How to Access (and Even Control) Your PC Remotely

This is part of a weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team

Once upon a time, employees entered the office, worked an eight-hour day and then went home. Those days are long gone. Rarely do we sit at one desk, in front of one computer, for more than a few hours at a time. Today’s connected consumers use laptops and mobile devices in coffee shops, meeting rooms, conference centers, hotels and even airplanes.

This presents a real challenge.

Using multiple electronic devices in various locations can create a data jungle. Files and folders are all over the place. Tracking down what you need at any moment takes time. Work projects are in one location, photos in another, and on it goes.

Cloud storage is a popular solution, but even these services can turn a tidy workspace into a digital mess. Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep everything in one or two places and then access your files remotely?

Well, you can.

There are several ways to access and control your Lenovo systems without being in front of them. For example, you can be sitting at home, connect to your work computer and use all of your apps and files just as if you were at the office. And you don’t need expensive software or advanced knowledge. These days, there are many easy ways to access multiple PCs without lugging them all around.

Connect to Another PC Using the Remote Desktop

One of the most user-friendly methods for accessing your desktop is by connecting one Windows PC to another. With Windows 8.1, all you need is an Internet connection and the free Remote Desktop App. Here’s how to use it:

First, you’ll need to set up the computer you want to access from another location:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of your screen.
  2. Pull up the search bar and enter remote desktop connection, then tap or click Allow remote access to your computer.
  3. In the System Properties dialog box, under Remote Desktop, make sure the Allow remote connections to this computer button is selected
  4. Tap or click Apply

Tip: Make sure you’ve set your sleep and hibernation to NeverYou won’t be able to access your PC from another location if it’s in one of these modes. Hibernation isn’t available on all PCs. Learn more here.

Next, you’ll need to make sure you know the full name of your PC. In the System Properties dialog box, click Computer Name to see the full PC name

Now, all you’ll need to do is enter that name into your other Windows PC—whether it’s another desktop, your laptop or a mobile device:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of your screen.
  2. Remote Desktop to open the app
  3. Enter the full name of the PC you’d like to connect
  4. Tap or click Connect

Using more than one operating system? Third-party apps like Team Viewer and Splashtop make it possible to connect your Windows Lenovo PC to Mac, iOS, Android and Linux operating systems as well. Microsoft even offers Remote Desktop apps for AndroidiPhone and iPads.

Control PCs Remotely

If you’re looking for a way to control (and not just access) your systems from another location, there are apps for that, too. Pulseway is one that enables complete control of your systems and applications from anywhere, at any time. These apps are built more for the IT professional, but there are reasons you might want them for personal use. For example, Team Viewer (among others) has support for a feature called “wake-on-LAN,” which allows you to keep your PC turned off until you need it and power it on when you want to use it—even when you’re not physically in front of it.

But wait, there’s more!

Find All Your Files and Folders, Fast

While remote desktop access is great for a lot of situations, it does come with a downside. Less experienced users may run into issues related to firewalls, networks and other settings. The average PC user may want to stick with cloud storage, or you might collaborate with colleagues who prefer a service like Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive.

While these solutions make it easy to access and sync files from anywhere, the challenge is remembering where you stored what and managing multiple passwords.

Enter Lenovo REACHit.

This new app provides a consolidated view of all the content you store digitally and lets you edit files in the cloud. And it works on all major operating systems and devices, from Windows to Android to iOS. 

The important thing to know is that remote access puts you in complete control of your files, no matter where you are. Pick the solution you like best and navigate the data jungle with ease.

Lenovo Companion | Your Go-To App 

Read more content like this in the Lenovo Companion app, which is preloaded on all Windows 8 and 8.1 Lenovo and Think systems.You can find it on your system in the Lenovo Apps section on the Windows Start Screen.

Lenovo Companion is filled with exclusive content to help you learn about your new Lenovo or Think system. You'll find quick-reference “how to” articles on everything from getting to know the preloaded apps on your system to how to use your new trackpad. And, in select countries, you'll be able to stay up-to-date on technology news with articles and blogs from trusted sources, partners and Lenovo Insider bloggers. 

Be sure to note...the new version of Lenovo Companion is only available on Windows 8.1. So, if you’re running Windows 8 or an older version of Windows, now is the time to upgrade.

Continue reading more about Lenovo Companion in this blog post