How to enable Remote Desktop on Windows 11

Do you need to access your files and apps remotely on Windows 11? If so, use these steps to enable the Remote Desktop feature.

Windows 11 Remote Desktop settings
Windows 11 Remote Desktop settings / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To enable Remote Desktop on Windows 11, open Settings > System > Remote Desktop, turn on the “Remote Desktop” toggle switch, and click “Confirm.”
  • You can also configure the feature through the Control Panel or with PowerShell and Command Prompt commands.

UPDATED 3/9/2024: On Windows 11, I usually have to enable the “Remote Desktop” feature to use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) to connect to other computers in the local network or offer assistance without being physically present at the site using the modern “Remote Desktop” or legacy “Remote Desktop Connection” app.

If you must allow remote connection to your device, Windows 11 includes multiple ways to configure the feature using the Settings app, Control Panel, Command Prompt, and PowerShell commands.

In this guide, I will teach you how to enable the feature to manage other computers on Windows 11 remotely.

Important: This feature is not available on Windows 11 Home. It is only available on Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise. If you have the “Home” edition of Windows 11, you can use the Chrome Remote Desktop as an alternative.

Enable Remote Desktop on Windows 11

To enable Remote Desktop on Windows 11 from the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Remote Desktop page.

  4. Turn on the Remote Desktop toggle switch.

    Enable Remote Desktop (RDP)

  5. Click the Confirm button.

Once you complete the steps, you can connect to your computer using the modern Remote Desktop app (recommended).

The system will grant the current user permission to access the computer remotely. To grant access to another user, click the “Remote Desktop users” setting on the page, click the “Add” button, and specify the user.

The Remote Desktop feature uses the “Network Level Authentication” option to make the connection more secure. The settings page also displays the current “Remote Desktop” port in case you need to configure a router to allow remote connections outside the network. If nothing changes on your machine, the port number should always be “3389.”

This video outlines the different ways to enable the feature on your computer.

Enable Remote Desktop from Control Panel

To turn on the Remote Desktop with the Control Panel, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click on System and Security.

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

    Control Panel allow remote access option

  4. Under the “Remote Desktop” section, select the “Allow remote connections to this computer” option.

    Allow remote connections option

  5. Click the Apply button.

  6. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, you can connect to your device remotely using the Remote Desktop app on another computer.

When you enable the feature using the Control Panel, the option to require “Network Level Authentication” also gets selected by default, which is an option you want to allow anyway.

Enable Remote Desktop from Command Prompt

To enable the remote desktop protocol with Command Prompt on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to enable the remote desktop protocol and press Enter:

    reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

    Command Prompt enable Remote Desktop

  4. (Optional) Type the following command to enable remote desktop through the Windows Firewall and press Enter:

    netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="remote desktop" new enable=Yes

Once you complete the steps, the features will be enabled, and the firewall will be configured, allowing you to access the computer remotely.

Enable Remote Desktop from PowerShell

To enable the Remote Desktop feature with PowerShell commands on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to enable the remote desktop protocol and press Enter:

    Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:SystemCurrentControlSetControlTerminal Server' -name "fDenyTSConnections" -value 0

    Enable Remote Desktop with PowerShell

  4. (Optional) Type the following command to turn on the remote desktop feature through the Windows Firewall and press Enter

    Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"

After completing the steps, you can use the Remote Desktop app on Windows 11 to access the device remotely, even when the firewall is enabled.

Update March 9, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.