Remote Desktop comes pre-installed on any Windows 7 or later computer. The only requirement is that any accounts on the computer that will be accessed remotely must have a password.

  1. To begin the configuration, you must set passwords for any user that will remotely connect. If you already use a password to access your account, you can skip to step 2. If your account does not have a password, click Start | Control Panel | User Accounts.Once there, select your user account, and click Create a password. When you have created a password, close the user accounts window.

  2. Click Start | Control Panel and double-click the System icon (click Switch to Classic View on the left side of the Control Panel if you don't see a System icon). On the System Properties window, click the Remote tab or Remote Settings link.

  3. On the Remote tab, place a check in the box next to Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer (Windows 7) or Allow remote access to your computer (Windows 8 and 10).

    Note: If you are planning to remotely connect to a computer that is joined to a University of Iowa Active Directory Domain, take note of the Full computer name listed. This is the "hostname" you will need to enter when making the connection from the client (remote) computer.

  4. Click the Select Remote users button to add users who can access the host computer remotely. If you need to add additional users, click the Add button, type in the account name, and click OK. Click OK one more time and Remote Desktop will be enabled. 

You can now connect to the host computer from a remote computer using the Remote Desktop Client. To connect using the Remote Desktop Client, see the Connect to Your Computer using Remote Desktop page.

A Note about Firewalls

Remote Desktop runs a remote desktop server which is only accessible through certain ports. If you are running firewall software on your computer and you cannot connect remotely to your computer, its probably because your firewall is blocking the connection. You will need to open the following port to allow incoming connections:

Remote Desktop port: 3389

Once this port is open, you should be able to connect. For more information on firewalls, please visit our Firewall Security Center.

Article number: 
1595
Last updated: 
June 6, 2017
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