How to Setup Remote Desktop with Windows 7

In 7 steps you will learn how to set up Remote Desktop with Windows 7. Each step has a screenshot making it very easy setting up Remote Desktop Connection.

By Guest Author - Fri, May 8, 2009 - 85 comments

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Remote Desktop tutorial was written by Gilberto J. Perera from LaptopLogic.com. 

This guide below will walk you through the process of setting up your Windows 7 computer to handle incoming Remote Desktop Connections from authenticated users and how to connect to a remote computer. If you have any comments or questions, please post them below.

Note: Windows 7 build 7000 was used for this guide

Setting Up Remote Desktop

setup-remote-7

1. Go to Start (the Orb) > Control Panel > User Accounts

setup-remote-7a

2. In the Control Panel, click on the System and Security link

setup-remote-7b

3. Under System click on Allow remote access

setup-remote-7c

4. Select Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication under Remote Desktop. Click Apply.

Note: If you would like to connect using a computer that does not support Network Level Authentication choose Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop.

setup-remote-7e

5. Click on the Select Users… button and click the Add button in the Remote Desktop Users window.

setup-remote-7f

6. Click the Advanced… button in the Select Users window, click on the Find Now button to locate the users that you would like to grant access to via Remote Desktop, click on the user and click OK when done.

setup-remote-7g

7. Click OK 3 times to exit all of the dialog boxes.

Your Windows 7 Machine is now ready to be connected via Remote Connection.

Connecting to a Remote Desktop

This section will walk you through the process of connecting to a remote desktop on your network.

setup-remote-7h

1. Go to Start (the Orb) > All Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection

setup-remote-7i

2. Type the address of the remote computer in the Computer: text box, click Connect

Note: I connected to a computer located on my network

setup-remote-7j

3. Sign-on to the computer when prompted for credentials.

 

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85 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. Fred says:

    Doesn’t look a whole lot different from the XP RDP setup. Screens are a little different and a bit more security. What sort of options are there now on the RDP options button?
    I like to use the RDP MMC module in the admin 2003 resource kit (I think thats the name) It allows me to setup multiple pre-defined RDP sessions to all my servers or workstations, etc. My only problem with it is my machines local and network printers are mapped on whatever remote machine I connect to. Sometimes that’s a pain -especially when working with a print server. I sure would love to see MS come out with a new version that had more options.

    Another feature I would LOVE is the ability to remote into a user’s session to troubleshoot problems. Issue I have is if they have left and their machine is locked out I’m out of luck without their password. I wish MS would allow me to login as user X but, with Admin Y’s username/password. Then I could unlock their session and deal with user session level issues.

  2. Martin says:

    How would I enter the adress of my host computer if it was behind a router/firewall?

    so, for example : 26.227.27.225 would be my router IP
    and my PC would be 168.198.0.196

    I think it triggers through the port 3389 (that i have read) and that it’s also possible to change that port no if required (for example when using port-forwarding options on the router)

    What should be what i’m writting down so it works?

  3. Wendy says:

    I need to access my home PC from a remote location. Currently, my home pc is connected to the internet via a wireless network(router).
    How do I find the IP addresses which I need to set this up?
    ie,the IP address for the router and the IP address for my home PC ?
    Is someone able to help walk me through the whole process of setting this up?

  4. Gilles says:

    I want to acces my home pc from another location (Not in my Wireless network) but how can i do that? Pleas contact me

  5. Agathon says:

    @Wendy, Gilles:
    You can use http://www.whatismyip.com/ to get your IP of your router as seen from the internet. To get the IP of your home pc, you just open a command prompt and type ipconfig. Then you have to configure your router to redirect packets coming from the internet to a certain port to your home PC IP (called port forwarding). To use remote desktop connection to your home PC you will use the address in this form: router_ip:portnumber1. Router will recieve request on that port number and will redirect it to home_pc_ip:portnumber2 (as defined in port forwarding rules). If you have a dynamic IP, you might want to use dyndns service or something like that. I hope it helps :-)

  6. edward says:

    @Agathon:

    Thank you for the help. Out of the millions of “how to turn on your remote connection” not one mention this, small but seemingly critical step.

