Remotely accessing a PC can be tricky. Especially if you are trying to help a less than tech savvy person. Luckily Google has come up with a way to help with only an extension for Google Chrome.
Being that most people are familiar with and trust the web browser they are using, walking them through adding an extension to an application they already use daily is easier than teaching them to use a whole new application.
There are many applications out there, both free and paid, to remotely access computers. However, if you do not frequently need to access or be accessed, the simplicity of a browser-based remote desktop app will be ideal.
Download the Google Chrome extension
Like any application or extension, you will need to download and install it. You can download the Chrome Remote Desktop extension from the Google Chrome Web Store. The extension should automatically install. If you leave the installation page open, you can launch the app right from that page.
If you want to open the application later, you will need to go to the manage application screen by right-clicking on one of the extensions and choosing Manage Extensions from the menu.
Or you can also open it from the tab start page.
To help with security, both you and the other person will need to grant access to the extension via your Google account. This can be either a standard Google account or a Google Apps account. Click on the Continue button on the app’s start page.
The next screen is where you will actually grant the access. If you are already logged into your Google account, you will be taken to the next screen. If not, you will need to enter your login information now.
If you want to know what the extension will be accessing, you can click on the arrows to expand the areas and see. Here is the expanded view.
There are two different uses for the Chrome Remote Desktop extension. The first option is to access another computer and the second is allowing access to yours. Below is a walk-through on both options. Both will be accessed from the extension startup screen.
How to allow access
If you are the one allowing access to your computer, there are only a couple steps needed. First you will need to click the Share this computer link.
On the next screen you will want to click the button labeled the same.
Once you click the button, a unique one-time use access code will be generated.
Get this code to the person you who will be accessing your computer. Once they follow the steps in the second part of this article, they should be able to see your screen. You can cancel the session at any time by clicking the button in the box that is displayed on the screen. If you are a keyboard shortcut kind of person, you can also use Ctrl+Alt+Esc (Mac: Shift-Esc) to stop the computer sharing session.
How to access another computer
The process to access the computer is much the same. You will follow the same steps to download and install the extension. When the person sends you the access code, you will input that code into the text box.
Shortly after you press connect, the extension will verify the code and you should see the other person’s screen.
You will have access to the other person’s computer just like you were right there – and you can see and control the computer from right within the browser.
Here is the browser view.
And here’s the Desktop view.
Either person can disconnect the session using the shortcut key shown above or by clicking the disconnect button. Both parties will get a confirmation that the session has been disconnected.
With all of the possible reasons you may need to grant or gain access to a computer, having a simple, easy to use option that anyone can use is super handy. Whether you are in the tech department at your company or the techy friend or person in your family everyone goes to when they have a computer problem, Google’s Remote Desktop extension is an excellent addition to your virtual toolbox.
Download the Chrome Remote Desktop Extension