The problem of being "unable to connect" can be caused by a multitude of reasons, and you can read many of the various connection-related questions-and-answers in the Connection section of the FAQ and in the Hot Topics section. Anyway, we recommend that you glance through the various sections below, confirm that these items are set up properly, and see if any of these suggestions/instructions can help solve your particular problem.
I. Setup steps if this is the first time you are using Splashtop Remote
1. Confirm that the computers you want to connect to are compliant with our system requirements. Please note that Mac OS X 10.5 and below are not supported. A Dual Core CPU (not Core 2 Duo) is necessary for a better streaming performance.
2. Verify that you have purchased, downloaded, and installed the Splashtop Remote Desktop app successfully from one of the following authorized channels.
- iOS app: Apple app store, or iTunes
- Android app: This is a little complicated because of different channels for different Android devices, so please check the information in this article for more details.
3. Ensure that you have downloaded the Splashtop Streamer for computers running Windows or for Mac OS, and have installed the appropriate Streamer on your computer(s) successfully. If for some reason you could not finish the installation, or no wizard guided you through the settings after installation was finished, please view the topic at this link for some hints about troubleshooting.
- To get started downloading Splashtop Streamer, you can click on this link.
- After the installation process has finished, a Wizard will guide you through all necessary settings, including being prompted for:
- Security Code: This is for inputting on your tablet/phone devices when you are attempting to connect to your computer. Please note that there are some rules about composing the Security Code, which need to be satisfied.
- Network: This item is necessary only if you want to remote-connect to a computer on a different network via Internet or 3G/4G. Once the Internet Discovery feature is enabled, your computers which are logged-in with the same gmail credentials should be automatically discovered on your mobile device (tablet or phone). This article describes how to enable Internet Discovery for different devices.
4. After setting up all the above steps, you can connect your tablet/phone to your computer. Some notes and suggestions:
- Splashtop Remote only supports connection of one mobile device to one remote computer at a time.
- We highly recommend that you first try Splashtop Remote when your device and computer are within the same local network. This type of connection is simpler to make; and if it works, this would prove that there are no firewall issues on your computer.
- You should also try to connect your mobile device to your computer from a different network. (For example, if you are in your office and want to connect your home computer.) For this case, you would need to enable the Internet discovery feature with a gmail credential.
5. One of our users (Thanks, Ross McKillop) has written and shared some step-by-step instructions detailing the first-time setup with several good screenshots. These are also very good reference for new users who are using Splashtop Remote Desktop HD for Android Tablet with either Windows Streamer or Mac Streamer:
- Splashtop Remote Desktop HD for Android tablet with Windows Streamer
- Splashtop Remote Desktop HD for Android tablet with Mac Streamer
6. For Android users, if you use any firewall (such as DroidWall) on your Android device, please configure it to allow Splashtop Remote Desktop to access the network. (Thanks to Sean Tiede)
II. Different types of connections
Different usage environments may have different causes and solutions. If you encounter connection issues with Splashtop Remote, please refer to the following usage cases.
1. Local network connection
When your device and computer are connecting to the same WiFi router, this is a local network connection. If your tablet/phone can't discover your computer automatically, or can discover your computers but cannot connect, it is probably being blocked by a firewall between them. Please follow the instructions below to solve this problem.
- Make sure the starting port number on both the tablet/phone, and on the computer side, is identical (6783 is the default start number).
- Firewall from third-party anti-virus or security software: Usually, adding Splashtop Streamer files in the exception list can solve this issue. Please check this article to find the type of protection software you've installed, and read the related article for instructions about solving the firewall problem. However, it's not possible to list all types of anti-virus software here. Please try to add the following files into your firewall Exception List yourself, if you can't find your particular anti-virus/security software in the listed articles.
Program Folder to find these files:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Splashtop\Splashtop Remote\Server
─ OR ─
C:\Program Files\Splashtop\Splashtop Remote\Server
- inputserv.exe (only necessary for Splashtop Remote Touchpad)
- If you are using Windows 7, please add another firewall policy for opening ports 6783, 6784, and 6785, which are used by Splashtop Remote by default.
[Procedure]: Open the Windows Start Menu, open the All Programs list, type "firewall," access the advanced firewall settings. Go to Inbound Connection, click "New Rules" in the right panel, select Port, click Next, select TCP, then type 6783-6785. (Note: It's not recommended to change these default port numbers, but if you have changed the starting port number on the Streamer and client app, then you would need to type the new port range accordingly.)