    I’ll have my remote location attempt another connection today. Hope this works.

    I have w7 professional, as the connect “to” computer and w7home premium as the connect “from” computer. When we are in our office (on the same router network) there is zero problem. However when he goes home (with the w7 home premium laptop) and tries to connect no dice:(:(:(:(

    thanks.

  7. edward says:

    tried it today and didn’t work. It connects perfectly when the remote computer and the controlling computer are on the same router (wireless router). But does not work when it’s actually remote, like not on the same wireless network (through the router).

    Please help.

  8. Agathon says:

    Well, it’s hard to say what went wrong. Do you have a static IP or a dynamic IP?

  9. Agathon says:

    I’m sorry. If I understand this correctly you are connecting from w7home to w7 professional. It works at work but not when the laptop is taken outside of the company’s network?

  10. edward says:

    First thank you for responding Agathon.

    The host computer is windows 7 professional. The laptop which I’ll use to access the host computer remotely is Windows 7 home premium.

    The remote desktop works fine when both computers are accessing the internet through the same router in the office. However when the remote computer attempts to connect (from a remote location) to the host computer it doesn’t work.

    I have registered and set up Dyndns.com, for a static ip. The software is installed and running on the host computer.

    The router that the host computer connects to has been configured to allow traffic on port 3389.

    So basically win7 pro is host computer. win7 home pre, is the computer I’m using to access host computer remotely. the remote desktop works when they’re both on the same router (accessing the internet through said router). However remote desktop doesn’t work when I take the win7 home pre computer to a different location to access host computer.

    my email is edward.devine1@gmail.com.

    I know you’re taking time to answer this comment/post. Thank you very much for the help.

  11. lisa says:

    Please post your answer to edward, as I am having the identical problem!

  12. Agathon says:

    @Edward & Lisa
    It sounds like the problem is in port forwarding rules on your router. Every router is a little bit different so I am afraid I cannot be of much help with that.

    Maybe you could check if the router is visible from the internet by pinging it by it’s hostname. Do that from home. Routers might have an option that disables ping response, so make sure that it is not checked. Also, enable router configuration to be accessible from the internet (home). That way you can connect to the router from the internet and try to configure port forwarding without returning to office every time you want to change something on the router. After you finish that, you should disable internet access though.

  13. Ken says:

    I have seen so many tutorial in terms of how to configure RDC. Like most people, I am able to connect within my network, but unable to outside my network. I did forward my port 3389. I even open this up in the firewall, but no luck. Is there a way to listen on a different port other than 3389? I havea feeling maybe my outgoing connect doesn’t allow port 3389? There could be a whole load of possibility. But any suggestion or help would greatly appreciate.

  14. Carl says:

    I know this is not a complete fix but I had the same problem too until i turned off my antivirus/firewall and it worked perfectly. I thought i configured the firewall part to accept RDP but apparently not and I cannot figure out what extra settings to add or where..

  15. Carl says:

    Figured it out! I have Kaspersky, there is a specific rule in packet filtering that has to be enabled for RDP.

  16. James E Palmiter says:

    when I click on system properties i only get the remote assistance part of the dialog box. nothing is below the what happens when i enable RA except the advanced button. there i checked allow this computer to be controlled remotly

  17. erich says:

    My option screen under allow remote access is not the same, those three options are not available at the bottom

  18. alexxx says:

    I have the same problem a erich. On the remote tab I only have the Remote Assistance option.

  19. Tim says:

    I have the same problem as erich and alexxx – Running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit on both client and host.

  20. Keith says:

    Hi, I was running windows xp, I had my website running from it with dyndns domain and running direct update on it for years. My website was working along with RDT.

    Now I have a new windows 7 computer(ultimate) with the same settings, but either my website or RDT will not work.

