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How to Set Up and Use Remote Desktop for Windows 10

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has been a feature of Windows since XP Pro days. It makes it easy to connect from one PC or device to another to retrieve files or provide PC support.

There are several free utilities out there that will get you set up with a remote connection. Some that come to mind are join.me, TeamViewer, and Chrome Remote Desktop and are especially handy when connecting between different platforms. But if you’re in a pure Windows environments, here’s a look at how to enable the built-in RDP utility in Windows 10.

Enable Remote Desktop for Windows 10 Pro

The RDP feature is disabled by default, and to turn the remote feature on, type: remote settings into the Cortana search box and select Allow remote access to your computer from the results at the top.

1 search

System Properties will open to the Remote tab. From there select Allow remote connections to this computer and keep the box checked for Network Level Authentication for better security. Also, note that you will need to enable incoming remote connections on the PC you’re connecting.

2 Allow remote connections

Remote Into Your PC

You have a couple of choices when it comes to how you remotely connect to the other computer. You can use the traditional desktop app or the Remote Desktop universal app. For this, I’m connecting to my Windows Home Server on my home network. I’m also going to use the app that you can install from the Store. It’s more versatile and can be used on mobile platforms including iOS and Android.

Tip: If you have a lot of PCs and devices on your home network, a useful free utility to use is Advanced IP Scanner.

Launch the app and type a name for the PC or device, its host name or IP address, and select Connect.

3 Remote Desktop app

Next enter the username and password used for the computer you’re connecting into. Also, if you’re going to remote into it often, check the box to remember your credentials.

creds

If you get the following security message, click Go ahead and Connect and check the box for it to not remind you again. You know what you’re doing, no reason to for Windows to be constantly nagging you.

verify remote desktop windows 10

There you have it. You can now start using the remote computer for configuration, remote support, or however you need to use it.

rdp windows server

I should also mention that you can go to Settings > connection settings in the app and configure the appearance, devices, and make other adjustments that work for you.

connection settings

More About Remote Desktop Connections

If you’re running a previous version of Windows or looking to remote access your Windows PC from your smartphone or tablets, check out the articles linked below for more.

More Reading:

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18 Responses to How to Set Up and Use Remote Desktop for Windows 10

  1. Jim Autrey October 20, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    These instructions are for Windows 10 Pro. I don’t think they apply to Windows 10 Home. For that, one will have to try the other options listed.

    • Jan Bekaert November 23, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

      Hi Jim,

      What is meant by ‘the other options listed’?
      In Windows 10 Home I don’t see the ‘Remote Desktop’ section under ‘System Properties’ (second pic in this article).
      The idea is to use it on an htpc which is meant for audio streaming purposes only between a WHS2011 and the DAC. No screen, keyboard or mouse should get hooked up.

      Thanks.

      Best Regards,
      Jan Bekaert – Belgium

    • KP May 11, 2016 at 10:12 am #

      Here is the easiet fix, I have found, to run remote desktop on Windows Home 10:

      1) Click on the search box, Cortana, or start search on the lower left of your desktop.

      2) Type cmd

      3) when the command prompt box opens, type mstsc

      4) The remote desktop will open. Click “show options” in the bottom left corner, then click “save as” and save to your desktop.

      Now you are all set to go, just like previous versions of Windows.

      • Chris Bartholome June 1, 2016 at 9:39 am #

        unfortunately, this is backwards to what i’m looking for… that works the same as if i were to launch the app directly from the device that it is i want to connect to…

        If you could offer some insight on how to get the feature back into WinX Home, that allows you to connect to WinX Home, that would be helpful, otherwise, thanks, but no thanks.

        WinX Home > WinX Pro =/= WinX Pro > WinX Home

    • Lolo May 18, 2016 at 12:46 am #

      What makes remotes desktop remote to be accessed without allowing it from server

      • Chris Bartholome May 18, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

        Uh… please refine your statement, this makes no sense…

  2. Jim Autrey November 24, 2015 at 3:09 am #

    Here’s the excerpt I was referring to:

    There are several free utilities out there that will get you set up with a remote connection. Some that come to mind are join.me, TeamViewer, and Chrome Remote Desktop and are especially handy when connecting between different platforms.

  3. James January 10, 2016 at 7:16 am #

    Window 10 doesn’t come with remote connection< you have to get Windows 10 pro upgrade for an extra 99.00…argggggg

  4. derrick April 13, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    How many remote connections can a Windows 10 computer handle at once?

    • Chris Bartholome April 28, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

      its a one at a time deal. The fact that Microsoft left out such a vital part of Windows in the Home edition is sad and overall pathetic. If this feature was standard throughout all the Windows Editions, and then suddenly its taken away, like what? seriously? I’m not allowed to RDC to my laptop anymore?!
      Microsoft should really reconsider this decision, i haven’t been so thoroughly ticked off in a while with Winx but that was remedied with this discovery. I thought it was a Feature that needed to be manually installed for the WinX Home users, but nope, if you have WinX Home, only YOU can connect to other computers via RDP, as long as they have any prior Windows, or WinX Pro.

      As a loyalist users of Windows, i expect better from Microsoft, but after seeing recent traits, i’m beginning to doubt the company, especially their feature department.

  5. Dar May 4, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

    I too am just realizing that this feature is missing from my Windows 10 Dell PC. Very frustrating.

  6. Donna Ehler June 1, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    Read KP May 11, 2016 at 10:12 am # comment on HOW to find the connection for windows 10 HOME. It did it just as it was stated and it works great.
    KP May 11, 2016 at 10:12 am #
    Here is the easiet fix, I have found, to run remote desktop on Windows Home 10:

    1) Click on the search box, Cortana, or start search on the lower left of your desktop.

    2) Type cmd

    3) when the command prompt box opens, type mstsc

    4) The remote desktop will open. Click “show options” in the bottom left corner, then click “save as” and save to your desktop.

    Now you are all set to go, just like previous versions of Windows.

    THANK YOU KP for this sure appreciate it.
    Gramme

    • Chris Bartholome June 1, 2016 at 9:40 am #

      unfortunately, this is backwards to what i’m looking for… that works the same as if i were to launch the app directly from the device that it is i want to connect to…

      If you could offer some insight on how to get the feature back into WinX Home, that allows you to connect to WinX Home, that would be helpful, otherwise, thanks, but no thanks.

      WinX Home > WinX Pro =/= WinX Pro > WinX Home
      Also what a majority of our complaints are about.

  7. Musaddique Ali July 29, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    I use Windows 10 Pro but I still prefer TeamViewer for remote access. Because it’s user friendly and doesn’t require so much configuration than that required by Remote Desktop.

    • matt September 4, 2016 at 12:15 am #

      Out of all the suggestions this one worked! This Teamviewer app works great on my Windows phone and PC. Microsoft should buy them out

  8. Kailash August 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

    Thnaks

  9. Adam Senour October 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    One thing that I’d like to add to this article: if you’re using Windows 10 Pro and a non-standard RDP port, you may need to add in a rule within Windows Firewall with Advanced Security to open your custom RDP port. This is the one additional step that I needed to take.

    • Chris Bartholome October 10, 2016 at 9:09 am #

      It’s easier to Port Forward it in the Router, i haven’t had a single problem connecting out on a different port, and windows by default leaves that default port open for secure connections. All you have to do is port forward from the custom port to the default port on that machines IP in your port forwarding on your router and boom, connected via new port.

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