Top 4 Free Remote Desktop Alternatives 2024

This post primarily introduces four free Remote Desktop alternatives and analyzes the pros and cons of each. Choose the one that suits you the most.


By Ellie / Updated on May 14, 2024

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What is a Remote Desktop?

Microsoft Remote Desktop is a software application that allows users to remotely access and control a Windows-based computer or server from another device, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It enables users to work on their computer from a different location, accessing files, applications, and resources as if they were physically present at the remote machine.

Remote Desktop Connection Logo

Remote Desktop empowers users to:

  • Connect to their office networks, whether nestled at home or amidst the bustle of travel.
  • Diagnose and fix software problems from afar, lessening downtime and increasing efficiency.
  • Manage administrative responsibilities from any location, ensuring distance doesn't impede effective oversight.
  • Effortlessly exchange files and data between different systems, fostering collaboration.

Why do you need Microsoft Remote Desktop alternatives?

While Remote Desktop boasts numerous advantages, such as bandwidth reduction, smart card authentication, and robust encryption, it's crucial to consider its drawbacks. Here's why exploring alternatives to Microsoft RDP is essential:

  • Limited Administrative Access: Acquiring RDP access without administrative privileges presents challenges. The ideal solution involves setting up a Remote Desktop Protocol server or requesting specific software installation from the provider.

  • Complex Setup Process: Setting up RDP can be daunting, especially for extending its usage beyond a local network, such as in remote work scenarios. Its lack of scalability adds to the complexity.

  • Absence of Multi-Monitor Support: Unlike platforms like TeamViewer, RDP cannot utilize multiple screens within the terminal server environment, hindering seamless display switching.

  • Impaired Multimedia Performance: RDP is optimized for text and image transmission, making it less suitable for tasks requiring advanced graphic capabilities like 3D rendering or video editing. Basic audio and video playback may suffer from performance issues, affecting the user experience.

  • Compatibility Limitations: RDP functionality is limited to specific Windows editions like Pro, Business, and Ultimate, excluding Windows Home editions from accepting remote desktop connections.

  • Single User Restriction: By default, RDP restricts access to a single user for a remote desktop session, posing challenges for collaborative scenarios or accommodating multiple users.

Free Remote Desktop alternatives [4 options]

As the pioneer in remote desktop software, Remote Desktop has faced growing competition from several emerging competitors in recent years. Here are the top four Windows Remote Desktop alternatives that you can choose from.

Option 1. Professional remote desktop software for Windows - AnyViewer

AnyViewer is a free Windows remote desktop software that provides secure remote access and remote support for almost all Windows versions, including Windows Home and Windows Standard editions. Besides, it is easy to use. Once both computers are logged into the same AnyViewer account, the user can start unattended remote access from one device to another with one click.

Besides, AnyViewer also supports iOS and Android for free. You can remotely access a computer from an iPhone or an Android phone without paying.


  • Offers a free version with no time restrictions
  • Ensures 100% safety and privacy through end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication
  • Ideal for establishing remote connections between PC-to-PC, Mobile-to-PC, and PC-to-Mobile
  • Intuitive interface making easy to set up and use


  • Limited compatibility, only supports Windows, iPhone, and Android devices

Let’s see how to remotely access another computer without permission via AnyViewer, one of the best Windows remote desktop alternatives free.

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

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. 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.

Free Editions

Step 3. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the two devices. On the Controller computer, you can click One-click control to achieve a direct connection to the remote computer, or click File transfer to share files between computers.

Connect to My Devices

AnyViewer extends its offerings to include Professional and Enterprise plans tailored to individuals and businesses with elevated requirements. These plans encompass:
Expanded device allocation within the same account for unattended access.
Increased allowance for concurrent connections simultaneously.
Privacy enhancements such as blacking out the remote PC screen and disabling remote keyboard and mouse clicks.
Accelerated file transfer speeds.
Additional screen walls for efficient management and monitoring of multiple devices.
Creation of enterprise device groups for streamlined management of extensive device portfolios.


Option 2. Free Google Chrome extension - Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop is a remote control software developed by Google. It is widely compatible with different operating systems, like macOS, OS X, Chrome OS, Windows, and Linux. It only requires you to have Google Chrome installed on both computers and have a Google account, you can add Chrome Remote Desktop as an extension and start remote connection via it.


