How-To Geek

Turn on Remote Desktop in Windows 7, 8, 10, or Vista

Remote Desktop is disabled by default in Windows, but it’s easy enough to turn it back on. If you need to access your Windows PC from another box, it’s an essential thing to turn on.

This should work for the Professional versions of Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, or Vista.

Important note: Remote desktop is only included in the Professional, Business, or Ultimate versions of Windows. Home editions do not have remote desktop.

Getting to the Remote Desktop Settings in Windows 8, 8.1, or 10

If you are using Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 you will need to open the desktop Control Panel and find the System panel there. Or you can search for “Remote Access” in the Start Menu or Start Screen.

Once you search, click on the “Allow remote access to your computer” item. It’ll look a little different in Windows 8, but it’s roughly the same thing.


And now you can select “Allow remote connections to this computer” from the Remote tab.


You can also choose which users can connect, or whether older versions of Windows can connect.

Getting to the Remote Desktop Settings in Windows 7 or Vista

To get to the configuration page, you can either right-click the Computer icon and choose properties, or you can type in system into the start menu search box, and then find the entry for System.

Now you’ll want to click the Remote Settings link on the left hand side. Again, if you are using Windows 8, this is the screen that you’ll want to find – or you can search for Remote settings.

Now you can finally turn it on:

To connect from another Vista / Win7 PC on the same network, click the bottom radio button. If you need to connect from an XP/2k machine, click the “Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop” radio button.

Don’t worry about setting up firewall rules, Vista or Windows 7 does that for you automatically.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/13/15

Comments (190)

  1. jizzlobber

    might want to note that RDP support is only provided by the Business or Ultimate editions of Vista, and not the Home editions

  2. Kate

    Is there a way to enable Remote Desktop on the Home edition of Vista?

  3. Limon

    How do I remote desktop my computer at home from the computer at work?

  4. BaeckerX1

    Remote Desktop Host is supported on all versions of Vista. Business and Ultimate contain the RDP support to Remote into other machines.

    As far as connecting from your work computer, you’ll need your internet IP address of your home computer if you’re behind a router ( Also you’ll need to forward port 3389 I think it is to your machine in your router. Then you’ll have to hope that your work firewall doesn’t block port 3389. Cheers.

  5. Radon

    My backlight went out on my Windows Vista Laptop. I would be forever grateful if someone could walk me through using the keyboard


  6. Andrew

    I am trying to log into a XP machine and a SMB server from Enterprise and it won’t let me. I went into the settings on my Vista machine and they seem set up just fine, any ideas?

  7. Mike

    Hey Andrew,

    I am trying to connect to Vista Ultimate from an XP laptop, and it won’t let me either…

  8. Digiguru

    I have followed several guides that all seem to say the same thing. So I am assuming there is a problem between Ultimate and Home, but I’m not trying to control my ultimate installation from my home installation. So why won;t this work, I ave configured my home pc to allow remoting and I am trying to access it from my ultimate machine in the other room. I’d really appreciate some help. thanks

  9. Limon

    If I have someones Mac address how can I control there computer?

  10. The Geek

    You can’t control somebody else’s computer with a Mac address.

    I’d recommend some type of hacker forum for what you are looking for. We don’t cover hacking on this site.

  11. Jack-Eric Vandenbroucke

    I have a new work(horse)station with Vista ultimate connected to a Linksys router (cable) and I have put my old server with a Wi-Fi connection (XP pro iwth IIS 5.1). Now, each time I’m trying to access the new computer (Vista with RD activated), I’m connecting to my old PC (both usernames are different).

    Is there a way to choose which one I want to connect to ? I’m using a XP pro machine at the office to access my home network (Vista+XP).


  12. richard

    i got two pcs on a LAN network that i want to connect to remotely as they are both on the same network it just chooses the first pc all the time ( how do i get access to my other pc and its files ( is this possible with remote desktop?

  13. Brian R

    In order for you to connect to the .103 addressed computer you will need to change some settings in your router.

    The router is probably defaulted to set the DMZ zome to ( the first address given out by the dhcpserver within the router. Login to the router and look under advanced settings (or similar) and change the DMZ ip to Only one computer within the LAN can be seen from the internet.
    You still have the capability of switching between visible computers by simply logging into the one visible computer remotely, then logging into the router, changing the dhcp address to the computer required , reset the router then relog in

  14. Jack-Eric Vandenbroucke

    Hmmm. not very practicle. Is there another way ? Installing a soft on the visible computer that can view any other PC on the LAN ? Somebody told me about another type of router (sorry, I’m not at the office to get the name) that would permit switching at logon ?

  15. Brian R

    You can also try this.
    Logon to the .100 pc remotely and then just open up a remote desktop connection on that pc to That will then allow you to remote desktop from your .100 pc directly to the .103 computer… it works like a charm, and no messing around with routers.

  16. Brian R

    try this…

    – logon to your .100 computer remotely as normal.
    – once logged in, open up a remote desktop connection from that computer to
    – now you can work with either computer.

    Brian R.

  17. Jack-Eric Vandenbroucke

    Really !? Gosh, that seems too simple… I should have thought of this one. I’ll try it as soon as I’m back to the office. I’ll keep you posted.

  18. Jack-Eric Vandenbroucke

    Incredible but true, it works !

    Thanks for that superb idea !

  19. Brian R

    glad to be of help

    enjoy :)

  20. Dean

    You probably have your solution, but I did want point out that you can setup as many computers as you want to remote into on your LAN, not just one.

    You have to assign remote desktop different ports other than the default 3389. Then setup port forwarding on your router. For example if your public ip that gets you to your .100 machine is 123.45.678.90, you can setup your .103 machine to use remote desktop on port 3999. Then to remote to that machine you would enter 123.45.678.90:3999 into the remote desktop connection.

    Search Google for specifics on changing the remote desktop port.

  21. Jack-Eric Vandenbroucke

    Well, Dean, I have tried that approach many times but never worked… until this week-end where somebody pointed me out that even changing the listening port in the firewall won’t work if you don’t change it in the registry. So I used netstat and discovered that whatever I add or change in the firewall settings on my XP machine, it was always listening to port 3389.

    After looking for “Changing listening port on RDP” on google, I found the KB article at MS, did the change and Voilà ! Now, I’m at the office and I can access whatever computer on my home network using IP:3390 and so on.

