On Windows 10, Remote Desktop is a feature that allows you to access a remote computer using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to provide support to other users or manage a computer or server without having to be present at that place.
While the ability to access a device remotely existed before, it’s a feature you need to configure using the Control Panel. However, you can now also turn on Remote Desktop on your computer or laptop using the Settings app.
In this tutorial, you will learn the steps to enable Remote Desktop to manage a device or access your files and apps remotely using the Settings app and how to use Control Panel on Windows 10.
Note: Remote Desktop is not a feature available on Windows 10 Home, it is only available on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. If you are using Windows 10 Home operating system version, you can use Chrome Remote Desktop as a workaround.
How To Enable Remote Desktop On Windows 10 using Settings
To enable Remote Desktop on Windows 10 using the Settings app, do the following:
Step 1: Open Windows Settings using the keyboard shortcut Windows + I.
Step 2: Select System => Remote Desktop
Step 3: Turn the Enable Remote Desktop switch to ON.
Step 4: Click Confirm if prompted.
After completing the steps above, you can also connect your computer using the Remote Desktop app (recommended) or use the built-in Remote Desktop Connection experience available in Windows 10.
You will also notice that once you have successfully enabled 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 stay connected every time you go away.
In the “Advanced settings” button at the bottom, you can also find some additional settings, such as asking the computer to use the Network Level Authentication to connect. This feature makes connections more secure by requiring users to authenticate to the Internet before connecting to the device.
The Settings page will also display the current Remote Desktop port number if you need to configure your router to allow remote connections outside of the network. If nothing changes on your device, the default port number is 3389.
How To Setup Remote Desktop On Windows 10 using Control Panel
While the Settings app makes remote access on your computer incredibly easy, you can still enable Remote Desktop using the Control Panel.
To enable Remote Desktop with Control Panel, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Open Control Panel by pressing Windows + R, then type in the search box for control panel and press Enter.
Step 2: Change View by: Category and click System and Security.
Step 3: Under System section, click the Allow remote access link.
Step 4: Under Remote Desktop, choose the option Allow remote connections to this computer.
Step 5: Select the Apply button and click OK.
After completing the steps above, you can use the Remote Desktop application or the Remote Desktop Connection client from another computer to connect to your device remotely.
While you can use the Control Panel to configure Remote Desktop on Windows 10 and earlier versions, like Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, enabling Remote Desktop via the Settings app is only available starting from the session. Fall Creators Windows 10 and newer updates.
How To Connect A Windows 10 Computer with Remote Desktop
Once you’ve enabled Remote Desktop on your computer, connect it from another Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS PC device. For remote access, however, you need the IP address of the machine to be accessed.
Step 1: Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R keyboard shortcut, then type cmd in the search box and press Enter.
Step 2: Enter the ipconfig command in the cmd window and press Enter.
Step 3: Find and copy the IP address at IPv4 Address:
Connect From Another Windows Computer
Step 1: Press the Windows key on the computer keyboard, then type Remote Desktop Connection.
Step 2: In the Remote Desktop Connection window, enter the IP address of your computer that you need to access in the Computer field.
Step 3: Click the Connect button.
Step 4: If required, enter your username and password.
Connecting From A Mac Computer
Step 1: Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 app from the App Store.
Step 2: Open Finder from your dock, select Applications from the left side of the window, then select and open Microsoft Remote Desktop.
Step 3: Select the Add Desktop button.
Step 4: In the Add Desktop window, enter your computer’s IP address in the PC name field.
Step 5: Click the Add button.
Step 6: Double click the Remote Computer icon you just created in the Remote Desktop window.
Step 7: If prompted, enter your username and password.
Connecting From A Mobile Device
Step 1: Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app from your respective app store for Android or iOS.
Step 2: Open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app on your device.
Step 3: Select the + icon in the upper right corner.
Step 4: Select the Desktop option in the Add New in Menu.
Step 5: Enter your computer’s IP address in the PC name field.
Step 6: Click the Save button.
Step 7: Click the Remote Computer icon you just created in the Remote Desktop window.
Step 8: If prompted, enter your username and password in the dialog box.
Troubleshoot Remote Desktop errors on Windows 10
Follow these recommendations to help your computer and the Internet properly establish a connection.
- Verify that Remote Desktop is enabled on your Windows 10 computer.
- Make sure that your user account has been granted Remote Desktop access.
- Double-check your computer’s IP address.
- Correctly configure port forwarding to connect to your Windows computer from outside the local network.
- Verify that Windows FireWall allows Remote Desktop to connect properly.
- Your main computer has turned on the Internet connection for Remote Desktop to work.