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How to FIX Chrome Remote Desktop Not Working (Tutorial)

Remote access is an incredible tool when it comes to troubleshooting a system and you do not have physical access to it. Unfortunately, setting up a remote connection between two computers isn’t always the easiest, especially if the two systems are running different operating systems. There are lots of apps that aim to make this simpler but few come as close as the Chrome Remote Desktop tool.

Chrome remote desktop

The Chrome remote desktop app is nine years old and still holds up well against lots of remote access solutions. It works with the Chrome browser and also exists as a stand-alone app.

When you set up a connection with the Chrome remote desktop tool, you need;

  • An active internet connection on both systems.
  • Chrome installed on both systems.
  • The Chrome remote desktop tool installed on both systems and signed into the same Google account.

It’s simple enough to set up but sometimes the connection fails to establish.

Fix: Chrome Remote Desktop Not Working

The great thing about Chrome Remote Desktop is how easy it is to set up. If it doesn’t work, i.e., you’re unable to establish a connection between computers, the fix is likewise pretty simple. Try all of the following.

1. Check connection

The internet connection on both the host and the remote system must be stable. Make sure that your own system is able to access the internet and have someone verify the same on the remote system.

  1. Open a command line tool on the system e.g. on Windows 10 open Command Prompt, on macOS, open Terminal.
  2. Run the following command.

On Windows 10;

ping -t 8.8.8.8

On macOS;

ping -t 20 8.8.8.8
  1. Check the variance for the Time value. If the numbers rise and fall dramatically, your internet connection is likely unstable or having difficulty communicating with websites. Troubleshoot your connection.

2. Uninstall and reinstall Chrome Remote Desktop

The Chrome Remote Desktop tool is almost a decade old but because it is a browser-based tool, it can run into all sorts of problems that prevent a connection from being established. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app will fix the problem in many cases.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  3. Look for the Chrome Remote Desktop tool in the list of installed programs, and select it.
  4. Click the Uninstall button.
  5. Allow the app to be uninstalled.
  6. Restart the system.
  7. Install Chrome Remote Desktop, and try the connection again.

3. Use the Chrome Remote Desktop web app

Chrome Remote Desktop exists as a stand-alone app, and it can work via your browser. If you’re unable to connect to a remote system via the app, try the web app in Chrome.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Visit this link.
  3. Sign in with your Google account.
  4. Select a system to connect to.

4. Delete a system and add it again

  1. Open Chrome Remote Desktop on the host system.
  2. Find the remote system you’re trying to connect to.
  3. Click the trash icon (Disable remote connection) button next to it.
  4. Once deleted, set up Remote Desktop on the remote system again.  
  5. When the remote system reappears in Chrome Remote Desktop on the host system, select it, and connect to it.

5. Connect without a PIN

All systems that are added to Chrome Remote Desktop are set up with a PIN that is used to authenticate the connection. Sometimes, this PIN doesn’t work. You can try using a code instead.

  1. On the remote system, open Chrome Remote Desktop.
  2. Go to the Remote Support tab.
  3. Click the ‘Generate Code’ button.
  4. Share the code with the person trying to remotely connect to the system.
  5. On the host system, open Chrome Remote Desktop.
  6. Go to the ‘Remote Support’ tab.
  7. Enter the code shared with you under the ‘Give Support’ field.
  8. Allow the connection to be established.

6. Check permissions

The Chrome Remote Desktop tool needs certain permissions to work. On Windows 10, it asks for all permissions when it is installed. On macOS, the permissions are asked for only when needed. Regardless which system you’re on, make sure that you’ve granted the tool all the permissions it needs and then try establishing a connection.

7. Disable VPN

If you are using a VPN on the host or the remote system, turn it Off. The tool may have trouble establishing a stable connection with a VPN running. It’s also possible that your VPN is experiencing problems or that it doesn’t play nice with remote access tools. Turn it off, and try connecting.

Conclusion

Chrome Remote Desktop remains one of the easiest cross-platform remote access tools. It may run into problems now and then but troubleshooting them is easy. With complex remote access tools like TeamViewer, users end up going through network settings they are unfamiliar just to set the tool up. Troubleshooting a tool like that is all the more frustrating. Chrome Remote Desktop may take a few tries to get going but it offers a stable connection otherwise, and trouble connecting is rare as it is.

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