Like its predecessors, Windows 10 includes built-in remote desktop functionality via Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol, allowing users to access and use other Windows 10 PCs, regardless of whether they’re on the other side of the room or the other side of the planet. While the Remote Desktop application, which lets you access other PCs, is available in all versions of Windows, the ability to allow your PC to be remotely accessed is not available in Windows 10 Home.
Even in Windows 10 Pro, where the feature is available, it’s not enabled by default. Thankfully, users can enable Remote Desktop in Windows 10 Pro with just a few quick clicks. Here’s how it works.
Enable Remote Desktop Connections in Windows 10
To enable Remote Desktop connections on your Windows 10 PC, first log in and head to the desktop. From there, click the Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen and type remote access to search for it. The top result should be a Control Panel setting titled Allow remote access to your computer.
Click this search result and the System Properties window will appear and drop you on the Remote tab. Alternatively, you can jump directly to this location by clicking Start, searching for and launching Run, and typing systempropertiesremote.exe into the Open field.
The Remote tab of the System Properties window is divided into two sections: Remote Assistance on the top and Remote Desktop on the bottom. To simply enable Remote Desktop functionality, click the button labeled Allow remote connections to this computer from the Remote Desktop section.
If your PC is configured to sleep while not in use, you’ll receive a pop-up warning, noting that your PC won’t be accessible via Remote Desktop if it’s asleep. Therefore, if you’ll need to frequently access this PC remotely, make sure you adjust your power settings to prevent the PC from sleeping. This will mean a bit more energy usage, but it will ensure you can log in remotely when needed.
When you’re ready, click OK to save your change and close the window. Now, when using the Remote Desktop application on another PC, you’ll be able to remotely log in to your user account via the remote computer’s name or IP address.
Remote Desktop Security
If you follow the steps above, you’ll be able to access your PC via your primary user account and password. If you’d like to enable other user accounts to log in remotely, you can head back to the System Properties window and click Select Users. This will let you define other accounts, or account groups, for remote access.
By default, the security option Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication is also enabled. This means that you’ll need to type your user name and password before you connect to the remote desktop. This is better for security, but may be incompatible with older versions of Windows or the Remote Desktop Client. In general, leave this option enabled unless you’re having issues connecting.
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