How to Set Up Chrome Remote Desktop on Your Chromebook

Your chromebook is great at many tasks, but it can’t run your favorite Windows apps. Fortunately,  it’s easy to remotely access any Windows or Mac computer from your Chromebook  and use all of its apps in a Window.

To perform a remote session, each connected system needs to have the Chrome browser, and each browser must be signed into the same Google account. After that the set-up process is a cake walk. Simply install a plug-in in each machine’s Chrome browser, follow a few prompts, and you’ll be able to access your primary PC from your Chromebook, even if the Chrome browser is closed on the remote system. 

Set up a Computer for Remote Access

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser on the PC or MAC you want to access remotely from your Chromebook.
     
  2. Enter chrome.google.com/webstore into the URL bar to navigate to the Google Chrome Webstore.
     
  3. Search for the Chrome Remote Desktop app within the Chrome Webstore.
     
  4. Select Add to Chrome to the right of the Chrome Remote Desktop.
     
  5. Select Add in the dialogue box that appears.

    The Chrome Remote Desktop app now automatically appears in the list of apps on your Chrome homescreen.
     
  6. Click the Chrome Remote Desktop app from the list of apps on your Chrome homescreen.
     
  7. Select Continue in the dialogue box that explains you must grant extended permissions on this PC or Mac in order to access it remotely.
     
  8. Select Allow Access to confirm that you are granting the Chrome Remote Desktop app access to several settings and features.
     
  9. Select “Get started” under My Computers.
     
  10. Assign your computer a PIN that will help prevent unwanted access and click OK.
     
  11. Click OK in the dialogue box that confirms remote access to your computer has been enabled.

    The PC/MAC you’re working on now appears in the My Computers section of the Chrome Remote Access desktop. You can change the name of the PC by clicking the Pencil icon to the right.

Access a Remote Desktop from your Chromebook

  1. Launch the Chrome Remote Desktop app from your app menu. If the app is not installed, follow the steps above to install it.
     
  2. Select Continue in the dialogue box that explains you must grant extended permissions on this PC or Mac in order to access it remotely.
     
  3. Select Allow Access to confirm that you are granting the Chrome Remote Desktop app access to several settings and features.Now systems connected to Remote Desktop app appear under My Computers.
     
  4. Select the system you want to access remotely.
     
  5. Enter the PIN you assigned to the computer to access it remotely and select Connect.

    The desktop of the remote computer appears on the screen.

    At the top is a blue drop-down menu that tells you which system you’re connected to. It also includes commands to CTRL+ALT+DEL and capture the screen of the remote system, as well as a Disconnect button and viewing options.

    You can navigate the remote computer as you would were you in front of it. Note that the Chrome Remote Desktop app will playback audio from the remote computer on the local system. So if you want to listen to audio tracks or watch movies on the remote device and listen in on your Chromebook. You can also copy and paste text between the remote and local computers.
     
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  1. mike Says:

    Very informative – thanks. Does this mean that if the secondary computer has Word on it, you could use Word on a Chromebook?

  2. Mark Says:

    Mike: Yep, anything on your secondary computer. There is very, very slight lag with heavier applications, but things like Word work perfectly. Actually, now that you mention it, at the moment I’m using remote desktop from my Chromebook to listen to Spotify no problem. Honestly, it just works.

  3. Scott Williams Says:

    Unfortunately, Remote Desktop will not work from Chromebook/box to PC or Mac. Only the reverse. This is a major drawback to people who need to support users on a Chrombook/box. Google offers no word on when or if this will ever be available.

  4. Greg Says:

    Please note that a Chromebook can not be accessed using Remote Desktop. For example, you can NOT access your Chromebook or anyone else’s Chromebook from your PC or MAC.

  5. Kevin peterson Says:

    Very good article. Another alternative to remote access is by RHUB. RHUB offers a 6-in-1 appliance you can own and control that includes: remote access to any mac/pc, remote support, web conferencing, and webinars. All in one box… convenient isn’t it?

  6. fred phoesh Says:

    All very nice, BUT
    I need the reverse. I need to be able to control the chromebook from my PC… the reason is I want to be able to offer tech support to my mother in South Africa, and this is the only way!
    Come on Google!
    tx
    Mark.

  7. max Says:

    Is it possible to access a PC/Mac if the PC/Mac is turned off? It would be great if this is possible. If i remember correctly it this is possible using the remote desktop on a windows computer.

  8. Neil Says:

    This was really good at explaining how to set up remote desktop app. I’m having an issue with my audio though on my chromebook. When I open a video on my PC (through the chromebook) the video will show on the chromebook, but the audio plays only on the PC. Can someone please help me with this? I have all the most current versions of Chrome and remote desktop.

  9. curtis Says:

    I tried loading Chrome Remote Desktop onto my laptop. For the last 10 minutes it just has “Enabling remote connections for this computer…” Is it stuck? Is it done? Is it waiting for me to do something else?
    Thanks,
    Curtis

  10. gregh Says:

    “Is it stuck? Is it done? Is it waiting for me to do something else?”

    I saw this and when I minimized Chrome I saw that there was a dialog on the desktop asking me to confirm my Gmail Account and Pin

  11. James Says:

    Just did a setup between a Chromebook and a Mac. When I connect, the screen resolution on my Mac changes – everything is bigger (making it difficult to do what I need to do.) Any way to keep this from happening?

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