Remote Access

How to enable Remote Desktop on Windows 10

You can now allow remote access to your computer using the Settings app on Windows 10 — Here's how to turn on the feature.

Remote Desktop settings Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

On Windows 10, Remote Desktop is a feature that allows you to access your computer remotely using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to make it easier to get to your files and applications.

Actually, Remote Desktop is a feature that has been around for a long time, which you needed to configure using Control Panel. However, starting with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you can easily allow remote access to your device using the Settings app.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to configure Remote Desktop to access your files and applications when you’re not nearby your computer using the Settings app as well as using Control Panel on Windows 10.

Important: Remote Desktop is not a feature available on Windows 10 Home, only on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise.

How to enable Remote Desktop using Settings

To set up Remote Desktop on Windows 10 using the Settings app, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Remote Desktop.

  4. Turn on the Enable Remote Desktop toggle switch.

    Enable Remote Desktop
    Enable Remote Desktop
  5. Click the Confirm button.

Once you completed the steps, you can connect to your computer using the Remote Desktop app in the Windows Store or the Remote Desktop Connection built-in app included with the OS.

You’ll also notice that as you turn on Remote Desktop, two additional options are also enabled (Keep my PC awake for connection when it is plugged in and Make my PC discoverable on private networks to enable automatic connection from a remote device) to ensure that you can always connect when you’re away.

In the Advanced settings page, you’ll also find additional options, such as the ability to require computers to use Network Level Authentication to connect. This is a feature that makes the connection more secure by requiring users to authenticate with the network before they can connect to the device.

Enable Remote Desktop
Enable Remote Desktop

The settings page also displays the current Remote Desktop port in case you need to configure a router to allow remote connections outside of the network. If nothing changes on your device, the port number should always be 3389.

How to enable Remote Desktop using Control Panel

Although the Settings app make it super easy to allow remote access to your computer, it’s still possible to enable RDP using Control Panel.

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click on System and Security.

  3. Under “System,” click the Allow remote access link.

    Allow Remote Access on Control Panel
    Allow Remote Access on Control Panel
  4. Under “Remote Desktop,” select the Allow remote connections to this computer option.

    Remote settings on System Properties
    Remote settings on System Properties
  5. Click Apply.

  6. Click OK.

After completing the steps, you can simply use the Remote Desktop app or the Remote Desktop Connection client from another computer to connect to your device remotely.

It should be noted that as you enable the feature using Control Panel, the option to require Network Level Authentication also gets selected by default, which is an option you want to have enabled.

While you can use Control Panel to configure Remote Desktop on Windows 10 and previous versions, such as Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, the ability to turn on the feature using the Settings app is only available starting with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.