How to Control a PC or Laptop With a Phone
Are you wondering how to control your Windows or Mac computer with a phone? At first glance, the process may seem complicated, but several software solutions can help you resolve the problem in no time. Best of all, they’re compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems, a handy feature for those who use several computers.
Keep reading to learn more.
How to Control a Windows PC With an Android Phone
Chrome Remote Desktop
The most straightforward method to control your Windows PC with an Android phone is using Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop. It connects your computers through your email account and enables remote access through a mobile device. Here’s what you need to do to access this tool:
- Open the Chrome Remote Desktop web page in your browser and log in with your Google account.
- Navigate to “Set up Remote Access” and click on the small arrow icon to download the tool.
- Double-click the downloaded file to install the program on your computer.
- Head back to the website and choose “Turn on.”
- Follow the on-screen steps to permit Google Remote Access to project the computer screen on a mobile device and type a PIN code to authorize remote access.
- Download the mobile app from the Google Play Store and log in with your Google account.
- If your computer is powered on, you’ll see it when you first open the mobile app.
- Tap your workstation’s name and enter the PIN you chose earlier.
The computer screen should soon appear on your Android phone.
You can use your fingers to interact with the computer, but this may not be the most convenient option. Since computers operate best with a mouse and keyboard, Google’s Remote Access Desktop provides online alternatives.
When you access your workstation, press the three-line icon in the lower right to view the “Show Keyboard” and “Trackpad mode” options.
You can select “Resize to fit” under “Settings” to make your computer’s screen more mobile-friendly.
Microsoft Remote Desktop
If your PC runs on Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro, Microsoft’s Remote Desktop offers a smoother user experience.
Compared to Google’s software, Microsoft’s solution establishes a more stable connection between the computer and mobile device. Follow the step below to activate the software:
- Open “Settings” and select “System.”
- Choose the “Remote Desktop” option and tap “Remote desktop.”
- Press “Confirm” in the pop-up window.
- Tap the “How to connect to this PC” bar to check your computer’s name.
- Download the mobile app on your phone and click on the plus button.
- Choose “Add PC” from the sub-menu and type your PC’s name in the appropriate field.
- Hit the “Save” button.
- Return to the homepage and select your PC’s name to grant access to the email account you sign in with to your computer.
Microsoft Remote Access Desktop’s default setting is mouse mode. You can move the cursor over the computer screen by dragging your finger over your phone.
When you want to activate touch mode, press the button next to the keyboard icon and tap the finger button.
How to Control a Windows PC With an iPhone
Chrome Remote Desktop
Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is compatible with iOS products, and you can use it to access your computer through your iPhone remotely. Setting up the program is relatively straightforward.
- Go to the Chrome Remote Desktop site and enter your Google account credentials.
- Tap the arrow icon under the “Set up Remote Access” section and double tap the downloaded file to initiate the installation.
- Return to the site and choose “Turn on.”
- Select a PIN code for remote access.
- Download the Chrome Remote Desktop mobile app and sign in with your Google account information.
- Press your workstation’s name and enter the PIN for remote access.
Although you can interact with the PC using your finger, using the software’s mouse and keyboard alternatives is easier.
Select the three-line button in the lower end of the app to access the “Show keyboard” and “Trackpad mode” options.
Microsoft Remote Desktop
Like many other Microsoft products, Remote Desktop works well with iOS devices. The tool is easy to use and allows you to connect your Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro computer to an iPhone without difficulty. Here’s how to do it:
- Bring up “Settings” and select “System.”
- Press “Remote Desktop” and tap “Remote Desktop.”
- A pop-up window will prompt you to confirm your decision.
- Find your PC’s name under “How to connect to this PC.”
- Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop mobile app and tap the plus icon on the homepage.
- Pick “Add PC” from the sub-menu and enter your PC’s name in the appropriate area.
- Select the “Save” button.
- Head back to the homepage and press your PC’s name.
- Use the email you sign in with to your computer to activate remote access.