    Hope this can benefit somebody else !

  22. cindy

    I’m on a home network. I’m trying a remote desktop connection to a computer running Vista Home premium edition from a computer running XP home edition. I’ve turned on remote access in Vista. I can access my computer through the home network. When I try to log on I get the error message “The Client could not connect to the remote computer”. If I browse for available connection when i click on my Group I get the message “The MSHOME domain/workgroup does not contain a terminal server” Any suggestion on how to remote connect?

  23. Richard

    I am connecting from my ultimate machine to a Windows 2003 Server. I have enabled my hard drive from my ultimate to connect the server session. I can see the drive but it is read only. I would like to save a document to my (local) drive from the session. This works fine from XP Pro.

    I disabled the Firewall and attempted but no luck.

    Is there a setting/policy I am missing?

  24. michael

    i was wondering if somebody could help me with a situation i have; i need to set up remote desktop with 2 computers. 1 is in america running xp prof and the other in russia running vista ult. i want to set the russian comp up before i leave so when i get back to the states i can use it remotely. what do i need to do to this comp before i leave russia?

  25. Sheri

    I would like to use remote desktop or something similar with a smartphone. Does anyone know of a smartphone that has that capability?


  26. rudy

    I have seen a RDP app for Blackberry that works if your using BES

  27. Mal

    You don’t need to use DMZ on routers when using Remote Desktop

    Most newer routers (Dlink DI-524) can configure a virtual server with port 3389 as internal and external port with the private ip address, also port 80 should also be open but its not necessary to be directed to a internal pc.

    You also really need to create a static internal ip address for your pc on the router, which the virtual server private ip address points to.

    Its wise to use DDNS(Dynamic Domain Name Server) provider in case your service provider changes your routers ip address.

    On the PC make sure that remote desktop ports 80 & 3389 are open on Windows Firewall. If the pc is allowed to go in to standby make sure wake on lan is enabled on the network card.

  28. Phil

    Worked a treat !!


  29. Jerry Cole

    You say you are using Home Premium but the snapshots show Vista Ultimate. I have Home Premium, and do not even see options for desktop when I follow your directions. Is this really like XP, where the lesser home versions can not provide remote desktop access?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me in getting past this obstacle.

  30. ty

    will there be patch on home edition vista for remote desktop

  31. Wayne

    Hi Geek!

    Well, that’s all well and good…pretty easy to do…but I still can’t remote to my PC at home. Any caveats that you’re aware of?


  32. Thiago Dias

    For those who are experiencing problems with access Vista from XP computer, try to update the client software (In XP the version is 5.1 and current available for download is 6.0).

    Hope that’s fix the problem.

  33. Harrry

    Wayne on September 28, 2007 4:33 pm

    You could try a third party solution such as Symantec’s PC Anywhere.

  34. Rob

    To the person who said that Remote Desktop host works on all versions of Vista, that’s just wrong.

    The only versions of Vista that you can remote control using Remote Desktop are Business, Enterprise and Ultimate.

    You can control them from whatever you like though…

  35. Mal

    Yes when chosing a PC only XP Pro , Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate support Remote Desktop host, other wise your have to pay for a OS upgrade.

    It rules the PCs in nearly all retail stores.

    It really does suck.

  36. nick

    um, im trying to set this remote desktop up with 2 of my home computers. when i get to the remote tab under system properties i only see the remote Assistance box… there is no box benieth it that says remote desktop… how come?

  37. Scoobydeux

    You CAN enable Remote Desktop on home premium with the following hack:

  38. Kathy B

    I’m trying to use the remote access on my PC which is Windows Vista Home Edition and my friends computer is Windows XP how can I gain access?

  39. wayne boulware

    I purchased a Windows XP program from tiger direct to replace the vista program on a new computer I recently purchased. Was unable to load the XP program, got status message stating it could not be installed because the vista operating system was newer. Is there any way of getting around this problem?
    Wayne B

  40. Fernando


    I’m trying to remote administrate one vista ultimate pc. other LAN computers running vista (ultimate and home). the computers are connected t/ a router that have dhcp turned on. the computers are all in the same workgroup.
    When I try to add users to the list of allowed remote users Ionly can chose users from the The computer I want to administrate NOT from the others PC’s in the LAN… remote admin only work if I have a domain, not a workgroup?? please help and excuse my «english»

  41. victor

    I am trying to connect to a vista home edition from a mac inside my home network but it isn’t working

  42. wes

    I am trying to remote into my Vista Ultimate PC at home from my XP PC at work. They do allow traffic through a few ports which I have set up forwarding on my router for. Does anyone know if there any limitation in Vista for what ports can be used for incoming traffic with the RDP client?

  43. vagelis

    i have a laptop with vista home premium.At the remote settings i don’t have the 3 option that appears at the image that you have posted..any idea how to enable remote desktop?

  44. Raphaël

    Are all of you blind or somehow can’t read? It clearly says that RDP does NOT work on the home edition of Vista (“Note: This will not work for Home editions of Windows Vista.”)

    I myself am having some trouble with RDPing into my Vista Ultimate machine, it worked untill a few weeks ago. I was at a friends and logged in, work like a charm but when I tried again a few days later I couldn’t get in, not even from the same network. All settings and ports are set correctly and did not change in those few days.
    I still haven’t been able to get into the Vista machine using RDP. Any thoughts on what the problem might be?

  45. Marcos

    The solution is: VNC. You can get it free at

  46. Raphaël

    I know VNC.
    I don’ like it since you have to have a cliënt installed on every guest machine your at.. or have it with you on a USB stick, something that isn’ always the case.

    But yeah, since the normal RDC died, this would be the best option. Thanks!

  47. VNC

    The free version of VNC doesn’t work on Vista.

  48. Mal

    I can now confirm that the Home Premium Host hack works, first download the buried in the link provided by Scoobydeux.

    Do a System Restore point and market it pre remote hack

    You must be in Administrator.

    Extract the files in the Zip file.

    Turn OFF Account Control in Control Panel(classic View)->User Accounts->Turn User Account Control on or off.

    Run the premium.bat from the extracted zip file and check all commands are sucessful.

