Chrome Remote Desktop app

Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to remotely access one computer from another over the Internet. For example, you can use the app to securely access your files or applications from another computer. Or you can give a friend temporary access to your desktop so they can help you solve a computer problem.

Set up Chrome Remote Desktop

Add the Chrome Remote Desktop app to Chrome

Install the Chrome Remote Desktop app on every computer you want to access remotely and every computer you'd like to connect from.

  1. Visit the Chrome Remote Desktop app page in the Chrome Web Store.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the window, click the blue + Free button to download Chrome Remote Desktop.
  3. Click Add in the confirmation dialog.

Once the app has been added, the Chrome Remote Desktop icon Chrome Remote Desktop App will appear in the App Launcher chrome app launcher

When you open Chrome Remote Desktop app for the first time, you’ll be asked to authorize it. This will allow the app to do the following:

  • See your email address
  • See your Chrome Remote Desktop computers
  • Receive and send chat messages (this is how we get the two computers to “talk” to each other)

 

Enable remote access to your computer

To enable the computer you want to access remotely, you'll need to use a Google Account. If you don't have one, sign up now.

  1. Open a new tab in Google Chrome
  2. Under the Chrome search bar, click Apps chrome app launcher
  3. Open the Chrome Remote Desktop app.
  4. If the Get Started button appears in the "My Computers" box, click it to display remote connection options.
  5. Click Enable remote connections.
  6. Install the Chrome Remote Host Service:
Windows

Applies only to Chrome on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 or higher

  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.
  3. A confirmation box will appear. Confirm the Google Account and enter the PIN again to continue.

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

Note: Windows User Account Control might appear and ask you for permission to install. If you don’t have administration privileges on the computer, please contact your system administrator to finish installation.

Mac
  1. Chrome will start the download of an installation .dmg. Click Save.
  2. Click chromeremotedesktop.dmg in the Download bar to mount the installer.
  3. Switch to your Finder, and locate the “Chrome Remote Desktop” window with the “Chrome Remote Desktop.mpkg” installer package.
  4. Double-click the Chrome Remote Desktop.mpkg file to run the installer.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish installation.
  6. When the installation is complete, return to Chrome and click OK in the on-screen dialog to enable your computer for remote access.
  7. Enter a PIN and re-type the PIN, then click OK.
  8. A System Preference dialog appears, unlock the panel and confirm your account and PIN again.
  9. The “Remote connections for this computer have been enabled” message will appear. Click OK to dismiss it.
  10. The computer you enabled should show up under “My Computers”.
Linux (Beta)

Applies only to Ubuntu 12.04 or higher

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

Install the Debian package

Download and install one of the following Debian packages for the Host components. When you click one of the links below, the package will download automatically.

The software will update on its own.

Create a virtual desktop session

The following steps apply to Ubuntu 12.10 or higher. If you have Ubuntu 12.04, you can skip the steps below; Unity 2d desktop will be selected by default.

  1. Create a file called .chrome-remote-desktop-session in your home directory. This should be a shell script that starts your preferred desktop environment.
  2. Find the correct command to start the desktop by looking in /usr/share/xsessions/ for the desktop entry.

    For example, the ubuntu-2d.desktop file has the line:
    Exec=gnome-session --session=ubuntu-2d

    The text after ‘Exec=’ is the command to start the session. It should be passed (using quotes if necessary) as a parameter to the lightdm-session script. In this case, the correct command would be:
    exec /usr/sbin/lightdm-session "gnome-session --session=ubuntu-2d"

Enable 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.
Protect your computer with a PIN

Protecting your remote computer with a PIN provides an extra layer of security on top of what’s provided by your regular Google Account password. Even if your account is compromised, your computers will remain safe.

It’s impossible to access your computers using just the PIN; you must also be signed in to your Google Account. Here are some tips to maximize the security of this feature:

  • Your PIN must be at least 6 digits but can be longer. A longer PIN provides greater security.
  • Use a different PIN for each computer you register with Chrome Remote Desktop.
  • Try to memorize your PIN rather than writing it down; if you do write it down, keep the written copy somewhere safe.

