So, you want to set up a remote desktop from your Chromebook.
This tutorial will cover how you can set up a remote desktop connection using your Chromebook to control your Mac, Windows, or other computer.
The process is super simple and completely free. It should only take you about 6 minutes to set up!
Sound good? Let’s roll.
Last updated: 2/14/23. This list has been updated for accuracy. The steps to get CRD is still the same.
What’s a remote desktop connection?
This is basically where you can use your Chromebook to control another computer by accessing the remote computer using your Chromebook.
This is the easiest way to do it and it’s free.
You can use it to play games, access programs on your PC or Mac, or even use it for computing power. Your actual computer that you’re accessing will do the processing.
Your Chromebook is basically a wireless monitor that lets you view your system anywhere in the world with WiFi.
If you already know about all this mumbo-jumbo, feel free to skip to the actual installation section. The first few parts are geared towards those who have no idea what any of this stuff does.
Remote connecting has many names, such as:
- “Setting up a remote desktop”
- “Remote in”
- “Remote out”
- “Creating a remote desktop control”
- “Establing a remote connection”
They all mean the same thing. Remote controlling your Chromebook means something different though.
This allows you to “mirror” your Chromebook to any other device, such as your Windows PC or Mac. In other words, you can let your other computer do the processing and your laptop will show the display.
It’s similar to cloud gaming that powers the technology behind Google Stadia.
Remote control your Chromebook? Why would I need this?
Let’s go over the difference between remote controlling your Chromebook from another computer, and remote controlling another computer using your Chromebook:
- When you remote control your Chromebook, this means using another computer or device to control your Chromebook.
- And when you remote control from your Chromebook, this means controlling another computer or device using your Chromebook.
With this method, you can control other computers using your Chromebook, but not have other devices control your Chromebook. This definitely can be confusing for those who aren’t too tech-savvy, so I thought I’d add an explanation.
See the difference?
Currently, the only proven way that allows you to remotely control your Chromebook from another computer would be using the Chrome Remote Desktop app.
I’ve covered the process in a tutorial I wrote for how to play Fortnite on Chromebook. You can check that out if you’re interested.
This tutorial covers how you can control a Windows PC using Chrome OS. But it also works on Mac in similar fashion.
With the advent of remote everything, your Chromebook can be your portable device that you bring with you on the go. But you have access to your “real” computer workstation anytime you need it. You just need both devices to be powered on, WiFi, and the Chrome extension.
Why would I want to remote desktop from my Chromebook?
This will let you access, run, and launch program that you normally can’t do on Chrome OS.
Because Chrome OS is built around security, many programs and functionalities that you’re used to are disabled. By default, you can’t even install third-party programs or run executables (.exe) files on a Chromebook.
This keeps Chrome OS safe and fast, and why they don’t get nasty viruses and trojans. And explains why there’s no antivirus for Chromebooks.
So basically, setting up a remote desktop from your device will let you run Windows/Mac programs directly on your laptop.
This will offer you plenty of options in how you want to remote desktop another computer.
With the ability to connect remotely, you can do all sorts of neat things like:
- Control your computer at home from school, work, or out in public
- Access your PC or Mac desktop from your Chromebook
- Play games using just your Chromebook remotely
- Play Windows games on your Chromebook
- Run Windows or Mac programs on your Chromebook
- Make your Chromebook like a Windows or Mac computer
- Remote play PS4 or Xbox on a Chromebook
- Access your own computers from anywhere in the world with WiFi
You can log into your laptop and connect to your home computer without having to worry about program compatibility. The only limit is performance, which may cause lag over slower connections.
This is a very easy process now, thanks to a free app called TeamViewer.
Before, my suggested solution was complex and required the use Chrome Remote Desktop.
While this is a still a viable solution, TeamViewer seems to be much easier to use, so I’m going with that in this tutorial.
Note that this isn’t a paid post or anything like that- I’m just a regular user of TeamViewer and found that it’s the easiest to set up when trying to connect your Chromebook to your PC.
How to set up a remote desktop connection using TeamViewer
Okay, so that we’ve gotten the explanation out of the way, we can actually set up a connection to another computer from your Chromebook.
Download TeamViewer on your Chromebook
The first thing we need to do is grab TeamViewer on your Chromebook. This is super easy and straightforward (and free!).
- Head on over to the Chrome Web Store (or just click here).
- Search for “teamviewer” and hit the Enter key.
- You’ll find it show up under “Extensions”
- Click on it to get to the extension details.
- Click on “Add to Chrome.”
- TeamViewer will now be added to Chrome.
TeamViewer will now download, this should only take a few seconds depending on your internet speeds.
So now you have TeamViewer installed on your Chromebook!
Download TeamViewer on Windows
Next, we need to do the same thing to the computer you want to connect to.
This setup only works with Windows computers during my testing. So that means you can use your Chromebook to control a Windows PC, but not a Mac, Android, iPhone, Linux, or other operating system.