    Turn on port 3389 in Control Panel(Classic view)->Windows Firewall->Change Settings-> Exceptions[tab]- add port
    ->Name: Remote Desktop
    ->Port: 3389

    ***Note with Home Premium you can only remote host connect to Administrator Accounts, also you can only turn OFF remote host by blocking port 3389. You have no options System Properties settings shown above, you can only get this by upgrading to Ultimate.***

    You will also have to unblock 3389 on any Anti Virus checker installed.

  49. jorian

    Hi there!
    I’m having problems accessing remotely a windows 2003 server from my Vista Home Basic, anyone can give a good reason why? How can I fix this? Anything please I’m out of ideas.

  50. JinxeD

    I am trying not to interpret these comments as the fact that windows vista home premium does not support terminal services or remote desktop. Please tell me that this is not true?!?!? Can any one suggest a way to work remotely on my Vista Home machine????

  51. Mal

    Yes it is true.

    I am afraid you have to upgrade to get full featured RTP Host.

    Home Basic -> Business or Ultimate
    Home Premium -> Ultimate.

    Its get out your wallet.

  52. Emily

    Or…you can just go to and download that mirror driver for free and connect to any Windows OS. Try it!

  53. Mal

    The problem with such products they have to be installed on the client machine, where as, RTP is on all Windows operating systems, many users at work don’t have admin rights.

    Also they tend to take over the host pc a bit too much, controlling mouse and keyboard movements something I don’t really like.

  54. earl albin

    Thanks for the info. I looked at the dialog box. I have the same box except i don’t have remote desktop as an option. I have remote assistance. I guess I have to upgrade. My vista is a basic home edition.

  55. Pat

    I’m at wits end trying to set up remote desktop between my Desktop running XP Professional SP2 and my Laptop running Vista Ultimate. I will be happy to pay someone (that can set it up & show me how). If you live in Queens, New York please leave me a contact e-mail and let me know your fee.

    Dell has been no help and all the knowledge bases between here and microsoft have not gotten Remote Desktop to work; neither have all the kings horses and all the kings men.


    Pat (pulling my hair out)

  56. Mal

    Pat, The most likely the reason RTP is not working, assuming you have enabled it in system properties is because;

    1. In Windows firewall Remote Desktop is not enabled on the Host PC ( the pc your tring to connect to).
    2. Security software is preventing port 3389 from being open, such as Norton 360, Internet security.
    3. Your Internet router ( if you have one) is not configured properly. Usually only a problem if you are connecting from the Internet
    4. Your trying to connect using the wrong ip address of your host pc.

    If you can get it working on a local network your half way there.

  57. Todd

    im lost, I know the rules and exceptions and I have it all set up right but I cannot get my ultimate host computer to remote to my home premium laptop. Help?

  58. David

    I have configured remote desktop correctly but two things happen:

    First when I am asked for credentials my username and password for the computer I am remoting into don’t work.

    Second to get to the logon screen I have to go back and forth between two different public ip addresses.

    Any help?

  59. Mal

    If the Host PC is not excepting the user name and password (of a user of host PC I might add). Then you have not added them in Select Users found in system properties->remote.

    Also make sure you have updated to latest RDP client if calling from XP or earlier. Found in windows update custom.

  60. vinayak

    am trying to log into a XP machine and a SMB server from Enterprise and it won’t let me. I went into the settings on my Vista machine and they seem set up just fine, any ideas?

  61. snoop

    what is the SMB server? a regular client windows machine? or a server running DNS? netbios/smb is the windows protocol – make sure it is enabled or forwarded through routers on your local LAN.

  62. John

    I have a Windows Vista Home premium laptop and a windows xp home laptop….could anyone tell me a way to connect them using remote desktop?? they both are connected by a wireless network

  63. BigAl

    You should try Log Me In Free. It works fantastic and is free. Install it on your home PC and setup a free account. You can get to the PC from anywhere! Works fast! I have about 18 PC’s in my list that I can control and have them divided into different groups like work and friends.

  64. John

    Thanks, will try it out.

  65. David

    I discovered what my problem was. Unlike a cable internet service DSL changes your IP address much more rapidly. So the public IP address I was using would only work for a day at a time. You can adjust this in the modem to extend DHCP lease time or you can use a service like to get a free public IP address. If you are using a wireless router this will require some additional port forwarding configuration.

  66. Don

    I recemtly upgraded to Vista. I have a router that was routing ports 80 and 3389 into my XP machine. Since upgrading I have not been able to configure to route into the vista machine properly. I can RD into the machine from other machines in my private address range and i have verified the ip adress and other settings in the router.

    Any suggestions? I suspect a configuration problem on the Vista machine side. I test with the the firewall disabled and still had the issue.

  67. David


    What kind of router are you using? Also what type of Internet Service are you using?


  68. Don

    it is belkin f4d7230-4, I have a DSL with qwest for the wire and eschelon teleservices as the ISP, I don’t think it is the ISP since I can remote into my win 2003 server which is exterior to the router.

  69. Layne

    Wonder if anyone can help with this tricku issue..

    I have 2 vista PCs… the Vista Home can RDP and control the vista Business PC, but not the other way round. (which seems odd as I thought the business version had the ability to control others but not Home???)

    I cant VNC from the bus -> home either… which is what I really want to do.

    Short of reinstalling the Home PC to hopefully fix the problem what else could be going wrong??

  70. Mal

    Layne, your doing nothing wrong, however, home editions do not support what you are trying to do.

    You need to upgrade to Business or Ultimate(for Home Premium).

    Vista Home Premium can be hacked but it is tricky.

  71. tekbob

    The Tab is on the right side of the system properties dialogue box. Not the left.

  72. tekbob

    Not being picky. I appreciate this website so don’t take it the wrong way. keep up the good work with the site. Thanks for your help.

  73. Dave

    UltraVNC V1.04 support VISTA, with user logon and UAC

  74. Joe

    hey, I’m having some trouble using remote desktop between my Vista home premium SP1 laptop and my XP SP3 computer. When I try to log on to either one remotely, remote desktop says “this computer can’t connect to the remote computer.” I have enabled the remote access button in system properties on both. The computers are set up on a LAN, and the LAN option in remote desktop is set. The Vista one is wireless and has an IP of, the XP one is wired to the router and has an IP of Both are in the same workgroup. Is there anything that I need to enable/disable to make this work? Thanks.


