To access a computer remotely, you can use Google Chrome Remote Desktop. The setup process will involve installing the Chrome Remote Desktop Host software, and then from within the Google Chrome browser, the computer will be assigned to a specific Google user account for access. These steps are described below.
The User Guide is presented first to make the user instructions easy to find and follow for beginners. Administrators can send users to this page for these simple instructions.
The Setup Guide is further down the page and describes how to setup the remote and local computers. The setup process will need to be followed before remote access will work.
This document is written based on a Windows installation. The steps will be similar with Apple computers or a mix of Apple and Windows computers.
Remote Desktop User Guide
Instructions for Remote Users
The following steps assume the remote computer is already setup for access. If the setup process has been done for you already, you may be provided with a Gmail address, password, and PIN to access a specific computer. Follow these steps to login to the remote computer.
- LOGIN — Go to https://remotedesktop.google.com and login using the account information you were given. This will be a Gmail address and a password.
- SELECT COMPUTER — On the Google Chrome Remote Desktop page, you will see a computer listed as available for remote access. Click on the computer listed.
- ENTER PIN — You will be asked for a 6-digit PIN to access the computer remotely. Enter the PIN you were provided.
- BEGIN WORKING — You will now see the remote computer in your Chrome browser.
OPTIONAL — You can use the Chrome Remote Desktop app directly instead of Google Chrome to access your computer remotely. The app may provide you with a better remote access experience. You will be given an opportunity to install the app from the Remote Desktop page in Step #1 above or whenever you first access the Remote Desktop web page.
Remote Desktop Setup Guide
The rest of this document offers instructions for administrators or experienced users wishing to setup and use Google Chrome Remote Desktop to access computers remotely.
Setup Computer Being Accessed
First you will want to setup the computer that will be accessed remotely by following these steps.
- CHROME — Download and install the Google Chrome browser. [Available Here]
- LOGIN — Go to https://remotedesktop.google.com and be sure you are logged in with the Google account you intend to use for accessing the computer. Use either your own existing Google account, or for added security, you could setup a dedicated Google account.
- For clarification, a Google Account is the same as the login you would use for your Gmail email inbox. Some people setup a Google account using an email address other than a Gmail email address. If your Google account is setup with some other email address for login, you can use that. However, it’s a little less confusing to just use a Gmail address to access a Google account. This is similar to using a Hotmail or Outlook email address to access Microsoft or an iCloud email address to access an Apple account.
- SETUP — Select the option to “Set up remote access.” Click on the downward pointing arrow in the blue circle. This will begin the process of pairing the current computer with the Google account you used to login in Step #2 above.
- EXTENSION — The Chrome Remote Desktop extension page will show up. Click the blue “Add to Chrome” button. Then, click the “Add extension” button to confirm.
- HOST SOFTWARE — When you see the “Ready to install” message click on the blue “Accept & Install” button. This will begin the process of adding the Chrome Remote Desktop Host software to your computer.
- INSTALL — When the installation file has downloaded you will be given an opportunity to open it. You can open it from the browser, or find it in your downloads folder. When you open the downloaded file, the installation process will begin.
- COMPUTER NAME — Provide a name for your computer when prompted. This is how it will be listed when you want to access it remotely.
- ACCESS PIN — Provide a PIN of at least 6 numbers. This will be used like a password when you access the computer remotely.
- CONFIRM — When the setup is complete, go to https://remotedesktop.google.com and you should now see your computer listed under “This device” with a status of “Online.” Your computer is now available for remote access.
- CLOSE CHROME — You can now close the Chrome browser. Your computer will still be available for remote access. Whenever the computer is started, the remote access software will run automatically.
Once these setup steps are followed, it will be possible to easily access the computer following the guidelines offered above under the heading “Remote Desktop User Guide.”
Having remote access enabled includes several security measures:
- Only someone logged into Google with the correct account (from Step #2) and PIN (from Step #8) can access the computer remotely.
- Only one person at a time can access the computer remotely.
- A message will appear on the screen when a remote access session is first established. This provides a notification of the remote session.