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Access another computer with Chrome Remote Desktop

You can use one computer from another over the Internet with Chrome Remote Desktop. When you do so, you can safely use your files or applications from another computer, phone, or tablet. 

How to use Chrome Remote Desktop

Step 1: Get the Chrome app

Click the links below to download the app on any device where you want to use Chrome Remote Desktop:

Step 2: Allow remote access to your computer

Note: If you're on a Chromebook, you can skip this step.

  1. Type chrome://apps in your address bar and press Enter.
  2. Click Chrome Remote Desktop  Chrome Remote Desktop App.
  3. Under "My Computers," click Get started.
  4. Click Enable remote connections.
  5. Install the Chrome Remote Host Service on your operating system:
Windows
  1. Enter a PIN and re-type the PIN. Click OK.
  2. Click Yes to install the Chrome Remote Host Service. The host service will download and install automatically. A confirmation box will appear.
  3. Confirm the Google Account and enter the PIN again to continue.

The computer you allowed should show up under “My Computers.”

Mac
  1. Chrome will start the download of a .dmg file. Click Save.
  2. Once the file is downloaded, open it.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish installation.
  4. When the installation is complete, return to Chrome. To turn remote access on for your computer, click OK.
  5. Enter a PIN and re-type the PIN, then click OK.
  6. When a box appears, unlock the panel and confirm your account and PIN again.
  7. The “Remote connections for this computer have been enabled” message will appear. Click OK to dismiss it.

The computer you allowed should show up under “My Computers.”

Linux

Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux Ubuntu 12.04 and higher is currently in active development. To run this app on Linux, you’ll need to create a separate virtual desktop session.

Step 1: Install the Debian package for the host components.

Step 2: Create a virtual desktop session. If you have Ubuntu 12.04, you can skip the steps below; Unity 2d desktop will be selected by default.

  1. Look in /usr/share/xsession/ for the .desktop file for your preferred desktop environment. For example, the ubuntu-2d.desktop file has the line: Exec=gnome-session --session=ubuntu-2d.
  2. Create a file called .chrome-remote-desktop-session in your home directory with the following content: exec /usr/sbin/lightdm-session "<YOUR_EXEC_COMMAND>".
  3. Replace ’<YOUR_EXEC_COMMAND>’ with the command after ‘Exec=’ from your .desktop file. In this case, the correct command is exec /usr/sbin/lightdm-session "gnome-session --session=ubuntu-2d".

Step 3: Allow for remote connections.

  1. Open the Chrome Remote Desktop web app.
  2. Click Enable remote connections.
  3. Enter a PIN and re-type the PIN. Then click OK.
  4. Dismiss the confirmation dialog.

Access and share your computer

You can access any computer with the same Google Account. Make sure the computer you’re using is turned on and connected to the Internet. You don’t need to open Chrome on the remote computer.

Access your computer

From a computer
  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Type chrome://apps in your address bar and press Enter.
  3. Click Chrome Remote Desktop Chrome Remote Desktop App.
  4. If the Get Started button appears in the "My Computers" box, click it to display remote connection options.
  5. Choose the computer you’d like to access from the list of computers enabled for remote connection.
  6. Enter the PIN that you set up for the computer.
  7. Click Connect.

Stop a remote session
At the top center of the page, click the dropdown bar and then Disconnect.

From a phone or tablet

To see the list of computers you've set up for remote access, sign in to the Chrome Remote Desktop app. If a computer is offline, or unavailable, the computer will be grayed out. 

To access a computer, tap the computer's name in the list.

You can control the computer in two different modes. To switch between modes, tap the icon in the toolbar.

  • Do actions with a virtual mouse pointer: Trackpad mode Trackpad mode
  • Do actions with taps: Touch mode Touch mode

You can do actions on the computer with different gestures.

