If you’re a person on the go, you’ll probably get stuck at some point needing something from your computer. Maybe it’s a website you left open, maybe it’s a project you were working on at your office, perhaps it’s a bookmark of a favorite page, maybe it’s a tweet you were reading. Chrome Remote Desktop lets you access your computer remotely from other computers, your mobile devices and from a Chromebook.
In addition to getting remote access to your desktop you can also use Chrome Remote Desktop to access others’ computers. You can screen share with someone for troubleshooting, sharing information, websites or images.
About Chrome Remote Desktop
Many screen sharing software programs are available but often expensive to use. Chrome Remote Desktop is a free tool from Google that has been around since April as an Android app and since earlier this month as an iOS app. Now you can access your desktop from your Android devices as well as your iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod Touch.
Chrome Remote Desktop not only lets you see the screen, but control it as well, as if you were sitting in front of your computer. You can use a keyboard to enter text and your touch screen like a mouse to navigate around the screen, click links, open windows, etc.
In spite of its name, Chrome Remote Desktop doesn’t just let you access Chrome remotely, you can access your entire desktop. For example, you can use it to access other software programs, such as Microsoft Office, or use other browsers, such as Firefox or Safari.
You can also use Chrome Remote Desktop to turn your mobile device into a true remote. For example, you can use your phone to pause a Netflix movie you’re watching on your computer.
Chrome Remote Desktop works on both PC/Windows and Mac computers.
How to Use Chrome Remote Desktop
To use Chrome Remote Desktop you’ll need to add the Chrome Remote Desktop extension to your Chrome browser. You can get the extension free from the Chrome Webstore:
When you add the extension you’ll have to sign into your Google account, including two-step verification if you have that set up. You’ll need to give permission to access your computer remotely and download software to enable it to work.
Next, set a PIN of at least six digits to protect your computer from being accessed by anyone else. You’ll need to both enter the PIN and be logged into your Google account to access your computer remotely.
Next, get the app from Google Play for Android devices and iTunes for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
Log into your Google account in the Chrome Remote Desktop app on your mobile device to see a list of computers you’ve enabled sharing from. Choose the computer you want access to and enter your PIN number.
The screen on your mobile device will mirror your computer’s screen:
When your computer is being accessed, you’ll see a window at the bottom of the screen alerting you that your desktop is being shared. You can stop sharing at any time by clicking the Stop Sharing button.
You can screen share with others using Chrome Remote Desktop to get help troubleshooting an issue. This feature is computer-to-computer only, not for mobile apps.
With Remote Assistance, both computers have to have the Chrome Remote Desktop installed. When you grant access to someone else, a unique access code will be generated for that session. Google suggests that you read the access code to the person you’re sharing your computer instead of writing it down.
When you share your desktop with someone else you’ll see the box at the bottom of your screen. You can stop sharing at any time by clicking the Stop Sharing button.
You can get more information on Chrome Remote Desktop from the Chrome Help page.
Have you ever wished you could access your computer remotely? Did you ever use a screen sharing program? Have you ever used screen sharing to troubleshoot a computer? Have you tried Chrome Remote Desktop? What would you use Chrome Remote Desktop for? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Computer image (edited) courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net