A Definitive Guide To Using Remote Desktop Connection Manager

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Windows Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) provides an easy-to-use option to connect to a remote computer. As long as the remote computer is turned on and remote desktop connections are allowed, using RDC will allow you full remote access to run programs, access files, and all peripheral devices.

Read on for an in-depth guide on how to create a remote desktop connection and connect to another computer using the Remote Desktop Connection app.

remote desktop connection - detailed guide

Permit Remote Desktop Connections

When trying to connect to a remote computer over Local Area Network (LAN), you must ensure that remote desktop connections are permitted. The configuration can be set in the Control Panel in a few simple steps.

1. Launch the Control Panel by clicking the Start menu, or pressing the Windows key on the keyboard and typing Control in the search field.

2. Click the System and Security option.

control panel system&security

3. Locate and select the “Allow remote access” option under the System options.

allow remote access

4. Select the remote tab from the Systems Property window.

5. Click the “Allow remote connections to this computer” radio button in the Remote Desktop section.

allow remote connections to this computer

6. Ensure that the recommended “Allow connections only from a computer running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication” checkbox is ticked.

7. Click the OK button to save your changes.

Now your computer will be accessible via Remote Desktop protocol. If your computer is behind a firewall, you will need to configure it accordingly to allow for remote connections. The only exception to this is if you are using Microsoft Defender. Windows will add the required rules to allow remote connections through your firewall.

How to Create a Remote Desktop Connection

You are now ready to establish a remote desktop connection. Follow these steps to get started.

1. Launch the Windows search and type “remote desktop connection” to search for the RDC tool. Once located, click on “Open” to launch the Remote Desktop Connection app.

open remote desktop connection

2. When the Remote Desktop Connection window appears, select the IP or name of the computer that you want to connect to. Type your username in the User name field. For ease of use for future connections, you have the option to save your credentials by selecting the “Allow me to save credentials” checkbox. To continue, click the “Connect” button.

enter the name of the remote computer

3. Enter your account password when prompted to do so. Check the “Remember Me” checkbox to avoid having to enter your credentials each time you want to initiate a remote desktop connection. If you see an alert that the identity of the remote computer can not be verified, you can ignore it, and simply tick the “Don’t ask me again for connections to this computer” to dismiss the message and remember your choice. When done, click Yes to save and continue.

remember connection choice

4. The remote computer’s toolbar at the top of the screen will indicate that you are in a remote session.

rdp on remote computer

5. There are two icons on the left of the menu bar. The pin allows you to pin the bar, the options on the right are standard minimize/maximize and close options. Closing the remote session window will close the remote connection.

Remote Desktop Connection Settings

Use the Remote Desktop tool’s setup screen to change your Remote Desktop settings. Setting options available include the following:

General. You can save your connection settings in an RDP file which can be transferred and used between various computers.

general rdp settings

Display. Configure your display preferences from screen size, multi-monitor support, and color depths.

rdp display settings

Local Resources. Configure local resources that are accessible during the remote desktop session. Choose Windows keystroke combinations for various actions as well as configure your remote audio settings.

local rdp resources

Experience. Choose the best connection speed for the best performance. This includes options for bitmap caching and enabling the auto-reconnect function.

rdp experience options

Advanced. Configure how the app deals with server authentication failures. You can also configure your gateway settings for remote working.

advanced remote desktop connection settings

Using Command Prompt or PowerShell to enable RDP

If you prefer, you can enable Remote Desktop using Command Prompt or PowerShell. It is possible to create scripts to configure Remote Desktop which you can run on multiple computers to expedite the process. Remotely enabling RDP is especially useful for any IT support technicians providing support. The end-user can also use this script themselves without any coding knowledge, which is especially useful with the increase of users working remotely.

When using the Command Prompt, use the Run as administrator option.

An example of a command to enable remote desktop:

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

enable rdp via cmd

Note: to allow RDP connections, you will still need to configure the Windows Firewall and open the required ports.