How to control a PC remotely with your iPad

Use these easy steps to control your desktop and stream movies from your computer to your iPad for free.

With the plethora of apps available, your iPad can address most of your needs when you're on the go. But sometimes the tablet is simply not enough--you might want access to your desktop computer instead.

TeamViewer, a free iOS app, lets you remotely access your computer with your iPad. With the steps below, you can use it to send yourself a file or control a friend's computer for hands-on tech support. Your friend will see you moving the mouse and controlling the screen from your iPad, no matter where you are.

But if you're looking to actually stream media from your desktop to your iPad remotely, check out AirVideo. It's another free iOS app that lets you stream movies, saving you a lot of local storage space on your tablet.

Here's how to use TeamViewer and AirVideo to access your computer from your iPad when you're on the go.


TeamViewer (remotely control your desktop)

Step 1: Go to and download and install the program on your computer. Upon launching it, you'll see an ID and password--hang onto it.

Step 2: Download TeamViewer (free) on your iPad. Launch it, and enter the ID and password of the computer you want to control (from step 1).

Tip: Make sure your iPad and computer are connected to the Internet. You might consider using Wi-Fi on your iPad when accessing TeamViewer, as it hogs data usage.

AirVideo (stream videos)

Step 1: Go to, head to "Downloads," and download AirVideo. Once installed, launch the program and add folders you want to access from your iPad. Don't worry about the file types--AirVideo will do on-the-fly conversion.

Step 2: Head to the "Remote" tab and check "Enable access from Internet." Also check "Automatically map port." Make note of the PIN; you'll be using it shortly.

Step 3: Go to "Settings" and check "require password." Make sure you set a strong one using numbers and letters.

Step 4: Make sure the server is running. On Windows press "Start server," and on Mac turn it to "On" (at the top).

Step 5: Install AirVideo on your iPad. Launch it, hit the plus sign, and select "Enter server PIN." Enter the PIN (from the "Remote" tab on your desktop" and enjoy instant access to your media.

Tip: Make sure your iPad and computer are connected to the Internet. You might consider using Wi-Fi on your iPad when accessing AirVideo, as it hogs data usage.

About the author

Sharon Profis is a CNET How To expert who cooks up DIY projects, in-depth guides, and little-known tricks that help you get the most out of your tech. During her four years at CNET, she's covered social media, funky gadgets, and has shared her tech knowledge on CBS and other news outlets.


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