Montana State University Windows Remote Desktop Connection

Windows Remote Desktop Connection allows you to remotely connect to another computer running Windows and then be able access and use all of the programs and files on that computer. Both computers must be running Windows. Remote Desktop Connection comes installed by default with Windows versions 95 and newer.

For the sake of clarity the instructions below are written with the assumption that you are connecting to your work computer from your home computer. Your work computer is the one being enabled to accept a Remote Desktop connection. Choose instructions for the OS of your work computer (the computer being accessed).

Please Note: Since the new MSU firewall rules were put into effect on March 23, 2011 the access to Windows Remote Desktop TCP port 3389 is now blocked by default to your desktop. To gain access will need to do one of the following:

  1. Add an exception to allow remote administration to your desktop.
  2. Connect to MSU VPN before using Windows Remote Desktop Connection.

For additional assistance please contact the Help Desk (994-1777).

Connect to an XP computer

Connect to a Windows 7 or Vista computer

Connect to XP computer with Remote Desktop

Before using Remote Desktop Connection, your work computer (or computer being connected to) must first be set up to allow the connection.

To enable Remote Desktop Connection
  1. Right-click the "My Computer" link in the Start menu or on the desktop and select "Properties" (figure 1).
  2. Click the "Remote" tab (figure 2).
  3. Check the box next to "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer" Next note the "Full computer name" (see figure 2 ).
    This name will be required later to make the connection.

  4. Click the "Select Remote Users" button (see red arrow in figure 2).
  5. NOTE: By default the person that is currently logged in (the name will be displayed above the Add and Remove buttons, see figure 3 ) and any members of the Administrators' group can connect even if they are not listed.
  6. Click the "Add" button (figure 3), if you would like to add additional users, otherwise click the "OK" button to close window .
  7. Click the "Apply" button at the bottom of window to save your new settings (figure 4) and then the "OK" button to exit.

Important: Remember to leave your work computer powered on if you will be connecting to it, but make sure that you are logged off. If you forget to log out, when you do try to access it from home (or another location), it will automatically close all programs, log you out, and display a "computer locked" screen.

To use Remote Desktop Connection
    On your home computer
  1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Enter the full name of your work computer (noted in step 3 above), then click the "Options" button (figure 5).
  3. Enter your MSU domain username, password, and domain as shown, then click the"Save As" button to save settings.
  4. Click the "Connect" button.
  5. You are now connected to your work computer.
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Figure 1. Right-click "My Computer" and select "Properties".
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Figure 2. Click the "Remote" tab, check box next to "Allow users... and note Full computer name. Return to instructions
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Figure 3. Click "Add" if you need to add more users or/and "OK" to exit. Return to instructions
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Figure 4. Click "Apply" to save your settings and then click "OK" to exit . Return to instructions
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Figure 5. Enter the full name of your work computer then click "Options".
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Figure 6. Enter your MSU domain username and password as shown, click "Save As" and then click "Connect".
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