The second seed got the job done in one hour, 47 minutes before a packed crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen, although he was broken twice and his opponent made life tough in the second set in particular.
Federer, the champion in Paris in 2009, came through a second-set tiebreak and eventually ran away with the third set to set up a meeting with either Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus or Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia in the last 32.
“I think it was a really difficult match,” Federer said.
“It looks like a routine match in three sets but in the stands you see I had to work hard,” he said.
“The second set was the key,” said Federer, who is safely in the other half of the draw than Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and reigning champion Rafael Nadal.
There were no unwanted court invaders this time around like the teenager who ran onto Court Philippe Chatrier to take a selfie with the Swiss star after his first-round win against Alejandro Falla on Sunday.
However, Federer was watched by Angus Young, the guitarist of veteran Australian rock band AC/DC who was soaking up the Paris sunshine having performed in the French capital on Saturday.
Speaking on-court at the end of the match, Federer said: “I have seen them twice in concert. Once when I was 15 and I even met him.
“I still had long hair at the time. I don't know if he remembers. It is a real pleasure to see him here.”
Meantime, Swiss eighth seed Stan Wawrinka earlier defeated Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to reach the third round
The former Australian Open champion hit 11 aces and 53 winners but served up nine double faults and committed 52 unforced errors.
He will face Steve Johnson of the United States for a place in the last 16.