Chrome Remote Desktop 56.0.2924.52

A Full Review of Chrome Remote Desktop, a Free Remote Access/Desktop Program

Screenshot of Chrome Remote Desktop v42 in Windows 7
Chrome Remote Desktop. © Google

Chrome Remote Desktop is a free remote desktop program from Google that runs as an extension that's paired with the Chrome web browser.

Chrome Remote Desktop can provide quick spontaneous support or unattended access to your own computer.

Download Chrome Remote Desktop
[Chrome.google.com | Download & Install Tips]

Note: This review is of Chrome Remote Desktop version 56.0.2924.52, released on February 7, 2017.

Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

More About Chrome Remote Desktop

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux computers can install Chrome Remote Desktop
  • Works from Android devices that install the app through Google Play
  • iOS users can install the mobile app from iTunes
  • Both spontaneous support and unattended access are supported

Chrome Remote Desktop: Pros & Cons

A number of other free remote access tools are more robust but Chrome Remote Desktop is certainly easy to get going with:

Pros:

  • Quick install
  • Works with different operating systems
  • Supports multiple monitors
  • Audio transfer for Windows computers
  • Supports file sharing
  • Updates often
  • Can be used in full-screen mode

Cons:

  • Requires a particular web browser
  • Unable to print remote files to a local printer
  • No chat capability
  • Unable to send custom keyboard shortcuts (just Ctrl+Alt+Del and PrtScn)

How Chrome Remote Desktop Works

There are two ways to use Chrome Remote Desktop.

The first is for spontaneous support and the second is for unattended access.

Before setting up either connection method, you must sign on to your Google account. This means if you have a Gmail or YouTube account, you can use it to sign on to Chrome. You'll be asked to do so when it's required.

Remote Assistance is the section of the Chrome Remote Desktop program that is used for connecting to a friend's computer or sharing your own screen with someone else.

It's temporary, as it uses a temporary access code, so you can't make continuous connections after the session closes.

Click the Share button to reveal a code used for sharing your own screen. Alternatively, choose the Access button to enter a code generated by another computer so you can see their screen. If sharing your own screen, you'll need to download Chrome Remote Desktop Host, which you'll be prompted to download when required to.

The other way to connect with Chrome Remote Desktop is from the My Computers section. Begin by choosing Enable remote connections. You must then set a PIN that can be used to access your computer, which is a number with at least six digits.

Once set, you can sign on to the same Google account on another computer, where you'll see the computer you've configured.

The different between the Remote Assistance and My Computers section is that the first is used for computers you don't need to have access to over and over. Plus, you can both logon to your own Google accounts to share each other's screens. The second method is best if you need to see your own computer screen when you're away.

Note: If you want to use Chrome Remote Desktop for unattended access to a friend's computer, you'll need to log in once with your credentials on their computer to set it up.

You won't need to stay logged in there after the initial installation.

Chrome Remote Desktop is normally opened from inside the browser via the local URL chrome://apps/. If you wish to create a desktop shortcut to Chrome Remote Desktop for easier access, just right-click the application icon and click Create shortcuts..., then choose Desktop.

My Thoughts on Chrome Remote Desktop

I really like how easy it is to install Chrome Remote Desktop. While it's obvious both parties need the Google Chrome browser installed, it's really just a couple clicks away from being available for use once installed.

Because Chrome Remote Desktop is run entirely from the browser, it's great that nearly all operating systems can use it.

This means you're hardly limited to who you can provide support to.

An obvious limitation with Chrome Remote Desktop is the fact that it's simply a screen sharing application and not a full-blown remote access program. This means file transfers work only if you copy and paste the file, and there isn't a built-in feature that allows you to chat across computers.

Download Chrome Remote Desktop
[Chrome.google.com | Download & Install Tips]