Remote Desktop Connection is a technology that allows you to connect to a second computer and take control of it. This makes it possible for you to connect to your work computer from computers at other locations and have access to all of your files, programs, available networks, and resources, or to connect to a friend or family member’s computer to do some troubleshooting when they are having problems.
Windows Vista comes with the Remote Desktop Connection installed, so you don’t have to buy or install any special software.
To make a connection, you must first enable Remote Desktop Connection on the remote computer (the one you want to connect to.)
If the computer you are connecting to is running Windows Vista, follow these steps:
- Log on as administrator.
- Click the Start Orb, Control Panel, System and Maintenance, and then System.
From the Tasks panel on the left, click Remote settings. The System Properties dialog box appears.
- Make sure that there is a check in the Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer checkbox at the top of the dialog box.
Click the Select Users… button. A Remote Desktop Users dialog box opens.
To specify which user account(s) will be given access, click the Add button. The Select Users or Groups dialog box appears.
The cursor is blinking in the Enter the object names to select field. Type in the domain name, a back slash, and your user name. For example, you might type domain_name\example_name.
Click the OK button. The Windows Security dialog box opens.
Type in your User name and Password and click the OK button. The new name appears in the box at the top that lists the users who have permission to connect.
Click on the OK button at the bottom of the Remote Desktop Users dialog box. You will see the System Properties dialog box once more. While we are here, let’s take a look at the full name of the remote computer.
To see the full name of the computer, click on the Computer Name tab. Underneath the Computer description field at the top of the dialog box, you will see the text “Full computer name”. Write down the full name of the computer, so that you can remember it later.
Close the dialog box.
Now you should be ready to make the remote connection. To do so, follow these steps from the client computer (the one you are connecting from) that is running Windows Vista:
- Click on the Start Orb, All Programs, Accessories, and then Remote Desktop Connection. The Remote Desktop Connection dialog box appears.
- Type in the full name of the remote computer (the one that you wrote down earlier). For example, the full name might look something like this: name_of_computer.domain_name.iu.edu.
- Click the Options >> button. The dialog box will expand, and you will see more options.
- Type your User name in the User name field and click the Connect button at the bottom of the dialog box. A Windows Security dialog box will appear.
- Type in your password and then click the OK button.
A connection will be made, and you will be able to work on the remote computer just as if you were sitting in front of it.
NOTE: You cannot use the Remote Desktop Connection feature to connect to remote computers running Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, or computers running Windows XP (but any edition of Windows Vista can be running on your client computer).
In addition, the remote computer must have an always-on Internet connection for this process to work, and you cannot connect to a computer that is sleeping or hibernating, so settings will have to be adjusted accordingly.
Furthermore, if your remote computer is on a network, your settings may be locked so that you cannot change them. If so, you may have to ask your system administrator for assistance.
When you are done working remotely, make sure that you log off completely, so the connection will be shut down. To do so:
- Click on the Start Orb at the bottom of the screen.
- Click on the small white arrow to the right of the Instant Search box
- Click Log Off.