Setting up remote desktop

Remote Desktop allows you to connect to your computer from another and use it as if you were sitting in front of it.

There are several other applications besides Windows XP Remote Desktop that will allow you to remotely connect to another computer on your local network or via the Internet. However, the best thing about Windows XP Remote Desktop is that it is included in Windows XP. Other applications typically involve buying and downloading the software, then configuring the built-in Windows Firewall. it is probably the easiest to use remote connection application you will find.

You can also print your documents using the remote computer’s printer, and play any sounds from the remote computer to your speakers.

Remote Desktop is already built into your Windows XP operating system and is easy to set up. The steps below will walk you through the process of setting up Remote Desktop on your computer.

Some terms used in this tutorial:

  • host – the computer you will be connecting to.
  • client – the computer you will be connecting from.


  1. You must be a user with Administrator privelidges in order to enable Remote Desktop on a host machine.
  2. If you are using a firewall or a router, you will have to open some ports up on your router or firewall.You will need to open port 3389 (tcp) to allow the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to operate normally. To verify that your router is setup correctly, visit and enter in port 3389 into the port area.

Setting up the Host computer

  1. The first right-click on the “My Computer” icon on your desktop, then click on Properties at the bottom of the popup menu. :
    popup menu My computer
  2. System Properties opens up, now select the tab that says ‘remote’ and select the ‘Allow users to connect remotely to this computer’ check box:
    System Properties
  3. Click the ‘Select Remote Users’ button and make sure your account name is listed. You may add any additional users of the computer to this list to give them permission to access remotely as well, but only one connection may be active at a time. Also make sure all accounts have a password.
  4. Press apply and ok, the System Properties will close. Your host computer is now setup to manage incomming connections.
    ** Note: Only 1 account can be used on the host machine, any users currently logged on will be disconnected and the workstation will be locked.
  5. Write down the IP address of your machine for use later. You can find the IP address of your machine by clicking Start, click Run, and type ‘cmd’ in the run prompt. A command prompt window will open. Type ‘ipconfig’, and write down the number after ‘IP Address’.
    ** Note: if your computer is behind a router you will need to use the router’s IP adress, if you do not know your router’s IP you can visit

Connecting to the Host from the client machine

  1. *Note: If you are using XP Professional, please skip this step.
    There are two different ways to install the Remote Desktop Client software:
    • Installation from cd:
    Insert the Windows XP Professional compact disc into your CD-ROM drive. When the Welcome page appears, click Perform additional tasks, and then click Setup Remote Desktop Connection.
    •Installation from Microsoft’s Web Site:
    Download from When the download is finnished run it and the Remote Desktop Installation Program will launch. Follow the on screen instructions.
  2. Click Start, select All Programs, goto Accessories, then goto Communications, then click Remote Desktop Connection.
  3. The Remote Desktop Connection box will open. Type in the IP Address you wrote down earlier in the field ‘computer’ to connect to the host.
    Remote Desktop Connection box
  4. Once you click the Connect button, you should see the desktop of the remote computer open up in a window.
  5. Once you are finished using the remote computer, either click the “X” on the beige colored tab at the top of a full screen remote desktop session, or the red “X” in a windowed remote desktop session.
1 Comment
  1. imran says:

    good tut

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