This process also only lets you control the PC from your Chromebook, but not the Chromebook from the PC.
So to get this started, fire up your Windows PC, and then repeat the process again. Just be sure you’re using the Chrome Browser, when you install TeamViewer again on Windows.
Are you stuck? Leave a comment and I’ll try to reply ASAP!
Controlling Windows from your Chromebook
After TeamViewer is installed on Chrome on both computers (your Chromebook and your Windows PC), you can now launch it to set up a remote desktop connection to another computer using your Chromebook.
To get this set up, first we need to enable a session on the host computer (Windows PC).
To do this, simply launch TeamViewer on your Windows PC by clicking on the extension. If you don’t know where it is or don’t know how, you can find your list of Chrome extensions by doing any of the following:
- Launch a new tab (“CTRL + T”), then click on “Apps” in the bookmark bar (at the top of the page). If you don’t see it, press “CTRL + SHIFT + B” to toggle it on/off.
- Go directly to your list of installed Chrome extensions by typing “chrome://extensions/” in the URL bar and hitting Enter.
- Use Chrome’s menu at the top-right of the browser and find the extension there.
Any of these 3 methods should help you get a list of your installed extensions.
How to use TeamViewer
After TeamViewer is fired up, all you’ll need is the computer ID and password of the host computer.
To do this, after you launch TeamViewer on Windows, you’ll see your TeamViewer ID displayed under the “Help” section. Take note of this ID and jot it down. (Don’t want to use paper? Check out some of the best note-taking apps for Chrome).
Now, go to your Chromebook and fire up TeamViewer. When you launch the app, you’ll see the same interface show up on your device. It’ll prompt you for the TeamViewer ID of the computer you’re trying to remote connect to.
Type in that key from your Windows PC on your Chromebook’s session, and hit “Connect.”
Your laptop then will connect to your Windows PC, and you’ll see your Windows’ desktop show up in your Chromebook’s browser.
Now you can control your PC from Chrome OS through the Chrome Browser. You can play games, launch programs, and access all your stuff all directly on your Chromebook.
You can also do some customization on your TeamViewer session by clicking on “options,” which allows you to change settings like:
- Change the network quality (if either computer has a slow connection, you may want to adjust this for better performance).
- Change the resolution (useful if you’re getting a lot of lag, turning down the resolution sometimes helps).
- Lock remote computer (you can lock the PC remotely using your Chromebook to block unauthorized access).
- You can also remove the wallpaper, which may help get you a smoother FPS and connection.
Remote connecting to a colleague or friend’s PC
You can do the same and remote connect to anyone’s PC using this setup.
They just need to have TeamViewer downloaded on their computer and provide you their access code.
You can also set up a list of computer “contacts” for easy connection later on. If you have multiple computers you want to connect to using your Chromebook, you should set up an account with TeamViewer to allows this.
Creating an account seems to be the only way to get a list of computers and their IDs saved for easy remote connection in the future.
Then you can just “speed-dial” into any remote computer later on without having to go through the same process again.
Here’s a video from their official account demonstrating how to use it (keep in mind this video is outdated- the UI has changed, but the process is the same):
Some other cool things you can do
Now that you can access any PC using your laptop, you can do quite a few different things other than running Windows programs, here are a few just off the top of my head:
- Play PC games at work, school (you probably shouldn’t) or out in public on your Chromebook
- Bypass WebTitan, Untangle, iBoss, Sophos, Fortinet, Palo Alto, Cyberoam, or other web-filtering software
- Access your saved pictures, videos, and other media on your PC’s hard drive anywhere in the world (basically a cloud server)
- Access your friend’s computer to show him something from your laptop
- Bring your desktop with you anywhere by having the ability to control from the other side of the planet on your laptop
- Pull up slideshows, documents, and other work-related files from your home computer on your laptop
- Always have access to your personal files directly on your portal laptop so you never need to worry about transferring files between computers- ever.
There aren’t that many alternatives to TeamViewer, but if you’re looking for something else, there are a few you can take a look at.
You can check out any of the following:
Did you setup a remote connection using your Chromebook?
Well, that’s about all I have for you now!
The process to remote control a PC from your Chromebook is pretty easy and straightforward.
With this, you can access your Windows programs that you can’t typically use on Chrome OS anywhere in the world- both computers need to be connected to the internet and powered on for this to work. That’s the beauty of it!
Whether you’re playing DotA2, CS:GO, or WoW, or even Path of Exile on your Chromebook, you can play those games anywhere using this technique (provided your connection is fast enough and your laptop is powerful enough). Just food for thought!
Other than that, you don’t need anything else.
Pretty easy, right?
If you have any other questions, just leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out! Please be as detailed as possible.
Or if you’ve found this guide to be helpful, let me know also! Consider telling a friend =]!
Thanks for reading!