Avoid Saving Remote Desktop Credentials in Windows 7

Remote Desktop Connection in Windows allows you to log on to any remote PC and access all of the programs, files, and network resources as though you were actually sitting in front of the remote computer.

We have previously written about accessing a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 computer remotely (see our post, Remotely Accessing a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Computer). You can also remotely log onto a Windows 7 computer in a similar way.

However, in Windows 7, Remote Desktop Connection saves your Remote Desktop credentials, by default. This can be a security hazard, especially if you share the computer you are using to log onto the remote computer. This post explains how to disable the setting that allows Windows to save your credentials.

To access Remote Desktop Connection, open the Start menu, select All Programs, open the Accessories folder, and click on Remote Desktop Connection.

Opening Remote Desktop Connection

On the General tab on the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, there is a check box called Allow me to save credentials. Turning this check box on, allows you to tell Windows, when you provide your credentials on the next dialog box, to save the credentials you enter.

Allow me to save credentials option on Remote Desktop Connection dialog box

To close the Remote Desktop Connection without connecting to a remote computer, click the X button in the upper, right corner of the dialog box.

Closing the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box

To remove the ability of Windows to save your credentials when you log into a remote computer, click the Start button and enter “gpedit.msc” (without the quotes) in the Search programs and files box. When Windows finds the gpedit.msc file, either press Enter or click the resulting link.

Opening the Local Group Policy Editor

The Local Group Policy Editor dialog box displays. In the tree in the left pane, navigate to the following item:

User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Remote Desktop Services

Select the Remote Desktop Connection Client item under Remote Desktop Services. In the Setting list on the right, double-click on the Do not allow passwords to be saved setting.

Selecting the Do not allow passwords to be saved settings

On the dialog box that displays, select the Enabled radio button.

Enabling the Do not allow passwords to be saved setting

Click OK to close the dialog box for the Do not allow passwords to be saved setting.

Closing the setting dialog box

To close the Local Group Policy Editor dialog box, select Exit from the File menu.

Closing the Local Group Policy Editor dialog box

The Allow me to save credentials check box on the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box is still available. However, when you connect and you are asked for your credentials, you will not be able to tell Windows to remember the credentials you enter.

by Lori Kaufman

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