Remote Desktop options

Use my iPad Pro 12.9" for work to log into a VPN and get access to my windows desktop with windows Remote Desktop and the experience is great. With a bluetooth mouse and keyboard its windows with a smaller screen.

I am still deciding what device to upgrade (I have specced out late 2017 27" iMac, original iPad Pro, and 6th gen iPad, and 2013 MBP). The 6th gen iPad is being mainly used by my kid, so trying to decide what to upgrade to, and thought maybe I would try to go iPad only and get a new pro if I could find a decent Remote Desktop app for Mac.

So far I have tried chrome Remote Desktop (super easy to use and set up, but the mouse doesn’t seem to line up on the host and receiver and is a total mess when using a bluetooth mouse). I also tried VNC since it is free but it feels a bit clunky and definitely would not be usable as a desktop replacement the way the Microsoft remote desktop feels.

Anything else to try? Would like free if possible (since this really isn’t a daily thing, but it would be used a few times a month when I want to access desktop apps away from desktop as a laptop replacement).


Parallels Access? I occasionally use it from my iPads to a 2017 iMac and it seems ok (but defer to more knowledgable users on that…), though I’ve never tried anything else, so can’t really compare.

It’s about £20 a year, but there’s a free trial.


I use VNC Viewer as I’ve found this more reliable than any other I’ve tried (Jump caused issues with my router and Screens would not work outside home). It works extremely well, and is reliable. I only use it occasionally though, not as a desktop replacement.

I use screens and it works a treat.


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Another Screens user here.

Should mention the work setup to windows pc is set with Microsoft RDP, so am just looking for iPad software to access my Mac.

And I have now tried Jump and not impressed. Will check out screens, but looking like the Microsoft software is a bit better/faster and the iPad as a thin client for Mac isn’t quite there yet.

Chrome Remote Desktop works great for this, if you’re OK with Chrome. I use it to remote control a Windows box from my iPad and iPhone. Would work same for controlling a Mac I think.

I tried chrome, but it doesn’t work well with the Mac. Specifically the pointer on the iPad doesn’t show in same place as Mac (apparently known issue from what I could see), and renders it useless. This was the program I first used/was hoping would fit the bill.

I don’t think there is any truly pleasant remoting app that is free, sadly. I third the recommendation for Screens—though I also second the recommendation to use VNC even though it’s clunky! I think you’ll like it more over time.

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I think an m1 MacBook may satisfy what I need and a iPad 8th gen for ebook reading/day planning probably is my real solution here. Everything else is just not quite there.

Use Screens and Teamviewer. Screens comes with SetApp and Teamviewer has a free version for personal use. I paid for it and it has not let me down. Rock solid performance on all platforms.

Another interesting option I sometimes use is NoMachine, especially as you can use it headless. This works well for me on a completely locked-down work PC. People are always surprised to see me working on a Mac on a Dell laptop :wink:

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Another one for Screens

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Recently discovered AnyDesk. Free for personal use. It works well. Used it to access remote windows and mac computers from iPad