  75. Matt Thomas

    I have tried to turn on remote desktoop an nothing is working.. am I missing a step

  76. Miguel

    Hello everyone,
    I have two desktops, one running xp pro and the other vista business. I am able to remote from vista to xp, but when I try xp to vista it doesnt work. it’s connects but it doesn’t. I can see the log in but,I type the password I see the welcome and nothing happens.
    any ideas?
    the vista is on a wireless adapter.
    xp is direct.
    all settings on both machines and router are correct

  77. Mal

    The usual suspect is Windows Firewall Remote Desktop is not selected and/or a system protection software (Norton/AVG) is preventing connection.

    In Vista System Properties check that ‘Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop’ is selected.

    Alternatively check that Windows XP RTP client is the latest version, check by visiting Windows Update and select custom option.

  78. Nick

    I have windows vista ultimate. I want to be able to remotely log into my computer at home from my computer at work. I was able to set that up with easily.

    However, my son uses the computer at home. When I try to log in remotely, a window tells me that any current users will be disconnected. If I click “OK” my son is disconnected and my session begins.

    Is there a way for me to remotely log into my computer at home without kicking off other users? Can you have multiple users logged into the machine at the same time?

  79. jd2066

    @Nick: Windows Vista only supports one logged user at a time. Either at the console or remotely. Only Windows Server supports multible users logged in at once and for that if you want more then 2 users at a time you need a Terminal Services licence.

  80. Evo

    Hi everyone,i have the checkbox where i turn on and off my remote conections, but i dont have the 3 checkboxes for the Remote Desktop below.

    I have windows vista home edition…How can i find the Remote Desktop options?

  81. Rich

    To log in to a computer remotely I use a service called logmein. The way it works is you create an account with them “I use the free service they offer”. Install their program on the machine that you want to remote into and log into the machine by clicking on a link on their web site. The installed program reports back to their site weather the machine is online or not and the appropriate ip address so that it can find it. It is very easy to use and best of all they have a version that is free.

  82. bryan

    Hey i only see the top of the box that says “Allow remote assistance connections to this computer” and i dont see any of the bottom half of it???

  83. jd2066

    @bryan: Remote Desktop is only available in Windows Vista Business, Ultimate and Enterprise. If you don’t the option then you probably don’t have one of those editions.

  84. Tony

    On the “System Property – Remote” screen I only see the top part of the box that says “Allow remote assistance connections to this computer” and I don’t see any of the bottom half of it.

    Is there a way that the bottom have can be made visible or installed.

  85. jd2066

    @Tony: That only way to get Remote Desktop and those options would be to upgrade to Windows Vista Business or Ultimate.
    You can also try a service named logmein for Remote Access. They have a free version.

  86. Ricky

    Hi there…

    I have an issue I need some help with… I am able to connect to my vista ultimate pc at home from work and from my laptop which are Windows XP Pro… but I use adobe audition for audio editing… well whenever I am connected to my vista computer and I go to play audio while remotely connected… it pops up with an error saying the driver is not found or not properly installed… but when I get home I can play the audio in the program with no problem. In options, local resources, I have selected remote computer sound to bring to this computer… on the XP computers… yet it still pops up with that driver message… but I am able to control everything perfectly fine remotely except for that…

    Any suggestions?

  87. Noob

    For those that have Vista home and wants to allow RDP, download vnc server. On the client machine to access to you Vista home (vnc server), you need vnc client.

  88. rashid

    I am trying to access remote computer on another network which is just connected to internet which is the best way to access it and access some application on that computer.

  89. Dana

    Remote Desktop is a fast and easy way to access another computer without having to pay for services such as However, if you don’t have access to your router or settings on the Host(receiving PC) you may need to go with one of the paid services. I use remote desktop every day. Even while at my kitchen table my laptop remotes into my main desktop computer in the other room where everything is stored. I also have a tablet PC in my Car which remotes into my Desktop. This way all my data is in one place, My Outlook mail and Act! Database is all the same and if I lose my laptop or my Tablet gets stollen, there was no data on them and I lose nothing but the the unit itself.

    Here are the basic steps needed to setup Remote Desktop:
    1. The Receiving(HOST)PC MUST be running Windows XP Pro or Windows Vista Business or Ultimate. It is not offered in Windows XP Home or Vista Home. Again this only applies to the Receiving Computer.

    2. It is best if the Receiving(Host)computer is setup with a Static IP on your network. Dynamic IP will work but if your computers IP changes for any reason such as someone rebooting the Router you may not be able to connect again until you change the port forwarding setting in the router to the computer’s new IP address.

    3. The Receiving(Host)Computer must have Remote Desktop Turned ON.

    4. Remote Desktop must be checked in the Windows Firewall exceptions list or allowed if you are running some other firewall software.

    5. The Receiving(Host) Computer must have a Username and Password set. You can not remote into a computer that does not use a password.

    6. You must forward port 3389 on your router to the IP address of the computer that you want to access.

    7. You can access multiple PC’s on one network but you must change the default listening port of 3389 on each of the addditional PC’s. You must also adjust the Windows Firewall Settings to match the new port number and you must add port forwarding for that Port number into your router to direct remote desktop to the correct PC.

    I don’t think I missed anything, but you never know and I am sure someone will correct me if I did.

  90. Blake

    I’m trying to connect to my Windows XP Pro laptop from my Windows Vista Ultimate desktop via remote desktop, but nothing I do seems to get it to work. However, I can connect going the opposite way (laptop to desktop). I have followed the instructions on allowing the computers to grant access to the Remote Desktop application, as well as turning off all firewalls. Any ideas?

  91. Dana

    Blake, we would really need more information here. Please explain more about your installation. Are you trying this between 2 computers on an internal network or over the internet? What Security software and firewall do you have installed on both computers? What have you tried?

  92. Blake

    the two computers are normally on the same network, but because they aren’t all the time, i’m trying to establish this connection over the internet. On both systems I only have windows provided security installed (all turned off, as they seem to only waste my time and not protect my system).

    I have established the Remote Desktop connection from my XP Pro system into my Vista Ultimate through use of IP, with no hassle. Howerver, when I try to go the other way (Vista into XP), I enter the desired IP address, click connect, and get an error that says “This computer can’t connect to the remote computer”. Other times I’ll click connect, and the progress bar at the top of the Remote Desktop window will move for a second or two, and then stop, and nothing will happen with no error message or indication as to why it stopped attempting to connect.

