How to remotely access your computer from your phone
There are times in nearly every computer user’s life when they need a file from their computer and it isn’t nearby.
Being able to access all your devices from anywhere maybe is such a convenient ability.
Productivity will be at an all-time high, and you will never have to worry about not having access to all your files again since you have them all linked together.
We’ve covered accessing your computer remotely using Remote Desktop Connection on Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate edition of Windows where you already have the full Windows Remote Desktop installed.
But if you are using Home versions of Windows, they only have the Remote Desktop Client for letting you connect to machines, but you need one of the pricier editions in order to connect to your PC.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to remotely access your PC directly from your phone or tablet.
Wireless technology is a huge part of our day-to-day lives, and linking your computer to your phone will cut the need for a cable. Setting up remote access is a quick-and-easy feature every mobile phone user should take advantage of.
While there are many options out there that allow this, we’re going to limit our focus to a couple of the easiest and most convenient.
Use Chrome Remote Desktop
Setting up Chrome Remote Desktop
The first thing you need to do is to install Chrome Remote Desktop on your Android device.
Open Play Store on the Android or App Store on the iOS device you will be using to access your computer, and search for Chrome Remote Desktop.
Once you find it, open its information page and tap “Install” to download and install the app on the mobile device.
After installing the app on your phone, open Google Chrome on your computer. Launch Chrome on your computer and once it has opened, you will see a colored 3×3 grid of squares labeled “Apps” located just below the back button in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
Click the grid to access the Application menu and then click “Web Store” at the bottom right corner. This is where you can find apps that will run on Chrome.
Installing Chrome Remote Desktop on Chrome
Use the search bar at the top of the page to find Chrome Remote Desktop.
When you find it, click the blue “+ Add To Chrome” to bring up the menu that lists the permissions that the application will need to use to run on the computer.
Accept the installation by clicking the “Add app” button in the window with the permissions that pops up.
The application will automatically install from here and the previously blue “+ Add To Chrome” button will now turn green with a star and text saying “Rate It.”
The next step will be to go to the Application menu. Click the previously mentioned 3×3 grid of colored squares in the top left-hand corner to access all the browser’s installed applications.
Chrome Remote Desktop’s icon features two blank screens stacked on top of each other, with the back screen mostly being covered by the front screen, which features the Google Chrome Browser logo on it.
Click on the Chrome Remote Desktop icon to run it, you will be prompted to log into your Google account and allowing the application to access your computer.
The same Google account used on the Android device will need to be used to log into the desktop Chrome Remote Desktop app. This is so you can access all of its features
In the Chrome Remote Desktop application on the computer, under “My Computers,” click the “Enable Remote Connections” button.
This will download a file called “chromeremotedesktop.msi,” which allows your devices to communicate with each other.
Run the “chromeremotedesktop.msi” file on your computer to install Remote Connections, and allow any user access that is required during the automatic installation
Configuring Remote Connections
After all the necessary files needed to enable Remote Connections have been installed, the application will require you to enter in a six-digit PIN twice during the initial setup for security reasons.
The PIN can be longer than six digits; this is just the minimum.
After the PIN has been set, the computer has been enabled for remote use. Remember you will need this PIN every time you want to access your computer from your mobile device.
On your mobile phone, tap the Remote Desktop application, run Chrome Remote Desktop and any detected computers will be listed.
If the application has been left open on the phone the entire time of the earlier setup, hit the Refresh button in the top right corner.
You can now access your computer by tapping the computer’s name in the list of computers enabled for remote access, and a box will prompt you to input the previously created pin to access it.
You will now have remote access to the computer, where you can essentially use it as if you were sitting in front of it.
Check the box in the PIN prompt window to enable an automatic connection if it is a trusted device so the PIN does not need to be re-entered in the future.
(Watch video below for more illustration)
Using Teamviewer to access your PC
TeamViewer is proprietary computer software for remote control, desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing and file transfer between compatible devices
The application is available for free on both the Play Store and App Store.
A paid version of TeamViewer is available, but for personal access to your computer from a mobile device, the free version is all you need.
Install TeamViewer on your computer. There are different ways to installing TeamViewer on a computer, depending on the OS.
Run Teamviewer application on both devices, your phone and computer. On the computer, take note of the number posted in the section labelled “Your ID.”
Link your computer and mobile device. On the mobile device, in the Connect tab, enter in the number found on the computer into the TeamViewer ID, and then tap “Remote Control.”
Your desktop screen will now be on your Android screen, and you can access it the way you would as if you were in front of the computer.
Mouse interactions will be displayed upon gaining control of the PC and should be studied until fully familiar with the workings of the application.
Once it is fully understood how to navigate using the application, you can opt out of receiving mouse interactions by checking the “Don’t show this dialog again” box.
TeamViewer is able to share sound, but can easily become desynced while videos play. Third-party applications (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox) will still need to be used to transfer files.
(Watch the video below for live illustration)