Imagine this… you’re somewhere else, but you’re still able to remotely control your desktop.
That would be awesome, right? You can actually do that. And it’s easier than you think it is. You don’t need to be too techy or IT-knowledgeable. All you need are…the best remote desktop apps for Android.
There’s no magic in that. Just technology. This is the same process used by tech support when they’re remotely controlling desktops for their clients. Now we can do the same. There’s more… you can also run Android on your PC using Android emulators.
You really have to be in front of the PC in order to use and control it.
You can be just lying on your bed, while at the same time commanding your PC to do something. And you can do that using your Android smartphone or tablet. It could be vice versa too. Control your phone using your desktop.
But for this article, we’ll focus on apps that actually allow you to remotely control your desktop through your smartphone.
There are now quite a number of remote desktop apps for Android. However, not many of them are up to our standards.
Of the many, there are 5 that really stand out. We’ll discuss each of them here.
Related: Get SMS on your Desktop with Android
5 Best Remote Desktop Android Apps
Whether you just want to goof around, or you’re helping a friend with remote installations, or you’re doing it for your business, you’ll find many usages for these apps.
These apps may not be new. But they’ve managed to stay on top.
Check them out below.
1. TeamViewer for Remote Control
When it comes to remote desktop control, the app that automatically comes to mind is TeamViewer. This app is an obvious choice. It gives you remote access to your PC (Linux, Mac, or Windows). Controlling your PC feels like you’re just right there in front of it. Not only that, with this app, you can control other Android or Windows mobile devices as well.
It does more than just control the device remotely. This app also allows you to transfer files in both directions (phone to PC, PC to phone), do encryption, screen sharing, or transmitting HD video and sound in real-time.
- Remotely control computers, smartphones, and other devices
- File transfers, screen sharing
- Contact and file management
- High-security standards
- Intuitive control gestures
- Real-time sound and video transmission
It’s a great app for both personal or work-related use. If you’re using it for business, you’ll find its chat and contact management features helpful. Chat with your colleagues or customers from anywhere, and simply manage your contacts. Not to mention that it’s pretty safe. This app uses the highest security standards.
How to use TeamViewer:
TeamViewer is not so easy to set up and navigate. But once all is set, you can enjoy using it smoothly. To start, go to its main interface and navigate its Remote Control tab. Find your TeamViewer ID. You’ll also be provided with a temporary password. Use this ID and password to allow a partner to have access. Learn more about how to use TeamViewer in this guide.
The app is free. Download it below and give it a try. However, if you’re using it for business or work, we suggest that you get the business version. But that would need a subscription.
2. Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Desktop is the official Google offering and it works well. While there have been no new updates lately, this app still works just fine. It’s a pretty straightforward app. It’s not as complicated as TeamViewer. It’s pretty simple actually. This is the app to use if you just want the basic features of a remote desktop app for Android.
It’s quicker to set up and easier to use. Once you have downloaded the app on your Android device and once you’ve set it up, all you need to do is tap on any of your online desktops to connect. You can also install the app on your computer to access other devices.
This app is not only fast and simple. More importantly, it’s secure. Secure access using a pin so that only you can actually access your desktops from your Android device.
How to access your desktop remotely
To have remote access on your desktop, follow these steps:
- Open the app on your Android phone.
- Scan through the list of your computers, and tap the one you want to connect.
- Make sure that the computer you’re connecting to is online.
- Once you’ve tapped the computer, you can start controlling it remotely.
- There are 2 ways to control it: the Trackpad mode (virtual mouse pointer) and Touch mode (using taps).
Learn more about accessing your computer with Chrome Remote Desktop here.
This app is completely free. However, don’t expect too much from it. It’s great for personal use, but not as much for business use.
3. Splashtop Remote Desktop
Splashtop does what it advertises and does it really well. This remote desktop app is most known for its top-notch video streaming performance. With its Remote Camera feature, you check on what’s happening at home or in the office, or wherever or desktop is. You’ll see live video remotely straight from your desktop’s webcam.
Using this app, you get all access to your media library: music, videos, apps, emails, documents, you name it. You can even use your full browser. Thanks to its Java and Flash support. However, this non-commercial version only works for the local network. You’ll have to get the paid version to access your computers from any network.
