How to Control Your PC From Your iPad

Use your computer remotely with a remote access app

Parallels Access on the iPad

You might not believe just how easy it is to control your PC from your iPad. Once you do, you'll be able to access your computer from anywhere your iPad has an internet connection, and use your computer just as if you were sitting in front of it.

What seems like a very complicated process actually boils down to three relatively simple steps: installing a piece of software on your PC, downloading an app on your iPad, and telling the iPad app how to see your computer.

In fact, choosing which software to use to accomplish the task might be more difficult than the actual task itself.

Choose a Remote Access App for iPad

The first thing you need to do is pick a program that works on both your computer and your iPad. There are several free remote access programs out there that you can use for this very purpose.

Remote Utilities, AnyDesk, RemotePC, and Microsoft Remote Desktop are just a few examples, and there are even paid controller apps you might prefer instead, like Parallels Access.

A similar way to control your PC from iPad is with the iTunes Remote app. It's not a full-fledged remote access program like the examples given above, but it will let you control iTunes remotely to choose music to play.

An iPad controller in the context of a video game controller is out of the scope of this particular article. For that, you might be interested in an app like Kinoni Gamepad, which turns your iPad into an Xbox controller for your PC. Learn more on their website.

Control Your Computer With iPad

We'll use AnyDesk as an example for how to take remote control of your computer from your tablet. The software is 100 percent free and has some really great features like the ability to optimize quality or speed over the other, built-in chat, and clipboard synchronization.

AnyDesk runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux, so you can use your iPad to control your computer no matter what the operating system is.

Set up Access

  1. Install AnyDesk on your iPad and on your computer, and then open the program on both devices.

  2. From your iPad, enter the 9-digit Remote Address code you see on your computer, and then tap Connect.

    AnyDesk app for iPad

    AnyDesk also supports aliases, so the if you've set that up on your computer, enter that instead. It will be [something]@ad.

  3. Select Accept on your computer to allow your iPad to control your PC.

    AnyDesk for Windows Accept and Dismiss buttons

Take Control of Your Computer

Your iPad screen will immediately change to the screen currently showing on your computer. Here's an example of Windows running on iPad:

AnyDesk for iPad viewing Windows remotely

Now that your iPad is connected to your computer, you can open files and folders, use programs, and do anything else supported by your computer. Since your iPad is just viewing the screen and remotely controlling the mouse and keyboard, you can do anything on your iPad that you can do on your computer.

AnyDesk, like other remote access apps for iPad, has its own set of controls for how to use the touchscreen to control your computer.

For example, a tap on your iPad translates to a click on your computer, and long-press will right-click. To zoom, pinch like you normally would on your iPad, and swipe with two fingers to pan around the screen. Swipe from the left edge of the tablet's screen to open the AnyDesk menu where you can access the settings and other functions such as a chat window.