Have you ever dug a file in class or at a work meeting just to find out that what you need is on your home computer? This problem can feel insurmountable – especially during a time crisis.

You may be able to get someone else to find it and send it to you, or if you are a computer expert, you may know some complicated method of retrieving it. But there must be an easier and safer way. After all, choosing the wrong remote desktop application can lead to disaster (and difficult to remove ransomware).

The reality is that there are many reasons why you should have access to your desktop when you are not in front of it. You may have files stored on your hard disk instead of the cloud, or you may need to access a media file that is not saved elsewhere. There are ways to securely access and control your computer through your phone – you just need to know what they are and how to use them.

Chrome Remote Desktop

Google Chrome Remote Desktop is one of the options to remotely access and manage your computer. This free service makes it easy to access what you need on your computer from your phone.

All you have to do is add the Remote Desktop Extension to your computer to make it accessible from another device, and all Remote Desktop sessions are fully encrypted.

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You can use Google Chrome Remote Desktop if you need to sign in to your personal or work computer from another location, or use it to sign in to someone else’s computer. This can be a useful tool if you are a family computer genius and need to fix a problem that is bothering someone else.

You can use the Chrome browser and the Remote Desktop extension to get started. And you can download the Chrome Remote Dekstop app for iOS or Android.

To set up Remote Desktop on your computer:

Before you can use Remote Desktop, you’ll need to add the extension to your computer to allow access from your other devices.

  1. Open up Chrome.
  2. In the address bar, enter remotedesktop.google.com/access.
  3. Touch the download button, which looks like a down arrow, under Remote Access Setup.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install Chrome Remote Desktop.

For remote computer access:

  1. Open up Chrome on the secondary device that you use to access your computer.
  2. In the address bar, enter remotedesktop.google.com/access.
  3. Click Access to select which computer you want.
  4. come in PIN required to access another computer.
  5. Choose arrow to connect.
  6. Close your tab or switch to Settings > Disconnect to stop your remote session when you are finished.

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Microsoft Remote Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop works similarly to Chrome Remote Access. If you need access to a different computer from a remote location, the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection tool allows you to do so.

You can use this service to download a file, open an application, or do something else you need to do. This service also allows you to access multiple computers over the same network and work with a VPN.

This service is built into Microsoft Office. You can also access and control a computer from a non-Windows device by downloading the Microsoft RDC application. The application is available for Mac, iOSand Android.

To set up Remote Desktop:

  1. Make sure you have Windows 10 Pro or the downloaded application.
  2. Choose Get started > Settings > The system > Remote desktop.
  3. Tap Activate Remote Desktop.
  4. Note the computer name below How to connect to this computer.

To use Remote Desktop on your mobile device:

  1. Open up Remote desktop ap.
  2. Add name on the computer you want to connect to.
  3. Select the name of the remote computer you added, and then wait for the connection to complete.


TeamViewer is another good option for remote control of another computer from your phone and in most cases is free for non-commercial users. This software allows remote access and support based on the Internet, and you can connect to any computer or server to control it from wherever you are.

To install the TeamViewer software:

  1. Install the TeamViewer application on your Android or iOS device.
  2. On the computer you want to connect to, download Fast TeamViewer support.
  3. Enter the ID from the QuickSupport application in the ID field and connect.

To connect remotely to TeamViewer:

  1. Start TeamViewer from the second device and log in.
  2. Select the computer you want to access from My partners list.
  3. Close the window to end the session.

Being without critical files when you need them most can be super inconvenient. But don’t panic. Use one of these useful tools for remote access and you will have the files you need in front of you in no time.

Tech how-to: Control your computer using your phone

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