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Microsoft Introduces Remote Desktop App, Access Your Windows Machines From Anywhere

windows remote desktop android

Microsoft released a new Android app this morning to help all Windows users remotely access their desktops from anywhere in the world. The app is actually called Microsoft Remote Desktop in case you had any doubts about what it was capable of. It’s free, and should work on almost any Android device, phones apparently included. I’d imagine the tablet experience would be much easier to manage, but with oversized phones dominating our lives, we’re glad that Microsoft is being open minded about this one.

Once you add a PC (I’d walk you through that, but don’t have a Windows desktop anywhere in sight), you should enjoy a “rich” multi-touch experience over a secure connection. You can add multiple machines, set some as favorites, and even view high quality video with “improved compression and bandwidth usage” from PC to Android device.

Go get it and let us know how well (or poorly) it performs.


+ Access to remote resources through your Remote Desktop Gateway
+ Rich multi-touch experience with remote desktop protocol (RDP) and RemoteFX supporting Windows gestures
+ Secure connection to your data and applications with breakthrough Network Layer Authentication (NLA) technology
+ Simple management of all remote connections from the connection center
+ High quality video and sound streaming with improved compression and bandwidth usage

Play Link

windows remote desktop androidwindows remote desktop android

Cheers Raidy and Eddy!

  • jonzey231

    Love this for real Lol. Been using all day.

  • blackjack

    Anybody have any ideas on the credential part? My laptop is running Windows 8.1 Pro and it sticks with my Microsoft account, hotmail.

    Your help would be must appreciated.

  • terrorist96

    I’ll stick with Teamviewer.
    Microsoft is late to the game again.

  • Ahku Droid

    Unfortunately, for this to work you have to have a Pro or Ultimate edition of Windows. The typical Home versions cannot be accessed without hacking it since they do not have a server version of RDP, only the viewer.

    Works fine with my Professional PCs, but a feature fail by Microsoft in regards to my Home Premium laptop. Full RDP should be available for all versions in today’s connected world.

  • Jesse Young

    For those who can’t figure out how to turn RDP on, on your computers: http://bit.ly/15P8XA2

  • Raven

    Connected to my Windows Desktop in a snap via SonicWALL Mobile Connect to get through the firewall on an encrypted SSL VPN. Worked pretty decent. But, I think I still prefer 2X Client RDP/Remote Desktop. I like how 2X handles my higher resolution desktop better and I also like the virtual mouse pointer better.

  • Does this work with Win7 or is this just another sad attempt to convince people win8 isnt the crap it is?

  • Bobby Kaufmann

    Live and die by RDP and this app is super clean and runs great.

  • What the ???

    security, security, security. Hope your not just opening a port on your router/firewall for security. It takes about 20 seconds these days for a port scan to occur across the ‘net and well, how much do you want to lose?

    • What the ???

      Suggestions – use a product like Teamviewer (they have a free version) for accessing your desktop/laptop remotely. Use RDP for native “same network” or across VPNs. No port exposure for the RDP protocol from the public net and dont have to fiddle with firewall/router ports.

  • GeoNeil

    Connecting to a Linux box using XRDP server, before this I was using Remote RDP Lite by Yongtao Wang which is also free. Microsoft’s client has better performance than Remote RDP as far as I can see but Remote RDP seems to have a few more features, allows click and drag while the MS client doesn’t (though I guess I’ll have to try it with a device using a mouse and keyboard and not just a keyboard – Android stick connected to a TV)

    Also, I have a problem that when I log out, my session quits to a blank desktop without terminating the connection, with Remote RDP Lite there’s an option to disconnect manually, Microsoft’s client doesn’t seem to have an option for that.

    I see this client as a work in progress and probably something for independent authors of RDP clients to keep an eye on, it’s certainly good that Microsoft are doing this (though I doubt getting it to work better with XRDP servers isn’t going to be a priority.

  • John Simonelli

    Works great! It may just be me, but its kind of quirky. I provided my credentials during the initial setup, and was only required to provide the password when actually connecting, however that didn’t work. At the connection screen I found I manually input my credentials and I was up and running.

  • John Ligons

    Google Chrome has this already as an desktop app. Thanks but I’m good.

