This tutorial is about how you can remotely control your Windows PC with the touch of an Android smartphone. And let me just elaborate on what all you can do – Control the mouse or keyboard, pause or play videos & music, increase or lower the volume, launch apps, manage files, monitor performance, turn off, restart, or hibernate your PC – all with just a smartphone (remote) device.
I’m going to explain how a mobile application acts as an interface between your Android smartphone and the PC simplifying the hassles of getting up and reaching the system every time. Unified Intents’ excellent mobile app “Unified Remote” comes to rescue for this task.
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STEP 1 SET UP THE UNIFIED REMOTE APP
Firstly you will have to install the “Unified Remote Server“ on your Windows system. The server only supports Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Vista and XP. You can also find packages for Linux and macOS also. So once you have installed the server it will automatically start with the configuration and you don’t need to do anything.
Next step is to download the “Unified Remote app” on your Android smartphone. This is also available for iOS and Windows Phone users.
The application automatically finds and connects to your PC once you open it. Please make sure that to continue further, your phone and your computer should be connected to the same network. But in case you want to take the risk of connecting your system from any other network (though it’s not recommended due to security reasons), you can follow this tutorial and perform the same.
STEP 2 USING THE MOUSE & KEYBOARD
Unified Remote app’s primary application is to control the mouse & keyboard of your PC from your Android device. Therefore, tap on the Basic Input option, where you’ll find the following input instructions:
Opt for “use touch to simulate mouse movement” selection and read carefully about the gestures mentioned that can be used.
Now, to use the keyboard by tapping on the keyboard icon present on the bottom left-hand side corner of the screen. So anything that you type here will be reflected on your system.
STEP 3 USING THE AVAILABLE REMOTES
Besides controlling the mouse and keyboard of your PC, you can also extend the functionality by adding different Remotes. There are several remotes offered in the app itself but you can always add more. Just click on the Add Remote (+) floating button on the bottom right corner side, after which you’ll find various types of remotes to be added.
Let’s also take a look at the different remotes available along with their functionality.
Control Music / Video Playback
Follow this path : Remote > Media to add this remote
Choose the media player of your choice by following the above path. Keep in mind that only the generic Media Player remote is available in the free version. And most of the media player remotes, except for VLC are available in the premium version. The free version lets you play and pause music, increase and decrease the volume and do other basic operations.
This remote is enabled by default inside the application. But if this isn’t the case with you, follow this path : Add Remote > Utility > File Manager.
So, any file that you open from here will also open on your system in the default application. This remote enables you to perform basic file management functions like Copy, Paste, and Delete.
Follow this path to add the Task Manager remote : Add Remote > Utility > Task Manager. With this, view on your phone the programs running on your system.
You can also choose to close any window, quit a particular program, and / or even kill a task, in the case where it isn’t responding.
Power management has two remotes. One is in the Free Version – follow this path : Power > Power remote, and the other is available in the Premium Version – follow this path : Utility > Monitor.
You can also find other options like Restart, Shut Down, Log Off, Lock, Hibernate and more for your computer. In the
In the Monitor remote option, you’ll find the choices to turn your computer screen On and Off, or to put it on Standby. There also is the possibility to manage multiple screens.
STEP 4 SECURITY CONCERNS
Operating the Unified Remote app for controlling your PC will automatically detect & gain access to any system that’s installed on your network with the Unified Remote Server. This happens without prompting for any password. In simple words, your security gets hampered when anyone on your network with the same app installed on their phone can have unrestricted access to your system. This enables the other person to potentially move around or delete any file on your system or also shut your PC and do more such things .
We have a solution to this problem as well. On your system go to the system tray, right-click on the Remote Server icon, and click on Manager.
Once the manager interface opens, go to the Settings on the left on the navigation panel and go to the Security tab.
Under the Authentication heading, select the option “Use the same password for all users.” Here you should enter a strong password. Also, enable encryption for your connections by checking in the “Encrypt all network” box. Click the Save button.
After these steps, even if a person is on the same network it will be impossible for him/ her to remote control your system.
Now on your smartphone, either tap on the hamburger menu or swipe from the left edge towards the right side and select Servers. Tap on the appropriate server, enter a strong password and tap OK.
And this is how you complete the process to manage you Windows PC with a smartphone turned into a remote control.
Do let us know how did you use the Unified Remote app. Also, if you have any other creative applications mention in the comments below.