How to see your Windows desktop on a phone or tablet

Using a third-party app such as Splashtop will mean you can turn your device into a second screen.


Connect up your devices using Splashtop.

If you’re looking forward to Windows 8 and the ability to use the standard Windows desktop and programs like Word on a portable touchscreen device, you might be interested to know that you can do something similar now.

Using a third party application, you can turn your tablet or phone into a second screen for your PC or Mac and control it as you would a native app.

That means you can play detailed PC games like Diablo III and Shogun 2 from a tablet or phone. It’s easy to do, completely wireless, and because it works over an internet connection and WiFi means you can use it to access your PC at home no matter where you are in the world.

Here’s how:

1. What you’ll need is an application called Splashtop (or Splashtop 2 on iPad), which is available in both the App Store for iPhones and iPads or Google Play for Android devices. Simply search for it in the App Store or Google Play, then download and install it as you would any other app. Note that this isn’t a free app. There are other apps that do a similar job, like PocketCloud, but Splashtop is that little bit more responsive than most.

2. Now you’ll need to install Splashtop Streamer on your Windows PC or Mac. You can download this small program from

3. Once you’ve installed Splashtop Streamer, you should notice that a new icon appears in the group beside your clock for it. Right click this and select preferences.

4. From this settings page, you can change your security options. If you plan to access your PC via the internet, set up a Splashtop account and password here, otherwise just set a passcode under the ‘Advanced’ tab.

5. Leave Splashtop running on your PC and fire up the mobile app. If your PC is on the same network – ie. both tablet and PC are connected to your home router – then the app should find your PC automatically and you just need to tap on the icon and enter the password to connect. If you’re connecting via the internet you’ll need to tap the Settings icon in Splashtop and set ‘Internet discovery’ with the right credentials.

6. Once Splashtop has found and connected to your PC, you’ll notice your PC’s monitor will change resolution to match your tablet or phone and the display should be exactly the same on both screens. Your finger now controls the mouse and you can call up an on-screen keyboard when in programs like Word or your browser.

Remember that in order to use Splashtop while away from home you will need to leave your PC on, and performance is likely to be a lot slower too. But you should be able to access files on your hard drive, stream high definition movies or even use programs like PhotoShop or games – all things that you can’t otherwise do on a low powered tablet.

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