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How to run Windows on your Android with Microsoft Remote Desktop

Set up Microsoft Remote Desktop so you can access your PC from almost anywhere with your Android in just five steps.

Windows on Android 3

If you’re looking for a familiar computing experience delivered to a smaller package, then this is the way to go. With an official Microsoft app, which is free to download from the Google Play store, you can get your home Windows experience up and running on your Android device. It can be a little fiddly, especially if your PC isn’t set up to work as a remote desktop, but there are some excellent tutorials on the MS website that walk you through getting your machine set up to essentially stream its desktop to your phone or tablet. This is probably the toughest of the tutorials we’re walking you through here, and it can be frustrating trying to get your PC and your phone talking to each other properly. Still, if you persevere you’ll end up with a desktop experience on your Android that means the files and folders you manipulate will be replicated on your laptop the next time you go to it, which isn’t half bad at all really.

    1. MS 1 copy2

      Install the app

      First up you’ll need to grab the app from the Google Play store and get it installed. It doesn’t cost you a penny, but it’s a good idea to make sure the version of Windows you’re running is compatible before you do. The compatible versions of the OS are easily found via a link.

    2. Windows on Android 2

      Insert your details

      The computer you’re connecting with needs to be on the same wireless network as your phone and you’ll need the computer’s name, and the username and password for the admin account. If you’re unsure what your laptop is called, check in its settings.

    3. Windows on Android 3

      Get connected

      If everything has gone smoothly then you should be able to connect straight away and you’ll see the complete Windows desktop on your Android screen. Remember you’ll need to be running a compatible version of Windows. Versions that use Remote Assistance only won’t work.

    4. Windows on Android 3
      Get yourself going

      Some things are a little different from the regular Windows experience, mainly because you’re tapping rather than using a mouse, but everything you can do on your computer you can now do on your Android. Just make sure the computer stays powered while you work.

    5. Windows on Android 5

      Disconnect when done

      To pull the plug on the connection, all you need to do is open up the start menu and hit the Sign Out option. This will reset your Android back to a simple Android device, and leave any changes you made to your desktop as well. Pretty good for a free app we think.