Windows has a feature called Remote Desktop that allows you to access Windows running on any PC on local network or over the internet. Using this feature, you can actually access your Windows PC on your Android smartphone and use it as you would normally use your Windows PC. This is possible through the Remote Desktop app developed by Microsoft for the Android platform. This app takes the username, password and the IP address of the target Windows PC, connects to it and allows you to use it through your Android device’s screen. Although it can be used on any fast Android device, it is better if you use a large screen device like a tablet.
Before you can connect to your Windows PC, you will have to enable the “remote access” feature in it. In order to do this, press Win+Pause hotkey, select Remote settings and then select the option labeled Allow remote connections to this computer. It is also a good idea to click on Select Users button and add the users that are allowed to access the computer remotely. Only the selected users will be able to connect remotely. While adding the users, note down the complete username along with the domain name (for example, my computer’s domain is TLC and username is Trisha, so the complete username would be TLC\Trisha) – this will be used later in setting up Remote Desktop in Android.
If you are connecting to the Windows PC from a local network (local Ethernet or WiFi network), then you should note down the internal IP address of your PC. If you are going to connect to the Windows PC over the internet, then you should note the external IP address of your PC. You can read how to find your own IP address for more information.
At this point your Windows work is over. Now head over to your Android smartphone and install Microsoft Remote Desktop app (you can find it on Google Play Store for free). In the Remote Desktop app, you will have to add a new account. In this account, you have to enter your computer name (any friendly name of your choice), computer’s IP address (that we noted down earlier), the user name (along with the domain name that we noted down earlier) and the Windows login password for that user. If you leave the username and password blank, then it will present to you a login screen where you can enter them when you try to access Windows over remote connection.
After adding a new remote desktop account, you can simple tap on it to start the connection. But before you start the connection make sure, that both the Windows PC and Android smartphone are using the same network (LAN, WiFi or Internet) and they both are powered on. In a few seconds, you will see your Windows PC screen on your Android phone.
You can press the menu key on Android to bring special keys on the screen. The keyboard can also be made visible and used. By default, it uses the touchscreen interface, but you can also toggle between the mouse cursor and touch interface as you wish. You can change the computer settings, run any software including browser, video players, Word processors etc., or play games on your Windows PC remotely via the Android device.
But it also sets some restrictions for the security reasons. For example, you cannot shutdown the remote Windows PC through the remote desktop connection. To disconnect, you can select Power options and select Disconnect in Windows 8. In earlier versions of Windows, you can select Start Menu and choose logout or disconnect.
Conclusion: If you have to access your Windows PC when you are not close to it, then you can access it on your Android device through the Microsoft Remote Desktop app. This way you can use your Windows computer even when you are traveling far away from your home or office. It is a great feature in Windows and even greater app for Android that has as many uses as your imagination permits.