By Ellie / Last Updated July 26, 2022

How can I control my laptop from far away?

“I have important information stored on my PC and my laptop in different places. To make it more convenient, I want to connect the two, so I can scratch anything I want more easily. How can I control my laptop from my PC or control my PC from my laptop from far away, or even connect to the two from my iPhone?

- Question from Spiceworks”

What Is Remote Access

Two ways of remote control for laptops

In this part, we’ll introduce two ways to remotely control laptops, one is with the Windows built-in Remote Desktop Connection, another is with the free third-party remote desktop software.

Method 1. The Windows built-in Remote Desktop Connection

Step 1. We need to enable Remote Desktop on the host computer. Press Win + R, type in “sysdm.cpl”, and press Enter to open System Properties.

Run Command Sysdm.cpl

Step 2. In the System Properties window, go to Remote tab, and check Allow remote connection to this computer.

Remote Desktop Tab

Step 3. In the Search box, input “cmd”, right-click the result and choose Run as administrator.

CMD

Step 4. Type in “ipconfig” and press Enter. Now you can see a group of IP addresses, of which the IPv4 address is the one you need.

Find the Computer Name in the Console

Step 5. Then type in “query user” to see the username.

Find the Username in the Control Panel

Step 6. On the client computer, press Win + R again, type in “mstsc” to launch Remote Desktop Connection, and click Show Options.

Show Options

Step 7. Enter the IP address and user name in the Remote Desktop Connection interface to achieve connection.

General Tab

Note: Remote Desktop Connection also allows you to remotely control laptops from iPhone or iPad. You can download RD Client on your iPhone or iPad and then use it to remotely control your laptops.

Method 2. The free third-party remote desktop software AnyViewer

AnyViewer offers you two options for laptop remote control. But the very first step for you is to download AnyViewer on both your client and host computers.

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

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

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill in the signup information.

Sign Up for AnyViewer

Step 3. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you've logged in to.

Free Editions

Step 4. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the two devices, then you can achieve a direct connection by clicking Remote control.

Connect to My Devices

Note: If you upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan, then you’ll have more rights:

  • You can assign more devices to achieve unattended remote access.
  • More currently connected devices will be displayed, which is convenient for you to view more connection histories at any time.
  • You can connect to another computer in privacy mode, which means you can black the screen and block the mouse and keyboard of the remote computer, further protecting your privacy.
  • You can transfer more files between remote computers in a larger size and at a faster speed.

What are the differences between Remote Desktop Connection and AnyViewer?

Let’s see a brief comparison of them from different perspectives:

Connection prerequisites. The connection of RDC requires users to obtain the IP Address and user name of the remote computer. This may be difficult for some users as most of us are not computer-savvy. While the connection of AnyViewer is much easier. You can achieve remote connections with the automatically-generated device ID.
Network configuration. RDC works only if the two devices are under the same network, otherwise, you’ll need to set up port forwarding. While AnyViewer allows connection even though the two devices are under different networks.
Unattended remote access. It is not possible for RDC to achieve unattended remote access, as you need someone on the other side to allow the control request. While AnyViewer supports unattended remote access as long as you have the security code of the remote computer set previously.

Conclusion

This post mainly introduces two ways of remote control for laptops. One is to use the Windows built-in Remote Desktop Connection, another is to use the third-party remote desktop software AnyViewer. At the last of the post, we made a comparison of the two tools. You can choose one to use according to your own preference.