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How to Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to a Windows 10 PC

information   Information
You can use the Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe) or Microsoft Remote Desktop app to connect to and control your Windows 10 PC from a remote device. When you allow remote desktop connections to your PC, you can use another device to connect to your PC and have access to all of your apps, files, and network resources as if you were sitting at your desk.

The Remote Desktop client will not connect to a Windows 10 Home edition PC. See: Supported PCs

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable allowing Remote Desktop connections to your Windows 10 PC.

You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable Remote Desktop.
Note   Note
Should I enable Remote Desktop?
If you only want to access your PC when you are physically sitting in front of it, you don't need to enable Remote Desktop. Enabling Remote Desktop opens a port on your PC that is visible to your local network. You should only enable Remote Desktop in trusted networks, such as your home. You also don't want to enable Remote Desktop on any PC where access is tightly controlled.

Be aware that when you enable access to Remote Desktop, you are granting anyone in the Administrator's group, as well as any additional users you select through the Select user button, the ability to remotely access their accounts on the computer.

Why allow connections only with Network Level Authentication?
If you want to restrict who can access your PC, choose to allow access only with Network Level Authentication (NLA). When you enable this option, users have to authenticate themselves to the network before they can connect to your PC. Allowing connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with NLA is a more secure authentication method that can help protect your computer from malicious users and software. To learn more about NLA and Remote Desktop, check out Configure NLA for RDS Connections.

CONTENTS:
  • Option One: To Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer in Settings
  • Option Two: To Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer in System Remote Settings
  • Option Three: To Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer using a REG file
  • Option Four: To Force Always Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Five: To Force Always Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer using a REG file





Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC OPTION ONE Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC
To Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer in Settings

1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the System icon.

2. Do step 3 (disable) or step 4 (enable) below for what you want.


 3. To Disable Remote Desktop Connections

A) Click/tap on Remote Desktop on the left side, and turn off Enable Remote Desktop on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Disable_Remote_Desktop_in_Settings-1.jpg
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B) Click/tap on Confirm, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

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 4. To Enable Remote Desktop Connections

NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on Remote Desktop on the left side, and turn on Enable Remote Desktop on the right side. (see screenshot below)

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B) Click/tap on Confirm. (see screenshot below)

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C) You can now view and/or change any Remote Desktop settings if wanted. (see screenshots below)

D) When finished, go to step 5 below.

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5. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.






Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC OPTION TWO Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC
To Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer in System Remote Settings

1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the System icon.

2. Click/tap on the Remote settings link on the left side of the System window. (see screenshot below)

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3. Do step 4 (enable) or step 5 (disable) below for what you want.


 4. To Enable Remote Desktop Connections

NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Select (dot) Allow remote connections to this computer. (see screenshot below)

B) Check (default & recommended) or uncheck Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication for what you want.

C) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below.

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 5. To Disable Remote Desktop Connections

NOTE: This is the default setting, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below.

A) Select (dot) Don't allow remote connections to this computer. (see screenshot below)

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6. When finished, you can close the System Control Panel window if you like.






Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC OPTION THREE Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC
To Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer using a REG file

Note   Note
The .reg files below will modify the DWORD values in the registry keys below.

(Enable or Disable Remote Desktop)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server

fDenyTSConnections DWORD

0 = Enable
1 = Disable



(Turn On or Off "Network Level Authentication" for Remote Desktop)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp

UserAuthentication DWORD

0 = Off
1 = On

1. Do step 2 (enable with Network Level Authentication), step 3 (enable without Network Level Authentication), or step 4 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Enable Remote Desktop Connections with Network Level Authentication

NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Enable_Remote_Desktop_with_Network_Level_Authentication.reg

download


 3. To Enable Remote Desktop Connections without Network Level Authentication

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Enable_Remote_Desktop_without_Network_Level_Authentication.reg

download


 4. To Disable Remote Desktop Connections

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Disable_Remote_Desktop_connections_on_PC.reg

download

5. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8. If you like, you can now delete the downloaded .reg file.






Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC OPTION FOUR Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC
To Force Always Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer in Local Group Policy Editor

Note   Note
This option will override and gray out Option One, Option Two, and Option Three above.

Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Five below for this same policy setting.

1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. Navigate to the folder below in the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Connections

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3. In the right pane of Connections in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Allow users to connect remotely by using Remote Desktop Services policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4. Do step 5 (not configured), step 6 (always enabled), or step 7 (always disabled) below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Remote_Desktop_connections_gpedit-2.jpg
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 5. To Set Default "Not Configured" setting

Note   Note
This will allow you to use Option One, Option Two, or Option Three above to enable or disable Remote Desktop.

A) Select (dot) Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below step 4)


 6. To Force Always Enable Remote Desktop Connections

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below step 4)


 7. To Force Always Disable Remote Desktop Connections

A) Select (dot) Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below step 4)


8. When finished, you can close the Local Group Policy Editor if you like.






Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC OPTION FIVE Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC
To Force Always Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer using a REG file

Note   Note
This option does the same thing as Option Four, and will override and gray out Option One, Option Two, and Option Three above.



The .reg files below will modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services

fDenyTSConnections DWORD

<delete> = Not Configured
0 = Enable
1 = Disable

1. Do step 2 (not configured), step 3 (always enabled), or step 4 (always disabled) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Restore Default "Not Configured" setting

Note   Note
This will allow you to use Option One, Option Two, or Option Three above to enable or disable Remote Desktop.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Default_Not_Configured_Remote_Desktop_connections.reg

download


 3. To Force Always Enable Remote Desktop Connections

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Force_Always_Enable_Remote_Desktop_connections.reg

download


 4. To Force Always Disable Remote Desktop Connections

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Force_Always_Disable_Remote_Desktop_connections.reg

download

5. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8. If you like, you can now delete the downloaded .reg file.


That's it,
Shawn