By Annie / Last Updated April 29, 2022

Can I access my desktop from a laptop?


"Currently, I need to work from home for several days. The problem is that some apps and files that are necessary for my work are stored on my office desktop and I don't want to install these apps on my laptop and transfer these files.  Are there any apps that allow me to remotely access my office desktop that is running Windows 10 from my home laptop for those files and apps?"


Access Desktop from Laptop

How to access desktop from laptop from anywhere

Laptop is lightweight and portable. It's very wise to access desktop from laptop for accessing files and apps on it rather than go to the office with spending time and energy.  Here recommended you two free yet secure remote desktop utilities to complete the remote access from laptop to desktop. 

Remotely access desktop using Remote Desktop Connection 

Once Remote Desktop has been enabled on the remote computer,  you can access it from your laptop with Remote Desktop Connection (RDC). Now, have a look at the detailed steps:

Step 1. Press "Windows" +"R", input "mstsc" and press "Enter" key to open RDC in Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7 laptop.


Step 2. In the "Remote Desktop Connection" window, input the IP address of the remote desktop and clcik "Connect".

Remote Computer

Step 3. Type in the user name and the password of the account of the remote computer and click "OK". After a while, you can connect to the desktop from a laptop in a success.


  • If the desktop and the laptop aren't within the same network, you need to perform port forwarding or set up a VPN to establish a remote connection via RDC.
  • To only access some specified folders on desktop or laptop within LAN, you can set the folders as shared folders. 

Remtoe access desktop from outside network without port forwarding 

It's not a difficult task to remote access a desktop from a laptop with RDC if the two PCs are within the same network and the desktop is running Windows Professional or advanced version. Otherwise, the process can be a little bit complicated and even impossible as Windows 11/10 Home doesn't support Remote Desktop

Thus, it's recommended to try another remote access utility if you need to remotely access a desktop from a different network and the desktop is running Windows Home or Standard Edition.  AnyViewer is highly recommended for three reasons. 

  • It's ultra-easy to set up. You don't need to figure out the IP address of the host computer and don't need to perform port forwarding even the two computers under different networks.
  • It's very safe. The whole remote connection via AnyViewer is secured by ECC encryption, which is very strong.
  • It's flexible. It offers three connection methods: account, security code and remote request, satisfying different commands.

Now, free download AnyViewer, install and keep it run on the desktop and the laptop and see how to use it to connect to the desktop from the laptop.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

PS.: If you need to access a desktop remotely from an iPhone or iPad rather than a laptop, you can use AnyViewer iOS Edition to start a remote session. 

Step 1. On the PC that you want to control from another computer (the host computer), install and run AnyViewer; click "Log in" and click "Sign up".

Sign Up

Step 2.  Filling all necessary information create an AnyViewer account and then you'll be logged in to AnyViewer.  If you have already signed up for an account from its official website, you can sign in directly. 

Free Edition

Note:  The device will be assigned to the account automatically be assigned to the account you've logged in to. 

Step 3. On your local PC, log in to the same account of the remote PC and then go to "Device". Locate the distant computer, click it and choose "Remote control" to take full control of the PC. 


If you want to control a remote computer without signing in to the same account, you can go to "Connect",  type in the device ID of the remote PC and get remote access via sending remote control or inputting security code. 

Wrap things up 

If you need to access a desktop with Remote Desktkop enabled from a laptop in the same network, it's easy to use Remote Desktop Connection, which doesn't require you to download third-party app. If you want to access a desktop from a laptop in a different network secruly and easily, you can use AnyViewer.