    • GeoNeil

      Chromoting is a different thing it uses its own protocol rather than Windows RDP

  • n11

    It’d be nice if there were instructions ANYWHERE on how to set it up properly.

    • Joshua Bailey

      There are pretty much no instructions at all. Once you try to set it up and fail, press the “Support” button that comes up and it will take you to the RDP forums where you can access different steps to try to get it running. Really terrible roll-out for this app.

      Once I did get it running on the N7 (2013), it was very bad quality. Splashtop was soooo much better and still free. I wanted a native Microsoft app, but until they fix all the problems, I will stick with Splashtop 2.

  • Gary

    Wow, I left my PhD at MIT, on setting up the remote desktop! Wow, where is the instructions, assistance?

  • Kellen, you should update the post to let the novice Windows users know this app is really for people that already use RDP, have the proper 3389 port forwarding and computer with RDP enabled (Pro version of Windows only).

  • CheeseMcGee

    I personally love Jump Desktop, but I’ll give it a whirl for free.

    • jowaldo

      I’ve used Jump for quite a while, and gave this a try.. I’m sticking with Jump. It’s much easier to navigate around the screen, move the pointer and many other things.

  • Indecision1991

    Assuming it uses the actual RDP protocol you need a few things first.

    1. Make sure RDP is enabled and allowed on your destination PC
    2. Open port 3389 on your network and PC

    Hopes this helps a few people.

    • Erroll Abrahamian

      This was all I needed, personally. One well-deserved upvote.

    • CiDhed

      You can always do ipaddress:port if you don’t want 3389 visible from your router.

      So if you forward port 55125 to 3389 and your external IP is you would put as the host. Or if you use dynamic dns it would be host.name.com:55125.

  • Adrynalyne

    To those having issues figuring this out: Make sure you enable Remote Desktop on your PCs first.

  • danofiveo

    PocketCloud is much better. MS’s client doesn’t allow you to specify the screen resolution, which is a deal breaker for me.

  • RoboCop

    Does this mean people can view and listen to their iTunes or download more music through their Android (im aware that we can copy music to android but it would be cool to access actual iTunes)

  • Raidy

    Gave this a whirl earlier, and it seems to work pretty well. Getting the cursor (vs scrolling) took a few clicks into the options, which i thought was odd. I think i still prefer the 2X client for RDP due to the more user friendly mouse.

    edit: I was using my Note II, and the hover-over features of the S-Pen was pretty cool, as it allowed me to move the cursor around w/out actually touching the screen.

  • coolsilver

    lol no one mentions LogMeIn Ignition

    • mabelgreenly34

      Programs must be written for people to read, and only
      incidentally for machines to execute. Just turn to this way to make your
      dollars… Bay35.coℳ

    • Frettfreak

      Cause its expensive as hell. Nice app but for the price, i will never EVER buy it. Isnt it like $30?? When there are plenty of great free ones, and a few MUCH cheaper ones.

  • Jeff Creemer

    It sounds like this is a lot like Wyse PocketCloud Pro, since it works with Remote Desktop Gateways. I bought PocketCloud Pro since nothing else did that, and have been pretty happy with it for a while. But with this being free, it’s a no-brainer if it works the same way.

  • JMonkeYJ

    seems promising. I’m not sure what multitouch gestures they’re referring to. i can tap with 2 fingers to right-click, but that’s the only multitouch gesture i discovered. maybe if i had win8 there would be more.

    it only works in landscape mode, which is a bit of a bummer.

    i couldn’t figure out how to drag.

    i’ll definitely keep it around. not sure yet if it will replace jump desktop for me.

  • dan0matic

    I’m not an idiot. I can’t figure out how to make this work. If I can’t figure this out, no way it will see much use by mainstream users. Splashtop was a simple 2 min setup. This, I’m lost.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I don’t really think this is for mainstream users. How many mainstream users use RDP? Most people I know that use RDP are businesses. It’s actually fairly simple to setup if your computer is on the same wireless network, just go into your control panel, system, remote connections and enable RDP (if your computer supports it, not all do), Then point the RDP App to the IP address of the machine or hostname, just like you would on a network. If you are trying to use it from outside your network, you would have to set your router to allow the RDP port pass through.

    • Adrynalyne

      2 minutes seems like a long time.

