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Remotely Log Into Your PC Using Remote Desktop

Chad Sweely By: Chad Sweely

There may be instances when you need to log into your computer from another location, such as a hotel, place of business, or on vacation. Whether you want to check the progress of a large download, to see the latest activity that has been happening on your computer, or need to access a specific document for work, there is a way that you can set up your Windows XP machine so that you can login from another location.

With this tutorial, I would like to bring your attention to Remote Desktop. This is a program that will allow you to log into your Windows XP machine from any other Windows PC (XP, Vista, 7, etc.) without having to buy any additional software, because Remote Desktop is automatically included with Windows XP. All that you need to do is to configure and enable RD so that you can remotely connect to your computer.

To configure your computer for Remote Desktop, please follow the steps that I have provided below.

    Setting Up Your Computer for Remote Desktop:

  1. Make sure that you are logged in as “Administrator” on your computer, because we will be changing various administrative settings in Windows. To log in as Administrator from a regular user on Windows XP, click on the Start menu and click on the “Log Off” menu item. This will allow you to log off the current user you are logged in as and switch to the Administrator account. If you are on a LAN (Local Area Network), you may need to ask your Systems Administrator for privileges to this account.
  2. After you have logged into the Administrator user, click on the Start menu and right click on the My Computer option. A list of menu items will appear, and click on the “Properties” list item, which will load the System Properties window.
  3. From within the System Properties window, click on the Remote tab, which will bring up various options for users to access from a remote location.
  4. In the Remote tab within the System Properties window, check the “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer” option under the “Remote Desktop” section.
  5. After this has been checked, click on the “Computer Name” tab within the Systems Properties window and write down the name beside the “Full computer name” field. This will be used later for when we connect to your computer from a remote host.
  6. Click on the OK button to close the System Properties window and to save the changes that you have made in the Remote tab..

    Configuring Windows Firewall to Allow Remote Desktop:

    (Note: If you are using a third-party firewall software, you will need to manually configure the software in question so that it allows Remote Desktop connections. For this tutorial, I will be elaborating on how to configure “Windows Firewall”).

  1. Click on the Start menu and click on the Control Panel option. This will load the Windows XP Control Panel.
  2. From within the Windows XP Control Panel, click on the “Windows Firewall” icon, which will load the Windows Firewall window.
  3. Click on the “Exceptions” tab within the Windows Firewall window, and a list of software will be displayed under the “Programs and Services” section.
  4. Within the “Programs and Services” list, enable the “Remote Desktop” option and then click on the OK button.

After the steps listed above have been completed, your computer is now ready to be connected to from a remote location. To access your computer from a remote location, please follow these steps:

    Access Your Windows Machine from a Remote Location:

    (Note: If you want to connect to your PC from outside of your network, you will need to know your IP. To learn how to find your IP address, click here).

  1. Click on the Start menu and select the “All Programs >” list. From the “All Programs >” list, go to Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Within the Remote Desktop Connection application, enter the name of your computer that you wrote down earlier (or IP address) in the “Computer” field. You will then be fully connected to your computer within the Remote Desktop Connection session.

About The Author

Chad Sweely is the Support Analyst for iEntry, and oversees the various operations of the WebProNews Directory.

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