The default setting in Microsoft Remote access is mouse mode, so you maneuver the cursor by dragging your finger around your device’s touchscreen. You can click the button beside the keyboard icon and choose the finger button to enter touch mode.
How to Control a Mac With an Android Phone
Chrome Remote Desktop
You can control your Mac with an Android phone through the Chrome Remote Desktop software. Here’s how it works:
- Visit the Chrome Remote Desktop site and sign up with your Google account information.
- Find “Set up Remote Access” and select the blue arrow icon to download the tool.
- After the download is complete, double click the file to install the software on your Mac.
- Go back to the site and tap “Turn on.” The on-screen steps will aid you in granting the app permission to project your Mac’s screen on your Android phone.
- Set up a code to authorize remote access.
- Install the mobile app on your Android device and log in with your email account.
- Select your workstation’s name and type the code to activate remote access.
While you can interact with the computer screen using your finger, the software’s keyboard and mouse substitutes are more convenient. All you need to do to access these options is press the three-line button at the lower end of the app.
No native mac OS remote access software is currently available for Android users. But besides Chrome’s Remote desktop, many other programs will help you interact with your Mac’s screen using your smartphone. For example, Team Viewer is easy to install and boasts strong encryption, a virtual keyboard, and strict security protocols. Another perk is the two-way file transfer. But stick to Chrome’s solution if you plan to run heavy apps frequently.
How to Control a Mac With an iPhone
Switch Control is one of the simplest ways to control a Mac with an iPhone. So long as both devices use the same wireless network, you can connect them without issue.
You first need to activate Switch Control on your iPhone.
- Connect the screen switch to your iPhone.
- Head to “Settings” and select “Accessibility.”
- Press ” Switch Control” and choose the “Switches” option.
- Tap “Add New Switch” and click the appropriate source.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to modify the switch’s behavior.
- Return to “Switch Control” and toggle on the setting.
Now you can use the physical switch to control your Mac through your iPhone.
- Ensure both devices are connected to the same wireless network.
- Use the same Apple ID to log into iCloud on both devices.
- Tap the Apple Menu on your computer and select “System Preferences.”
- Pick “Accessibility” and choose the “Switch Control” option from the sidebar.
- Tick the box beside “Allow platform switching to control your computer.”
- Check whether you’ve activated “Switch Control” on your iPhone. If not, open the Switch Control menu on the physical switch and press “Device.”
- Tap “Use Other Device” and select your Mac.
- Hit “Connect.”
Although this is Apple’s native method for connecting their products, you might want a more convenient, hands-on experience. If so, Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop tool is the way to go.
Chrome Remote Desktop
Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to access your Mac’s screen with your iPhone in just a few clicks. Follow the instructions below to use the program:
- Open the Chrome Remote Desktop site and enter your Google credentials to sign in.
- Navigate to “Set up Remote Access” and select the blue arrow button to download the software.
- Double-tap the downloaded file to install the program on your Mac.
- Head back to the site and press “Turn on.”
- Follow the on-screen instructions to permit the app access to your Mac’s screen.
- Set up a pin code to enable remote access.
- Install the Chrome Remote Desktop app on your phone and log in using your Google account.
- Click on your workstation’s name and enter the code for remote access.
You can interact with your Mac’s desktop with your finger, but those who appreciate convenience will probably opt for the software’s keyboard and mouse alternatives.
Open the homepage and press the three-line icon in the lower right corner to access the “Show keyboard” and “Trackpad mode” options.
You can also use the “Resize desktop to fit” setting to make your Mac’s screen mobile friendly.
Seamless Remote Access
Although some may assume the Chrome Remote Desktop tool is only compatible with Windows devices, it works without issue on MacBooks as well. Windows 10 Pro and Windows 11 Pro users might want to switch to Microsoft’s Remote Desktop for a stronger connection between their computers and mobile devices. Although Apple hasn’t developed similar software, iOS users can control their Macs using the Switch Control feature.
Have you accessed your computer remotely before? Which of the above methods did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.