  • Free usage model offers cost-effective solution
  • Particularly well-suited for short-term individual needs
  • Cross-platform compatibility enhances versatility


  • Encounters occasional connectivity issues
  • Not recommended for commercial-oriented technical support purposes
  • Stability of connections may be inconsistent

Step 1. On both computers, sign in to the same Google Account if you are not logged in. Then, open the Chrome Remote Desktop web page.

Sign in Google Account

Step 2. Click Remote Access first and then click the blue download button.

Set Up Remote Access

Step 3. Click on Add to Chrome to add the Chrome Remote Desktop in your Chrome browser.

Add to Chrome

Step 4. Click Add extension to confirm the download.

Add Chrome Remote Desktop Extension

Step 5. Click Accept & Install.

Ready to Install

Step 6. Enter a name for your computer and then click Next.

Choose Name

Step 7. Choose a PIN with at least 6 numbers, and then enter it twice to start the program.

Choose A PIN

Step 8. After both computers have successfully created their PINs, you can see the available computers here on the client computer. Click the computer you want to connect to.

Remote Devices

Step 9. Enter the PIN of the host computer, then click the blue arrow. Then you can start to control it.

Enter the Set up PIN

Option 3. Remote desktop tool free for Windows only - Jump Desktop

Jump Desktop is made to function flawlessly on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android-based devices. While it is paid for Mac, iOS, and Android, it is free for Windows computers. So if you use a Windows system and need to connect to a Windows computer, you can choose Jump Desktop.

But Jump Desktop for Mac, iOS, and Android charge differently, and the payments don’t share. That means if you need to connect to a Mac from an iOS device, you need to purchase it twice. This is not very friendly for multi-device users.


  • Ultra-compatibility across various platforms
  • Facilitates simultaneous access for two members to a single computer
  • Budget-friendly pricing options available


  • Relatively slower performance compared to alternatives
  • Majority of plans require annual billing
  • Certain limitations apply when working with Linux systems as the master PC

Step 1. Download Jump Desktop Connect from its official site on your device, and install and open it.

Step 2. Click the Add a remote access user link and sign into your Jump Desktop account.

Sign In

Step 3. When you're done, Jump Desktop Connect will list you as a remote access user.

Computer List

Step 4. Download the Jump Desktop app on another device. Launch the app and sign into the same Jump Desktop account you used when setting up your computer. Then tap your computer's icon to connect.

Option 4. Remote desktop tool free for personal use - TeamViewer

TeamViewer is another application that can be used for remote control. It has a free version for private use. But if you use it for commercial purposes, you need to buy a paid license.

We should note you that situations like a customer paying you for providing support and accessing a company computer for work-related activities will be detected by TeamViewer for a commercial purpose. It will block your connection after a few minutes. Therefore, if you need to work from home, TeamViewer may not be the best choice.


  • Snapshot recording functionality enhances user experience
  • Convenient setup process facilitates quick deployment
  • Intuitive and engaging user interface enhances usability


  • Cost-prohibitive for startups or budget-conscious users
  • File transfer speed decreases when connected to multiple devices simultaneously
  • Incompatibility with proxy servers restricts accessibility

Download and install TeamViewer on the client and host computers respectively. Launch it and then follow the step below.

Step 1. Select the purpose (commercial or personal) for downloading this software during installation. Here, take the free version of individual users as an example.

Install TeamViewer

Step 2. Run TeamViewer on both computers. Select Login in the main interface. You need to create your own TeamViewer account for the first time. Click Next to complete account registration (you also need to verify the account before use).

Create a Personal Account

Step 3. Click Remote Control on the left side of the TeamViewer main interface on the client computer, enter the ID of the host computer under Partner ID, and click Connect.

Enter the Controlled Computer ID

Step 4. Enter the password of the host computer in the TeamViewer Authenticationwindow to realize the remote control.

Enter Password

Closing words

In summary, Microsoft Remote Desktop lets you control a Windows computer from afar. But it has some limits, like needing special access and being tricky to set up. That's why it's smart to look at Remote Desktop alternatives. The four we talked about—AnyViewer, Chrome Remote Desktop, Jump Desktop, and TeamViewer—all have their perks. They make it easy to work on computers from anywhere. Pick the one that fits your needs best, and enjoy hassle-free remote access!