    Please help, I am at a lost here
    Keith

  21. Kashif Rafiq says:

    Hi,

    i am running windows 7 on more than 200 pcs in my company. i have configured remote desktop on all pcs with connection previliges to built in administrator account only. on remote desktop options, i checked the second option which says less secure. whenever i connect to a user desktop, it take permission from user to let log me in or not. i want to disable this. i.e. i don’t want to take permission from user.

    Any ideas ???????

  22. Luke says:

    I have the same problem as erich, alexxx and tim – I can’t see any options under the first tickbox.

  23. sebastian says:

    Back in windows XP you had to change the port for remote desktop connection on the host computer to something other than 3389 in the REGISTRY, allow port forwarding in the router and then make sure the ip address was static. when connecting from a remote location you would have to enter the ip address of the host computer followed by a colon and the port number you chose. I will have a try at this sometime this weekend as I just finished assembling a desktop with windows 7 prof

  24. Shawn Villasenor says:

    This is a helpful tut and describes the correct way to setup the win7 version of RDS. I followed the steps and have to say that although they work, this stock windows RDS crashed on me a couple of times. I’m looking into paid Remote desktop, such as http://www.proxynetworks.com

  25. Ed says:

    To change the default port setting (3389) to another port number type regedit in the “run” box (Win XP or 2000) or in the “search programs and files” box in Win 7.

    When the registry opens up carefully trace the path below:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber

    When you get to the port number highlight it and select edit to change the port number. Then exit the registry; it will automatically save the new port setting.

    If you haven’t worked in the registry before please be very careful. You can create a good deal of problems if you inadvertently make changes there.

  26. John says:

    Does anyone know how may remote desktop users can run concurrently on the various flavors of Windows 7 (Professional, Ultimate)? I am asking about what Windows allows in terms of licenses, not practical issues such as whether my box has enough horsepower.

    References (e.g., microsoft.com web pages), please.

    Unfortunately, google is not finding this info with the various search strings I’ve tried.

  27. Greg says:

    Does the guide at the beginning of this thread apply to pc’s on the same home network. I am trying to use remote access to control my HTPC in the room beside my main computer. I have setup the HTPC to accept remote access, but everytime I try to logon via my main computer I am asked for a password?? I am the only user and administrator on my pc, and read that remote access requires a password, so I created a password for my username, used that password, and still no luck.
    On the htpc I choose the middle option (less security) for remote connection….It shows up on my main pc, but still asks me for a password…I feel I’m almost there, just need a little help(nudge).
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Greg
    PC’s have Win7 Ultimate

  28. raunak says:

    when i open “remote settings” from my computer i dont see the remote desktop checkboxes just the one for the remote assistance… nothing else!

  29. emcee0909 says:

    Why does my rdc keeps on saying that my credentials are incorrect? How to know the credentials and how to change one?
    thanks

  30. wes says:

    hey on both my laptop and my desktop I am unable to choose

    4. Select Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication under Remote Desktop. Click Apply.

    the options do not come up. Is there was for me to allow theses to show up. Also I am the adim of the computers.

  31. B! says:

    I just threw in a towel on my attempts to get Remote Desktop to access to a PC behind a router on a lan.

    Turns out TeamViewer can save you many hours (if not days) of such frustrations. I Highly recommend.

    For an average champ it don’t cost a dime.

    Best.

  32. Whonoes says:

    Hello, I am running windows 7 home on 2 new hp systems… I cannot get the 2 systems to connect via remote desktop on a 192.168 internal network.

    I am so disappointed in HP!!!! their customer support just sucks. Give me money is all I hear from them.

    Problem as I see it is I am missing a section of the settings under remote desktop

    from the below down just does not exist on either of my systems!

    4. Select Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication under Remote Desktop. Click Apply.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for your time!

  33. Tim from SanBrdoo says:

    For those of you who do not see the three options listed above and just allow remote desktop connections, I think that you aren’t running a version of Windows which is compatible with remote desktop connections. The remote computer can be any version of Windows 7, but the host computer you are trying to access from the remote needs to be running Win 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise. If the host computer is running Home Basic or Home Premium, then you cannot remotely access it.

  34. Mota says:

    Does this still apply to Windows 7 SP1? I appear to have lost the facility to remote into my Windows 7 client after installing service pack 1?