- Firewall from router: Theoretically, a firewall on the router should not impact the local connection. However, some users have told us that they needed to disable the firewall on their routers to get a successful connection. Please enter the firmware of your router, try to find the firewall option, and disable it if it exists. This article gives some information about how to enter router firmware, if you don't know how to enter it.
- If your device and computer are on a different subnet: That is, in the same office and the tablet has an IP address of 192.168.10.1, and the computer has an IP address of 192.168.20.1, they are on a different subnet. In this case, your tablet won't discover your computer automatically. This is especially easy to occur in an enterprise network environment. You need to manually create a new profile on the tablet and type the proper IP address in that profile. This article describes how to add a new profile on a tablet or phone.
- This article is a collection of more information and tips to enable your computer to be discovered by your device automatically.
2. Remote connection over the Internet
When you are attempting to connect to your computer from a different network (for example, from the WiFi in Starbucks, airport, or office) this is "remote connection via the Internet. " If your device can't discover your computer automatically using this method, please check the following points for hints.
- Review the info in the "Local Network" section above. In addition to those items described in the "Local Network" section above, which need to be solved first, the following points are especially helpful on remote connection issues.
- Check to make sure the Internet Discovery feature is enabled. If necessary, refer to this article which gives instructions on how to enable the Internet Discovery feature.
- If your device or computer can't successfully log in with your gmail credentials, this article offers some hints for further troubleshooting.
3. Connection via 3G/4G
Basically, connection via 3G is supported by Splashtop Remote. However, in this case, there is often only a small available bandwidth. Even though the signal might appear to be excellent, you never know how many users are sharing the same bandwidth around you. Here are some things you can try.
- Try to connect again during a different time-frame or in a different location to see if there's any difference.
- Concerning 4G, we have reports of cases wherein the 4G connection failed with certain specific carriers. Please see this article which provides more details including a work-around.
- Use a low resolution on the Streamer side. This will help a lot in reducing the streaming size.
- When connected, switch the display on the iPad/iPhone from the default "Sharp mode" to "Smooth mode." To do this, perform a 3-finger tap on the iPad or iPhone to open the Control bar from bottom, then tap the icon with 'A' on it to toggle these two modes. This can also potentially help a lot to reduce the streaming size.
- Please make sure you are using v126.96.36.199 of the Windows Streamer, and also using v188.8.131.52 of the app on your iOS devices. Also please enable "Optimize for your network" in the Settings (accessed via the Gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen). It helps a lot for connections via 3G networks, and on unstable WiFi networks.
- Enable a hidden feature to limit the frame rate, to decrease the streaming size. Please see Section IV "Advanced troubleshooting tips" below for details.
4. Connection to a work computer or though a campus network
1. The security concern is usually higher in most companies or schools, where they often have a strict policy to block most ports, including port 5222 which is used by gmail. In this case, you won't be able to log in with your gmail directly (although Splashtop Remote will try other ports instead). However, if your company/institution/school blocks all ports, then it will be impossible for Splashtop Remote to establish a connection remotely for the computers within that type of environment. Please consult your IT Department if you get an "unable to connect" message (or if your gmail login fails), and the computer is located on a work or school network. Here are some suggestions and notes pertaining to this situation.
- Connect to your work network via the VPN feature on your tablet first, if your IT Department allows this solution. Then you can connect to your work computer as a local network case.
- In this type of strict network environment, the streaming performance may be poor, or it might be easy to lose the connection, or possibly even unable to connect at all — even though you can automatically discover your remote computer with gmail logged-in.
- We are now working on an additional way to improve this type of connection problem. We will post it here when ready. Please stay tuned.
2. Another problem contributing to this connection issue is that some enterprise or school environments may have a proxy server set up, to save some external bandwidth. Splashtop Remote currently does not support this network structure, but we are also working on this problem. Please consult your IT Department to confirm whether or not your connection problem is the result of a proxy server.
III. Basic troubleshooting tips
1. If your tablet or phone can't find the computer automatically, or the computer is gray and a message like "Could not reach x.x.x.x (IP address)" is displayed under it on the tablet/phone:
- Please read the section above entitled "1. Local network connection" for details.
2. Perhaps your tablet/phone can find the computer automatically, but then after you have waited a long time for the connection to be established, a dialog appears which says "Unable to connect" with Try again and Go back buttons. At the same time, the message "Your device is controlling this computer" may appear on the computer screen as well!
- Please read the section above entitled "1. Local network connection" for details.
- The available bandwidth may be insufficient at this moment. In this case, try the suggestions in "3. Connection via 3G/4G" above.