    I’ve attempted to gain access to the XP system when it has just been turned on and is sitting at the welcome screen, when i have logged in and it is on my desktop, and when i have logged in, and then clicked switch user so that the computer is for sure connected to the internet, but sitting at the welcome screen.

    I have reinstalled remote desktop on both computers using their respective Windows OS disks.

    My Vista computer is 64-bit and my XP is 32. Can this be the reason? No backwards compatibility?

  93. Jamie

    Blake. Have you turned RA on on the remote computer. I know it may sound stupid, but many people actually forget to turn it on.

    If you have turned it on and it still isnt working. Try running the Remote Desktop Connection thing on the XP machine ( Advanced Options ), fill out all the details for the XP one and then go to ” Save As ” under the Connection settings. See if that works.

  94. Skynet

    Can you use some version of VNC to remote to Vista home basic using XP PRO?

  95. Eugene

    With Remote Desktop Connection, you can access a computer running Windows from another computer running Windows that is connected to the same network or to the Internet. For example, you can use all of your work computer’s programs, files, and network resources from your home computer, and it’s just like you’re sitting in front of your computer at work.

    To connect to a remote computer, that computer must be turned on, it must have a network connection, Remote Desktop must be enabled, you must have network access to the remote computer (this could be through the Internet), and you must have permission to connect. For permission to connect, you must be on the list of users. The steps below include adding names to that list.

    To find the Remote Desktop Connection shortcut, click the Start button , click All Programs or Programs, and then click Accessories. To quickly open Remote Desktop Connection, open the Start menu, and then type mstsc in the Search box.

    You cannot use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to computers running Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Basic N, or Windows Vista Home Premium. You can, however, connect from those editions of Windows Vista to computers running other versions of Windows.
    You cannot use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to computers running Windows XP Home Edition.

    More info:

  96. Anna

    HEllo all! One of my roomates has confiscated my computer and has not paid for it in 9 months. Has a deadbolt in her room so I cant get to it. In the process of evicting her. Running home vista on it. How can I get into the computer remotely and add a user to it to lock her out of it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  97. Jamie

    Ouch, sounds like trouble.

    Not sure you can TBH. It has to be enabled on their computer i believe.

  98. patricksoo

    I’ve read the entire thread here and i don’t think my case has been discussed.
    Intro: We’re a software house company and have been using Remote Desktop for years.

    Scenario: We have one PC running on Vista and have been fine when using RDP to connect to other PCs (our clients’ servers). But just today, after running a microsoft update, the RDP decides to be picky. I.e. only allowing some to connect thru and others not!
    There shouldn’t be a connnection/LAN/server/router settings since other computers in the office can access the customers’ just fine.

    Note: 1)The Vista pc is the only one in the office.
    2) it was working fine before the windows update.
    3) windows update updated the RDP as well. But same RDP from XP, no prob for all customers

  99. ken

    will this help me connect my vista home premium at to my vista business at work as i really do not want to miss any time. any help would be great

  100. Justin

    It depends:
    1. If you want to access your Vista Business Computer from your house then no you would need to have the systems administrator at work set that up.
    2. If you want to access your Vista Home Premium Computer from work then no as Vista Home Premium doesn’t include Remote Desktop but you can use the free service from to do the same thing.
    LogMeIn Free doesn’t have any extra features beyond seeing and controlling your home computer like redirecting audio and connecting your work applications to home printers and shared files.
    For that you would need LogMeIn pro or another remote program.
    For the Remote Desktop listed on this page you would need to upgrade to Vista Business or Vista Ultimate to get it and that would be a bit more complicated and expensive to do.

  101. Georges Kfouri

    What should I have to do If I have a home edition Vista , because I am not seeing the remote desktop option in System/system properties/remote

  102. kim

    Is there nothing can do with Windows Vista Home Premium to set up a remote access?

  103. Gary Parent

    Mal, I like your detailed post, but I am having problems.

    I have a few question regarding the Home Premium Host hack.

    (1) Do you have to be logged in under ADMINISTRATOR to apply the hack, or can you run PREMIUM.BAT from any User Account that has ADMIN Privilidges?

    (2) Do you START both Terminal Services under SERVICES?

    (3) Under Windows Firewall EXCEPTIONS, what should you check off or ADD, other than “Remote Desktop”: Port 3389: TCP?

    (4) For Vista with SP1, I downloaded an updated file named:


    For a Vista Home Premium, with SP1 applied, should I rename the above file to “termsrv.dll” and overlay the original version for pre-SP1 systems in the /WINDOWS/SYSTEM32 directory?

  104. Mal

    1) Any admin account, also remote log ons can only be admin users.
    2) Yes but the premium.bat file should stop and start it
    3) That all that is necessary.
    4) Now running the batch file under SP1 is tricky… To be honest I can’t remember how I did it, it may have been in safe mode.

    The termsrv.sp1.patched.dll should be renamed termsrv.dll and overwrite the one in the directory with premium.bat.

  105. Mal

    Yes I have just tried it on another computer and it worked with just a normal admin login.

    Here is what the logs of Premium.bat should say

    Taking ownership of C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll

    SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll” now owned by the administrators group.
    Granting Administrators rights
    processed file: C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll
    Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files
    Stopping Terminal Services
    The Terminal Services service is stopping.
    The Terminal Services service was stopped successfully.

    1 file(s) copied.
    Copying C:\Users\Public\RDP Vista x86 SP1\termsrv.dll to C:\Windows\System32\
    1 file(s) copied.
    Copying C:\Users\Public\RDP Vista x86 SP1\rdpclip.exe to C:\Windows\System32\
    1 file(s) copied.
    Importing Registry Keys
    Enabling RDP
    The operation completed successfully.
    Setting fSingleSessionPerUser to 0
    The operation completed successfully.
    Setting LimitBlankPasswordUser to 0
    The operation completed successfully.
    Configuring Remote Desktop in Windows Firewall

    Starting Terminal Services
    The Terminal Services service is starting.
    The Terminal Services service was started successfully.

    Pausing 5 seconds to give service time to start listening
    Checking if Service is listening on port 3389
    TCP [::]:3389 PCTV:0 LISTENING
    Service is listening
    Press any key to continue . . .

