch mode’ is, of course, convenient, there are some interfaces that work better with the mouse pointer in the Trackpad mode.
You can even take a screenshot on your computer while accessing it remotely using the app by sending a ‘Send PrtScn’ command from the app’s settings. There’s also an option ‘Send Ctrl-Alt-Del’ command in case your computer is freezing.