    Anyone else experience this?

  35. Kristoffer says:

    Mota: I have the same problem. The settings are just gone from the settings screen and RDP is not working anymore.

  36. Pee says:

    My RDP connection to my PC just stopped working after the SP1 update on Windows 7. I tried to trouble shoot the problem and found that the RDP settings have disappeared. I have Windows 7 Ultimate N

  37. Mota says:

    I have been trawling net for answer to this but can’t see anything. Either not enough people have updated to Windows 7 SP1 or not enough have noticed.

    Don’t know whether this is coincidence but Virtual PC stopped working after Windows 7 service pack 1 update!

  38. Kristoffer says:

    Hmm, tried finding solutions aswell but didn’t find anything.

    One question, do you guys have legit copies of Windows 7 or OEM with a SLIC bootloader like me?

    Im thinking it might be som stealth anti piracy shit.

  39. Mota says:

    As far as I am aware my Win 7 is legit. Got computer 2nd hand so not 100%. How would I tell?

    This is a nightmare as needed remote desktop to connect from work to home!

    Thanks.

  40. Eric says:

    I just set up a new Windows 7 Pro workstation and installed SP1 and am also unable to connect to it via RDP. I’m attempting to connect on the local LAN with the AV firewall turned off as well as the Windows firewall disabled, but with no luck. The client attempts to connect and I’m prompted for a username and password, but each attempt is rejected with no error back to the client. The Security log on the Win7 SP1 shows a logon failure, but not much more explanation.
    Is this what everyone else is getting?

  41. Pee says:

    Hi Guys, to slove the problem with RDP not working on Win7 after the SP1 install, I did a system restore on my PC to an earlier date before the intall of SP1 and RDP worked fine.

    I have now installed SP1 back on my computer and RDP has stopped working again and the RDP settings have disappeared. There is definitely a problem with SP1.

  42. Chris says:

    Hi All, same problem here. After installing SP1, no more RDP (System properties, Remote, Remote Desktop). After uninstalling SP1 again, reappears and is working fine.

    Might have something to do with the new RemoteFX functionality but I can’t find anything on TechNet etc. regarding this.

  43. Mota says:

    I don’t have system restore activated so going to have to reformat and put Windows 7 back on without SP1!

    Really should have waited prior to installing the service pack. I thought service packs made things better!?

  44. Pee says:

    Hi Mota,

    You do not need to system restore your computer and can simply just uninstall SP1 from windows update.

  45. Bob says:

    with SP1 installed i found that turning on the firewall and changing the port forwarding, made it work. my system came up with a popup saying the firewall is disabled and, rdp something something was unable to initiate. i turned firewall back on and immediately the remote desktop worked once again. goodluck (both machines are w7.1 x64 Ultimate)

  46. Munkymajik88 says:

    Firstly to comment 41 by Pee.

    Im liking the resolution you provided that has no resolution to the issue. I think we all know that SP1 is the cause of the issue, cheers for the indepth analysis

    Secondly to comment 43 by Mota

    We had an issue a while ago on our main exchange server – hosts around 3000 users and 12TB of data – would you recommend a reformat to fix an issue we have with a mis-spelt email address? And what exactly are you going to wait for with regards to SP1?…. SP2??

    appologies for the sarcasm im gettin a bit tired with pointless posts that contain no new or helpfull info to resolve a fault

  47. Mota says:

    I am talking about Windows 7 after installing SP1 you plank. Get a life you sickosaddo.

  48. dmcmeister says:

    been reading the above – I think you’ve quite obviously missed the humour in Munky’s submission.

    The whole point is that there is no fix here, so rather than telling the entire world and their dog that reformatting your machine is the resolution to the problem doesn’t help. Reformatting is the idiots solution to all desktop / IT problems and admitting defeat in the face of microsofts ususl cackhanded method of releasing service packs / hotfixes without actually bench testing them properly

  49. Munkymajik88 says:

    interesting…

    Back to the issue – its worth noting that after SP1 installation im getting a Black/Void screen when using RealVNC.