  106. Ann

    I followed all the promps all they way to the “Windows Security: Enter Your Credentials” window, after connecting. What am I suppose to type in this window? When I type the account username and password I get an error message say I cannot connect.
    I made sure the server computer has RDC turned On, firewall bypassed, and there is no router just a DSL cable modem. What am I doing wrong?

  107. Mal

    Ann, the user name and password must be an user account setup on the PC, if the account is not an administrator account, then they must be added to the select users (from an administrator account).

    You say DSL cable modem? … most DSL modems have routers built in.

    If you go to Control Panel->Network->Status->Details.

    If the IP address starts with 192 (or sometimes 10) then you have a router in the modem. The routers IP address will the one marked DHCP server. You usually access the setting by type this number into Internet explorer. You really need the modems instructions on how to forward port 3389.

    If the number is something else there may be still a firewall in the modem itself, you will need to refer to the modems instructions.

  108. Remote Control Software

    Has anyone tried a more extensive program that connects PC to PC? I just started using a program offered by Proxy Network called Proxy Pro 6. I previously used Remote Desktop for Windows, but found through my travels out of the office, I needed software more compatible with different Windows versions.

  109. Xcalibur

    OMG noobs ahoy in this forum!

    To set you guys straight, you dont need to change the LOCAL port that RDP is using to support multiple computers on a LAN. Rather, use your router to FORWARD a different external port to port 3389 of a specific IP running RDP. For example:

    setup port 7777 to forward to
    setup port 7778 to forward to

    etc, etc

    That way you access a specific machine externally by:

    :7777 to access
    :7778 to access

    etc, etc

    This is standard port forwarding stuff and is the purpose ports were invented – to distinguis services on a machine. Someone has probably already mentioned this above, but i got tired of reading through the comments. Hope this helps!

  110. Xcalibur

    bugger… the above should read:

    WANIP:7777 to access
    WANIP:7778 to access

    etc, etc

    It seems this forum parses as XML tags which i didnt realise

  111. Bass747

    Hi, I am at school and i want to set up remote desktop connection to my pc at home (they both run vista home premium) and I want to be able to connect to my PC at home to use it’s internet connection as it doesn’t block stuff. I spoke to my friend who told me that i need to get an netgear router as i can then have a fixxed IP adress. Then i need to use something with a dynamic dns.

    Please could you give me some help on this item.

    Kit Cowan

  112. Nik

    I want to connect from one Vista Home to another Vista home remotely.

    Is that possible and all i need is the ip address of each computer or do i need someone on the other end to press yes??

  113. Horndog

    Thanks to Dave. I tried UltraVNC and it allows me to RDC from my XP Pro PC to my Vista Home Premium PC. Woo-hoo!

  114. hariqi

    please any one can help me for my problem? I want to connect from my laptop with Vista version to another computer with xp version. please inform me the correct way to do that. thanks

  115. LM

    Mal, I tried the hack for Vista Premium but I can’t get it to work. I’m trying to log in from an XP machine on the same network.
    After running Premium.bat all looks good but after the line “Checking if service is listening on port 3389 I get the message “Service is not listening”.
    I did add the exception to windows firewall.
    I’m running AVG Anti Virus but I see nothing in there about unblocking port 3389. Could that be the problem? Any other ideas?

  116. justin

    Just use “Windows Live Messenger”!!!
    It Works Great and its very very easy!!!

  117. wevenhuis

    If so many people want remote desktop connection with VISTA home, I wonder why it isn’t part of this system. Could the How-to-Geek Remote Desktop Client be a working solution for VISTA Home edition?

  118. Chad

    I’m trying to access our remote server at work from my home PC which has Windows Vista. I know the problem is with my home PC because I’ve accessed my work computer from a different computer that had an earlier Windows Version and it worked just fine. Here’s what I’ve done…. Start/All Programs/Accessories/Remote Login/ (enter the login name and my user name. I then get a windows security window which asks for my user name and password again. I enter them and get nowhere…. So darn frustrating…

  119. Frank

    I got a new HP laptop 2 months ago running vista home premium 64 bit and wanted to start using remote desktop to get to files on on my desktop computer (win xp home edition sp3). When I try to get to the window in the third screen shot, there is no bottom portion to select options for remote desktop. There is only the section for remote assistance. anything I can do to resolve this?

  120. Loren

    The remote desktop is available on Home Premium Vista and Windows 7.

  121. tony

    All I want to do it remote Desktop into my home PC when I’m on the road from my laptop. I have forwarded all ports to my home pc, and can even connect from a remote DFesktop client on my iPhone. However, when I go to (xxx being my public ip), I get a Cannot connect error. I can remote whilst at home on my LAN, but as soon as I leave my LAN, I have bother. HELP!!!

  122. Skeeboe

    The remote desktop checkbox is not visible on Windows 7 Pro. I’ll check another forum and see what I can find out. It’s true that this checkbox was visible by default on Vista Business. Only the Remote Assistance checkbox is visible on 7.

  123. graham

    I have windows 7 but cant get on remote access to school server

  124. Mike "MC" Patterson

    Im blind to this one so hopefully all works out well. turning on VPN and then remote control my LAN from within my LAN aka for anyone who is trying to step without their shoes, you have to enable forwarding of ports to the sxfer port which would be (depending upon vpn software) Remote control is on 3389 from what I remember… so now to turn that on, and localize my laptop to its new box.. yep.

    I must say too much rhetorical questions on this one post to actually get a clear answer to a problem which you may be having.. misunderstandables.

    Guess its a good thing I know what I am doing on my network, even though im blind. Could definately use a montior, but ahh whats a monitor after u get ur client/server setup

  125. Yahya

    Dear all
    i have 2 PCs
    computer number 1 have windows XP
    computer number 2 have windows 7
    i have network ( home net work )
    but when i acsses form XP to 7 i must type the password and i did not set any password on bouth PC
    please can any one help me in this …
    please send me your answer to my Email
    thank you all

  126. alqunsol

    Hi everybody
    How can I contact in my computer desktop from another computer via the Internet for access to all my folders and files.
    Please can any one help me in this … and please send me your answer to my Email qunsol _at_

    Thank you all



  128. Dave

    I have Vista O/S on my laptop and use it via a VPN Tunnel to sign
    in to work. All was working fine then my hard drive had to be replaced.