      Click the “+”, give the PC a name, add the IP address, fill out credentials, hit the checkmark, tap the entry created under “All”.

      Done and done.

      • Indecision1991

        Assuming port 3389 is open and forwarding to the right home pc. Hes right, setting up your PC to be used from the web takes opening of ports and adjusting firewall rules. A bit more than most mainstream users want.

        • Frettfreak

          a bit more than ANYONE wants. I shouldn’t have to go through all that (i know its not THAT much) just to access my PC. When there are plaenty of other free / cheap alternatives that dont require it. If a third party app doesnt require all that BS, why would one coming directly from the people that make the software on your PC?

    • thelolotov

      It’s not for you then. But for me, it’s great.

  • IrishSid

    Can’t figure out how to work this (tonight). Will google tomorrow. Might just stick to Teamviewer

    • thelolotov

      It’s designed more barebones, for power users who just want something dependable and simple, and don’t mind a little extra work getting it set up. Teamviewer’s great for when you just want a quick and dirty solution.

  • jamdev12

    Microsoft has now single handedly killed all of the remote desktop apps that have been deployed on Android with this release.

    • Dave

      Umm, no. Not everyone runs a Windows desktop.

      • crusher04

        jamdev12 is referring to Windows remote desktop. This app is far better than all the free apps in Play Store for RDP.

      • Chris

        its hard for some android fans to cope that there are those who run macs and have android phones.

        • Adrynalyne

          At some point it became a universal term, but at one point, remote desktop was mostly a Windows specific term. Hence, RDP.

        • asten77

          ewww 😉

          • Chris

            I know. its shocking…. but there are some who don’t drink the childish fanboy cool-aid.

    • Guest

      As someone who immediately installed this and uninstalled Splashtop… no, this is hardly a good solution for the less tech-literate, it takes a bit of doing to setup. I’ll be using it personally, but I wouldn’t recommend it to my parents or anything. Gotta consider different use cases.

  • AlexKCMO

    Curious, how does this compare to Splashtop?

    • Perv Bear

      My question too, I’m hoping it will be less CPU intensive as I’m rocking without a card ATM and I’ve been molesting the hell out of the CPU.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        It actually works fairly decently, but Splashtop works better on slower connections (IE: 3G Remote Desktop will paint, Splashtop doesn’t), other wise they are fairly similar. Splashtop gives more options though. (Size re-sizing and the like).

    • thelolotov

      Splashtop has more options, but RD will work over the internet for free. I dropped Splashtop like a rock for this.

      • Joshua Bailey

        I have Splashtop 2 working over the Internet for free as well. Look through the settings. There is an option to specify IP addresses that doesn’t make you pay that monthly all-access fee.

        • thelolotov

          Yeah, but that’s only part of the equation, I’m a minimalist, I like to have as little software installed as possible, and this is the sort of thing I can quickly set up on every machine in my house.

      • Brian Paek

        How do you set up for internet through RD? I can only access locally through RD

        • Forward the pertinent ports, set up an RD gateway, or use a VPN.

  • droidrazredge

    Yes more NSA Prism Backdoor Access Tools! Gotta love that Microsoft. Retire Windows Live Mesh and re-deploy it as another RDP client.

    • Adrynalyne

      I’d like to think the NSA are intelligent enough not to use RDP.

      Oh and your tin foil hat is crooked.

      • Cowboydroid

        While I agree with your first statement – the NSA has other, more sinister tools for hacking into your device – I think the “tinfoil hat” accusation is really kind of debunked given current events. I mean…you have been paying attention to the news, right?

        • Adrynalyne

          Tin foil hat comment was the paranoia for thinking this would be another tool for the NSA.

          • Cowboydroid

            I think we all know by now that the NSA has a great many tools at their disposal…and many more that we aren’t aware of. I’m not sure what you gain by calling it “paranoia.”

          • kixofmyg0t

            Please, everyone knows that the number one way that the NSA hacks a backdoor into your mainframe is through the power line!

            That’s why i never connect my PC to a power line!

            Checkmate NSA!

  • Chris Sickels

    Works great, exactly like the Windows Phone App

  • Tuan Dang

    Team viewer has been working just fine for me.

    • thelolotov

      Why are you complaining about competition?