A long time ago, technology pioneers envisioned a world with a computer in every home. Today, not only has that vision come true, but many of us have to micromanage multiple computers in the same household.
Luckily, solutions like TeamViewer allow us to “wake up” and remotely control any computer on our local network from our primary PC. Let’s see how.
Wake on LAN: Complicated but worth it
To do this, we will use a tool called “Wake on LAN”. This allows us to wake up a PC with a special “wake-up packet” over the local network.
Unfortunately, setting up Wake on LAN isn’t as simple as turning on a single switch. Still, it’s worth a little time and effort, because without it, solutions like TeamViewer often become redundant. After all, what’s the point of remotely controlling the second PC on your local network if you have to turn it on in person?
As an additional security measure, Wake on LAN is usually disabled by default. However, we need it to get the most out of Teamviewer. So, to use Wake on LAN, you need to make sure that all related features are enabled:
- In your computer’s BIOS
- In the driver settings of the network adapter
- In the operating system settings
…and sometimes even in your router.
Since this article is about TeamViewer, the app also needs additional configuration to be able to wake up your computers remotely.
However, the result is worth it as it allows full remote control of any PC on your local network without getting up from your comfortable chair.
It’s worth noting that TeamViewer also lets you control your smartphone or tablet remotely! So you can use it as a one-stop solution to remotely access most of the digital devices in your home. For more information on how to do this, check out our complete guide to setting up and using TeamViewer on Android.
Setting up the target PC with Teamviewer
The first step to enabling Wake-On-LAN support on the target computer that you want to control remotely is to visit the BIOS and enable all related options.
Enable Wake on LAN in BIOS
Unfortunately, this is part of the process where we cannot give specific instructions. The placement and name of the option depends on your motherboard BIOS manufacturer. You can usually find it under a network-related or advanced menu with “Wake on LAN” in the name.
If you find more than one option, activate both by specifying the codes “S3” and “S5”. These refer to two different off states from which the computer can wake up.
“S3” stands for the energy-saving mode, which we usually refer to as “sleep”, and “S5” stands for turning off the computer completely (“shutdown”).
Enabling Wake on LAN in Windows
Next, go to your target computer’s Windows desktop and launch the device manager. You can search for it in the Start menu or via Windows search. It’s probably easier and faster to use those Victory + X Combination on your keyboard and select device manager from the menu that opens.
Expand that network adapter Group and locate your computer’s primary network interface.
It should be noted that modern WLAN interfaces supposedly support Wake on LAN. However, it didn’t work in our case, and it’s usually recommended to use Ethernet (“wired” network) for the feature to work.
Double-click your network adapter or right-click and select it Characteristics.
In the window that appears, switch to Progressive Tab. From the Property list, select any option that mentions “Wake on LAN”, “Wake on Magic Packet”, “Wake up support” etc. Click on it to select it and set it to on Allowed Use of value pull-down menu on the right.
Don’t close this window before you switch power management Tab. Make sure the option Allow this device to wake up the computer activated. As an extra security measure, also check the option below, Only allow one Magic Packet to wake up the computer.
With one click OK, your network adapter will be configured for use with Wake-on-LAN. We’re only halfway there though, as the operating system can also get in the way.
Disable fast startup on Windows
Modern versions of Windows support a feature called Fast Startup. Enabled by default, Fast Startup can prevent the network adapter from waiting for a signal to wake up.
If you disable this feature, you can use Wake-on-LAN. Note, however, that this also has a minimal negative impact on your PC’s startup speed.
To find it, visit Windows Switchboard by searching for it in the Start menu or by using Search.
Once there, switch to hardware and sound > power options > system settings.
Make sure your PC is set to shut down from the pull-down menu next to When I press the power button.
Then uncheck the option Enable fast startup (recommended) under Shutdown settings.
Click on that save Changes button to do just that.
Set up team viewer
Still running TeamViewer on the target computer, click the menu button at the top left of the window to access the main menu. Choose from there extras > options.
stay tuned General tab and enable the option Start TeamViewer with Windows. This will run TeamViewer as a service, allowing you to start remotely controlling that computer even before you log into its desktop.
To remotely control this PC without manually granting access to incoming connections, you need to assign it to your TeamViewer account.
Click on that assign account To do this, click the button and enter your TeamViewer account credentials in the window that opens.
If you don’t have a TeamViewer account yet, click Create account below the two text boxes and follow the instructions.
Finally click on the Configure button next to it Wake on LAN under network settings.
You need to go back to your main computer, run TeamViewer there and check computer ID. Go back to your target PC and activate it Other TeamViewers in your local network. Enter the ID of your Master PC in the field below TeamViewer IDand then click the Add to button on the right.
You will see your Master PC’s TeamViewer ID added to the list below under IDs on your local network.
Click on OK to save the changes.
Use Teamviewer to control your PC remotely
In theory, you’re done. Start an initial remote control session from your main PC while your target PC is still powered on. This will add your target PC to your primary PC’s TeamViewer Computers & Contacts list. Then shut down your target computer.
Visit TeamViewer on your main PC Computers & Contacts Tab. You should be able to see your target PC in the list in the middle of the window.
Select it and click Wake up from the options shown on the right. If everything went according to plan, you should see or hear your target PC turning on. Shortly after, TeamViewer should notify you that your remote PC is able to receive connections.
Still, would you rather your annoying neighbor didn’t get remote access to your target PC? Then read our article on how to make TeamViewer more secure, private and protected.
Like a TV!
As you’ve probably seen for yourself if you’ve been following this far, the good news is that TeamViewer and Wake on Lan make your secondary PCs as easily accessible as a TV. Like pressing a button on your TV remote, you can now turn on your remote PCs with one click.
The bad news is that if you want to wake up and remotely control more than one PC on your local network, you’ll unfortunately have to go through the entire process for each of them.
Luckily, unlike the briefings in the Mission Impossible franchise, this guide won’t self-destruct! So scroll up and repeat the process for the rest of your PCs!