[How-to] Microsoft Remote Desktop iOS: Access PC from iPhone & iPad

This post shows concrete steps to use Microsoft Remote Desktop iOS client app to access a PC on the same network and offers a better alternative for accessing on the same network or from a different network.


By Ellie / Updated on October 31, 2023

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Does Microsoft Remote Desktop work with iPhone?


I want to use Remote Desktop from iPhone to Windows 10 for file access, but I don’t know if I can use Microsoft Remote Desktop on my iPhone which is running iOS 12.5.6. If there is not, are there any ways to achieve remote connection through my iPhone?"

- Question from Reddit

iPad and iPhone

The answer is completely yes! Remote Desktop, developed by Microsoft, comes with Windows advanced versions and allows users to connect to a Windows computer via a Remote Desktop client app. To access one PC from another PC, you just need to open the Remote Desktop client for Windows, Remote Desktop Connection. To access one PC from an iOS device, you need to download the Remote Desktop client for iOS, usually, it is called RD client.

How to use Microsoft Remote Desktop iOS [Full tutorial] 

Now, see how to use the Microsoft Remote Desktop client on iPad/iPhone to connect your remote Windows computer. The whole process is divided into two parts.

Part 1. Preparation works on the remote computer

Before connecting, ensure you've completed the following preparations on the remote computer:

  • Enable Remote Desktop

On Windows 10/11, press Win +open "Settings", and then go to "System" > "Remote Desktop". Under “Enable Remote Desktop”, drag the toggle button rightward to enable Remote Desktop


On Windows 7, you can right-click on “This PC”, and then choose Properties” > “Remote Settings” > “Remote” > “Allow connections from computer running any version of Remote Desktop”.

  • Get the remote computer's IP address

To launch Command Prompt, press Win + R again, type "cmd," and press Enter. To get the IP for Remote Desktop, type "ipconfig" and hit Enter. You can now see a collection of IP addresses. Note down the IPv4 Address.

Find the Computer Name in the Console

  • Getting the remote PC name

Open the Command Prompt again, and type in “query user” to get the PC name.

Find The Username in The Control Panel

Part 2. Connect to the remote computer from iOS

After completing all the necessary preparations, you can now initiate the connection to the remote computer from your iOS device.

Step 1. Download and install the RD client from the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Run it. 

RD Client

Step 2. Tap the “+” button in the upper right corner of the interface, and select “Add PC” in the pop-up window.

Add a Computer

Step 3. Tap "PC Name". Enter the hostname or IP address of the remote PC that you want to access. 

Enter PC Name

Step 4. Click “User Account”. If you often need to remotely control a PC from iPhone, it's recommended that you select "Add User Account". If you are not, you can choose the default "Ask When Required“.

Ask When Requried

Step 5. Back to the main interface and click the IP address icon just created, enter the user name and password of the PC in the pop-up window, and click ”Continue“.


Step 6. Then you can connect the remote PC successfully from your iPhone or iPad and you know the way to use RD Client iOS. 

Mobile Remote Control PC

Bonus tip: Use RD Client over the internet

To use RD Client on the iOS device to control your PC, two devices should be on the same LAN, otherwise, you need to perform port forwarding.

Step 1. On the remote computer, enter "what is my ip" into the search bar of the browser, then write down your public IP address (not to share it with anyone else in case of security issues).

my public ip address

Step 2. Enter the IP address of your router in a web browser once it is open. Then a privacy warning will appear. To proceed, select Advanced > Continue.

proceed to connect

Step 3. Enter the username and password for your router in the box, then click Login.

h3c router login

Step 4. From the left pane, select Port Forwarding/Port Triggering. To add a new port forwarding rule, click Add and select Add Custom Service.

add custom service

Step 5. In the Port Forwarding interface, choose the port you want to forward (if you are unsure of the protocol being used, choose TCP/UDP or Both under Service Type). Click apply after selecting the IP address of the device you want to port forward.

set up port mapping

Step 6. Then you can follow the same steps to use RD Client on the iOS device to control your PC.

Best free alternative to Microsoft Remtoe Desktop iOS app - AnyViewer

In the previous text, the provided instructions illustrate how to use the Windows Remote Desktop iOS client app for connecting to a Windows computer on the same network. If an alternative to Microsoft Remote Desktop on iOS is sought, consider switching to free third-party remote desktop software like AnyViewer.

Compared to RDP Client, the advantages of AnyViewer can be listed as follows:
 Withotu LAN limitation: AnyViewer can let you realize remote connection without the limitation of the same LAN, which means you can remotely access a PC on the same LAN or from a different network without port forwarding.
 Outstanding and stable performance: It enables you to connect to a computer from an iOS device quickly and keeps a connection. 
Share screen is supported: It won't lock the screen of the remote computer during the session, which enables you to share the same screen with the one on the other end. 
 High security: The whole remote session is secured by Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption and two-factor authentication, protecting your privacy from being leaked.

Now, see how to use AnyViewer to access a remote Windows desktop/laptop from your iPhone/iPad. 

Step 1. Download AnyViewer Windows version on the computer that you need to access. Install and run it. 

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

Step 2. Navigate to Log in and then Sign up.

Log In AnyViewer

Step 3. Download the AnyViewer iOS version on your iPhone or iPad. Log in to the same account. 

Create an AnyViewer Account

Step 4. On your iOS device, go to Device, locate the PC you need to control, tap it and tap "One-click control".  

Remote Control iOS

Step 5. Then you can see the desktop of the remote computer from your iOS device and use it as if you were sitting in front of it.  By clicking the menu icon on the corner of the right side, you can see many functions like “Stop connection” and “Hide desktop wallpaper"...



  • AnyViewers supports you in controlling a computer via security code or by sending a remote control request.
  • It also allows you to control PC from Android or another PC. 
★Tips: For an enhanced experience, consider upgrading your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan. With this upgrade, you'll enjoy the following privileges and benefits:
Increased device assignment: The ability to assign a greater number of devices to the same account for unattended remote access.
Higher image quality: You can enjoy enhanced image quality for a better remote experience.
Privacy mode: Unlock the option to connect to another computer in privacy mode. This feature allows you to black out the remote computer's screen and block mouse and keyboard inputs, ensuring a private and secure connection.



The concrete steps to using Microsoft Remote Desktop iOS are shown above. However, if the 2 devices are not on the same LAN or you encounter some RDP errors in the course of using the RDP Client on iOS, AnyViewer can be a good alternative for you.