Remote access

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 (RDP)

On Windows 11, the ability to enable Remote Desktop lets you access a device from another location using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to offer assistance or control a device without being physically present at the location using the modern “Remote Desktop” or legacy “Remote Desktop Connection” app.

If you must connect to a device remotely, Windows 11 includes multiple ways to configure the feature using the Settings app, Control Panel, Command Prompt, and even with PowerShell.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to enable Remote Desktop to manage a computer or access files and apps remotely on Windows 11. (See also this video tutorial in the Pureinfotech YouTube channel to watch the process on how to set up the feature.)

Important: Remote Desktop is not a feature available on Windows 11 Home, only 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 via Settings

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

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Remote Desktop on the right side.

    Remote Desktop settings
    Remote Desktop settings
  4. Turn on the Remote Desktop toggle switch.

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

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

When using the Remote Desktop feature, make sure to use the “Network Level Authentication” option to make the connection more secure. Also, the settings page 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.

Enable Remote Desktop on Windows 11 via Control Panel

To enable Remote Desktop on Windows 11 with 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
    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
    Allow remote connections option
  5. Click the Apply button.

  6. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, you can use one of the available clients 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 anyway.

Enable Remote Desktop via Command Prompt

To enable the remote desktop protocol with Command Prompt, 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
    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 feature will turn on, and you will be able to access the computer remotely.

Enable Remote Desktop via PowerShell

To enable Remote Desktop with PowerShell 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:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server' -name "fDenyTSConnections" -value 0

    Enable Remote Desktop with PowerShell
    Enable Remote Desktop with PowerShell
  4. (Optional) Type the following command to enable remote desktop through the Windows Firewall and press Enter

    Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"

After you complete the steps, you will be able to use the Remote Desktop app to access the device remotely even with the firewall enabled.