Connect your iPad to a remote desktop

Control Windows from your iPad

Still enjoying working from home? Then chances are that you have already logged in to a remote desktop of the company. In other words: you just work on your ‘own’ PC from work, but then from home. This requires a remote desktop app. And there are also for iPadOS and the iPad.

Before this article: we focus on the iPad. Although remote desktops are also available on the iPhone under iOS, the much smaller screen of a smartphone works a lot less pleasant. More something in case of emergency, so install the aforementioned apps with confidence on your iPhone.

What is a remote desktop?

A remote desktop – or a remote desktop – is exactly what the term describes. You log in to – often – your Windows computer elsewhere via a specially made program. Then you control Windows remotely as you are used to. Particularly from the iPad armed with the most recent updates, this is easy to do thanks to mouse support.

In fact, thanks to the high-resolution screen of this device, your Windows environment will probably look better (sharper) than ever. Provided you use the correct app. Furthermore, your boss must have set up a remote desktop in order to use it at all. J

You therefore need login details from your company. Sometimes VPN must also be used, which makes it extra safe. Windows also uses the proprietary RDP or Remote Desktop Protocol as standard to operate a system remotely. There are also other protocols, VNC is undoubtedly the best known after RDP.

RD Client from Microsoft

For starters, let’s take a look at Microsoft’s own RDP app, RD Client called. What is striking in any case is that it is an app that is quite behind the facts. For example, there is still no support for a mouse to begin with. In itself not a problem if you do not use it. The screen functions as a virtual touchpad, so you can live with it. But it is precisely a mouse and a Bluetooth keyboard (which is supported thankfully) that allow serious work on a Windows system. In short: an absolute flaw of this app.

Furthermore, no high resolutions are supported. This has advantages, but above all disadvantages. The advantage is that the screen structure will run reasonably smoothly even with somewhat slower internet connections. The disadvantage is that you are looking at a somewhat ‘woolly’ looking whole on your iPad. In short: a basic app for remote desktops, but certainly not the best!

This is what a Windows desktop looks like on your iPad, running under Microsoft's RDP client.
This is what a Windows desktop looks like on your iPad, running under Microsoft’s RDP client.


As far as we are concerned, the big winner regarding remote desktop apps is without a doubt Remotix. This app is certainly not free with an amount of € 16.99, but you get a lot in return. On the technical side, the app supports both RDP and VNC. Full support for the mouse is also provided, so you can drag, click left and right and so on.

Once you have made a connection, you will not notice anything that you are working on an iPad. It “feels” like Windows. Or macOS, because Remotix can also connect to this if desired.

It is nice that it fully supports the Retina resolution of your iPad. It is a matter of clicking on the gear behind the connection in the overview settings of a system. Scroll down a bit in the settings window and choose behind Desktop Size in front of Autofit (Retina). Then choose behind Desktop Scale a magnification factor (to prevent you from being treated to very small text texts); 175% or even more works well on an iPad.

If you now connect to the remote desktop you will see Windows as you have (probably) never seen it before. With the current fast broadband connections, you can (also adjustable in the settings per remote system) improve the quality with impunity.

Feel free to experiment with the settings under the heading PERFORMANCE. Finally, it is practical that using Remotix feels smooth. And it can be done even faster by installing the Remotix PC or Mac software on your desktop. With that, even games can be played, according to the makers!

Here you adjust the resolution and quality settings of a virtual desktop in Remotix.
Here you adjust the resolution and quality settings of a virtual desktop in Remotix.


A similar app to Remotix is Jump a € 16.99. Meanwhile, after the most recent updates, this app also offers full support for the mouse, as well as Retina resolution. In short: a complete and impressively sharp looking remote Windows experience. Because Jump supports both RDP and VNC, it must be very crazy if you want to make a remote connection.

The use of Jump feels ‘nice’, although we do feel that the image construction in this app in the standard configuration (either via standard RDP or VNC) is slightly slower than with Remotix. But if you want very fast image construction, there is again a home-based desktop tool available that realizes that. However, your employee would prefer not to install these kinds of tools for safety reasons.

One of the other nice details about Jump is that you can use the remote system on another monitor that is connected to your iPad. This way you have both your iPad and a remote desktop at your disposal at the same time.

Jump into action on an iPad.
Jump into action on an iPad.


If you want to get started for a habit (read: free) and mouse support is not really an advantage for you, then the simple RDP app from Microsoft is a nice option. For longer and more serious work, however, you quickly run into limitations, where the (relatively) low screen resolution is most striking. That just does not really work if you work longer behind a screen.

The differences between Remotix and Jump are not that big. Both are excellent apps that you will enjoy. It is important – if necessary in consultation with the system administrator of your company – to take a good look at the precise technical possibilities that each of the apps has to offer. Perhaps the one app is better suited to what your company has set up and to avoid disappointments it is important to install the correct copy.

One last tip: most remote desktop apps support copy, cut and paste actions between iPadOS and the remote machine (and vice versa). In other words: select and copy a piece of text on your iPad and paste it in Word running on the machine elsewhere.


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