Chrome remote is a useful tool for controlling a computer remotely. Just make sure both devices are signed in to the same Google account and that both are running the app.
Unlike other remote apps, Chrome Remote actually mirrors what is visible on the device being controlled. It doesn’t even have to be on the same WiFi network.
Say you’ve left work, but forgot to forward an important email or transfer a document. If your work computer is still on you can log in, bring up the screen and do everything remotely, just as if you were there.
Even better, now that Chrome Remote is available for Android, you can even do it from your phone.
First, download the extension
Open the Google Chrome browser on the PC you wish to control and on the controlling one. If you’re going the Android route install the Chrome Remote app, but don’t set it up just yet.
Once you have the extension open is up and launch the web app. Do this in the Chrome browser by going in to Options > Tools > Extensions. Find the Chrome Remote Desktop extension and click Visit Website.
From here you can either Share, Access or simply Enable remote connections. Follow the prompts and click [Enable remote connections] . You will be instructed to create a PIN number and re-type it. Make sure it’s something you can remember, you’ll be needing this later.
It should go without saying that you should avoid ultra-easy numbers like 123465, birthdays, repetitions, street addresses or anything concentric. This is an application that will grant access to remotely control your PC. You don’t want to make the password an easily broken one.
Now, enable the app (Android)
If you’re going Android, then there’s an app for that. This hugely increases the usefulness of Chrome Remote, even if it’s for something as simple as forgetting to turn your PC off before you leave home and doing it from the bus instead.
The best part about the Android app is that you can switch between Google accounts super easily. So, if you have a professional account for work and a personal one for home, all it takes is tapping the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Just make sure that both accounts have been synced to your Android device.
If you need to sync another Google account, go to [Settings] > [Accounts] and hit the + or [Add] option. Then tap Google and fill in the fields.
You’re good to go
So long as both devices are signed in to the same Google account, you should be able to see them from within the Android or web app. This is where you’ll need that PIN number.
If you can’t see any devices, you mightn’t have hit [Enable remote connections] when you first set it up. Alternatively, one of the machines may not be signed in to a Google account, or may be signed in to the wrong one.
Sharing is caring
You can also share your desktop with people who are not signed in to your account. The other person will be able to see what you are doing on their screen, as well as control your computer using their keyboard and mouse.
This is useful for running people through technical problems or simple how-tos that are more easily demonstrated than explained.
Open the web app and hit [Share]. Each time you open a sharing session a new 12-digit code will be created. You will have to give this code to your intended viewer for them to be able to see anything.
On the viewer’s side of things all they need to do is open the web app and hit [Access], then enter the code that you have given them.
You can end the sharing session at any time by hitting the button at the bottom of your screen.