Desktop computer usage has declined in recent years, with many people adapting to more mobile solutions such as laptops and tablets. However, desktops are still needed in workplace environments and certain professions. Therefore, you may need to access your PC through your mobile device. This is especially true if you're working from home and don't want your PC cluttering your desk space, or if you need to send files you've been working on without making a trip to the office.
Remoting into your PC from your mobile device is simple and accessible once you have the proper applications and know-how.
Here's how you can remote into your PC from your mobile device.
How can I access my PC remotely?
There are many different ways to remote into your PC. However, there are a few basic steps you need to complete first before gaining access.
Allow remote access
It's important to ensure your PC is set up to allow remote access before moving to the next steps. On your computer, go to your settings and find System > Remote Desktop. Make sure that the Enable Remote Desktop feature is switched on. Note the name of the PC, on because you'll need it later on when you're setting up the connection.
Navigate remote access settings
Once you've allowed remote access, return to your settings page and choose Advanced Settings. Find the Configure Network Level Authentication box and ensure it's turned on. Turning this feature on allows for an extra layer of security against malicious and uninvited users attempting to use your PC.
Sign in remotely
An administrative user account on your PC has remote access by default. When signing in, it's best to use this account to ensure access. However, if you'd like to give another account access, click on Select Users That Can Remotely Access This PC, and add the username of the account.
How to remote into your computer from iPhone or Android
To access your PC from your iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.) first download and install the Remote Desktop app from Apple's App Store on your device. Open the app and choose the Add PC option. Then, enter the following information into the designated fields:
- For PC Name, add the name of the computer you're using or its IP address.
- In User Account, type the username you want to use.
- The Friendly Name section is used if you want to add a different name for your connection.
- If your organization uses a remote desktop gateway to secure remote connections, you'll need to set up the Gateway option.
- The Device and Audio Redirection section is where you select what you'll be using in the connection, including audio features, the camera, the clipboard and storage.
- When finished with all sections, tap Save.
Once you've saved your information, the computer will be present within the application. The first time you tap it, the application may ask you to verify the connection.
When you're in the application, you'll be able to do everything you could do if you were working on your desktop. To end your current session, tap Disconnect from all PCs.
Android's Remote Desktop app works similarly to the iPhone; however, the setup is slightly different.
- First, download the Remote Desktop app from your Google Play store. Tap the + icon in the corner and choose Desktop.
- If you're near your PC, the app will start automatically scanning for its information and may pull it up for you. Otherwise, choose Add manually to enter the following information in the fields:
- In the PC Name field, type the computer name or IP address.
- For Username, choose the selection that says, "Enter every time" and either continue or tap Add user account, and enter the username and password.
- If your organization uses Remote Desktop Gateway, Show additional options gives you the option to add a gateway. You can also choose to hear audio from your PC on your mobile device.
- Once you've entered all information into the fields, click Save.
- In the PC Name field, type the computer name or IP address.
- The name and icon of the PC will now be displayed in the app. Click the icon. If you receive a message that the certificate isn't verified, simply check the box to Never Ask Again for Connections to This PC, and click Connect.
- Once connected, you can then choose Start new to start another remote session on a different PC.
- To disconnect your current session, tap the X in the corner of the screen's thumbnail image.
What is remote PC access software?
Remote PC access software enables a local user to connect to a remote computer, network or system. This software allows for an accessible connection between two or more systems on separate networks. Remote access software is usually installed on a computer to be accessed through a separate device or system either via internet or network, such as a VPN.
Benefits of PC access software
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses quickly adopted remote PC access software to continue their operations. However, there are many additional benefits to remote access software that will last beyond the pandemic.
"With a lot of employees working from home, the capabilities that remote desktop management gives to employers have become enormous," said Sahin Boydas, CEO and founder of RemoteTeam.com. "When distributed employees are stuck during their day-to-day activities, employers can design a complete education and training program by using remote desktop management resources to help employees access training, get direct help from supervisors, and have access to a wide range of cloud resources."
There are many reasons why PC access software can improve your business's operations, including the following:
- Security. The biggest risk when using remote PC access software is the potential of unauthorized access to your desktop. However, most remote PC access software utilizes various levels of protection to protect your data. Not exceeding the number of recommended devices, creating strong passwords and utilizing multiple-step authentication tools can decrease the risk of security threats.
- Remote support. If you're having issues with your software, many brands provide email and instant chat support 24/7. Other supporting features on PC access software include remote wake and reboot of your devices, as well as file transfer between devices.
- Cross-platform accessibility. Remote PC access software allows for various applications to run on different devices. No matter if you're using a Windows computer and an iPhone to remotely access your computer, the platforms sync for accessibility.
- Integration. With remote PC access software, you can merge other business applications you use within the software, such as Google Workspace, Zendesk and Jira.
- Scalability. You're able to add or remove devices as you see fit from your computer or desktop. You can have multiple devices routed to your device to use.
- Logs and reporting. You can see different devices and users, as remote PC access software gives you reports of web activity.
- Ability to use multiple monitors. No matter how many monitors your desktop has, you can see the contents of each from your mobile device.
- One-time access. If you need to give someone access just for a day or one time only, PC access software allows you to grant them instant access without the concern that they can return later and access sensitive information.
Best PC access software
Our picks of different remote PC access software highlights the key features of brands that best suit your business. Whether you need software for a particular system or want easy accessibility, there are multiple options. Consider the following when choosing the best PC access software for your business:
- Ease of implementation
- Customizable features and plans
- Level of security settings
- Choice of a browser-based or installation-based software
- The type of support available
- Ability to transfer files or print off-site