Enable Remote Desktop Service On A Distant Computer Remotely Using Registry Trick In Windows Vista/ XP/ 2000/ 2003/ 2008

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) service or Remote Desktop (RD) is a powerful tool that enables you to log on to a distant computer remotely and enjoy complete privileges and access to the remote system as if you are sitting in front of it.

Remote Desktop, also called as Terminal Services, is very much beneficial if your server or computer is placed at a distant location and regular trips to the place for configuring, troubleshooting or managing the system isn’t feasible.

Most of the Windows operating systems like Windows 7, Vista, 2008, 2003, 2000 and XP include the Remote Desktop tool in the package. However, by default it remains disabled. You can enable or turn on the Remote Desktop feature through the local console by making use of graphical user interface (GUI) provided by Microsoft in all Windows editions.

It turns out to be quite troublesome to access a distant PC or server using the RDC (Remote Desktop Connection) instantly if the Remote Desktop on the distant server/ PC is not enabled. However, you can now turn on or enable the Remote Desktop on the distant PC/ server by editing the registry of the remote server/ PC remotely.

You just need to follow the procedure mentioned below:

  1. Log on to your local workstation with administrator privileges.
  2. To open the Registry Editor, select “Run” (Start Search in case of Vista 7) option from the Start Menu. Type in “regedit” and press Enter.
  3. Click to view the “File” menu. From the pull-down menu that appears, select the option “Connect Network Registry”.
  4. A dialog search box “Select Computer” appears. Browse the Active Directory to find the remote/ distant server or type the name of the distant PC within the text box. You may also click on the “Advanced” button in order to search the remote computer.
  5. After selecting the remote computer, click on “OK” button. A node representing the network registry of the remote or distant computer will be shown within Registry Editor with registry keys “HKEY_USERS (HKU)” and “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM)”.
  6. Just navigate to the below mentioned registry key:
  7. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server

  8. Within the right pane, find a REG_DWORD value by the name “fDenyTSConnection”, double-click on it and alter its value data from (the default value) “1” (which means that RD is disabled) to “0” (which means that RD is enabled).
  9. Now, in the command prompt, issue the below mentioned command to reboot or restart the remote/ distant computer.
      shutdown -m \\hostname –r
      In the above command, you need to replace “hostname” with actual name of the distant/ remote computer.
  10. You have now enabled the Remote Desktop on the remote/ distant computer and the default RD listening port will now allow any incoming RDC (Remote Desktop Connection). However, you may change the RD listening port for security reasons.

Apart from this registry trick, there are a number of freeware utilities and tools that allow you to enable/ turn on Remote Desktop on a remote/ distant computer remotely.

Related posts:

1> Macbook rdp / Remote desktop

2> If you have the following problem in Windows 7: the remote computer disconnected the session because of an error in the licensing protocol, the read this post: mslicensing windows 7


  1. Also,

    If remote registry is not startedon the target PC, then the steps will not work.
    So what you do is ….

    1. Open up services.msc on your PC you are using
    2. Right click on ‘Services (Hostname)’
    3. Select ‘Connect to another Computer’
    4. Type in the target PC and then ‘OK’
    5. Now, on the list of services, select ‘Remote Registry’ and change it to ‘Automatic’ and then ‘start’ the service.
    6. Close Services.msc and then start with Gautam’s steps

    Good luck.

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