Remote Desktop comes pre-installed on any Windows computer and can be installed on macOS. These instructions will walk you through remote desktop connection setup.

  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. Open your Control Panel and click User Accounts. Once there, select your user account, and click Create a password and follow the on-screen prompts.

  2. Open the Control Panel and double-click the System icon (search for the word "system" in the top right search box of the Control Panel window 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.

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Last updated: 
July 12, 2019