    The issue I have is that RDP sessions to local lan IP’s work (very slow but do eventually resolve) but connecitons accross VPN or MPLS just give me a blank screen.

    Ive just installed the new nVidia graphics drivers to see if there has been any modifications to reflect the SP1 upgrade but no change.

    I think that MS have screwed up some of the new RemoteFX features that SP1 brought – it could be a fix in the win update pipeline.

    Still working on the problem so ill post a solution when if find one.

  50. Ed says:

    Is remote desktop connection not available in Windows 7 Home Premium? When I am on the remote tab, I only see the Remote Assistance protion of the screen shown. I have whitespace where your screenshot shows the Remote Desktop information.

  51. steve says:

    RDP Host not available for home premium although there is a way. google ‘concurrent RDP Patcher’, d/l and run, works fine. stopped after installing sp1, sp1 removed and all ok.

  52. kevin says:

    I am running windows 7 and under the system properties tab then under the remote tab i clicked allow remote assistance connection but not the options at the bottom for select users.. I checked and i am running as admin… any help.. thanks in advance

  53. Tom O Connell says:

    Hi,I am trying to setup remote desktop in windows 7 but when I open the system properties box I am not getting the three options underneath the advanced tab that will allow me to click on “allow connections only from computers running remote desktop with network level authencation”. Any assistance appreciated.

  54. Emily Karls says:

    When I try to click on “allow remote access” It only gives me the top part where you can check “Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer” not the part where you can select users. What do you think is wrong?

  55. Jack Privitt says:

    I have followed your instructions, I seem to connect and when I enter ID and password, I get a invalid credintials. I am using the ID and passoword that I setup on the Win 7 station. I have also set windows and generic id & password the same. I still get the same problem. Bare in mind, when this was all XP Pro, it was working fine.
    Thanks for you help.
    Jack

  56. donald says:

    how do i get rdp user name and password?
    how do i subscribe for it
    ?

  57. Jason says:

    RDC is nice for us who have used it frequently. For all on here who have never used it and consider yourself a nooby(no disrespect intended) save your time and go to CrossLoop.com and download the exe for FREE(CrossLoop is 100% FREE) I literally had to use CrossLoop for some people i deal with because they can’t even follow audible commands from me over the phone. Anyway try CrossLoop and trust me is easy enough for your dog to use. Have a nice day : )

  58. Alhassan Adam says:

    Thank you J. Perera, this is rely a help full tut i follow it and it works for me.

  59. TeddyG says:

    FYI.
    Most people do not have a static IP address for their home. Therefore, you should frequently check it, to be sure it hasn’t changed.

  60. Joseph Rex says:

    Hi, I just want to try remote desktop on a local network. I can get to the point the session starts. It asks for credentials with my username as my computer’s name,but I did not set any password. It’s keeps on asking for a password. What should I use?

  61. SLarik says:

    Number 60 comment
    I am having the sam problem as Joseph rex
    Help me out please

  62. Anbhu says:

    HI, i had done as u told but i cant establish a connection, plz help me

  63. Gids says:

    I’ve done the whole remote thing and everything works fine up to the point where i have to log on to the ‘other’ pc. it then asks for a password but there is no password on that pc. thus, what am i doing wrong? i’m using windows xp pro, and trying to connect remote via lan to a pc with windows 7 ultimate…

  64. Jonw says:

    You must have a user account with a password to use remote desktop.

    If you want to RD, you have to deal with logging on to that computer everytime you want to use it, whether you are home or not.

  65. JC says:

    @Edward & Lisa
    Had the same problem of getting external access. Turns out it was the McAfee firewall blocking the port. Make sure that port 3389 is open in your security software firewall as well as the router.

  66. Varun says:

    Can u plz tell me how to open the port 3389???

  67. Justin Krauss says:

    I followed these directions. Then I went into my Linksys router WRT54GS. Unchecked Block anon and filter nat. Then Application and gaming >>> Application RDP start 3310 end 3312. enabled. with the ip of this machine. When I use a port checker app it says this port is closed. I went so far as to turn off avg and windows firewall and the problem continued.

