How to Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 10 or 8.1 or 7

The remote settings in Windows 10 are little different compared to Windows 8.1 and 7.

Remote desktop feature is useful for technical support from a remote location.

You can connect to/from your friend’s or expert computer, like Microsoft technical support to fix problems on your computer.

The remote desktop feature is useful, if an MVP in India wants to troubleshoot a client in United States with “windows update error”.

By default, Remote desktop Protocol (RDP) is disabled.

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Note: Remote desktop service works only on Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate versions of Windows.
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This does not work on the Home edition of Windows 10 or 8.1 or 8 or 7. That is, you cannot connect to a Windows 10 Home PC from a remote computer.

There is a round-about method for which it is explained little later.

First of all a few definitions:

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What is a Remote Host?

The computer that is currently having issues or the computer you want to connect to.

This is the remote PC to which you want to connect to, so that you can have access to its resources.

Generally, the remote session is hosted by this PC. You can see the screen of this computer, when the Remote Desktop function starts working.

What is a Remote Client?

It is the PC from which you want to connect to.

This is basically another computer located in a remote location from which you will connect to the remote host PC.

This is free of problems or issues. This can be any computer like Windows 10 Home Premium or Windows 7 Ultimate.

There are two methods to activate remote desktop in Windows 10.

Related : Complete Tutorial on Remote Desktop in Windows 8

How to Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 10

Follow these steps.

  1. Press Win + I key to open Windows Settings.
  2. Click on the “System” setting.
  3. Scroll through on the left-hand side and find “Remote Desktop“.
  4. On the right-hand side, you can see the option “Enable Remote Desktop“.
  5. Move the slider to On. It will turn blue color.
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To fine tune further options, you can open the remote desktop settings available in “System Properties” window.

To access this pop-up window, you can do it two ways.

First Method

remote-access-windows-10

For example, in Windows 10 you can type “Remote Access” in the Cortana Search Box.

In 1909 Windows 10 version, you can just press the Win key and type the above search string. This is because Cortana and Search are separated in the latest version.

Out of the search results available, you can click on “Allow remote access to your computer” option.

This will show the pop up windows containing the “remote desktop” settings.

Second Method

In this method, you can use the Control Panel to access the same window.

control-panel-windows-10

remote-settings-windows-10

This is the key part to enable remote desktop in Windows 10 or 8.1 or 8.

Enable Remote Desktop Settings – Further Steps

Once the “System Properties” window opens, you will find two options here.

  1. Remote Assistance
  2. Remote Desktop

system-properties-windows-10-enable-remote-desktop

  • In the first item, you have to check the option “Allow Remote Assistance connection to this computer“.
  • In the second item, you have to check the option “Allow remote connections to this computer“.

This will automatically enable the option “Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended)“.

If not, you just enable that option also.

In the “Remote Assistance Settings” there are some advanced options also, which are available when you click the “Advanced”  button.

remote-assistance-advanced-settings-windows-10

Similarly, in the “Remote Desktop” settings, you can add users to whom you want to give remote access to your PC or laptop.

Just click the “Add” button and select the users in your network to give access.

remote-desktop-add-users

The above settings are mentioned for Windows 10.

To enable remote desktop for Windows 10 Home edition, you can follow the trick mentioned below.

How To Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 10 Home

In this example, we are going to try to remote connect a Windows 10 Home PC (remote host) from a Windows 10 Pro Edition (remote client).

As we said earlier, by default, the RDP system does not work in Windows 10 Home.

So we have to use some third-party software or “tricks” to make it as a remote client.

Step #1

First, visit the following link.

https://github.com/stascorp/rdpwrap/releases.

You can find the latest “RDP Wrapper Library” package, which is in zip format. The current version as of now is 1.6.1.

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rdp-library-for-windows-10-home-remote-desktop

Step #2

Download this zip file and unzip.

  • You will find Remote Configuration files in exe format. You will also find another two files – install.bat and update.bat.
  • Run the “install.bat” as Adminstrator.
  • This will open the command prompt window and some processes will run and install.
  • After finish, close the window.
  • If “install. Bat” is not working, then try using “update.bat”.

This makes Windows 10 Home suitable for Remote Desktop connection.

Step #3

Now open another command prompt window and type “ipconfig”.

This will give the IP of your remote host PC. Generally the iPv4 address is your IP address.

use ipconfig command to find ip address of remote host

Source : tenforums.com

Step #4

Now go to your Remote Client, from where you want to connect to your remote host computer.

Here our Remote client will be Windows 10 Professional desktop.

Now press Win + R and enter “mstsc”.

This should open the “Remote Desktop Connection” pop-up window.

Step #5

Now enter the IP of your remote client, which you have found earlier. Now click Connect.

You will be prompted with the username and password of the remote computer client.

If you are using a common Microsoft account, only password is required. If you are using different accounts, you need to click “Use another account“.

username and password of remote host

Enter the credentials.

  • Now, you will get some security warning about certificate.
  • This is a common thing and caused by non-existing authorization certificate on the remote host.
  • Just select the option that says “Don’t ask me again for connections to this computer” and click “Yes”  button.

security-warning-remote-desktop-windows

  • Now you should see your remote PC screen in a window.
  • One can do several tasks on this remote client, as if you were sitting in front of it.
  • Several operations can be done like fix any problems, update software, open Office documents and save them, transfer files etc.
  • A system function like reboot the system also can be done, by using the Start Menu.

This YouTube video shows the way on how to enable remote desktop connection in Windows 10 Home. In general, RDP access is not possible in Home edition. But using the “trick” above, you can enable remote access in Windows 10 Home.

My Experience:

I found a few things which are not mentioned on the Internet.

When we connect to the Windows 10 Home, I observed that it signs out automatically.

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So if you want to work on your PC directly again, you need enter the password or PIN details again.

Also, I observed that any tasks done on the remote PC (here it’s Windows 10 Home) were very slow when we use remote desktop connection.

How to Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 8.1 or 8

The settings are very similar in Windows 8.1 and 8. But you will not find Windows Settings here. You have to make use of PC Settings or Control Panel. 

The below video shows on how to set up remote desktop access in Windows 8.1 Pro.

 

How To Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 7 or Vista ?

You can access the “System Properties” window using Control Panel, as mentioned above. Otherwise, you can right-click “Computer” icon in the Start Menu and select Properties item.

remote desktop settings in windows 7

Here also, you can check the “Remote Assistance” option.

Suppose you want to connect to this Windows 7 PC from another computer of same OS or higher level, like Windows 10 or 8.1 or 8, you can use the last option. i.e “Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (more secure)“.

But in case, if you want to connect from a lower level PC like Windows XP or 2k, you can use the less secure option – “Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)”.

Conclusion

The remote desktop feature is in-built in Windows 10 or 8.1 or 7.

Instead of using third-party software and having problems connecting to remote client, it’s always better to use the in-house tool of Microsoft.

Also this is very simple to use and has very less complications.

You just have to know the local IP or external IP of your remote client and enter it’s details in the Remote desktop connection pop-up window.

This is more than sufficient for most of the cases.

Let me know in the comments if you are successful in remote connection to your desktop in Windows 10 or 8.1 or 7.

About Palla Sridhar

Ya, I've been writing this blog for over 10 years. I love to write about Microsoft Product Error codes and Tech How-to guides. I learn by reading stuff on forums and social discussion topics. This is about Windows 10, Skype, OneDrive, Outlook, HDMI Solutions, Facebook, LinkedIn tutorials, App reviews.

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