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How to Remote Desktop into another PC

So you’ve been told by your IT guy to “remote desktop” into a PC or a Terminal Server (TS). Now what?


Remote Desktop is a way to remotely access the desktop of a PC. It relies on the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which has been around for several years. You will often hear IT people say “RDP into a computer” instead of “Remote Desktop into a computer” since that is how it used to be referred to. Saying “Remote Desktop” started with Windows XP.

As a bit of background, starting with Windows XP and going forward, you can RDP into a computer if that feature is enabled. Generally, only a single user can RDP into a PC at a time. But there is a special type of Windows Server known as a Terminal Server (TS) that allows multiple people to RDP into the server at a time. Much like older mainframes allowed multiple users to work at once. A TS server is an excellent way to consolidate from several PC’s down to a single server.

To RDP into a computer, you need to start the Remote Desktop Connection software on your own computer first. You can do this via the Start Menu or via the command-line.

Via the Start Menu

  1. Click Start->All Programs->Accessories->Remote Desktop Connection
  2. The software will start.
  3. In the Computer field, enter the hostname or IP of the computer you want to reach.
    Remote Desktop Connection
  4. Click Connect.

You will be presented with a logon screen. Enter the username and password for the REMOTE COMPUTER. If you are a domain user, you may need to enter your username in that form, e.g., EXAMPLEDOMmyuser.

Good luck!


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