  68. David harp says:

    Please i am having problem in connecting to RDP on my window 7 ultimate to a window 2008 server. it was giving me this error when i enter the password to login. It showing “An authentication error has occurred. The requested security package does not exist. Remote 230.46.37.184″
    Please can anyone help me out.

  69. da seffer says:

    Same thing here as Dave Harp. Have an XPpro machine and W7Pro side by side. Can connect to Server (at home) with the XP box but not the W7.
    Please, a few crumbs to work with.
    THANX

  70. Ghufran says:

    I have two computer one if laptop and other is desktop both of them having windows home premium but I cant Remote each other please some one help me

  71. Bobcat says:

    Inbound remote desktop is not available in home premium. Only in Professional and Ultimate – hence your inability to remote between your two Home Premium machines…

  72. Mike says:

    Very interesting post, got some issues while setting up RDP, thanks

  73. Charlie says:

    I believe that all of you who claim no RDP support for Home Premium are all wet. I have Home Premium and it DID work for me until SP1 loaded. One of MS monthly updates also strangely changed the way McAfee interprets one of my exes.

  74. Rain says:

    Hi there, i have some problem with RDP connection, in the server i use windows 7 pro, and the client i use thin client wyse c10le, the problem is when i log on with thin client, the server will log off, can anyone help me, thank

  75. jazir says:

    Rain,
    This is as designed, to keep you from being logged onto the same session from 2 computers. Microsoft wants you to buy server if you want more than one concurrent session

  76. Beavis says:

    I have Windows 7 Ultimate on all my PC’s. I want to remotely control another Windows 7 Ultimate computer that is 80 miles away. I CAN do it easily with LogMeIn and GoToMyPC, but I don’t feel like paying a monthly subscription fee to them. When either my ISP or Dell do tech support on my computer, they have some tiny application which gives them full control over my PC. Why can’t the application built into WINDOWS 7 work? I can’t comprehend that hundreds of millions of computers are running Windows, yet Microsoft can’t provide working instructions for remote control.

  77. lol says:

    TeamViewer the best

  78. Glenn Wagner says:

    My Remote Tab has the option Allow Remote assistance but none of the 3 security options. When I try to connect from another laptop on same network it doesn’t connect syaing computer not recognised. Odd as I can browse/connect to all resources via Windows EXplorer.

  79. @Rain comment 74 – create another user with a different name and password but same privileges (if you wish) then you’ll remain logged in the host as user 1 and still be able to log in remotely as user 2

    @Beavis comment 76 – actually MS did indeed allow such (easy) access in their earlier versions of Windows (NT series) but these were abused by malicious hackers as ‘backdoors’ and such PCs taken over and abused as ‘zombies’. Hence, for enhanced security, MS has now removed such easy access to remote log in. Google ‘Back Orifice’ for more info.

    There are other ‘free’ (no payment required) options available (some with restrictions) like TeamViewer, CrossLoop, VNC and UltraVNC. Search ‘remote desktop’ in Wikipedia for a complete round up.

  80. I used concurrent RDP patcher http://www.mediafire.com/?qis33sfqq1l33p8. As noted above you will need to be very cautious about security. We handled that via a VPN Tunnel and then an RDP session into the server.

  81. Gene says:

    Concerning step 4: My system does NOT show any dialog box
    called “Remote Desktop” with 3 options as shown in your
    example. I am stuck at that point. I am running Windows 7
    Home Premium – Service Pack 1. Please help. Thanks.

  82. musa says:

    Concerning steo4: My show the dialog box but the 3 options are not there and am running windows7

  83. anon says:

    Thank you!!

  84. Eugene says:

    This is also good.
    The software works well, Ammyy Admin doesn’t require installation or specific config, works behind gateways NAT as well as within one LAN.

  85. DL says:

    re Gene’s – Concerning step 4: My system does NOT show any dialog box
    called “Remote Desktop” with 3 options – Microgreed does not provide RDP on Home Edition you require Pro or Ultimate.

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