Remote Desktop into Windows 8

I’ve got several machines running Windows 8 at home and there are times when I would like to quickly remote into one of my Windows 8 machines so I can change some settings or install something, etc. In Windows 8, you can enable remote desktop and connect to your machine from Windows 7, Vista, and XP.

In this post, I will walk you through the steps to enable remote desktop on Windows 8 and then show you how to connect to your Windows 8 machine from a Windows 7 PC. Luckily, the procedure is pretty much the same as it’s been for older versions of Windows, but there is a new option you have to take into consideration, which I will explain later.

To get started, we need to make sure a few things are setup properly, otherwise you will pull you hair out trying to figure out why Remote Desktop is not working.

1. On the Windows 8 machine you want to remote desktop into, you need to make sure the user account has a password. You also need to make sure your account is an administrator account on the system.

2. You have to make sure the firewall on Windows 8 allows remote desktop to the machine.

3. You have to enable remote desktop in the System settings.

I will go through each of these steps so that you can see exactly what needs to be done in order to properly get remote desktop working. First, make sure you set a password for your administrator account. Once you have done that, go to Control Panel and click on Windows Firewall.

windows 8 firewall

Click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall and then you will scroll down until you see Remote Desktop. Make sure the box is checked.

enable remote desktop

Make sure it’s only enabled for the Private network, you don’t want anyone in the world being able to remotely connect to your computer! Once you have done that, we can go to Control Panel and click on System. Then click on Remote Settings at the top left.

remote settings

Now check the Allow remote connections to this computer box.

allow remote connections

Note that there is another option called Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended). If you enable that, you will need to make sure you are running a remote desktop client version 6 of higher. You can check whether your version of remote desktop supports Network Level Authentication by opening remote desktop on the client machine (the computer you’ll be using to conned to Windows 8) and clicking on the icon at the top left and click on About.

about remote desktop

If your version of Remote Desktop Connections supports it, it will say Network Level Authentication supported.

NLA supported

Now open remote desktop connection, type in the computer name and click Connect.

connect remotely

That’s pretty much it! If you have issue, try disabling Network Level Authentication and see if you can connect. Remember, as long as you have a password for the admin account, allow remote desktop through the firewall and enable remote desktop in system settings, you should be able to remote desktop into Windows 8 without a problem. If you are having issues, post a comment here with your specs and issues and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!

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