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Illinois State University

How to enable Remote Desktop in Windows

Before you can remotely access a Windows computer, you must enable Remote Desktop on that computer.

Before You Begin

These instructions are written for Windows 10 since previous versions of Windows are no longer supported.

To perform these instructions, you must be using the Administrator account or an account that belongs to the Administrator group on your computer.

Remote Desktop allows you to remotely access a computer using Remote Desktop Connection, which is built in to Windows 10.

Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 10

To enable Remote Desktop, do the following:

  1. From the Start menu search for Control Panel and click Control Panel

  2. In the Control Panel, click on System and Security.

    • If you don’t see System and Security, select Category from the View by:* menu in the upper-right corner of the Control Panel window.
  3. Under System, click Allow remote access.

  4. In the System Properties window, select Allow remote connections to this computer.

  5. Click Apply.

You may receive a pop-up box advising you to go to Power Options in Control Panel to change your system’s power options. When your computer sleeps, or hibernates, you cannot connect to it remotely. If your computer is set up to go to sleep when not in use, and if you plan to frequently use Remote Desktop to access that computer, you may want to consider changing your power options.

By default, the account you use to log in to the computer has privileges to connect remotely. If this is a campus computer, you will use your ULID and password to remotely connect, just like you do normally.

You must also make sure Remote Desktop is opened in your Windows firewall; refer to the section below.

Allow Remote Desktop through Windows Firewall

To allow Remote Desktop through your Windows firewall, do the following:

  1. From the Start menu search for Control Panel and click Control Panel

  2. In the Control Panel, click on System and Security.

    • If you don’t see System and Security, select Category from the View by:* menu in the upper-right corner of the Control Panel window.
  3. Click Windows Firewall.

  4. Click Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall.

  5. Click the Change settings button.

  6. In the list of Allowed apps and features, place a check mark next to Remote Desktop in the Domain column and the Private column.

  7. Click OK.

Now that Remote Desktop is enabled and is allowed through your Windows firewall, you can remotely access a computer.

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