With the Remote Desktop app from the Windows Store, you can sit at a PC and connect to another PC in a different location (the remote PC). For example, you can sit at your home PC and connect to your work PC, and use all of your apps, files, and network resources as if you were sitting right in front of your work PC.

Show all

How do I connect to another PC with Remote Desktop?

These instructions are for setting up a Windows 8.1 PC. If you need to set up a Windows 7 or Windows Vista PC, see Connect to another computer using Remote Desktop Connection. Use the drop down menu next to the title to see a different version.

To set up the remote PC

  1. Go to the remote PC.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Search (or if you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search), enter allow remote in the search box, and then tap or click Allow remote access to your computer. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

  3. In the System Properties dialog box, under Remote Desktop, make sure the Allow remote connections to this computer button is selected. For more info about these options, see the "What types of Remote Desktop connections should I allow?" question in this topic.

  4. Tap or click Select Users, and in the Remote Desktop Users dialog box, tap or click Add.

  5. In the Select Users or Groups dialog box, do the following:

    • To choose the search location, tap or click Locations, and then select the location you want to search.

    • In Enter the object names to select, enter the name or user name of the person that you want to add, and then tap or click OK. The name will be added to the list of people who can connect to this PC.

  6. Make sure you know this PC’s full name. You’ll need to enter it in the Remote Desktop app when you want to connect to this PC remotely. To find your PC's full name:

    1. Open System by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering System in the search box, and tapping or clicking System.

    2. Look under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings to see the full PC name.

  7. Turn off sleep and hibernation on the remote PC. You'll need to make sure the settings for sleep and hibernation are set to Never, since you can't connect to a PC that's asleep or hibernating. For more info, see Power plans: FAQ.

To connect to a remote PC from the Remote Desktop app

  1. On your local PC, open Remote Desktop. (If you can't find the app, you can install it from the Windows Store.)

  2. Enter the full name of the remote PC, and then tap or click Connect.

Note

Which PCs can I connect to using the Remote Desktop app?

You can use a PC running Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, or Windows RT 8.1 to initiate a connection. But you can only connect to PCs that are running these Windows operating systems:

  • Windows 8.1 Pro

  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise

  • Windows 8 Enterprise

  • Windows 8 Pro

  • Windows 7 Professional

  • Windows 7 Enterprise

  • Windows 7 Ultimate

  • Windows Vista Business

  • Windows Vista Ultimate

  • Windows Vista Enterprise

  • Windows XP Professional

Why can't I connect to a remote PC?

Here are some possible solutions to common problems you might encounter when trying to connect to a remote PC. If these solutions don’t work, you can look for more help on the Microsoft Community website.

  • The remote PC can’t be found. If you see this error, talk to the system admin of the remote PC to make sure you have the right PC name, and then check to see if you entered the name correctly. If you still can't connect, try entering the IP address of the remote PC instead of the PC name.

  • There’s a problem with the network. Make sure that:

    • Your router is turned on (home networks only).

    • The Ethernet cable is plugged into your network adapter (wired networks only).

    • Your PC’s wireless switch is turned on (laptops on wireless networks only).

    • Your network adapter is working.

    If the problem keeps happening, talk to the person who set up your network.

  • The Remote Desktop port might be blocked by a firewall on either your local or remote PC. To allow Remote Desktop through Windows Firewall, follow these steps on one or both PCs:

    1. Open Windows Firewall by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering firewall in the search box, tapping or clicking Settings, and then tapping or clicking Windows Firewall.

    2. Tap or click Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall.

    3. Tap or click Change settings. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

    4. Under Allowed apps and features, select Remote Desktop, and then tap or click OK.

    If you're using a different firewall, make sure the port for Remote Desktop (usually 3389) is open.

  • Remote connections might not be allowed on the remote PC. To fix this, see the "How do I connect to another PC with Remote Desktop?" question in this topic.

  • The remote PC might only allow PCs to connect that have Network Level Authentication turned on. For more info, see the "What types of Remote Desktop connections should I allow?" question in this topic.

  • The remote PC might be turned off. You can’t connect to a PC that's turned off, asleep, or hibernating, so if the remote PC has supports hibernation, make sure the settings for sleep and hibernation on the remote PC are set to Never. For more info, see Power plans: FAQ.

Note

  • If you can see the sign-in screen of the remote PC but you can't sign in, you might not have been added to the Remote Desktop Users Group or to any group with administrator rights on the remote PC. Ask your system admin to do this for you.

How do I change Remote Desktop settings?

You can change different settings for your remote connection like using remote devices like printers, clipboards, and audio devices and changing the speed of your touch pointer.

To change settings for all remote PCs

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings.)

  2. Tap or click Connection settings.

To change settings for a specific remote PC

  1. In the app's home screen, swipe to select or right-click the thumbnail of the PC you want.

  2. Tap or click Edit and then turn off Use the same settings for all remote PCs.

  3. Change the settings you want.

How do I open the Start screen, charms, or touch keyboard on a remote PC?

There are a few ways to bring up the remote PC's app commands in Remote Desktop, which is where the icons for the Start screen, charms, and touch keyboard are.

  • Right-click at the top of the screen

  • Swipe in from the top or bottom edge (while the remote session is in full-screen mode)

  • Tap or click the connection bar

  • Press Windows logo key Windows logo key +Z

What types of Remote Desktop connections should I allow?

Before you or someone else can connect to a remote PC, you need to choose the appropriate connection setting on the remote PC. To change your remote settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open System by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering System in the search box, and tapping or clicking System.

  2. Click Remote settings. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

There are two remote settings options:

  • Don’t allow remote connections to this computer. This will prevent anyone from connecting to your PC remotely.

  • Allow remote connections to this computer. This will allow remote connections on your PC.

    If you know that the people who will connect to your PC are running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 on their PCs, check the Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended) box. These versions of Windows use Network Level Authentication, which is an authentication method that completes before you establish a full connection and the sign-in screen appears. This can help protect the remote PC from hackers and malware.

Can I use the Remote Desktop app across multiple monitors?

No. You can't see a single remote session on multiple monitors, and the Start screen and apps from the Windows Store (like the Remote Desktop app) can only be opened on one screen at a time, so you can't view more than one session simultaneously. If you want to connect to more than one PC and see them simultaneously across multiple monitors, or if you want to have multiple remote windows on one screen, you might want to use the Remote Desktop Connection app on the desktop.