How to Use Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection

Has someone, who is far away from you, encountered some form of technical issue and needs assistance? If you had known the solution, then you would have wished that you were there in person. Well, Remote Desktop connection is a feature that lets you access one or more computers from one central computer.

This has been around since Windows XP Pro was launched. This helps you work on an entirely different machine from your personal computer. The users can also transfer image files, video content & documents, run applications, and troubleshoot issues from their computer to another and vice versa.

The RDC (Remote Desktop Connection) is a built-in feature that comes with the Operating System. There is also a similar Universal application in the Microsoft Windows 10 store.

This app also serves the same purpose of providing accessibility from one PC to another. The Remote Desktop Connection app developed by Microsoft is available on the Mac & iOS AppStore and the Google Play Store. All UIs support this tool.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

What is the Remote Desktop feature?

The Remote Desktop for Windows 10 is software that lets the users of one computer use another PC, through the computer that they have. With this software, one can access another PC that is beyond their reach with an internet connection.

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has been in all the Windows operating systems ever since Windows XP Pro (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10).

The two connected computers are known as partners. Many popular Remote Desktop Connectivity applications are adhering to the RDP, like the Chrome Remote Desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop Classic, and Teamviewer. This works only in the Windows 10 Pro and not in the home version. 

Why should you use the Remote Desktop app?

These are the reasons and circumstances why and when you will need the Remote Desktop applications. 

  1. When you use Remote Desktop apps, you can solve the problems in devices with no capacity to fix the issues. For example, if your clients’ computers are in trouble, you can fix them without having to be there in person. 
  2. Users can double the number of needed resources to run the PC without upgrading the hardware specifications. 
  3. You can work with Microsoft Windows on the screen of devices with the remote access feature. If the iOS or Android clients support the remote access tool, users can access your Windows computer with your Android, iOS, or Mac devices. 
  4. The user can share image files and other documents with their partners. 
  5. The time usually taken for PC configuration is significantly reduced as the data is brought from the Cloud and not from the local resources. There is no need to worry about the consequences of the local resources failing. 

You can do all the above with just a user ID and a password. A strong internet connection is also required. 

Enabling and Using Remote Desktop for Windows 10

By default, the RDC feature is not enabled in Windows 10 OS. If you are looking to work with this feature, you will have to enable access to it on your computer. This is how you enable Windows 10 Remote Desktop on your computer. 

  1. Open the Settings application on your Windows PC.
Open the Settings application
  1. Select the System menu. 
  2. On the list of options on the left side of the window, select the Remote Desktop option.
select the Remote Desktop option.
  1. You’ll see the Enable Remote Desktop toggle switch. Turn it on.
  2. Confirm it when the Remote Desktop settings ask for confirmation through a pop-up window. Access will be provided. 

Allowing remote connections on Windows 10

You can allow the RDC access on your Windows 10 PC through the System Properties. Follow these steps to permit the RDC on your PC. 

  1. In the search box on the Start bar, type in Advanced System Settings. You will see the View advanced system settings menu as a result. Open it.
View advanced system settings
  1. The System Properties window opens. Click on the Remote tab. 
  2. Under the Remote Desktop section, select Allow remote connections to this computer.  Keep the Allow connections only from computers running through Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication checkbox checked.
System Properties
  1. Click on Apply and then, Ok

Establishing a remote desktop connection on Windows 10

Once you finish setting up your router and the computer, you have to start remote desktop connections on your Windows desktop computer. To do so, you need the Remote Desktop app. This way, you can make your computer adapt to remote desktop connectivity and remote access to other computers. 

  1. Open the Microsoft Store
  2. Search for the Remote Desktop app. 
  3. It is free. You just have to get it. You needn’t provide credit/debit card details to get a free app. Get the application.
MS Remote Desktop in MS store
  1. Install the Microsoft Remote Desktop app on your computer. 

Once you install the app, this is what you have to do. 

  1. Open the Remote Desktop app.
  2. On the top part of the remote desktop app, you will see a + Add button. Click on it.
Connect to PCs and Workspacess
  1. From this menu, choose PCs
  2. In the ‘Add a PC’ window, enter the necessary information. 
    • In the PC name text box, enter the IP address of the computer to which you want to connect. If it is connected to a private/home network, enter the Local IP address. If it is connected to a remote network, enter the Public IP address. The IP address is the connection’s display name. 
    • In the User account section, click on the + image. Enter the account credentials (ID and password) of the other computer. 
    • If you wish, you can provide a nickname for the connection between your computer and the target computer.
Add a PC
  1. Once you have finished typing in the details, tap the Save button. If you wish, you can adjust the resolution through the additional settings option. 
  2. After saving the PC, you will be able to select the connection and start a remote session. 
  3. At the next prompt, click Connect.

If you followed the procedure right, you will be able to connect to the Windows device. If you wish to quit remote desktop connections, open the three-dot menu and select Disconnect

Changing Remote Desktop session Settings

At some point, you might need to change the settings for the Remote connections session(s). This is how you can change the Remote Desktop settings for the session on your Windows device. 

