Chrome Remote Desktop

This is a reasonably secure and simple tool provided by Google as an add-on to their "Chrome" browser.  It is fairly easy to install and use, and can be utilized as an alternative mechanism for Adminsoft to provide you with remote support.  However, you can also use it to access your work computer from home or another remote location.  (It does not have a 'file transfer' facility, but you can usually achieve this by sending files as attachments to email if you want to work on something off-line at home - just don't forget to send them back to your work computer when you have finished.)

While you do need to run Chrome in order to use this facility, you do not have to make Chrome your 'default browser' if you prefer to use something else (like FireFox, Edge, or Internet Explorer).

You can read more about this tool at:  https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/1649523?hl=en

In the first instance, we recommend that you discuss this with your normal IT support provider.  Assuming that they approve of this, we have provided instructions below to assist your in-house IT staff member with the following:

Installing "Chrome Remote Desktop" on your Work Computer

To install "Chrome Remote Desktop" you need to set up a Google / Chrome account, and 'Sign In' to this

  • Launch your Chrome browser, and go to the "Apps" page (using the "Apps" item at the left of your 'Bookmarks' menu line).
  • Sign-In to your Google / Chrome account (if you are not signed in automatically).   Or create a new account at this point if you have not previously done so.  You can use your normal business email address for this, rather than create a new "gmail" account that you will never use.
  • Go to the download / setup page from the Google webstore:   Chrome Remote Desktop
  • This will launch a special page with a header that looks like this:
  • Add to Chrome

  • Click on the "Add to Chrome" button at the top right.  This will open a popup similar to the one below:
  • Add Chrome Desktop

  • Click on the "Add app" button.
  • It will then download and install the "Chrome Remote Desktop" program, and take you to a page that says "Chrome Remote Desktop has been added to the Chrome App Launcher".
  • Go back to the Chrome "Apps" page (using the "Apps" item at the left of your 'Bookmarks' menu line).
  • This page should now contain a new icon:
  • Chrome Remote Desktop Launcher

  • Use this to launch Chrome Remote Desktop.
  • On the very first time that you run this plug-in, you will need to authorize it to do several associated tasks.  (Click 'Continue' on the pop-up message to this effect.)
  • When it presents the list of items to you, click on the "Allow" button at the bottom-right.
  • Allow Chrome Remote Desktop

  • This will take you to the main Chrome Remote Desktop pop-up web page:
  • Chrome Remote Assistance - Get Started

  • Click on the "Get started" button.   Important Note:  There are two sections to this page:
    • Click on the "Get Started" button in the "Remote Assistance" section, if you want a remote support session with us.
    • (If you want to set up your computer so that you can access it from home, then see the separate "My Computers" section below this - and refer to the special notes about "Using remote Desktop to access your work computer from home" towards the bottom of this web page.)
  • Click on the green "Share" button share your computer, so that we can see it and provide remote support.
  • Remote Assistance Share

  • Click on the "Accept and Install" button to download and install the Chrome Remote Desktop Host plug-in:
  • Accept and Install

  • You will need to save the file in order to install it.  Use your default "Downloads" folder, or choose somewhere else if you prefer.
  • Save dialog

  • Once the file has been downloaded and saved, you need to give permission to run it.
  • Run

  • If the following window appears for a long time, check your Windows Task Bar.  If there is a "Windows User Account Control" (yellow shield) icon at the right of your application list, then open this and click on its "Yes" button.
  • Please Wait

  • The plug-in should finish installing, and take you to a browser page to that effect.


Using Chrome Remote Assistance

  • Launch your Chrome browser, and go to the "Apps" page (using the "Apps" item at the left of your 'Bookmarks' menu line).
  • Sign-In to your Google / Chrome account (if you are not signed in automatically).
  • This page should now contain a new icon:
  • Use icon to launch Chrome Remote Desktop.
  • Chrome Remote Desktop Launcher

  • In the "Remote Assistance" section, click on the green "Share" button to "Share this computer for another user to see and control."
  • Remote Assistance Share

  • Phone the Adminsoft help desk, and verbally (much safer than email) give us the session security number that it automatically generates.


