Adding Remote Desktop Users and Configuring Firewall Settings

In order for users to be able to connect to an XP Professional system using Remote Desktop, they must either be a member of the Administrators group on that system, only be explicitly granted access. To grant non-administrative users access to Remote Desktop, open the System applet to the Remote tab and click the Select Remote Users button. From the window that opens, use the Add button to select the user accounts that should have access. It’s worth noting that a user account must have already been created for the user from the Local Users and Group node in Computer Management, so you may need to stop there first. Also keep in mind that users without a password configured for their account are never allowed to connect to Remote Desktop.

Remote Desktop Firewall Settings

If you plan to need to connect to a Remote Desktop system behind a firewall, the firewall will need to be configured to forward traffic destined for TCP port 3389. This is simple if you’re using Windows Firewall – just check the Remote Desktop checkbox on the Exceptions tab. You’ll also need to supply the name or IP address of the system you’ll need to connect to through the firewall. For all other firewalls (including hardware models), check your documentation as to how to forward traffic received for port 3389 to the XP Professional system with Remote Desktop enabled.

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.