How to Setup Remote Desktop on Windows Computers

Remote Desktop is a Microsoft technology that gives a user the view of the desktop of a remote user. Microsoft developed Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) during the development of Windows XP and since then all the new versions of Windows have included a remote desktop client. This technology will help users get their system issues resolved by a technician who can see and work on their desktops remotely. In this article, you will learn more about this technology and see how it can be set up on various versions of Microsoft Windows.

Remote Desktop on Windows XP

Right-click My Computer icon on Start menu -> Click Properties -> Click Remote tab.

Under the Remote tab, you have an option labeled ‘Allow users to connect remotely to this computer’. If you check this box, it will let anyone remotely connect to the computer.

Now, you need to make sure that the Remote Desktop client is installed in the computer. Follow these steps to install the RD client.

1.     Go to Control Panel from the Start menu

2.     Open Add or Remove Programs section

3.     Click on Add or Remove Windows Components

4.     Click on Internet Information Services -> Details -> World Wide Web Service -> Details

5.     Put a check on Remote Desktop Web Connection

6.     Click OK and close all dialog boxes

Remote Desktop on Windows Vista and Windows 7

You can turn on the computer’s remote desktop feature from the Computer Properties dialog box as in Windows XP. Under SystemProperties , click on RemoteSettings and then click on the Remote tab. Here, under the RemoteDesktop section, select the second radio button.

Under the Remote tab, you have Remote Desktop and RemoteAssistance options. There is a slight difference. Remote Assistance lets you receive help from a technical support person remotely with shared access to your desktop. Remote Desktop allows you to connect to your office computer from home and work on it as if it is in front of you. The remote computer that you are working on displays a blank screen at this time.

Firewall configuration is done by the operating system automatically. However, if you are running a third party firewall, you may get a warning message when a remote connection is being made. You have to allow it in order for the Remote Desktop to work.


Remote Desktop connections have become common. With this technology, receiving and giving assistance and working remotely have become easier than ever. Many companies have started using this technology to give technical support to customers. However, when you are not using the technology, it is safer to keep the settings turned off. The steps mentioned in the article will help you turn off the Remote Desktop.