So, you want to connect to your Chromebook with another computer.
Or maybe connect to another device with your Chromebook.
Or how ‘bout connect to your Chromebook with your phone or tablet?
Well, my friend. You’ll be glad to know that there’s an app for that.
(And maybe an extra app or two.)
This guide was written to guide you on setting up a remote connection step-by-step.
But thankfully, it’s very easy to set up.
It’s kind of a read, so grab your favorite drink (coconut water is mine), and let’s dive right in.
Last updated: 1/24/20. I’ll constantly review this tutorial to give you accurate and updated information.
First, you’ll need to get the app
You can easily connect to your Chromebook with another computer (or vice versa) as long as you have an Internet connection active on both devices.
With the Chrome Remote Desktop app, you can connect to your Chromebook from any other device- whether it be a phone, computer, or tablet. You can access all your saved files, applications, videos, pictures, and other media on another device.
Access your other devices from your Chromebook
What if you left your Chromebook at home and you need to take a quick peek at a document saved locally on it?
You can do so from anywhere in the world with your phone (with an active WiFi or Internet connection.)
Or maybe you need to show a funny cat video to your coworkers you have saved on your Chromebook? You can do so at work. On the work computer. (Given that it’s running Chrome and has the app installed.)
How awesome is that?
Emulating Windows games to Chrome OS
You can even get Steam installed and running as well.
In fact, it’s the easiest way to play some Windows game on Chrome OS. You don’t need to install Linux and mess around with code- you just install a single app and you can emulate your Windows desktop environment straight to your Chromebook.
Most readers here actually use this for mirroring games from their Windows PC to their laptop.
Since the majority of these laptops aren’t made for resource-intensive gaming, the workaround is to run the game on an external computer and then actually “play it” using Chrome OS.
In other words, let’s say you were trying to play Fortnite using your Chromebook.
Your Windows PC would do the rendering of the game.
But you would actually control your character as it gets off the Party Bus using your Chromebook’s keyboard and mouse. (Hopefully you’re using an external mouse.)
Does that make sense?
Access your Chromebook from another computer
Note that this goes both ways.
You can access all your saved stuff on your Chromebook from another device, or you can access another device from your Chromebook.
Here’s a quick list of all the things you can do with this app:
- Remotely connect to a Chromebook from another Chromebook
- Remotely connect to a Chromebook from a computer
- Access a computer from a Chromebook
- Access one computer from another computer
- Remote access to any of the above on a phone or tablet
- Give a presentation using a virtual mouse or pointer
Reviews suggest that it’s the easiest way to set up remote access
The app is made by Google and is highly-rated on the Chrome Web Store.
The reviews for the app are excellent and users state that it’s super easy to use and setup.
Although, some reviews are negative because it doesn’t work on all devices just yet because it’s a work in progress.
However, for most users, reviews are very positive and it should also work for most people without a problem.
As long as both devices have the app running, you can connect to it.
Whatever you’re doing, here’s how you can access your Chromebook from another computer, or vice versa.
And if you don’t like this app or it doesn’t work for you, there are other alternatives that you can check out below (well, actually now there’s only one alternative that works similar to it- which is Teamviewer).
Download it on both devices
Okay, now it’s time to actually start doing some work. Setting up remote access is easy with the app. Go ahead and grab it using the appropriate link for your device.
Download it and install it on both devices you want to be linked. Obviously, you want it installed onto your Chromebook for one of the two devices.
As for the other, that’s up to you and what you’re doing.
You can download it using the following links:
After you’ve installed it on your device, install it on your Chromebook from the Chrome Web Store. Just go there and search for it, or you can click the link below to go there directly.
Allow your Chromebook and computer/device to be remotely accessed
Ah, permissions, permissions, permissions.
You’ll need to enable remote access on your device (Windows, Mac, Android phone, Linux, etc.) that you want to connect to your Chromebook.
The only requirements are:
- You need to have Chrome Remote Desktop installed (which you should’ve done already)
- You need to have Chrome Web Browser (if not, you can get it here)
If you meet all the requirements, then you’re ready to connect. Let’s go.
Here’s how to do it:
(Note: If you’re using a Chromebook, you can skip to Step 3 directly.)
Step 1: Type “chrome://apps” into your omnibox (address bar) in the Chrome Web Browser. Or you can simply open up your browser and click on the “Apps” button in the bookmarks bar.
Step 2: Click on Chrome Remote Desktop to launch the app.
Step 3: Click on “Get started” under the “My Computers” tab.
Step 4: Enable remote connections.
Step 5: Install the Chrome Remote Host service on your computer, depending on what you’re using to connect to your Chromebook.
Okay, so that’s half of it.
Are you sweating yet?
After you’ve enabled remote access to your Chromebook or computer, you’ll need to connect to your other device.
If you’re on a Windows device:
Step 1: You’ll need to enter a PIN, and then confirm it.
Step 2: Install the Chrome Remote Host service. It should install automatically. Then, just go ahead and confirm your Google Account and type the PIN again. You’re all set.
The computer you authorized will now show up under the “My Computers” tab.
Step 3: Remember the PIN for access. Write it down somewhere safe.
If you’re on a Mac device:
Step 1: Chrome will download a .dmg file. Save it. After it’s been saved, open it and follow the instructions.
Step 2: After installation, go back to Chrome. Confirm the access on your Mac device.
Step 3: Type in a PIN and re-enter it, then confirm your PIN. Write it down somewhere safe.
Step 4: A dialog will appear. Unlock it with your PIN to confirm your account. You’ll get a confirmation box. Click “OK.”
