- A computer running Chrome. It can be a Mac, a Windows machine, or a Chromebook. (Linux support should be on its way)
- An Android device running Android 4.0 or above
- An active internet connection on both devices. Note that having both devices connected to the same local network won't bypass this requirement
- To be logged in with the same Google account on both the Android device and the Chrome browser on the computer you're about to control remotely
- A few minutes of spare time
How to access your computer from your Android smartphone or tablet using Chrome Remote Desktop
A couple of weeks ago, Google brought its Chrome Remote Desktop client to Android. Since then, the software has been downloaded over half a million times, and its user rating stands at a solid 4.4 points as of this writing. And that doesn't really come as a surprise – Google's software is reliable, useful, and relatively easy to set up. In fact, we've been using it for several days now without any problems. Want to try Google's Chrome Remote Desktop yourself? Cool! We've put together a how-to guide that will walk you through the process of setting up a computer, a Windows 7 machine in this case, for use with the Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android.
Here's what you need to get started:
Start by installing the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on the computer you wish to access remotely. You can find it at this link. Launch the extension once the installation process has completed.
Chrome Remote Desktop will now ask for permission to access your computer's data. Hit "Accept" to continue. The authorization process has to be done only once.
Once you've authorized the extension, you should land at a screen that looks like this. Hit the bottom "Get started" button in the "My Computers" panel. (On a side note, the "Remote Assistance" option at the top is used for letting others access your computer with a one-time 12-digit code - ideal for times when you're in need of remote technical assistance.)
In a few moments you will be asked to create a PIN - a code that has to be entered when connecting to this particular computer remotely. Choose a number of at least six digits.
After you've configured your PIN, you will get a prompt warning you that additional software is about to be installed. Allow the installation to continue. This will install the Chrome Remote Desktop Host application on your computer.
Once the host app is installed, you will be asked to enter the PIN you just configured. Then after the PIN is entered, the computer should be ready for remote access.
Now you may download the Chrome Remote Desktop application for Android, in case you have not done so already. Get it from this link.
When the Android Remote Desktop app is launched, it will automatically display the computers that you have access to. Your computer should be listed there so tap on it. You will be asked to enter your PIN. Note that you may choose to save your PIN so that you don't get asked for it again.
Voila! You now have access to your computer's desktop! You can swipe around with your finger to navigate the mouse pointer. To zoom in or out, use a pinching gesture with two fingers. Tapping on the screen acts as a left-click on the spot where the cursor is. To perform a right-click, hold one finger down on the screen, double-tap with another, then release. Use the on-screen keyboard to input text.