How to access your Mac with Chrome Remote Desktop in iOS

ChromeIconXIf you are a Chrome user, then you might be interested in Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop app for your iPhone or iPad, which will allow you to connect to any system, be it PC or Mac, that is also running Chrome. This service has been available for Google’s Android platform, but now is available for iOS and should offer yet another approach for connecting to your Mac remotely.

Apple offers several ways to connect to your Mac from a remote system, including the use of Back To My Mac for screen sharing, and doing so through a Messages conversation with a friend or colleague, but so far the use of screen sharing through Apple’s offerings has been limited to a Mac system.

Screen Sharing in OS X uses VNC technology, so there have been some apps for iPads and iPhones that have attempted connections, and other services like Parallels Access that also allow you to set up a special screen sharing service on your Mac, and then connect to it from anywhere. However, these either cost extra, or sometimes are a little tough to configure.

With Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop, you should be able to use your Google account similar to Apple’s Back To My Mac, and find your system and then be able to connect to it.

  1. Download the Chrome Browser for your Mac.

    Chrome Remote Desktop authentication in iOS

    Once set up, you will need to authenticate with your PIN to connect to Chrome on your Mac.

  2. Go to the Chrome Web Store and get Chrome Remote Desktop.
  3. Install the app for Chrome, then click it to open it.
  4. Granting the app access to the services it requests.
  5. Click Get Started in the My Computers section and click Enable remote connection.
  6. Run the downloaded Chrome Remote Desktop Host installer.
  7. Create a PIN number, and then enable your Mac in the system preferences that open using this PIN.
  8. Go to the App Store and download Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS.
  9. Sign into your Google account in Chrome Remote Desktop.
  10. Select your computer in “My Computers” and then provide your PIN to establish your connection.

After these steps are done, you should see your Mac screen show up on your iPhone or iPad, and then be able to move the mouse, send mouse clicks, and pull up the on-screen keyboard to control the system.

If you want to prevent access to your Mac, then you can disable this either in your Google account or in the Chrome Remote Desktop system preferences installed on your system. The Chrome Host installer also should have placed an uninstaller in your Applications folder, that you can use to remove the service from your Mac.