Manage desktops remotely

Chrome Remote Desktop icon

Chrome Remote Desktop is a Chrome app that lets you remotely access other computers from Chrome. Administrators can control their users' access to Chrome Remote Desktop in several ways.

Block Chrome Remote Desktop installation

To block users from installing Chrome Remote Desktop, follow the same procedures you use to block them from installing any other Chrome app. See Chrome Apps and Extensions.

Control Chrome Remote Desktop network settings

To enable Chrome Remote Desktop for local area network or VPN users only, disable firewall traversal by setting the RemoteAccessHostFirewallTraversal policy on Windows and Mac machines. Disabling this policy configures Chrome Remote Desktop to establish client/host connections only on a specific UDP port range (ports 12400-12409) instead of random UDP ports.

To disable firewall traversal:

  • Windows: Set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\RemoteAccessHostFirewallTraversal to 0.
  • Mac: Set RemoteAccessHostFirewallTraversal to NO in ~/Library/Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist.

Block Chrome Remote Desktop hosts and clients

To block users on your network from remotely accessing other computers using Chrome Remote Desktop, or to prevent computers on your network from being remotely accessed with Chrome Remote Desktop, black hole the appropriate Chrome Remote Desktop DNS entries on your DNS server. To black hole an entry is to configure your DNS server to reroute traffic addressed to the entry to an invalid IP address. This causes the server to silently drop the traffic.

To block users on your network from remotely accessing other computers using Chrome Remote Desktop, black hole the chromoting-oauth.talkgadget.google.com and chromoting-client.talkgadget.google.com Chrome Remote Desktop client DNS entries.

To prevent computers on your network from being remotely accessed via Chrome Remote Desktop, black hole chromoting-host.talkgadget.google.com.

Enable Chrome Remote Desktop hosts for managed devices only

To let users remotely access managed (corporately-owned) devices on your network while blocking their access to all other devices:

  1. Black hole the chromoting-host.talkgadget.google.com DNS entry as described above.
  2. Create a policy entry that routes Chrome Remote Desktop host traffic to a different DNS name than the one used by default.
    • Windows: Set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\RemoteAccessHostTalkGadgetPrefix to a literal to use a different DNS entry. For example, allowed-chromoting-host causes hosts to connect to Google Talk at allowed-chromoting-host.talkgadget.google.com.
    • Mac: Set RemoteAccessHostTalkGadgetPrefix to a literal in ~/Library/Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist. For example, allowed-chromoting-host causes hosts to connect to Google Talk at allowed-chromoting-host.talkgadget.google.com.
  3. Create an entry in your DNS server that maps the DNS name from step 2 to the IP address for the base talkgadget.google.com domain.

Enable Curtain Mode for Chrome Remote Desktop

Note for Windows users: This feature only works on Windows devices running Windows Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise, or Server.

To enable Chrome Remote Desktop to prevent someone physically present at a host machine from seeing what a user is doing while a remote connection is in progress, set the RemoteAccessHostRequireCurtain policy on Mac machines. What this does is block anyone physically present at the host machine from seeing your actions on the device when you’re remotely connected. Learn more about Curtain Mode under Access your computer.

  • Windows:
    1. Set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\RemoteAccessHostRequireCurtain to 1.
    2. Enable RDP connections to the machine by selecting Control Panel\System and Security\System > Remote settings > "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)".
  • Mac: Set RemoteAccessHostRequireCurtain to YES in ~/Library/Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist.

Enable Account Name Matching for Chrome Remote Desktop

If you'd like to require that users register their machines for remote access using a Google Account that matches their local machine account, set the RemoteAccessMatchUsername policy on Windows and Mac machines.

  • Windows: Set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\RemoteAccessMatchUsername to 1.
  • Mac: Set RemoteAccessMatchUsername to YES in ~/Library/Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist.

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