Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC  

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC

    How to Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to a Windows 10 PC
    Published by Category: Network & Sharing
    08 Apr 2021
    Designer Media Ltd


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


    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

    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.

    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 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






    OPTION ONE

    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)

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-disable_remote_desktop_in_settings-1.jpg

    B) Click/tap on Confirm, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-disable_remote_desktop_in_settings-2.jpg


     4. To Enable Remote Desktop Connections

    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)

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-enable_remote_desktop_in_settings-1.jpg

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

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-enable_remote_desktop_in_settings-2.jpg

    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.

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-enable_remote_desktop_in_settings-3.jpg Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-enable_remote_desktop_in_settings-4.jpg

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






    OPTION TWO

    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.

    Starting with Windows 10 build 20161, you will need to open Settings instead, click/tap on the System icon, and click/tap on About on the left side.


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

    Starting with Windows 10 build 20161, you will need to click/tap on About on the left side, and click/tap on the Advanced system settings link instead.
    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-settings_system.png

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-remote_desktop_control_panel-1.jpg

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


     4. To Enable Remote Desktop Connections

    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.

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-remote_desktop_control_panel-3.jpg


     5. To Disable Remote Desktop Connections

    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)

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-remote_desktop_control_panel-2.jpg

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






    OPTION THREE

    To Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer using a REG file


    The downloadable .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

    updateRDStatus DWORD

    0 = Disable
    1 = Enable

    (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

    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 When 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.






    OPTION FOUR

    To Force Always Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer in Local Group Policy Editor


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

    The 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

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-remote_desktop_connections_gpedit-1.jpg

    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)

    Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to Windows 10 PC-remote_desktop_connections_gpedit-2.jpg


     5. To Set Default "Not Configured" setting

    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.






    OPTION FIVE

    To Force Always Enable or Disable Remote Desktop Connections to this Computer using a REG file


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

    The downloadable .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

    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 When 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



  1. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #1

    I want to write a batch file to automate setting up a remote connection and remote desktop then run the Windows Remote Assistance Helper. How do you add the reg file commands in Option 3 to a batch file?
      My Computers

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,348
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Steve C said:
    I want to write a batch file to automate setting up a remote connection and remote desktop then run the Windows Remote Assistance Helper. How do you add the reg file commands in Option 3 to a batch file?
    Hello Steve,

    Here you go:

    Enable_Remote_Desktop_with_Network_Level_Authentication
    Code:
    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /V fDenyTSConnections /T REG_DWORD /D 0 /F
    
    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp" /V UserAuthentication /T REG_DWORD /D 1 /F

    Enable_Remote_Desktop_without_Network_Level_Authentication
    Code:
    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /V fDenyTSConnections /T REG_dWORD /D 0 /F
    
    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp" /V UserAuthentication /T REG_DWORD /D 0 /F

    Disable_Remote_Desktop_connections_on_PC
    Code:
    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /V fDenyTSConnections /T REG_DWORD /D 1 /F
      My Computers

  3. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #3

    Many thanks. The batch file works. I've only done this since Quick Assist is unreliable whereas using Windows Remote Assistance (msra) always works. It's simpler for the person I'm helping to run the batch file I wrote rather than walking them through all the steps needed.
      My Computers

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,348
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Steve C said:
    Many thanks. The batch file works. I've only done this since Quick Assist is unreliable whereas using Windows Remote Assistance (msra) always works. It's simpler for the person I'm helping to run the batch file I wrote rather than walking them through all the steps needed.
    You're most welcome.

      My Computers

  5. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,149
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #5

    @Brink,

    In Windows 10 20H2 I am finding that simply enabling Remote desktop via the registry is not sufficient. If you enable Remote Desktop in the registry and go back into the GUI, you will note that Remote Desktop is still shown as disabled. This is true even after a reboot.

    One additional step is needed and that is the enablement of the rule to allow Remote Desktop connection in the firewall.

    IMPORTANT: If the firewall rule is already enabled it's possible that the only thing necessary then is to set the registry entry to enable Remote Desktop. However, in my testing, with a new installation of Windows 10 (at least version 20H2), this rule is disabled by default so it will need to be enabled. When enabling Remote Desktop via the registry, it's best to just issue a command to enable the firewall rule at the same time to be sure.

    There are several ways to accomplish this (make sure to do these from an elevated prompt):

    From a PowerShell prompt:
    Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"

    From a command prompt:
    powershell "Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup 'Remote Desktop'"
    OR
    netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="remote desktop" new enable=yes

    Note that either of the commands for use from a command prompt can be incorporated in a batch file if so desired. A sample batch file would look like this:
    Code:
    powershell "Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server'-name 'fDenyTSConnections' -Value 0"
    powershell "Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup 'Remote Desktop'"

    Just be sure to run this elevated.
      My Computers

  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,348
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Thank you @hsehestedt.

    I've updated option 3 for you to test if the setting toggles on/off now for you.

    There's a new updateRDStatus DWORD that get's changed now that wasn't included before.
      My Computers

  7. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,149
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #7

    Sure thing! As you can tell, I'm going through a lot of these tweaks because I'm updating some scripts I've made to modify Windows settings prior to Sysprep and imaging.
      My Computers

  8. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,348
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #8

    hsehestedt said:
    Sure thing! As you can tell, I'm going through a lot of these tweaks because I'm updating some scripts I've made to modify Windows settings prior to Sysprep and imaging.
    I'm glad you are. It helps me get anything needing updating as well.
      My Computers


 

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