If you want to remotely control a Windows 10 computer from another Windows, Android or iOS device, you can do just that with the help of a Windows feature called RDP – Remote Desktop Protocol. This tutorial will show you how to enable RDP connection access on the Windows 10 PC you want to control, and use Remote Desktop from another device to connect to the PC you set up.
How to Enable RDP / Remote Desktop on Windows 10
The RDP or Remote Desktop is disabled by default in all Windows PC for security purpose. So, you will need to enable it to allow your other device with Remote Desktop app to connect to it. Here’s how to do it.
- On the Windows 10 computer that you want to connect to, go to Start Menu > Settings > System.
- In the left sidebar, select Remote Desktop.
- Under “Enable Remote Desktop“, click the toggle to turn it on.
- Under “How to connect to this PC”, note down your PC name. You’ll need it later to connect to this PC.
Now that the RDP is enabled on the remote server, you will need Remote Desktop app on the computer or device you want to connect from. If the other device is a Windows 10 computer, the Remote Desktop Connection app is pre-installed. You don’t have to install anything else. As for Android and iOS, search for the Remote Desktop app in your app store accordingly. Download and install it. Make sure it’s the one developed by Microsoft Corporation.
In this tutorial, we will show only the Windows 10 Remote Desktop Connection app. Don’t worry, the steps are plain and simple, and should be almost the same for Android and iOS remote desktop app.
So, to connect to the PC you’ve its RDP enabled earlier, on the other Windows 10 PC or laptop you want to connect from:
- Go to the start menu and search for Remote Desktop Connection. Open it.
- In the Computer field, enter the name of the PC you’ve noted down earlier.
- Click Connect. You may be asked for username and password used for the PC you’re connecting to when you connect.
That’s it! You can now remotely control and use the PC as if you are in front of it.
How to remote desktop on Windows 10 outside of local network?
The tutorial above is for computers and devices within the same local network only. To connect to a Windows 10 computer for remote access from outside of your local network through the internet, there are several ways to do that.
- You can setup a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your router or on your Windows so that your other device can connect to the VPN from outside the local network. Your device will then act like it’s part of the same local network, thus, allowing the device to have access to your local computer that has RDP enabled.
- Another method is to forwarding a port on your router and allow you to connect to your PC by using your IP address and the forwarded port. Doing this will expose your PC directly to the internet and allow free access from anyone on the internet to have access to your Remote Desktop via the port. If you want to use this method, you have to at least make sure your PC has a strong password, but even then, it’s still a potential vulnerability.
- Use another better and easier remote desktop software such as Teamviewer for connection outside of local network.
We don’t discuss method 1 and 2 above in this page as that will normally take thousands of words just to show you how it can be done. We highly recommend that you take the method 3 approach to use Teamviewer instead (or other remote desktop software) to save you all the hassles having to learn from scratch about VPN and port forwarding which may potentially pose threats to your computers.
What is the difference between a RDP client and a server?
A client is the device that connects to the remote server and controls it. For example, if you are to connect your Android phone to a Windows 10 PC and control the PC from your phone, your Android device is the client, whereas the Windows PC is the server.
How to enable RDP on Windows 10 Home?
Not all version can have RDP enabled as a remote server. Windows 10 Home can only be the client to connect to another Windows PC with RDP enabled. It cannot be the other way round.
How about Windows 10 Pro? Yes, Windows 10 Pro supports RDP and can be set as the remote server by enabling RDP on it.
How to enable RDP on Windows 10 using PowerShell or CMD
If for some reason, you prefer to enable RDP using PowerShell instead, enter the following command to enable RDP on Windows 10 PC (make sure PowerShell is run as administrator).
Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server' -name "fDenyTSConnections" -value 0
To disable it, enter the following command.
Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server' -name "fDenyTSConnections" -value 1