Remotely control your Windows 8.1 computer

Simple steps let you access your PC from a tablet or smartphone

Having the ability to remotely access your Windows PC is a convenient way to access files and programs. It’s also a good way to troubleshoot and remotely support a workstation – provided the network isn’t the issue. Being able to do it from a tablet device is even better. When Windows 8 and the Surface came out last year, there was already a handy Metro-style app for Remote Desktop (RDP). Microsoft recently released a RDP app for both iOS and Android too. Here’s a look at setting it up on an Android device, and some of what you can expect.

Enable Remote Desktop

Then under the Remote Desktop section select to allow remote connections as well as Network Level Authentication.


Before being able to remotely access your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 computer, you need to allow remote connections. To do so, open Control Panel > System then click “Remote Settings” from the left pane.

Remote Connect to Your PC from Your Android Tablet

Remote Connect to Your PC from Your Android Tablet   Now to connect to your PC from your Android tablet (or if you’re in a pinch a smartphone will do), download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app. It’s free from the Google Play Store. Launch it and from the Remote Desktops tab located on the left, tap the “+” icon at the upper left corner to add a new PC connection.


Then under the Remote Desktop section select to allow remote connections as well as Network Level Authentication.

Next enter in a name for the computer you’re connecting to, its host name or IP address, and the login credentials, then tap Done.


Now to connect to your PC from your Android tablet (or if you’re in a pinch a smartphone will do), download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app. It’s free from the Google Play Store. Launch it and from the Remote Desktops tab located on the left, tap the “+” icon at the upper left corner to add a new PC connection.

Tap on the computer you want to connect to, and you’ll probably see a Untrusted Certificate message. Just tap Trust Always if you plan to connect to it often.


Next enter in a name for the computer you’re connecting to, its host name or IP address, and the login credentials, then tap Done.

Now you’ll see the desktop of the computer you’re connected to. At the top you have Pan Control that allows you to zoom in on the screen and move it around easily. Also if you need the onscreen keyboard you can easily pull that up. In this example I connected to my Windows Home Server, and you can easily control it from your tablet.


Tap on the computer you want to connect to, and you’ll probably see a Untrusted Certificate message. Just tap Trust Always if you plan to connect to it often.

Zooming in makes it much easier to see the smaller desktop targets.


Now you’ll see the desktop of the computer you’re connected to. At the top you have Pan Control that allows you to zoom in on the screen and move it around easily. Also if you need the onscreen keyboard you can easily pull that up. In this example I connected to my Windows Home Server, and you can easily control it from your tablet.

Or if you’re connecting to a Windows 8.1 computer, as shown in this example, there’s a handy utility bar available to toggle between the modern UI and the desktop. When connecting to the modern UI, a lot of the same swipes and touch controls work the same as they do on a touch-enabled device. For instance here I’m using the split screen feature, and swipe from the right side of the screen to bring up the Charms bar.


Zooming in makes it much easier to see the smaller desktop targets.

Or if you’re connecting to a Windows 8.1 computer, as shown in this example, there’s a handy utility bar available to toggle between the modern UI and the desktop. When connecting to the modern UI, a lot of the same swipes and touch controls work the same as they do on a touch-enabled device. For instance here I’m using the split screen feature, and swipe from the right side of the screen to bring up the Charms bar.


Or if you’re connecting to a Windows 8.1 computer, as shown in this example, there’s a handy utility bar available to toggle between the modern UI and the desktop. When connecting to the modern UI, a lot of the same swipes and touch controls work the same as they do on a touch-enabled device. For instance here I’m using the split screen feature, and swipe from the right side of the screen to bring up the Charms bar.

If you don’t have an Android device, you can also use an iPad with the RD Client app, or of course a Microsoft Surface which is especially handy for a Surface RT or this year’s Surface 2. And if you’re in a pinch, the RDP app works on your smartphone and even iPod touch. Here’s a look at accessing the Windows 8.1 modern interface from an iPod touch fourth-generation.


Or if you’re connecting to a Windows 8.1 computer, as shown in this example, there’s a handy utility bar available to toggle between the modern UI and the desktop. When connecting to the modern UI, a lot of the same swipes and touch controls work the same as they do on a touch-enabled device. For instance here I’m using the split screen feature, and swipe from the right side of the screen to bring up the Charms bar.

 Trying to hit the small targets on the remote PCs desktop on a small screen device can be a challenge and you’re better off using a stylus.


If you don’t have an Android device, you can also use an iPad with the RD Client app, or of course a Microsoft Surface which is especially handy for a Surface RT or this year’s Surface 2. And if you’re in a pinch, the RDP app works on your smartphone and even iPod touch. Here’s a look at accessing the Windows 8.1 modern interface from an iPod touch fourth-generation.

RDP Winodws from Tablet10


Trying to hit the small targets on the remote PCs desktop on a small screen device can be a challenge and you’re better off using a stylus.

Brian Burgess
Brian Burgess resides in Minnesota. A technology enthusiast his entire life, he worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. In addition to contributing to Tech Page One, he’s the Editor in Chief at groovyPost.com, a contributor to Gizmag, and has written for other notable tech sites Byte, InformationWeek, and How-To Geek.
Brian Burgess
Tags: Business,Productivity
  • Eugene

    Try this Ammyy Admin.
    The software doesn’t require installation and registration. You can connect to any PC which is behind NAT.

  • Your Mum

    When I try to RDP to my Windows 8.1 machine, I authenticate then get a blank screen, at which point the 8.1 machine stops responding.. ‘Destination Host Unreachable’ suddenly. My top tip: AVOID WINDOWS 8!

  • ReshiramFlys LugiaOcean Hemphi

    well my windows 8.1 aint working one bit im the “select users” in the remote tab

  • ReshiramFlys LugiaOcean Hemphi

    so im just going to forget it the ps3 is a way better remote than some stupid windows

  • Steve

    In windows to windows connection I prefer Ammyy Admin or logmein. Much simpler and easier to use.