Mobile Apps

How to set up Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS

Google has released an iOS app that makes it possible to access your Mac or PC from any iOS device with an Internet connection.

An iPhone 6 Plus controlling a MacBook Air using Chrome Remote Desktop. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Chrome Remote Desktop is hardly a new service from Google. It's been around for years, allowing users to access a Windows or Mac computer from another computer or an Android device. When it came to this Google service, iOS had been left out.

Then on Monday Google unceremoniously released the iOS Chrome Remote Desktop app into the App Store, making it super-easy to access your computer (or a family member's computer) from your mobile device wherever you have a connection.

Before we dive into setting up the iOS app -- or lack of required setup -- you'll need to make sure you have two things installed on the computer you plan on connecting to.

Chrome Remote Desktop app in the Chrome Web Store. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The first is, naturally, Chrome. Second, you'll need to install the desktop version of the Chrome Remote Desktop app from the Chrome Web Store.

Once you have those two items installed, launch the app on your desktop and follow the prompts to complete the setup process. A video walking you through it all can be found here. Trust me when I say, you need very little technical expertise to get it installed.

The most important aspect of setting up the service is to remember your PIN. You did write it down, didn't you? OK, good.

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Chrome Remote Desktop on an iOS device. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Now that you have a PIN and the app is installed on your computer, download the iOS app from the App Store here. After its installed on your device, sign into the same Google account you used in Chrome and your computer should show up in the list. Tapping on the computer name will launch a remote session, where you'll be prompted to enter your PIN. After successfully entering it, you'll gain complete control over your computer.

So easy it should be illegal.