- Remote Desktop Connection is a useful Windows feature that allows you to access a different PC on your network, or on the Internet, from your own PC.
- Both computers have to be powered on and connected to the Internet, and if those conditions are met you can use your PC to fix problems on any other PC .
- In these times, especially, you're probably interested in remote tools so visit our Remote working apps and tools section for a lot of ideas.
- Not a lot of people learn all the procedures by heart. And if you're among them, refresh your memory with our How to hub guides.
Sometimes in order to fix a certain computer problem, you need to access the problematic PC remotely.
How can I use Remote Desktop Connection and what it can do?
Remote Desktop Connection is a useful Windows feature that allows you to access a different PC on your network, or on the Internet, from your own PC.
This feature requires that both computers are powered on and connected to the Internet, and if those conditions are met you can use your PC to fix problems on any other PC remotely.
By using this feature you’ll get full access to all files that are stored on that PC, and you’ll even get the live desktop, so you can see the changes in real-time.
Before we start explaining how Remote Desktop Connection works, let’s get familiar with certain terminology.
A computer that is used to access a remote computer is usually called a client, and the remote computer is called the host.
If you want to use this feature, both the client and host operating systems have to support it natively.
Bear in mind that Home editions of Windows don’t support this feature natively, therefore you might have to use a third-party application in this case.
As we already mentioned, you can use Remote Desktop Connection with computers that are on the same network.
But you can also connect to the remote host as long as the host computer has a public IP address.
Before you can use Remote Desktop Connection, you need to make sure that the host computer has Remote Desktop Connection enabled.
To enable Remote Desktop Connection on a host computer, do the following:
- Press Windows Key + S and type allow remote. Select Allow remote access to your computer from the list of results.
- System Properties window will now open. In the Remote tab make sure that Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer is enabled. If you wish you can change the Advanced options and set how long can the invitation for Remote Assistance can last.
- Select Allow remote connections to this computer. If you want extra security, be sure to check Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended).
Bear in mind that you can also set which users can have access to your computer, and to do that you need to follow these steps:
- In System Properties window go to Remote tab and click the Select Users button.
- Click the Add button to add more users.
- Now enter the user name in the Enter the object names to select and click Check names. If that user is on your network you might need to enter its computer name as well. Alternatively, you can click the Advanced button and search for the user by yourself. If the user has a Microsoft account, you can use his email address instead.
- After you’re done click OK.
- That user should now be added to Remote Desktop Users list. Click OK again.
After the host computer has Remote Desktop Connection enabled, you can access it from a client PC by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + S and enter remote. Choose Remote Desktop Connection from the menu.
- Click the Show Options button to see advanced settings.
- In General tab you’ll be able to enter the name or the IP address of the computer you wish to connect to. In addition, you can also set a name of the user account that you wish to access.
- Using the Display section you can change the size of the remote desktop window as well as color depth.
- In the Local Resources section you can change how remote audio playback and recording will work. You can also change when and how will keyboard shortcuts work on the host computer. Lastly, you can set which devices you want to use from your client computer.
- Experience section allows you to choose between several networking profiles in order to get the best performance, but you can also customize which visual aspects you want to use during the remote session.
- Lastly, there’s an Advanced section. Here you can change how your computer will react if the server authentication fails.
- After you configure everything you can click the Connect button. Bear in mind that it’s not mandatory to change any of these options, but if you are an advanced user you might want to fine tune these settings in order to achieve maximum results.
In fact, you can even control Windows remotely by using the UWP Remote Desktop app.
Remote Desktop Connection is a useful tool for system administrators that need to fix problems remotely, but this feature can also be used by less experienced users.
If this feature seems a bit daunting to you, or if your host or client PC doesn’t support it, you can use third party solutions such as Teamviewer or LogMeIn.
FAQ: Read more about Remote Desktop Connection
- How do I use Remote Desktop Connection?
- How does a Remote Desktop work?
- Is Remote Desktop secure?
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.