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USB redirection in Chrome Remote Desktop

Editorial Team Editorial Team Sep 14, 2023

This article will discuss the lack of native USB redirection in Chrome Remote Desktop and offer a third-party solution that addresses this flaw and enables the USB to remote desktop functionality.

chrome remote desktop usb redirection

Does Chrome Remote Desktop support USB Redirector?

Google Chrome Remote Desktop is a free and easy method of connecting to a remote computer or sharing your screen with friends or colleagues.

Unfortunately, there is no native capability to share USB over Chrome Remote Desktop. This makes the solution less useful for remote workers as it limits the amount of information that can be obtained remotely. Without the ability to access external drives, printers, and other USB peripherals, many users will not be able to perform their jobs remotely using Chrome Remote Desktop.

This is a problem that has plagued Chrome users for years, and a quick look at online forums will turn up a lot of complaints about the lack of USB support. To date, there is still no native support in the tool, but there are other ways to implement in Chrome Remote Desktop USB redirection.

Is there a way to passthrough USB over Chrome Remote Desktop?

Fortunately, there is a third-party software utility that addresses the inability of Chrome Remote Desktop to share USB devices. USB Network Gate solves the problem and enables users to gain full control over USB devices from Chrome Remote Desktop.

This USB over Remote Desktop software solution runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Any combination of client-server platforms is possible, allowing you to easily share USB devices among computers running different operating systems.

Share USB to Chrome Remote Desktop
14-day free trial

How to redirect USB to a Chrome Remote Desktop?

Use the following procedure to set up USB redirection over RDP on Chrome Remote Desktop.
Install USB Network Gate on the ‘Server’ with the physical connection to the USB device.
 install usb network gate
Launch the application and locate the desired USB device in the Local USB devices tab. Click the Share button next to the device name.
 share usb chrome remote desktop
Use Chrome Remote Desktop to connect to the remote desktop.
 connect to another computer chrome remote desktop
On the remote ‘Client’ computer, launch USB Network Gate and navigate to the Remote devices tab.
 connect remote USB in chrome remote desktop

USB Network Gate will display the USB devices that are shared from the remote computer and can be connected. If the device is not in the list, you can also search the network for shared USB devices manually indicating the IP address/name of the server machine.

BTW, enabling the RDP auto-connect option retains connection settings in the Remote Desktop session so connectivity is automatically established without requiring you to start the USB Network Gate GUI.

How to redirect USB devices on Chrome OS?

The Android version of USB Network Gate lets you redirect USB traffic from a peripheral connected to a device running Chrome OS. With the Chrome OS support for Android apps, the device can then be accessed through Chrome Remote Desktop.

chrome os interface

The following steps let you remotely access a USB device attached to a machine running Chrome OS.

  1. Download and install USB Network Gate on both the Chrome OS device that will be attached to the USB peripheral, and the remote client machines.

  2. Connect a USB device to the Chrome OS machine. It should be displayed immediately in the USB Network Gate’s interface.

  3. Share the USB device.

  4. Click Connect on the remote computer to access the shared device.

Share USB devices on Chrome OS
14-day free trial

Once the connection is established, the remote client has the same level of control over the USB device as if it was directly connected to the equipment.

The Android version of USB Network Gate only operates as a server. It only allows you to share USB devices physically connected to the Android machine.

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