Remote Desktop is a utility built into Windows that allows another computer to connect to it and take it over. Usually we recommend disabling this feature for security but sometimes there is a good reason to allow someone else to access your machine. For example, Dave’s Computers also looks after small businesses and it isn’t always convenient for them to bring their computer here to us. So we can Remote Desktop into the computer to fix it remotely.
This feature is also useful for fixing family computers or friends who don’t want to bring their desktop to your house.
The two computers are referred to by different names to help identify them. The computer you are using to connect to the other is referred to as the ‘host’. The computer you are trying to connect to is the ‘destination’ or ‘guest’. Bear these in mind during the following steps.
Enabling and using Remote Desktop
For Remote Desktop to work, it needs to be enabled on both computers and both computers need to be connected to a network.
- Right click the Windows Start button and select System.
- Select About from the left menu then scroll down and select System info from Related Settings.
- In the new window, select Remote Settings on the left.
- Check the box next to ‘Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer’.
- Check the button next to ‘Allow remote connections to this computer’.
- Select OK to save.
Now you have enabled Remote Desktop, let’s connect to another computer.
- Install the Remote Desktop app from the Windows Store.
- Open the app and type the IP address of the computer you want to connect to.
- Select Connect.
- Enter the username and password of the user account on that computer into the next window.
- Confirm to allow a remote connection if you see a popup box.
You should now see a window showing the desktop of the destination computer. You should be able to interact with it, open programs and use it as if you were there. If someone is sitting at that destination computer, they will also see everything you do. If you want to communicate with that user, either call them on the phone or open up Notepad on the destination computer and type your message.
Once finished, repeat the above steps and uncheck the boxes in Steps 4 and 5. This will return the computer to a more secure mode.
If you have any issues with your computer and don’t have anyone to help, we can. Just bring your computer to the computer repair guys at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey. We can help with any computer or networking issue you may have!