3. Normally, the tablet/phone automatically keeps in memory the applications that have been opened. Clearing these from cached memory on your tablet or phone before making a connection will be helpful for the Splashtop Remote Desktop app to achieve a successful connection.
- To clear the cache on the iPad or iPhone:
- Double-press the Home button on the iPad/iPhone.
- A bar will open at the bottom of the iPad/iPhone.
- Long-tap (press) an icon. The icons will then start "shaking" and will contain a '-' symbol.
- Tap the '-' symbol on each icon individually until all icons are removed.
- Press the Home button to return to the Home screen, and try to connect again.
- On Android devices, you can usually clear the cached memory by killing the running applications in the background, and clearing the occupied memory. Depending on the device, this function might be found in features relating to Task Manager / Memory management, or in Settings / Applications.
4. Sometimes, just a re-start for the computer, the router, and your device may help to establish a successful connection. This is very useful for the "connection-failed" cases that are caused by a new update of the Splashtop app or Streamer.
5. If re-starting the above devices and the computer still does not work, try to un-install the Splashtop app and Streamer, then re-install them, and re-start the devices and computer again. Again, this is also useful for cases resulting from a new update.
6. It's a good habit to disconnect via the Home button (for iOS devices) or the Disconnect function on the device app Control Bar. After doing so, please wait 15~30 seconds before the next connection attempt, to allow the Streamer to completely recover all settings. Re-connecting immediately, without waiting 15 to 30 seconds, may cause a long "waiting to connect" period of time, followed by the "Your device is controlling this computer" message on the computer screen, even though there is actually no connection established.
7. Keep your computer running Splashtop Streamer alive, with no power-saving options enabled, such as Sleep/Hibernate. If you have enabled any power-saving options, please see item 2 near the end of "Advanced troubleshooting tips" below.
8. If your Mac computer enters Display sleep mode, either manually or automatically, Splashtop Remote won't be able to directly connect to it. Please install our Virtual Driver first, then you should be able to discover your computer and connect to it. Check "section III Wake-on-LAN Usage Timing and Limitations" in this article for more details.
9. If your computer has any USB devices plugged in, like sound devices, try removing them from your computer and then re-connecting to see if there's difference.
IV. Advanced troubleshooting tips:
1. Limit the streaming frame rate to reduce the streaming size. This is especially good for 3G and unstable WiFi environments in locations such as airports, hospitals, or coffee shops.
To enable the streaming frame rate:
For Windows Streamer:
- Download the attached file to your local drive (fps.txt). The default frame rate in this file is 5 (DWORD in Hex is 00000005). You can experiment with this value, modifying it to be higher or lower, in order to determine the proper value for your situation.
- Rename the file to fps.reg.
- Double-click on the file to import it to your system. It may trigger a warning message from Windows. If so, please agree to proceed.
- Quit the Streamer. Then manually launch it again to make the file take effect.
- Try to connect again, to see if it works
NOTE: This hidden feature conflicts with "Smooth" mode. Therefore, when you use this feature, please keep the default "Sharp" mode setting.
For Mac Streamer:
1. Prepare an Editor tool to edit the Mac plist file. Here are two samples:
a). Xcode4 (Apple Inc): http://developer.apple.com/xcode/, for Lion only.
b). PlistEditor (3rd party) : http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/plisteditpro/
2. Go-->Go to Folder…, input the path ~/Library/Preferences/
3. Select com.splashtop.Splashtop-Streamer.plist and edit it with the type of tool mentioned above.
4. Add a new Child, named “SharpFPS,” Type:Number, Value:5.
5. Exit the Splashtop Streamer, then re-launch it, and try again.
NOTE: This value of parameter can't result in a precise frame rate (like Windows). There's very little tolerance. For example:
Fps value=5; the real fps could be 5~10
Fps value=15; the real fps could be 15~22
2. If your computer is not always awake, it may require a special feature Wake-on-LAN to "wake it up" first. Then you can try to connect to it. Please read this article for more details about the Wake-on-LAN feature of Splashtop Remote.
3. Sometimes, the UPnP option on the router will cause a "failure to connect," even if your tablet/phone can see the computer and it is in an available state. Please try to turn this option OFF (if it is ON), then try again.
4. Sometimes, even within the local network, it's possible that your tablet/phone still might not be able to discover your computer automatically. One thing you can try is to change your router’s encryption method and see if it makes any difference. Usually, the router provides some options for connection encryption, like None, WEP, WPA, and WPA2. AES and TKIP are sub-options for WPA/WPA2. "None," or WPA/WPA2 (with AES or TKIP), is the recommendation.