    Since then I have re-installed all software & I used the default version of
    REMOTE DESKTOP support located in accessories. I can sign in to
    work but (my mouse clicks are all delayed about 10-20 seconds) which
    makes it impossible to work.

    Has anyone seen this problem? I really need a solution?
    Thx Dave

  129. Dave

    I Just submitted a comment – I’d appreciate my last name not being on
    the comment – thx

  130. JT

    Try connecting without putting a password in.

  131. Darius

    hi guys,

    i have problem, my computer is runing windows 7, and i want to conect to it desktop with my phone htc hd2… annd in some reasons it is not conecting. my router is linksys and 2 pc using this network, can someone give an advice for me?


  132. QQQ

    hi! when I connect to the PC via the PPC remotely, the PC automatically logs out AND disconnects from the network, and i lose my wifi connection. — i lose my connection to pc. how is it possible to keep my wifi connection?
    any ideas? thx!

  133. Kiran

    Hi.. I have a problem in enabling the Remote Desktop connection in Windows 7.. Since in System Properties dialog box I can only see the “Remote Assistance” option and an “Advanced” button. But as the picture you shown above where it has ” Remote Connection” and the 3 radio buttons are not visible in my PC. Henceforth Im unable to take my Windows 7 PC in Remote. But I can access the other computers in this PC. Please guide how to correct this issue.


  134. SwitKari

    ok i did all that it said but as soon as i open the last one to change the “Remote Desktop” i cant because its not there. literlery not there. it has “Remote Assistance” box but there is no “Remote Desktop” box under it… why is this? i have the same thing as this is but just that 1 thing is not there?

    please help

  135. Ernesto

    Doesn’t work on home edition win7? That’s crap!! Now I haveto take 20 minutes out of my day to setup dual boot for win7 ultimate pirate bay edition. On both my legitimate window pc’s.. M$ if your reading this you suck! Nice tutorial tho

  136. richie

    i have windows vista basic and would it work? if not is there any other way that i can make it work?

  137. Yaarik

    This worked!!

    Thanks a lot..

  138. Mikenzi

    After I get to the third picture step thing, there is no three choices. there is only the “Allow remote assistance connections to this computer” check box. help

  139. Dan

    when i go to the remote tab it just says remote assistance not remote desktop

  140. bubba

    if you’re trying to control somebody else’s desktop there’s a few trojans you can set up on their computer by tricking them into downloading them but there’s also a more corporate way of doing it that my bosses used to do – its called intelli admin and i assure you that it’s quite legal – you do not have any awareness of another person monitoring you – you can thank the supreme courts for that

  141. Dean P

    This does NOT work on…

    – Windows XP Professional
    – Windows XP Media Center Edition (I am 100% not sure about Media Center edition)
    – Windows Vista Starter
    – Windows Vista Home Basic
    – Windows Vista Home Premium
    – Windows 7 Starter
    – Windows 7 Home Premium

    This will work on…

    – Windows XP Professional
    – Windows Vista Business
    – Windows Vista Enterprise
    – Windows Vista Ultimate
    – Windows 7 Professional
    – Windows 7 Enterprise
    – Windows 7 Ultimate

  142. Dean P

    Another thing…. I could suggest Teamviewer for Vista Home Users, good software – provides security protection.

    Sorry about the list of non and working editions, I just saw the list in the article.

  143. JB

    Well why the heck does my Windows Vista SP2 have Remote Access if it doesn’t work? I think y’all are full of it.

  144. bob dobbs

    Naw, if these folks were full of it why would so many people bother to comment?

  145. eugene

    thanks a lot, i forget about place to enable it

  146. Emad

    Hello ,
    i don’t find (Allow connections from computers running any version of remote desktop (less secure) )
    in ( system properties ) !!? i use win 7 home premium .

    hope to get answer soon please
    Thank you

  147. knut

    Emad : Same here D:

    What to dooo?

  148. connor


    the “remote desktop” box didnt come up on either of my vista or windows 7 computers
    can anyone help?

  149. fredah

    i connected two pcs’ with a cross cable and one of the systems is connected internet with a wireless moderm but i failed to get internet connections on the other system, even remote connections failed yet the two systems are pinging so what could be the problem

  150. Theo - don

    Or you could all just use TeamViewer, which is simpler, free, easier to use and has more options.

  151. Doonst

    Hi all!

    I’m trying to remote desktop to my office computer running Windows XP SP 3 from my home computer running Windows 7 Ultimate via VPN.
    Connection hangs on “Setting up remote session”. All firewalls are turned off, remote desktop is allowed on Windows XP.
    When i try to connect to my office computer from another office computer – works fine (problem is not in my computer)
    When i try to connect from another home computer with Windows XP – all works fine (problem is not in outside connection)
    VPN connection is fine (i can ping all computers inside my office network)
    Hence, the problem is in Windows 7.
    I don’t use router.
    I have even tried to change MTU value in Windows 7 from to 1400 down to 600 – still no progress. I’ve changed it back to 1400.
    Any ideas?

  152. Mary Horsely

    This is actually one of many superior articles regarding those that Concerning continue reading this particular subject matter lately. Good function.

  153. Wadih Merhy

    thanks a lot it worked :D

  154. chiko

    how I can conect with remoute desktop in another computer hwo isnot in my network ? and he has windows 7

  155. Martin

    I have a home network which consists of:
    I have the virgin media hub (basicly it is a netgear router + modem)
    But when I open Remote Desktop Connection (MSTSC) It will
    not connect to each other either way around
    Does any one have a resolving answe to my problem

  156. mansur

    plz tell me how can i enable server client massenging service in windows 7

  157. Jass

    Thanks a lot..!

  158. Henrietta

    I think it’s completely ridiculous that Remote Access will not work with Home editions! What the heck! We’ve spent over $1,500 for a new computer, and a new laptop, and can’t even share stuff on them. This is just not right and something that should be told to people up front when they are purchasing new equipment. We really cannot afford anothr $89 per PC to upgrade just so I can access my email from my laptop with remote desktop. sigh

  159. sirMichael

    I totally agree with the angry lady.

