Allowing Remote Desktop Connections

The best thing about the Remote Desktop feature is how easy it is to enable. Disabled by default, simply open the System applet in Control Panel to the Remote tab. In the lower portion of this tab you’ll see a checkbox marked Allow users to remotely connect to this computer. Simply check that box, click OK, and Remote Desktop is enabled. If you’re running Windows XP Home, you won’t find this checkbox because Remote Desktop isn’t included with this OS version. If you’re looking for a Remote Desktop-type solution for XP Home (or 95/98/Me/2000 systems), alternative software is discussed later in the article.

Once Remote Desktop has been enabled, only members of the system’s local Administrators group will have the ability to connect to the system remotely by default. All other users will be denied access if they attempt to connect, and users without passwords are always denied access for security reasons. To add users to the Administrators local group, use the Local Users and Groups section of the Computer Management MMC, accessed by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting the Manage option.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.