Using Chrome Remote Desktop to access your work computer from home

  • Launch your Chrome browser, and go to the "Apps" page (using the "Apps" item at the left of your 'Bookmarks' menu line).
  • Sign-In to your Google / Chrome account (if you are not signed in automatically).
  • To enable you to access your computer remotely you first need to activate this function:
    • Use the icon to launch Chrome Remote Desktop (that you installed previously.
    • Chrome Remote Desktop Launcher

    • This time in the bottom section, click on "Get Started", and (when it displays) the "Enable Remote Connections" button (at the bottom-right).
    • Enable Remote COnnections

    • Then enter the PIN that you will use when you remote in from home.
    • Enter your PIN

    • In the "Chrome Remote Desktop" window, you should now see your computer name in the bottom "My Computers" section.
    •   (Your computer name will display instead of the one shown below.)

      Ready to be accessed from home

    • If you will not need to access your work computer remotely for several days, then you should use the button to "Disable remote connections".  (While Chrome Remote Desktop is reasonably secure, it is just good computing practice not to leave any remote access facility open unnecessarily.)  You can easily "Enable remote connections" again, by launching "Chrome Remote Desktop" from your Chrome "Apps" page, and clicking on this button.  (You will not need to run through the whole install process again.)
  • If you want to have a remote session in the evening (or weekend), then you obviously must leave your work computer running when you depart the office, with Chrome Remote Desktop configured with "remote connections" enabled.  (The "My Computers" section of the screen should look like the screen-shot immediately above.)  Chrome does not need to be open on your computer.  (Chrome Remote Desktop is a separate program.)

Access from Home

  • At home you need to install Chrome Remote Desktop (if you have not already done so), using the same procedure as described above.
  • You must add your work Google / Chrome account to your Chrome accounts on your home computer.  You will use this to access your work computer remotely (and won't be able to see it using any other account.)  When it offers to do so, select the option to create a shortcut for this account on your Windows desktop.  (This provides a convenient method to launch Chrome signed into your Work Chrome account.  You can also create a shortcut to launch Chrome with your personal Chrome account.)
  • Sign-in to Chrome Apps using your Work account (or "Switch person" by clicking on the account name that displays at the top right of the Chrome title bar.  Note:  If you have two (or more) Google accounts on your home computer, you must use your work one to access your work computer.  (You will not be able to see your work computer if you are logged in to a different account.)
  • Use the Work Chrome icon to launch your Chrome browser for your Work account, and go to the "Apps" page (using the "Apps" item at the left of your 'Bookmarks' menu line).
  • Click on the "Chrome Remote Desktop" icon in the Chrome Apps page
  • When this opens, you should see your work computer name listed in the "My Computers" section.  Click on this.
  • Enter the PIN you set up when configuring your work computer
  • A window should then open on your desktop in which you can see the familiar screen of your work computer.  You can click with your mouse and type using your keyboard, as if you were sitting at your desk in the office.
  • When you have finished, close the connection to your work computer by clicking on the cross at the top-right of the 'Remote Desktop' window.

Allow multiple users to access a spare computer from their home

If you have a spare computer sitting around, it may be useful to allow certain personnel to access it remotely on an ad hoc basis.  (They will not be able to do so simultaneously!!!)  For instance, this would let these individuals fill in their timesheet from home, because they did not go back to the office after a site visit.  Or it might let a staff member access Adminsoft using a notebook computer over their motel's WIFI (or better still, using mobile data through their phone), if they are spending a few days in a distant town to work on a job there.

  • Create a special Chrome account for the spare computer. If Outlook is configured with a unique email account on that computer, you can use this email address as the Chrome account.  Otherwise, you can create a special gmail account for this purpose (your call whether this is meaningfully named, or very cryptic).
  • Launch Chrome and sign in to this special account.
  • Follow all the procedures as per the previous section (Using Chrome Remote Desktop to access your work computer from home).  However, you will obviously need to repeat the 'Access from Home' steps on each person's notebook (or home computer), so that it can be used for this purpose.