  1. Open the RD app for your Windows 10 PC.
  2. On the top-right corner of your screen, you’ll see the Settings button. Open it. 
  1. In the Settings window, you can
    • Turn the Start Connections in full-screen option, on and off.
    • Turn the Start each connection in a new window feature, on and off
    • Decide how the remote desktop connection window looks when resizing the session. The users can Stretch the window and show the scroll bar.
    • Decide if keyboard shortcuts should work on the remote desktop also or just locally.
    • Prevent the Windows desktop screen from timing out.

Changing the Connection Settings

  1. Open the Remote Desktop app. 
  2. On the bottom right part of the connection, click on the three dots menu and choose Edit from it. 
  3. You can change the computer’s account details and settings like you want. 
  4. In the PC name option, change the IP Address, which is the PC name.

You can change the connection settings for your remote connections. 

Troubleshooting Remote Desktop connections on Windows 10

The Microsoft Remote Desktop does not usually run into trouble but when it does you will have to troubleshoot the issue. Most of the issues arise with the internet connection. These are what you can do to fix issues that come up when you use the Remote Desktop app on your PC. 

  1. The Firewall Settings
    • Open the Windows Security application through the search bar.
Windows Security application
  1.  Open the Firewall & Protection menu. 
    • In the Firewall and Network protection window, select the Allow an app through Firewall option.
select the Allow an app through the Firewall option.
  1. Tap on the Change Settings button.
MS Remote Desktop
  1. Find Remote Desktop and enable it on both Private and Public connections. 
  2. Remove the block on the Remote desktop connection port.

Sometimes your Internet service provider may block the Remote Desktop connection port, by default. This could be done for security reasons. If this has been causing issues for you, you will have to contact your data provider directly. Only they can help you out.

  1. Use the network’s IP address and not the computer’s name

When you are asked to enter the Windows PC name, you need to enter your IP address and not the actual name of the PC. Enter the necessary IP address for the Remote Desktop connection to function properly. 

  1. The Remote Desktop Service

If the Remote Connections aren’t working on Windows, this could be because the necessary processes aren’t running on your computer. You can see if the required processes are running or not with these steps.

Services App
  1. Click on the Start button and search for Services. Open the Services app, which is the result of the search. 
  2. Locate the Remote Desktop Service. Check whether the process is running. If it is not, right-click on the service and choose the Start button.
Remote Desktop Service.

This is how users have to launch the service on their Microsoft Windows desktop. 

Getting access to a PC From a Mac device

If you own a Mac and wish to get remote access to a Windows PC, these are the options you have to follow to do so. 

  1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop software from the App Store. 
  2. Open the software and provide the permissions that are asked by it. 
  3. Add the PC to add the connection to the remote access tool. The Add option is on the top of the window. 
  4. Enter the PC name or the IP address and the user accounts.  
  5. If you want to add an individual PC, enter .local after the name of the PC. For instance, my computer is known as razerblade15, if you wish to connect to it you will have to type it in as razerblade15.local in the PC name field. 
  6. In the User Accounts section, select the Ask when required option. 
  7. Once done, click on Add. 
  8. You’ll see the connection once you have finished the above steps properly. Double click on it to launch the session. Check your network before you do so.

Receiving access to a PC from an iOS device

You can connect your iPhone or your iPad to your Windows PC with the help of remote access software. You don’t have to enable remote desktop access for iPhones and others.

  1. Install the MS Remote Desktop application from the Apple App Store. 
  2. Grant the permissions, which are requested by the app when being launched.
  3. On the upper right corner of the window, click on the plus icon (+). This lets you add a PC to your app. 
  4. Enter the details requested by the application to start the connection. You have to enter .local even for the mobile version of the software. 
  5. Turn the toggle switch next to the username and password fields, so that you don’t have to enter the details again. 
  6. Tap Done. In the authentication window, tap accept
  7. You will be connected to the other PC. You can zoom in and out & change the resolution. You need a good network to do all these. 

Gaining access to a PC From an Android device

You can easily connect your PC to your Android device with the same Remote Desktop app. This is available in the Google Play store. This is how you connect your android mobile phone with the Windows PC. 

  1. Download the Remote Desktop application on your android device. 
  2. Open the software and grant all the permissions it asks, for during the first launch of the application.
  3. In the upper right corner, click on the plus sign and choose Desktop. 
  4. If you are close to the remote PC, you can scan for it wirelessly. If not, you can always add it manually. 
  5. Like the other UI procedures, you have to enter the PC name and the user account name. You can include additional details if needed. 
  6. Touch the Save button, when you are done. 
  7. Once you are finished, you’ll see the PC that you connected to. Enter the username and passcode. 
  8. In the verification screen, check the Never ask again for connections to this PC check box and touch the Ok icon.
  9. The users will now be connected. They are provided with a variety of tools to edit their user experience with the session.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up Remote Desktop on Windows 10?

You can set up the Remote desktop on Windows 10 Pro through the Settings or the Advanced System Settings on your PC.

Can you Remote Desktop from Windows 10 Home?

No, the Windows 10 Home OS is not compatible with the Remote Desktop service to run. You will need Windows 10 Pro.

How do I use Remote Desktop?

To use the Remote desktop feature, you have to enter details about your computer and connect to it, with a good network.

How do I find my remote desktop Windows 10?

In the search bar, type in Remote desktop and choose it from under the Apps section.

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