Are you responsible for any technology in your school? If so, my guess is you are considered your family’s resident tech support expert.
That’s me in our family, and I’m happy to help, but I can’t always come onsite due to distance and time. Have you ever tried to help someone over the phone and thought, if you could just see the screen you could figure out the issue?
Google Remote Desktop allows you to do just that and more. Plus, it is free and they aren’t trying to sell you something or put malware on your computer. It also works on Chromebooks!
Whether you are providing support or receiving support, the website address is the same. In a Chrome browser go to remotedesktop.google.com. If you aren’t already signed into Google, you’ll be prompted to do so.
If you just need to see someone’s screen and have a Google account check out my article on using Google Meet. If you need to remotely control the computer or Chromebook, then Chrome Remote Desktop is the perfect tool.
Chrome Remote Desktop Features
There are two parts to Chrome Remote Desktop:
- Remote Access – allows you to access your own computers
- Remote Support – allows you to connect to someone else’s computer with their permission
This post is going to focus on the Remote Support feature.
Computer You Are Connecting To
The first time the user uses Remote Desktop, they will need to install Chrome Remote Desktop. They can do so by clicking the down arrow in the Get Support box.
- On a Windows computer, a file called chromeremotedesktophost.msi will be downloaded. The user will need admin rights on the computer to install the file.
- On a Chromebook, the Chrome Remote Desktop extension will install. No elevated rights are needed to install it.
Once installed, the down arrow is replaced by a Generate Code button.
Have the user click Generate Code. A 12-digit code will appear in the Get Support section. You will also see a countdown which begins at 5 minutes. This is a one-time use code and if it isn’t used to connect within the 5-minute window, the code expires.
Remote Support is designed with the idea that you are in contact with the user by chat, phone, or some other means and that you are both in front of the devices you will be using. Therefore, 5 minutes should be plenty of time. At this point, the user needing support is waiting on you.
On Your Side
- Go to remotedesktop.google.com
- Enter the 12-digit access code in the Connect to another computer section.
- Click Connect and you will see the screen below.
- The person you are connecting to will see this screen.
- Tell the user to click Share
The Chrome Remote Desktop session will now begin. You’ll be able to see the user’s screen(s) and control their computer as well. To end the session you can click Disconnect from your computer or Shop Sharing on the remote computer.