Windows XP Professional Remote Desktop

If you’re running Windows XP Professional and want to be able to access your desktop remotely, you’re in luck. Although the feature is not available with XP Home, XP Professional does include the ability to allow your desktop to be accessed remotely from other PCs via the Remote Desktop Connection tool. Disabled by default, Remote Desktop allows a user to interact with the desktop of an XP Professional system as if sitting in front of the XP system’s monitor. Some users choose to enable Remote Desktop for remote troubleshooting within their office (home or otherwise), while others use the feature as a way of connecting to their home system’s desktop via the Internet. Regardless of your intended use, getting Remote Access up and running does require a little configuration.

To enable Remote Desktop, access the Remote tab in the System applet and then check the Allow users to remotely connect to this computer checkbox. While this enables Remote Desktop globally, you will still need to click the Select Remote Users button and add the local user accounts that will be allowed to connect to your system via this method. If a user is not explicitly listed, they will not be able to connect to the system in this manner. Furthermore, you’ll need to ensure that all users connecting to Remote Desktop have a password assigned to their account. Users without a password cannot connect for security reasons, even if they’ve been added to the list of authorized Remote Access users.

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.