By Ellie / Last Updated February 28, 2024

How do I access my desktop files remotely?


My job requires me to travel frequently. But sometimes, I may need an important file stored on my office Windows 10-based computer. It was troublesome to ask my colleagues to open my computer and send it to me. So I wonder how to access my computer files remotely in Windows 10.

- Question from Reddit

Computer Files

In today's digital age, the ability to access computer files remotely has become increasingly crucial for individuals and businesses alike. Whether you're a freelancer needing to retrieve documents on the go or an employee needing to access files from home computer remotely when at work, remote access offers unparalleled flexibility and convenience.

How to access computer files remotely [6 ways]

Accessing files on a remote computer is not a difficult task. Now, let's check out the following six ways of how to access computer files from anywhere at any time.

✔ Way 1. Remote file transfer software
✔ Way 2. VPNs
✔ Way 3. Cloud Storage Services
✔ Way 4. Dedicated NAS Devices
✔ Way 5. Router With USB Port
✔ Way 6. FTP Servers

Way 1. Remote file transfer software

AnyViewer is one of the best remote file transfer software that allows you to access all computer files from a far distance and operate the computer as if you were sitting in front of it. It has the following advantages over other remote file transfer software: 

  • Free service. With AnyViewer, enjoy a free service for cost-effective file transfers.
  • Advanced security. Benefit from advanced security measures such as Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) and two-factor authentication, ensuring your files remain secure.
  • Fast speed. Experience fast speeds, enabling swift batch file transfers, saving you time, and enhancing efficiency.

Now, free download it and see how to access computer files remotely via AnyViewer:

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch AnyViewer on both computers. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up to create an AnyViewer account (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly).

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Log into the same account on both computers. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account and displayed in the My devices list.

Free Editions

Step 3. On your local computer, go to Device, click the remote computer, and One-click control.

File Transfer AnyViewer

Step 4. Now, you have access to all the files stored on your local device, listed on the left side, as well as all the files located on your remote device, listed on the right side. You can effortlessly transfer files between the two computers.

Choose Files

For easy transfer of big files, think about upgrading to the Professional or Enterprise plan. Dive into benefits that enhance your file transfer:
Send files up to 1 TB.
Transfer at speeds up to 10 MB per second.
Use 5 threads for efficient transfers.
No limit on transferring multiple files at once.

Way 2. VPNs

You can also install a VPN server. Then your machine will be recognized as a member of your local network and will have access to all local file shares. This allows you to access shared Windows files and other network storage devices that are normally restricted to the local network. Let's see how to set up a VPN on Windows 10/11.

Before you begin, consider the following:

  • If it’s for work, seek VPN settings or a VPN app on your company’s intranet site, or contact your company’s support person.
  • If it’s for personal use, visit the website of the VPN service you subscribe to see if the VPN connection settings to use are posted there.

Step 1. Navigate here: Start > Settings > Network & Internet > VPN. Click Add a VPN connection.

Add a VPN Connection

Step 2. In Add a VPN connection, fill in the following information to create a VPN profile on your PC. Then click Save.

Fill in VPN Connection

Step 3. When you have a VPN profile, you’re ready to connect. On the far right of the taskbar, select the Network icon. Then select the VPN connection you want to use.

Connect to a VPN

Way 3. Cloud Storage Services

Online backup services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive, among others, make it simple to access computer files remotely from any device. Simply sign up for a free account (almost all cloud services give 10 -15 GB of free storage) and upload your files to your backup services. Then you can view those files and folders remotely. Your account can be accessed with any web browser or through their mobile app.

Google Drive

Way 4. Dedicated NAS Devices

Setting up NAS (network-attached storage) devices is similar to setting up your cloud storage. Consider it a large external hard disk that is linked to your office network. You keep all of your files on NAS and can access them via the internet or any device in your home. This strategy is ideal for file sharing and backups across numerous PCs. You may even configure your NAS to access files using FTP and/or web browsers if you like.

Some NAS devices do not have this remote access enabled by default, but it is simple to forward a port to make its web interface available via the internet. It is not a secure method unless you know how to configure a NAS for internet access properly.

Network Attached Storage

Way 5. Router With USB Port

Some routers include a USB connection that allows you to connect a USB hard drive. Any machine on your local network can then access the USB hard disk. Your router may also allow you to share any connected storage devices over the Internet. Store your PC’s critical files on a network storage device and access them via the Internet.

Router with USB Port

Way 6. FTP Servers

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is similar to VPNs in that you install it on your home computer and enable Internet access to it. Because FTP is typically unencrypted, anyone can simply monitor your files in transit and spoof your passwords. However, this may not be very secure as you’d have to expose your FTP server to the Internet.

To deal with this, you can utilize SFTP, which encrypts the internet connection. However, in order to establish an SFTP connection, you must first generate self-signed certificates. For newcomers, the process can be a little complicated and difficult.

FTP Servers


This post outlines six options for accessing computer files remotely. However, it is highly recommended to use the first method: the free remote access software, AnyViewer. It offers the benefits of being free, simple, and convenient compared to other methods. AnyViewer stands out as the ideal solution, especially for computer novices requiring access to files on a remote computer.