  160. Linda

    Easy to follow & worked, Thanks Geek

  161. Daniel

    Despite the angry lady (Henrietta) having a right to her opinion, Microsoft can design it’s products any way it wishes /shrug

    It is incorrect to state that you “can’t even share stuff on them.” You can share stuff, you just can’t control them remotely. For the record, you don’t have to spend $89 per PC … you stated that your goal was to access your email from your laptop with remote desktop, meaning that only one system needs an OS upgrade (the one you want to be able to control remotely)

    Aside from all of that, there are free software options that will satisfy your needs, some of which are mentioned above …

    Just my opinion, but I see your complaint as similar to suggesting that all vehicles should be equipped with air conditioning and car manufacturers are ridiculous for not including it in base models.
    Also, I would imagine that more than 95% of users that have Basic or Home editions of Windows have no interest in Remote Desktop functionality … Microsoft puts billions into R&D, and if they don’t include particular functionality in a product, they likely have data to back up that decision.

    For the 5% of users that DO want Remote Desktop control, it will cost extra … such is the way of things.

    By the way, I am a little uncertain about why you wouldn’t be able to access you email from more than one computer … you don’t need remote control for that.

  162. Semaya

    Hello and thanks for the help

    however Ive been trying to do this for aa few hours now and cant seem to figure it out. For starters I have the box that reads Remote Assisstance that is checked for connections, but i DONT have the box that reads Remote Desktop that allows you to check different levels of connections.

    I would be extremely greatful if you could help!


  163. fr33mumia

    anyone knows how to do this from command-line?

  164. Brian

    on my system properties window under remote.. all it has is the box for “allow remote access” nothing else under it like it shows in your picture? whats up? doesnt have the other 3 options….

  165. PC SUCKS

    wtf are you guys talking abnout with a pc? macs are way better than these crappy stupid things you call a computer. everyone who works with designing commercials, photos, and everything else use macs. pcs are for the homeless

  166. RealityMan

    Note to ‘PC Sucks’… Macs are for the mentally challenged who need hand holding.
    Note to all PC users… try for remote access – no router changes are needed (and it is free for personal use).

  167. gaz

    i dont get the last screen on setup only top half

  168. zack gustafson

    when i open the remote settings on vista it dont show the remote desktop only the remote assistance

  169. praths

    Thanks, it worked !

  170. george

    i don’t have the remote desktop connection under the remote tab please help

  171. Raj

    Can anyone help me to establish remote desktop connection between vista home and windows 7 home in the same network. As i am using both laptop and its an wireless connection. Please help.

  172. hicham

    can any body help me to find out why the three options in the remote disktop doesnt appears , your help will be appreciated , thank youu

  173. rexter

    thankz geek …i m nw trying it …

  174. Matthew Schwartz

    bump: on my system properties window under remote.. all it has is the box for “allow remote access” nothing else under it like it shows in your picture? whats up? doesnt have the other 3 options….

  175. Matthew Schwartz

    You can’t use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to computers running Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, or Windows 7 Home Premium.

  176. steve

    How do I use Remote Desktop for window 7

  177. Steve Gillespie

    Can I use Remote Desktop to connect FROM Win 7 TO WinXP Professional 2002(SP3)?

  178. Adam

    Hi im in kuwait right now and im trying to link up with my girlfriends laptop back in the USA, I’m not very good with computers and neither is she, would anyone be able to help me out please?

  179. Adam

    Hi im in kuwait right now and im trying to link up with my girlfriends laptop back in the USA, I’m not very good with computers and neither is she, would anyone be able to help me out please? We both have windows 7 and my friend keeps telling me to do something with the ip adress i had her check in her cmd for her ip adress but i have no idea what one to use or where to put it

  180. Matthew Schwartz

    You will need to download a .dll file to get RDP with Windows 7 Home Editions. It did not come prepackaged for some reason.

  181. DemonicAngel Stacey

    wow!! okay everyone seem like they know what they are talking about and I am so competely lost that Im not even sure how to word my question.. so I guess Ill explain a little bit I am trying to set up a radio station now the guys who are providing me with the server also set me up with a auto dj however the auto dj is ran with remote desktop and Im not sure what that means is there an help for me?? **kizzez**

  182. Geek

    hey guys can you tell me how to remotely logon to a computer if i have the ip address?

  183. Gaurav Garg

    Yes your right.. VNC is the best solution… i am Gaurav Garg from

  184. Jez

    I cant find the Allow Connections From Computers Running Any Version Of Remote Desktop button because when i go to the remote tab it just has the remote assistance section at the top and no remote desktop section like in the screen shot. Please help me.
    I dont know whats wrong because i have Windows 7 Home Premium and i have connected to my other computer running Windows XP but i am not able to connect to another laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium.

  185. Graham

    I have 2 PCs running Home Premium and I read that these don’t support Remote Desktop Connection.

    So, Why do they have the dialgue boxes that allow me to check the box “Allow Remote Assitance”? I’ve done this on both but neither will connect with the other (under file manager the network section shows the other computer and right clicking brings up the option “Connect with Remote Desktop Connection”. Again, why is this offered as an option?

    When the connection is not made it gives me some reasons about firewalls or the other PC being turned off, but not that the system is only Home Premium and that does nat allow it.


  186. Graham

    I’ve just tried “Windows Remote Assistance” and that works on Home Premium. You can even take control of the remote PC, so what more do you want?


  187. Gerbilherder

    I have a notebook running Vista Business, is it possible to remote this machine from a Windows 7 Starter machine?

  188. whatdoctor

    You can set up many ports for different computers without having to change the listening port on your computers – if you map all of the ports to port 3389. This requires port mapping – not just opening up ports. you can set port 5555 to ipx.x.x.10:3389 and set port 6666 to ipx.x.x.11:3389 (where x.x.x is your internal ip range).

  189. Anbhu

    Hi, i had done as u told but icant access the remote computer!!! what to do??

  190. Virginia Borders

    How did Jez (Oct. 2011) get his Windows 7 Home Premium connected to his other computer running Windows XP? I can’t get mine to connect. I get the message:
    Remote Desktop can’t connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons:
    1. Remote access to the server is not enabled
    2. The remote computer is turned off
    3. The remote computer is not available on the network
    Make sure the remote computer is turned on and connected to the network, and that remote access is enabled.
    How do I get the remote access enabled?

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