How to Access Your PC From iOS and Android

  • Remote Access

    First, you need to make sure your Windows computer is set up for remote access. To do this, open Control Panel. In the search field in the upper-right, type the word remote. From the search results, click on the link for “Allow remote access to your computer.”

  • Allow Remote Connections

    At the Remote tab for the System Properties window, check on the option to “Allow remote connections to this computer” if it’s not already enabled. You can also check on the box to “Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended).” Then click OK to close the window.

  • iPhone or iPad

    Those of you who want to access your computer from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch can download the Remote Desktop app. After installation, launch the app on your mobile device.
  • Add Computer

    Tap on the + symbol to add the name of the computer that you wish to access. An “Add New” window pops up asking what type of device you want to add. Tap on the option for “Desktop.”

  • Find Computer

    The Desktop window prompts you to enter the name or IP address of the PC you want to access. Here’s how you can find both. To grab the computer name in any version of Windows, open Control Panel. In the search field in the upper-right, type computer name. From the search results, click on the link to “See the name of this computer.”

  • Computer Name

    You’ll find the computer name displayed in the section for “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings.”

  • View IP Address

    To see the IP address of your PC, open a command prompt. At the command prompt, type ipconfig. Then look for and note the IP address listed for IPv4 Address.

  • Add Remote Desktop

    Return to the Remote Desktop app and tap the field for PC Name. Type either the computer name or IP address in the field for “Host name or IP address.” Then tap “Done.”

  • Add User Account

    The next field refers to the user account that you want to use to access the remote computer. This would be an account on the computer itself, such as your own Microsoft account or a local account. If you want to enter the account name and password each time you open a remote connection, leave this field blank. Otherwise, tap on the “User Account” field. At the “User Accounts” window, tap on the option to “Add User Account.”

  • Enter Account

    At the “Add User Account” window, type the name and password of the account you want to use for remote access. Tap Save.

  • Customizations

    Tap on the field for “Additional Options.” Here you can add a friendly name for the connection if you don’t want to use the computer name. Unless you plan to use your mobile device to access your PC from outside your home network, you can bypass the Gateway field. The Sound field lets you choose whether to play sound on your mobile device or on your computer or not play at all.

    The field to Swap Mouse Buttons allows you to swap the left and right mouse buttons. And the field for Admin Mode lets you connect to the PC as an administrator so you have greater control over certain features. When done viewing or setting any of these additional options, tap on the Desktop link to go back to the previous screen.

  • Save Desktop

    At the Desktop window, tap on the Save link.

  • Select Computer

    Now tap on the name and icon of the computer connection you just set up.

  • Verify Computer

    The first time you try to access the computer, Remote Desktop may ask to verify the connection to that computer. Enable the option for “Don’t ask me again for connections to this computer” and then tap Accept. You should then be connected to the computer in which case the computer’s screen will appear on your mobile device.

  • Toolbar

    You can now open apps and windows, manage your desktop, and do just about everything you can do if you were sitting in front of your computer. To help control your remote session, the app displays a small toolbar at the top. Tap on the magnifying glass icon to zoom in to the screen. Tap on it again to zoom back out. Tap on the keyboard icon to display your device’s keyboard.

  • Sidebars

    Tap on the hamburger icon ( ) to display sidebars. On the left sidebar, you can tap on the “Start New” icon to start a new remote session with a different computer. On the right sidebar, you can tap on the Home button to return to the home screen of the Remote Desktop app. You can tap on the “Mouse Pointer” icon if you wish to display and control a mouse pointer on your remote session. And you can tap on the “End Session” icon to end the current remote session.

  • Change Settings

    There’s one major setting you may want to tweak. Tap on the End session icon to end the remote session. Then tap on the Gear icon in the upper-left corner. If at any point you need help, tap the question mark icon and tap on one of the Help categories. You’ll be whisked away to a web page that provides information on using Remote Desktop with an iOS device.

  • Display Resolution

    A Settings screen appears. Tap on the setting for Display Resolution.

  • Change Resolution

    This controls how the screen of the remote computer appears on your mobile device. You can opt to keep the default resolution or switch to a resolution that matches your mobile device.

  • Custom Resolution

    Tap on the setting for Custom. Here you can select a custom resolution and a custom scaling. You’ll want to play around with these settings until you find the optimal resolution for your mobile device. When done, tap Save.

  • Android

    Remote Desktop for Android works similarly to its iOS counterpart. Download the app and launch it. The first screen asks you to accept the license terms. Now follow the same steps described for the iOS app to add a new desktop setting for your remote computer by entering the computer name and the account you want to use to access the PC. Then tap on the setting for the computer to connect to it. Confirm the connection to the PC and tap on the checkbox to “Never ask again for connections to this PC” and then tap on Connect. You should then be connected to the computer.
  • Toolbar

    Tap on the keyboard icon on the top toolbar to display the onscreen keyboard. Tap on the hamburger icon to display the sidebars. From there, you can tap on the “Start New” icon to start another remote session to a different computer, tap on the Home button to return to the app’s home screen, and tap on the “Mouse Pointer” icon to display a mouse pointer. To disconnect the current remote session, tap on the X in the thumbnail window for your computer.

  • Access Settings

    Back at the app’s home page, tap on the hamburger to access different settings.

  • Change General Settings

    Tap on the General setting and change any options you wish.

  • Adjust Display Settings

    Tap on the hamburger icon again and tap the Display setting. Here, you can adjust the resolution for your remote session.

  • Add User Account

    Tap on the hamburger icon again. Unless you’re using your device from outside your home network, skip the Gateway setting. Tap on the User Accounts setting. Here, you can add another user account for accessing the computer. Tap on the hamburger icon again. Tap the Help setting. The app takes you to a web page with information on how to use Remote Desktop on an Android device.

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