Allowing Remote Desktop

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 30, 2016)

Whether you're on a network of PCs or you're at home using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access your work computer, chances are you'll want to use the Remote Desktop capability of Windows. Before you can do that, though, you must set up the destination computer to allow it. (Note that Remote Desktop is only available for Professional, Business, and Ultimate versions of Windows. If you're running the Home edition, you don't have this capability.)

The first thing to do is to explicitly set the configuration setting that allows Remote Desktop. This is done by using the Search capabilities of Windows to search for "remote desktop" (without the quotes). As you search, Windows displays a number of possible results. You want to look for the entry named "Allow Remote Access to Your Computer." Click that item, and Windows displays the Remote tab of the System Properties dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Remote tab of the System Properties dialog box.

Click the radio button in the lower half of this dialog that says to "Allow Remote Connections to this Computer," then click OK.

There's one more thing you must do to ensure that your computer will be available when you want to remotely connect to it: You have to turn off its sleep mode. (If the computer is asleep it won't detect the incoming remote request.) You turn off sleep mode by going to the power options.

To adjust the power options, start by displaying the Control Panel. Click the Hardware and Sound heading, and then, under the Power Options heading, click the Change When the Computer Sleeps link. Windows displays an area of the Control Panel similar to the following. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Editing plan settings.

Note that in the figure, I have set Windows so that when it's plugged in, the computer will "Never" go to sleep. Set your system to be the same and click the Save Changes button. Now, assuming your networks are properly configured, you should be able to remote into the computer with no problem.

 This tip (3167) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Where Is that File I Just Downloaded?

Downloading files from the Web is a pretty common occurrence. Keeping track of your downloads used to be a bit of a problem, ...

Discover More

Uninstalling a Program

There are often times when you decide you no longer need a program on your system. This tip tells you how you can uninstall ...

Discover More

Creating a System Image

A system image is a snapshot of your system disk as of a certain point in time. Should the need arise, you can restore your ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding Properties

Most of the objects that Windows makes available in its interface possess properties. These properties allow you to configure ...

Discover More

Regaining Control of Your System

The Windows Task Manager is a useful utility that provides information about what's running on your system. You can also use ...

Discover More

Modifying the Number of Jump List Items

Jump lists can be a helpful tool to quickly access common files and commands. If you'd prefer to display a different number ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.