When you’re not at your desk, you can use Windows’ Remote Desktop Connection to connect to your PC. You’ll be able to use your PC remotely from any device that accepts incoming Remote Desktop connections, whether it’s a Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android device. To use this feature, you’ll need Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.
Start by clicking the “System” category in the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut). Click the “Remote Desktop” page at the bottom of the left-hand menu.
Toggle the “Enable Remote Desktop” button to the “On” position at the top of the screen. Although some other settings may need to be adjusted first, your PC is now ready to accept incoming connections. To begin, we’ll look at the two checkboxes on the screen.
You might want to use the convenience feature “Keep my PC awake for connection when it is plugged in.” When this option is enabled, Windows will prevent your device from going to sleep while it is plugged in. This ensures that you can always establish a remote connection to the device, even if it has turned off by itself.
When using a private network, the second option controls how connections are made. Your PC will become discoverable as a remote desktop target to other devices on private networks once you enable it. If you work across multiple networks, be cautious about using this if you don’t want others to see your device’s availability.
How to enable Remote Desktop connections to your Windows 10 PC
The “Advanced settings” link provides instructions for adjusting the remote desktop server’s more technical aspects. In most cases, when using Remote Desktop in a simple environment, you won’t need to change these. More information on the effects of each option and when it should be used can be found in the help links. For enhanced session protection, the settings include changing the server’s port and enforcing Network Level Authentication.
You should now be able to connect to your PC from any network device. We’ll assume you’re on Windows and using Remote Desktop Connection, but you could also use one of Microsoft’s mobile apps.
Open Remote Desktop Connection from the Start menu on your client device. Type your computer’s local IP address or hostname in the connection box that appears (the name displayed on the Remote Desktop settings page). Then, in the “Username” box, type your Windows username to connect as (if you’re logged in with a Microsoft account, this will be your email address).
Select “Connect” from the drop-down menu. The password for the username you’re connecting as will be requested. You won’t have to provide credentials again because this can be saved for future use. You should be greeted with the desktop from your remote PC after a few moments. Your network speed will determine the quality of your experience.
You’ll need to enable port forwarding in your router if you want to connect to your PC from outside your network (i.e. the Internet). You must forward the remote desktop connection port (3389 by default) to the PC you want to connect to. You’ll be able to connect from anywhere in the world using your network’s public IP address in Remote Desktop Connection. For instructions on how to add port forwarding rules, consult your router’s documentation.