- Remotely access files and programs
- Enjoy music libraries and full videos
- Play 3D games and Flash games
- Real-time audio and video streaming
- Access up-to 5 desktop
How to set up Splashtop:
Before you can start using it, make sure that you download and install the app first on your Android device. Open the app, and then enter the Splashtop Center IP address and then use your login credentials. Once you’re in, it’s just a matter of connecting computers and authenticating mobile devices.
Take note that Splashtop Personal is designed for personal use only. If you want to enjoy more features for work-related or business purposes, subscribe to its commercial version, the Splashtop Business. It’s more enhanced in terms of security, manageability, and workability.
4. Microsoft Remote Desktop
One might think that Microsoft would be amazing at making a remote desktop app but one would be quite wrong. While the basic app is sound and works pretty well, there is a distinct lack of polish here.
Its major downside is its keyboard feature. When it is not sending double keystrokes back to the controlled machine, it is not displayed properly. That being said, the touch system Microsoft has implemented is most definitely one of the best features.
- Remotely access PCs (Windows)
- Audio and video streaming
- Simple management
- Access remote resources
- Multi-touch experience
- Secure connection
How to use Windows Remote Desktop:
First, set up the PC so that it will allow remote connections. On your desktop or laptop, go to Start (the windows logo on the bottom left corner), then go to Settings, proceed to Remote Desktop, and finally turn on Enable Remote Desktop. Take note of the name of this PC.
Second, on your Android device, open the Remote Desktop app. Just add the PC you want to connect to. For this, use the name of the PC you’ve noted in the first step. Select it and wait for the connection to complete.
If you only want to access some basic functionality, this is indeed one of the best remote desktop apps for Android. However, if you are aiming to go a little bit deeper, this is not the app for you. But considering that’s a free app, similar to Chrome Remote Desktop, it offers a decent enough performance.
Learn more about how to use Microsoft Remote Desktop.
Give this app a try. Download Microsoft Remote Desktop below for free.
5. AnyDesk Remote Control
This one is a bit different, as it doesn’t exactly project the screen on to your Android device. However, it does allow you to control your PC by making your Android a remote. That’s right, Remote Link makes your phone or tablet into a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi remote control.
The app will show a touchpad on screen as well as a keyboard, so you can navigate your PC without actually getting up. This app is extremely useful during presentations or movie nights with projectors.
It is a stable, reliable and secure app. The multi-touch touchpad on your phone makes navigation a breeze and most of all it looks so awesome during meetings. Thanks to its simple user interface.
- Remote desktop operations
- Works with Android, Windows, Linux, Mac, and iOS
- Banking-level security
- Easy to use and intuitive
- Seamless connection
- Efficient streaming
How to use AnyDesk
To use AnyDesk, follow these easy steps:
- Make sure that you downloaded and install AnyDesk both in your Android device and your desktop.
- Launch the app on both devices.
- There’s an AnyDesk ID displayed on the remote device.
- Enter this ID.
- Confirm the session and start remotely controlling the desktop from your Android phone.
AnyDesk is free for personal use. However, if you’re using the app for commercial purposes, you’ll need to get the paid version.
Which is the best remote desktop app for Android?
It depends on what you’re using the app for. But for overall performance and features, we believe that TeamViewer is the best in the list. It offers much more than just the basic remote desktop features.
Are remote desktop apps for Android free?
Yes. Windows Remote Desktop and Chrome Remote Desktop are totally free. However, for Splashtop, TeamViewer, and AnyDesk, only their personal or non-commercial version is free. If you want the business or commercial version, you’ll need to pay a subscription.
Which of the free remote desktop apps is the best?
There are 2 free remote desktop apps in this list. Of the 2, Chrome Remote Desktop is better. Windows Remote Desktop is only compatible with PCs that run on Windows. While Chrome Remote Desktop connects with PCs that run on other OS.
Control Your PC From Anywhere
With these apps, you can start remotely accessing and controlling your PC from anywhere using your Android smartphone or device. Imagine this: your friend is playing a game on your PC. Prank him by messing up with the controls. He may think that you’re just using your phone, not knowing that you’re in fact controlling the PC remotely. That would be fun.
But on a serious note, there is so much you can do with these apps. You could be remotely controlling your desktop for your work, business or for personal reasons. Help a colleague with something or do remote installations for a friend. Do more with these apps, particularly TeamViewer.
What do you think of our list of the best remote desktop apps for Android? If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to share it with us.