By Chris David
You need to remote to your work computer and access your files, but… Your computer is offline. Now you have to drive into the office to turn it on. How can you make sure your computer stays on? Configure your computer for remote access! Ensure availability, achieve faster performance and get better security by following these seven techie tips. We’ll focus on programs like Chrome Remote Desktop, RemotePC and TeamViewer. But most tips here will apply to all remote access scenarios.
Make sure your computer is set to be always-on
For remote access, you need your computer to be on all the time. Disable your system sleep mode and/or hibernate mode. In Windows, open Control Panel > Power Options. Then under your selected power plan, set sleep to “never”. Then click “change advanced power settings”, disable hybrid sleep and set hibernate to “never”.
Check your BIOS power-recovery
If the case of a power fluctuation or outage, you want your computer to restart immediately as soon as electricity is restored. All computers and systems will handle this differently, so check information for your particular model. In a nutshell, you’ll follow these steps… Reboot your system and go into BIOS configuration. Hold F2 or Delete when the first screen appears. (key combination might differ depending on your system) Then find the Power Configuration section. The options will tell your computer what to do in case of a power failure.
Set a screen timeout and password to resume
When accessing your computer remotely, security should be at the forefront. After all, you don’t want someone to be able to access your desktop when you’re not there. So in the case that your connection is interrupted, you should set a screen saver with password.
Microsoft keeps moving settings around in every version… But in Windows 10, here is the easiest way to find the right setting. Open the Settings app, then type “screen saver” in the search field. Set a screen saver for something like ten minutes, then select the box “on resume, display logon screen”.
Disable all animations
Animations may be important for giving the user feedback, but during remote connections, animations will make the desktop less responsive. Some remote desktop software, like TeamViewer, will disable animations automatically. If not, go to Control Panel > System > “Advanced system settings”, then Performance. Disable animation settings here, such as fade, slide, shadows and peaking.
Remove visual distractions like transparency, desktop wallpaper and themes
In addition to animations, all the usual flair that we enjoy with modern operating systems (like transparency effects, desktop wallpaper, visual themes) will just slow you down during remote desktop sessions. To enjoy the fastest connection possible, remove desktop wallpaper. Set your desktop to a solid color instead. Also disable transparency and themes in Control Panel > System > “Advanced system settings”.
View only one monitor at a time
Having multiple monitors is awesome for normal productivity. But during a remote session, you want to view one at a time. Use your remote desktop software to select the primary monitor. You can also move programs back and forth between monitors with keyboard shortcuts (Windows Key + arrows left or right).
Lock your screen when you’re done
Some remote desktop software will automatically lock your screen if you disconnect. But for best practice, to make sure no one else can access your screen when you’re done working, click the Start Button, then “Lock”. Or hit the shortcut key: Windows Key + L. Then disconnect your session.
Is there anything we missed? Remote access may just be the future of work. So make sure your computers are set up properly. And if you run a small business network, you might be able to set up your desktop computers for remote access by your employees, all at once, from a central location (known as Group Policy). A qualified network/server administrator will be able to help you out.