How to Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 8

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Remote Desktop has been one of the essential features of Windows from the days of Windows XP which got refined with newer versions. Although the feature is not that popular among average users and is considered to be more of a pro feature, it’s a nice tool for anyone who has to control multiple computers on a network simultaneously or even for someone who has to provide tech support to a distant friend or family and needs to take control of their computer.

Now with the support for tablets in Windows 8, Remote Desktop’s usage is likely to increase. Anyone who owns a Windows tablet can connect to his home or office computer from any location provided he has internet connectivity.

So before we plunge into how we can create Remote Desktop connection on Windows 8, lets us first have a look on how we can enable the feature to allow an incoming connection.

Enabling Remote Desktop on Windows 8

Step 1: Open Windows 8 desktop Control Panel and click on System and Security while viewing the Control Panel in Category mode. In System and Security, click on Allow remote access under System to open System Properties.

system and security

allow remote connection

If you are comfortable using the Run box, you can run SystemPropertiesRemote.exe command to open the System Properties directly.

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system properties run command

Step 2: Navigate to Remote tab in System Properties,check the radio button Allow  remote connections to this computer and click on Apply button.

allow on this computer

Step 3: If you are using your computer in power saver mode and your computer goes into sleep or hibernate mode when not in use, Windows will ask you to change the configuration in Windows Power Options. This will make sure you have a seamless connectivity while in the middle of remote connection.

powersaver warning

That’s all, you can now use Remote Desktop from any computer to connect to your Windows 8 device.


That was how you can activate the Remote Desktop on your Windows 8 devices to allow an incoming remote connection request. Now, check our next post where we show you how to use Windows 8 to start a Remote Desktop connection using the Windows 8 Metro App. Hopefully these two posts will help you work with Remote Desktop in Windows 8 comfortably.

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Show archived comments (38)

Archived Comments

  1. Very use ful info. Thanks..

  2. Cloud5trike says:

    How about remote desktop on Windows 8 “not pro” ?

  3. Trevor says:

    So can you connect to Windows 8 pro desktop from a Windows 7 laptop and/or desktop?

    • Ian says:

      ^bump. Or vice versa? I.e., from a windows 8 laptop to a Windows 7 desktop?

      • Tommo W says:

        Win8 and Win7 can connect to each other, all versions of Win7 & 8 have clients, but, only win7 Professional, Enterprise & Ultimate AND Win8 Pro & Enterprise can act as Hosts (connect to)

  4. Ian says:


  5. Ruben says:

    Muy útil… Very use ful… Gracias.

  6. kevin says:

    captain obvious. Thanks so much. NOT

  7. ufag says:

    indian fag

  8. Aliasgar Babat says:

    Great article. Above steps are very useful as it helps in activating remote access feature of Windows 8. Additionally, one can even use various remote access tools such as RHUB TurboMeeting appliances , logmein, gosupportnow, GoToMyPC, etc. for remotely accessing windows and MAC computers.

  9. may says:

    Hi Ashish
    I’m not able to use your instruction as when I run system properties I don’t have the “remote desktop” tab on my System Properties screen.
    Any suggestion will be appreciated.

    • Tommo W says:

      See my post above, only win7 Professional, Enterprise & Ultimate AND Win8 Pro & Enterprise can act as Hosts (connect to). Or you can use Teamviewer software. which is free for private use

  10. Anne Dee Dee says:

    there is NO “remote desktop” tab on my System Properties screen.
    Any suggestion will be appreciated. how to activate or something

    • Nathan Borup says:

      You don’t have windows 8 Pro

      • Terminator says:

        It doesn’t matter you can remote with Widows 8 or 8.1 regular edition. After several hours of tinkering I figured that you cannot be on Microsoft logon and connect to another computer in your network because you are not on same domain. You will have to create a local account to do this. I fixed two windows 8.1 laptop/tablet for remote connection top my main pc and it worked after I created local accounts. Sadly Microsoft does not mention this anywhere. Hope this helps.

      • panacheart says:

        This is so lame. No way I’m paying to upgrade from crappy to slightly less crappy. I can’t believe Microsoft did this. *sigh* $199 to enable remote desktop seems really really stupid.

        • Nathan Borup says:

          Just use teamviewer. Has much more features and you can connect from anywhere

        • fadumpt says:

          Lame? This has been the standard practice for at least a decade or more. One of the features of the Professional version is Remote Desktop Conneciton. #getoverit

    • John Mathew says:

      Same issue here. That space is blank, do you know why ? I can take remote of other windows 8 machine, but since this space is blank I can’t take remote of this machine from other machine..I don’t know the way I have win 8 not pro …

      • Phydeux says:

        Remote Desktop hosting is ONLY available in Pro.
        Any version can be a guest.

  11. Darren M says:

    Nowhere in this article did you state this only applies to the Pro version of Win8. Useless!!

  12. Lucas Gustavo says:

    Thanks for the information, it has helped me greatly.

    It’s important to consider that, in Windows Server, you needs to install the RDS licenses which is achieved in stores like Buysoft ( and Software One.

  13. Michael zand says:

    leave the license key field blank in the Wizard or set it to /Image/Name and value of Product Name in the answer file you created. Activate Windows 7 professional

  14. Vinay says:

    Really helpful! Problem solved. Thanks

  15. Rene says:

    I found a similar article about enabling remote desktop connection in windows 8:

  16. Dawood Najam says:

    Thank you but desktop tile is still not showing in start
    What to do ? help me please
    i have created my new account on windows 8
    all the users in my pc have a desktop tile :( i have not
    help me !!!

  17. Dawood Najam says:
  18. Nathan Borup says:

    People… Just use teamviewer. Then you can connect from anywhere

    • Mike says:

      teamviewer sucks balls

      • Nathan Borup says:


        • Benjamin Sjavik says:

          Teamviewer has a specific advantage- it allows the user on the other end to see what you are doing. It is also more convenient for users who like a fancy GUI. However, because it is being rendered on both machines, it is less efficient than RDP in terms of bandwidth, and latency tends to be worse. If you don’t need to use Teamviewer for either of those reasons, RDP is the better option.
          I personally have used both, Teamviewer to show my Mom how to do things on her computer, and RDP to handle my servers. I’d recommend either one to anyone depending on their needs.

  19. Steve says:

    Logmein or Ammyy Admin will work much simpler.