Your Mac will now be available under “My Computers.”
If you’re on a Linux device:
Step 1: Install the Debian package here.
Step 2: You’ll need to create a virtual desktop session. Go to /usr/share/xsession/ to find the .desktop file.
Step 3: Next, you’ll need to create a file called “.chrome-remote-desktop-session” in the home directory by using the following command:
“exec /usr/sbin/lightdm-session “<YOUR_EXEC_COMMAND>.”
Replace “<YOUR_EXEC_COMMAND>.” with the command following ‘Exec=’ from the .desktop file.
Step 4: Enable remote connections on your Linux device by opening the Chrome Remote Desktop app and clicking “Enable remote connections.”
Step 5: Type in a PIN and confirm it. The click “OK.” Remember your PIN and store it somewhere safe.
Step 6: Read the confirmation dialog. You’re all set.
You should now be all set up and ready to go. Congrats.
To access your Chromebook remotely from another computer:
Step 1: Launch the Chrome browser. Type “chrome://apps” in the omnibox (address bar) and hit Enter.
Step 2: Launch the Chrome Remote Desktop app. Look at the “My Computers” section, which should display the computer you recently added. Type in the PIN for that computer. You should see your Chromebook listed there.
Step 3: Click “Connect” and you’re done.
To access your Chromebook from a phone or tablet:
Step 1: Launch the Chrome Remote Desktop app on your phone or tablet. Then look for your Chromebook that you added to the list.
Step 2: You’ll notice you have two options of how you want to control your computer. Choose the proper option.
You can either treat your phone or tablet as a virtual mouse and control your computer remotely, which is called “Trackpad mode.” Or you can do actions on your computer, which is called “Touch mode.”
The controls are pretty much what you’d expect and are pretty intuitive.
If you want to give a presentation and use your phone or tablet as a virtual mouse on your computer, use the “Trackpad mode.”
Here are some gestures you can make while in a remote connection:
- You can show the keyboard by swiping up with three fingers.
- You can show the toolbar by swiping down with three fingers.
- You can right-click by touching the screen with two fingers, limited to Trackpad mode.
- You can middle-click by touching the screen with three fingers, limited to Trackpad mode.
- You can scroll up or down by swiping with two fingers.
- You can click and drag by touching the screen, then dragging.
- You can zoom by stretching with two fingers.
Giving someone else access to your computer (hosting)
You can grant access to your computer or Chromebook with the app. To do so is simple. This is also called “hosting” your Chromebook. The “host” is the source of where you’re connecting to.
Step 1: Open the Chrome Remote Desktop app by either using “chrome://apps” in the omnibar or opening it from your app library.
Step 2: After you’ve launched the app, look for the “Remote Assistance” section. Click on it to expand it and see all the options.
Step 3: Click on the “Share” button.
Step 4: You’ll be generating a unique access code. This code is unique to this session. After you get the code, send it to whoever you want to allow access to your computer or Chromebook remotely.
Step 5: When you’re done, click “Stop sharing” to end the session and stop your visitor from accessing your computer or Chromebook.
Note: Doing this allows whoever you grant access to your computer visibility of your email address and full access to your computer or Chromebook- including files, images, videos, history, and everything else. So be careful if you have sensitive information.
Connecting to someone else’s computer or Chromebook remotely
Connecting to a Chromebook or computer that someone wants to give you access to is easy.
Step 1: Launch the Chrome Remote Desktop app by typing “chrome://apps” in the omnibar, or by using your app library and launching it there.
Step 2: Click the “Access” button.
Step 3: Type in the access code given to you by your remote partner.
Step 4: Click “Connect.”
You have full control over the computer or Chromebook you’re connected to. You can access files, media, videos, and more.
Tips and Troubleshooting
You can boost the performance of your remote connection by having a secure and fast Internet connection.
Try to get the fastest connection possible, especially if you’re out in public.
Not connecting? Check your firewall settings. Also, check that your network allows sharing between networks.
Stay secure by updating to the newest version of Chrome on both devices.
Chrome Remote Desktop vs. Teamviewer – an alternative solution
If the app doesn’t work for you, you can try Teamviewer. Teamviewer is similar to it in many ways, but there are a few major differences.
It’s not made by Google as they’re an independent software company, but it still has a lot of nice features for remote access.
- You can download into a flash drive and make it mobile
- Not browser-based
- Screen sharing
- Lots of connectivity features
- Windows 8 support for gestures and menus
- Connection can lag (latency issues)
- Requires a download and installation
- No Linux support
And on the other hand…
Chrome Remote Desktop Pros:
- Backed by Google
- Connection seems to be more smooth
- Linux support
- Easier to setup
Chrome Remote Desktop Cons:
- No support for Windows 8 gestures and menus
- No portability for hardware
- Requires you to be signed into your Google Account
Regardless, if one doesn’t work for you, try out the other.
Or you can try both to see which one suits your purpose better.
Want to try out Teamviewer? You can check it out and download it here. Choose the proper build for your system.
Did you hook it up?
If you’re still having problems, this video may help you out:
Well, that’s about it.
Connecting to another computer via remote access is simple enough.
With a proximity connection to your Chrome device, you can easily access files or media from another Chromebook or computer.
You can also use your phone or tablet to give presentations as a virtual mouse, or just access your computer from a different location. You can use the service completely free and it works out of the box.
If you have any questions getting it to work, leave a comment and I’ll try to help out.
If this guide has helped you, consider telling a friend about it =].
Thanks for reading.