By Ellie / Last Updated November 11, 2022

Can you remotely access a computer that is turned off?


Hi guys. Is there any way that would let me remotely access my computer while it’s turned off using my laptop or my phone?“ 

- Question from Quora

Turned Off Computer

Can you remotely access a computer that is turned off? Normally, you can't connect to a computer over the Internet if it's turned off. Keep in mind that if you plan to use remote access while traveling long distances, you must leave your computer running the entire time.

However, if your computer is connected to the internet through an Ethernet port, and your network card and BIOS support a feature called WOL (Wake-on-LAN), you can use that feature to remote start up your computer by sending a “magic packet” and then remotely access it.

How to remotely access a computer that is turned off

Therefore, the process of remotely accessing a computer that is turned off can be divided into two parts. First, you need to set up Wake-on-LAN to turn on your computer remotely. Second, you can choose a remote access tool to remotely access the computer.

Part 1. Turn on the computer remotely via Wake-on-LAN

You'll need to properly configure Wake-on-LAN before using it to wake up your computer over the network. You'll also need a Wake-on-LAN app on a different device, such as your phone or laptop. Let’s take a look.

Step 1. Press Win + X to open the hidden menu. Select Device Manager.

Device Manager

Step 2. Expand the Network Adapters section. Right-click the adapter that you are currently using, and then click Properties.

Network Adapter

Step 3. Click on the Advanced tab. Select Wake on Magic package from the list of properties. Expand the value section and select Enabled.

Wake on Magic Package

Step 4. Click the Power Management tab. Select the Allow this device to wake the computer check box. Click OK.

Allow This Device to Wake the Computer

Step 5. Finally, you'll need a Wake-on-LAN app to wake up your computer over the network. For example, NirSoft’s WakeMeOnLan. It will scan your network and provide a list of devices, so you don't have to remember the correct IP address every time. Just click the machine you want and hit Yes.

Wake Up the Selected Computer

Part 2. Remotely access the computer with remote desktop software

After you have successfully turned on the remote computer via Wake-on-LAN, you’re able to remotely access it with the help of remote desktop software. We recommend you choose AnyViewer, the free remote desktop software for Windows. It allows users to remotely access unattended computers and take full control of them. You’re able to run computer apps, transfer files, share screens, etc.

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Note: AnyViewer has mobile versions, supporting iOS remote access and Android remote access. You must sign into the same account on all of your mobile devices before you can remotely access computer with one click from an iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

Step 1. Install and run AnyViewer on both of your computers. Navigate to Log in and then Sign up on the Controller computer (if you have already registered on the official website, you can log in directly).

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill out the sign-up form.

Sign Up for AnyViewer

Step 3. You should now see that you have successfully logged into AnyViewer. Your device will be assigned to the account to which you have logged in automatically.

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Step 4. On both devices, log in to the same AnyViewer account, then click One-click control for unattended remote support to establish a direct connection.

Connect to My Devices

Step 5. After connecting successfully, you’ll see the remote desktop just like you’re sitting in front of it.

Note: You're highly recommended to enable Prevent this device from automatically sleeping if you need to remotely access the device when it is unattended sometimes.

Prevent This Device from Sleeping

Closing words

This post primarily answers can you remotely access a computer that is turned off. The process is divided into two parts. First, you need to set up Wake-on-LAN to turn on your computer remotely. Second, you can use AnyViewer to remotely access the unattended computer.