Caution:

  • Don’t re-use a PIN you use for any other service, for example your bank account.
  • Don’t save your PIN in your email, docs, or anywhere else it can be discovered if your account is compromised.
  • Don’t disclose your PIN via text messaging or chat, or to anyone you don't trust.
  • Don't use a PIN that corresponds to a calendar date; these are easily guessable by an attacker.

Access and share your computer

Access your computer

You can access any remote connection enabled computers with the same Google Account. Make sure the computer you’re accessing is turned on and connected to the Internet. Chrome doesn’t need to be opened on the remote computer.

  1. Open a new tab in Google Chrome.
  2. Under the Chrome search bar, click Apps chrome app launcher (If you are using Windows 8, you can only access a shared computer on the Desktop mode.)
  3. Open the 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.

To stop the remote session, mouse to the top center page, click the drop down bar and click Disconnect.

  • You can click Send keys to send special keyboard combination, such as "Ctrl+Alt+Del". This is useful when you’re connected to a computer with a locked screen.
  • By default, Chrome Remote desktop will not turn off the remotely connected computer's screen, so people walking by or watching the computer might see what actions you’re performing. However, you can turn on a feature that will cause the computer's screen to display the login screen while you're connected remotely by changing your network settings.
Share your computer with someone else
  1. Open a new tab in Chrome.
  2. Under the Chrome search bar, click Apps chrome app launcher
  3. Open the Chrome Remote Desktop app.
  4. If the Get Started button appears in the "Remote Assistance" box, click it to see Remote Assistance options.
  5. Click the Share button.
  6. A unique access code will be generated for each sharing session. Send this code to the person you'd like to share your computer with. For security reasons, we recommend reading this code aloud to him or her.

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 or press Ctrl+Alt+Esc (Mac: Opt-Ctrl-Esc) at any time to end the session.

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. Share with caution.

Access a computer that has been shared with you
  1. Open a new tab in Chrome.
  2. Under the Chrome search bar, click Apps chrome app launcher. (If you are using Windows 8, you can only access a shared computer on the Desktop mode.)
  3. Click the Access button.
  4. Enter the access code provided by your friend.
  5. Click Connect.
  • Your email address will be displayed to the user who has shared his/her computer with you.
  • If a Windows User Account Control (UAC) prompt on the shared computer is triggered, for example when you try to make a change in the Control Panel, you won't be able to take any further action. You can have the person who shared his/her computer grant the permission or cancel the request.

Remove or troubleshoot Chrome Remote Desktop

Remove Chrome Remote Desktop app from your computer

Remove 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. Type "chrome://extensions" into the address bar.
  2. Find "Chrome Remote Desktop" and click the trash can icon Remove an extension from Chrome
  3. A confirmation dialog appears, click Remove.

Remove Chrome Remote Desktop application from your computer

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

Windows
  1. Go to Control Panel > Programs > 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.”
Update out-of-date hosts

If you get a notification that says “Chrome Remote Desktop on [HOSTNAME] is out of date and needs to be updated,” you need to install a new version of the Chrome Remote Desktop Host software. Updating the software should only take a few minutes and can be done while you’re connected to your computer remotely.

Windows
  1. Download the Chrome Remote Desktop Host.
  2. When the download is complete, click the installer in the downloads bar at the bottom of Chrome.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
Mac
  1. Download the Chrome Remote Desktop Host.
  2. When the download is complete, click the installer in the downloads bar at the bottom of Chrome.
  3. Double-click the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

If your update fails, or you continue to see the host outdated message after following the steps above, please report this in the Chrome Help Forum

Troubleshoot sharing issues
  1. Check your Internet connection

    To share your computer or access someone else's computer that has been shared with you, both computers must be connected to Internet. To check your Internet connection, open a new tab in Chrome and try visiting a website (e.g. http://www.google.com). If the page won't open, check your computer’s network settings.

