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How to enable Remote Desktop and establish a Remote Desktop Session (Windows 10 / Windows Server)

This article shows how to enable Remote Desktop on Windows Server Systems and Windows 10, and how to establish a remote desktop connection. Do you remember the administrators, who ran from one system to another? They are called (in German): “Turnschuh (Nike) Administrator”. I haven´t found the english word for him, so let´s call him “The sneaker administrator”. Not matter which language we use: He should be dead. If you suprisingly have found one, then show him my article. 😉

By using Remote Desktop, you can connect to a system remotely. Remote Desktop connections are established using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP, Port 3389).

Activate Remote Desktop on Windows 10

On Windows 10, Remote Desktop is disabled by default. The usage is restricted: On Windows 10 Home the feature can not be used.

Press the keys Windows + Pause (Break) to open the remote settings. Click on Remote settings and then select “Allow remote connections to this computer”.

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Activate Remote Desktop on Windows Server

On Windows Server Remote Desktop is disabled by default, too. As shown above, you can use the system properties for configuring remote settings. However, there is also the possibility to activate Remote Desktop in Server Manager.

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Remote Desktop in Action

To connect, open the Remote Desktop Connection tool or run mstsc by pressing Windows + R.

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By configuring the Options with “Show Options”, you can, for example, map your local drives to the remote system. These drives are then available in Windows Explorer on the remote host. (useful for copying files)

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Now, simply enter the name or the IP-Address of the remote system. Next, provide the user name of the account, which is authorized to connect to the system via remote desktop (By default, Members of the Administrators Group and Remote Desktop User Group are allowed to connect via RD). Click Connect.

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Next, enter the password.

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You may be asked if you trust this connection: “The identity of the remote computer cannot be verified. Do you want to connect anyway?” Confirm with Yes. The connection will be established.

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Further thoughts

Remote Desktop is one of many ways to connect remotely to a Windows system. If you prefer PowerShell remoting, then have a look at my article: How to configure Trusted Hosts for PowerShell Remote Sessions


1 Comment

  1. […] remoting, you can also use Remote Desktop, as described in my article: How to enable Remote Desktop and establish a Remote Desktop Session (Windows 10 / Windows Server). But this article is all about PowerShell […]

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My name is Patrick Grünauer. Microsoft MVP. I am from Austria. On sid-500 I write about Windows, Cisco and IT-Security in English and German. Have fun while reading!

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