How to enable Remote Desktop on remote computers through remote registry

Using remote desktop to troubleshoot issues on computers on your network is the most efficient and quick way to solve problems. The best thing is that remote desktop is already install on all Windows XP pro computers, but unfortunately it is not enabled by default, so you need to enable it in order to get access to the remote computer.

I know there are many software apps that can do this, but I will show you the way I do it using the registry to enable remote desktop on remote computers.

On your windows XP go to Start and then click on Run type regedit and click OK. Once you get to the registry go to File and select Connect Network Registry:

Connect Network Registry

On the next screen you will need to select the computer you need to connect to. For Select this object type choose Computer, and From this location choose: Entire Directory. on Enter the object name to select type the computer name you want to connect to or IP address of the remote computer:

Select Computer

Once you input the IP address or computer name on the window shown above click on Check Names and click OK. once the computer have been found, it will show up like the screen below on the registry:

Remote Computer Image

Next, our goal is to get to this registry path on the remote computer:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Terminal Server.

Once you get there select Terminal Server, on the right side options right-click on fDenyTSConnections and select modify:


On the Edit DWORD Value change the Value data from 1 to 0

Edit DWORD Value

Click on OK and close out of all the registry windows. try to connect to the remote computer using remote desktop with the computer name you just enabled remote desktop remotely. You should be able to connect now, but wait, there is more, remote desktop only allows remote logins from administrators or users added to remote desktop group, so if you are not in either of those groups, you will need to add yourself to the groups, but how can you do that remotely? Well, that will be a topic for the next post.

Comments [6]

  1. I AM administrator on the remote computer (locked by an anti-spy action…), but still I can't open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. I've tried to modify authorizations. I've tried with all admitted users listed. Please help…

  2. Thanks for the info. Something to add. If you can not open remote registry open computer manager and connect to the PC in question. Verify "Remote Registry" service is started. If it is not simply start the servicec then remote registry will be accessible to make the required changes. (This also requires administrator level access to your network)

  3. Wow, great tutorial!!! I've been stuck in a city for a week and had to connect to my computer at home. I hadn't enabled remote desktop and thought I was screwed! This was the perfect solution! Thanks!

  4. Your this tips is really nice and now I bookmarked your site. thank you for sharing this tip

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