  2. Check your firewall settings

    Your computer's firewall may be configured in a way that doesn't let the app work properly. Verify that your firewall permits outbound UDP traffic, permits inbound UDP responses, and allows traffic on TCP ports 443 (HTTPS) and 5222 (XMPP).

  3. Check your network’s NAT Traversal policy

    If your computer is on a corporate network, check whether your company’s network security policies prevent access to outside services that rely on peer-to-peer (P2P) connections (“NAT Traversal” policies). If so, you won't be able to use the Chrome Remote Desktop app. This restriction applies when you and the other computer are not on the same corporate network. Contact your company’s network administrator for more information.

  4. Check the version of Chrome you're using

    Make sure you're using the latest version of Chrome or Chrome OS.

  5. Check the error message you're getting

    You might see an error message if the sharing session can't be successfully established.

    Error message Where it appears Description
    The access code is invalid. Please try again. When trying to access someone else's computer You'll see this message for the following situations:
    • You've entered the incorrect access code for the computer that has been shared with you. Verify that you have the right access code.
    • Your network connection has been interrupted. Check your Internet connection and try sharing again.
    • The person sharing their computer stopped sharing it after they gave you the code. Ask them to re-share their computer and give you the new access code.
    Plugin missing or out-of-date. Please make sure you're running the latest version of Chrome and try again. When trying to access someone else's computer The app's plug-in has failed to load. Make sure you are using the latest version of Chrome or Chrome OS and try setting up the sharing session again.
    Authentication failed. Please sign out of Chrome Remote Desktop and try again. When launching the Chrome Remote Desktop app Sign out of your Google Account from the upper-left corner of the Chrome Remote Desktop screen, then sign back in. Now try setting up the sharing session again.
    An unknown error occurred. Please sign out of Chrome Remote Desktop and try again. When launching the Chrome Remote Desktop app Go through the troubleshooting steps listed in this section, then try setting up the sharing session again.
    Failed to get a response from the server.
    or
    There was a problem accessing the server. Please try again.
    When trying to access a shared computer There may be an issue with your Internet connection. Check your network settings, then try setting up the sharing session again.

If you have any additional 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.

Known issues

The following issues have been reported for Chrome Remote Desktop. For each issue, see its status on the right.

Issue Status
You are unable to connect to someone else's shared computer using the access code that you’ve been provided. Instead you see the the Verifying access code message for a long time. This is likely due to firewall or NAT traversal issues. Please see the Troubleshooting section above for suggestions on configuring your firewall.
You experience slow or inconsistent performance during your remote sharing session. We are investigating the cause for this problem.
You are unable to hear the audio from the computer that is being shared. This is a known limitation when connecting to a Mac computer (you will be able to hear audio from a Windows computer).
You can't configure a Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or Chrome OS machine for remote access. This is an intentional restriction. Sharing your computer for remote access requires Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later or Windows XP or later. However, you can access a computer remotely from any device that runs Chrome.
You have uninstalled Chrome Remote Desktop from a host but it still displays in your list of hosts as offline. This is a known limitation. Once uninstalled the host can no longer be accessed remotely but it will continue to show in your list of hosts (as offline). To remove it, simply click the X icon next to its name.
You changed your Google Account password and now you can’t access my remote computer any longer. If you change your Google Account password you’ll need to disable, then re-enable remote connections for the host.
You're unable to use certain keyboard shortcuts while connected to your remote computer (e.g., Ctrl+W, Ctrl+N). Because Chrome Remote Desktop runs in Chrome and Chrome reserves certain keyboard shortcuts for its own use, by default these shortcuts won’t be sent to your remote computer.

However you can override this default behavior by right-clicking the Chrome Remote Desktop icon in the Applications list and choosing "Open in Window". In this mode nearly all keyboard shortcuts will be sent to your remote computer.
You're unable to set up your computer for remote connection if it's behind an authenticating proxy. This is a known limitation.
You get a "Failed to start remote access service" error message while trying to enable remote connections on a Windows computer. You'll see this error if you are not an administrator of the host computer. We're investigating solutions to this problem. In the interim, obtain administrative rights to the computer, or log in as another user who has administrative rights, and try again.
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