  • Scroll up or down: Swipe with two fingers
  • Click and drag: Touch, hold, and drag
  • Zoom: Pinch and stretch with two fingers
  • Show keyboard: Swipe up with three fingers
  • Show the toolbar app: Swipe down with three fingers
  • Move the mouse: Swipe anywhere on the screen (only in Trackpad mode)
  • Left click: Touch the screen
  • Right click: Touch the screen with two fingers (only in Trackpad mode)
  • Middle click: Touch the screen with three fingers (only in Trackpad mode)

To remove a computer from your list, use the Chrome Remote Desktop app from the Chrome Web Store on a computer. You can't edit this list from your mobile device.

Share your computer or access a shared computer

Share your computer with someone else 

When you use the app to share your computer with someone, that person will see your email address and have full control of your computer, including access to your applications, files, emails, documents, and history. 

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Type chrome://apps in your address bar and press Enter.
  3. Click Chrome Remote Desktop Chrome Remote Desktop App.
  4. If the Get Started button appears in the "Remote Assistance" box, click it to see options.
  5. Click the Share button.
  6. A unique access code will be made for each sharing session. Send this code to the person you'd like to share your computer with.

Once your friend enters the access code, the sharing session will begin and he or she will be able to see your computer screen. You can click Stop sharing at any time to end the session.

Access a computer that has been shared with you
  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. Type chrome://apps in your address bar and press Enter.
  3. Click Chrome Remote Desktop Chrome Remote Desktop App. Open a new tab in Chrome.
  4. Click the Access button.
  5. Enter the access code provided by your friend.
  6. Click Connect.

Your email address will be displayed to the user who has shared his/her computer with you.

Remove Chrome Remote Desktop

Remove the Chrome Remote Desktop app from Chrome

If you’re signed in to Chrome on multiple computers and choose to remove the Chrome Remote Desktop app, you will remove it from all the computers you are signed in to.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Type chrome://extensions into the address bar and press Enter.
  3. Find "Chrome Remote Desktop" and click Remove Remove.
  4. A confirmation dialog appears, click Remove.
Remove the Chrome Remote Desktop application from your computer

If you have remote connections on a computer, you’ll need to remove the Chrome Remote desktop application from your computer as well.

Windows:
  1. Go to Control Panel and then Programs and then Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Find "Chrome Remote Desktop" application.
  3. Click Remove.
Mac:
  1. Find the "Chrome Remote Desktop Host Uninstaller" application.
  2. Launch the uninstaller and click Uninstall.

If Chrome Remote Desktop isn't working 

If you're having problems with Chrome Remote Desktop, try these tips:

Troubleshooting tips
  • Check your Internet connection. You need to be connected to the Internet to share or access a computer. If the page won't open, check your computer’s network settings.
  • Check your firewall settings. It's possible that your antivirus software is preventing access to Chrome Remote Desktop. Make sure your firewall allows the following:
    • Outbound UDP traffic
    • Inbound UDP responses
    • Traffic on TCP ports 443 (HTTPS) and 5222 (XMPP)
  • Make sure your network allows sharing. If you're using your computer at work or school, your network might not let you give others access to your computer. For more information, contact your administrator.
  • Update Chrome. Make sure you're using the latest version of Chrome or Chrome OS.

If you have any other issues, please report them in the Chrome Help Forum.

Chrome Remote Desktop Safety and Security

For your safety and security, all remote desktop sessions are fully encrypted using Chrome's SSL features, which includes full support for AES.

While your connection setup is mediated by Google's servers, your actual remote desktop session data are sent directly from the client to the host, except in limited circumstances where they may pass through Google relays. Google can't let anyone but you access your computer though because of the PIN or Access Code you use when you share it (which client and host verify without ever disclosing it to anyone, even Google). The PIN/Access Code and SSL encryption combination also ensures that when you do connect to your host, whether peer-to-peer or relayed, no one can see your data, not even Google.

None of your session data is ever recorded, and no session data is transmitted in a way that would let Google or anyone else (besides the participants) access it.

We do collect and store data about any network delays and how long your session lasted. This information is completely anonymous. We use it to learn how to improve Chrome Remote Desktop in the future.

Megan is a Google Chrome expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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