Enable RDP on a Remote Machine


Enable RDP on a Remote Machine


In many organizations, IT administrators are expected to manage remote servers and machines from just about anywhere. Many administrators utilize Remote Desktop Connection to access offsite servers and desktops. If a machine was shipped to a remote location and RDP was not enabled, someone would need to have physical access to log on to the Windows OS in order to turn on RDP. However, what happens if that machine cannot physically be accessed? This article explains how to modify the registry key of a server to gain RDP access to a machine. This fix will work on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Server 2003/2003R2, Server 2008/2008R2 and 2012/2012R2.

Modifying Windows Registry to Enable RDP

In the example listed below, I am trying to access When trying to enable a remote desktop connection to the machine, I receive an error message. My first instinct is that the machine may be powered off, so I do a quick ping check to see if the network I am on is able to see the machine.


I know the machine is physically powered on and that the network adapter works because I am able to ping the machine and get a response.

Since I have verified the machine is on, my next step is to open up regedit to check the registry key and see if RDP has been enabled.

Once regedit has opened, I need to try to connect to registry of the remote machine. To do this, click on File and select Connect Network Registry.

In my case, since I know the machine has not been joined to the domain yet and therefore will not check in with DNS, I will use the IP address to access the machine. If the machine was on the domain, I could utilize the FQDN.

Next, navigate to:

> HKEY_LOCAL MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Terminal Server

On the right hand side, find the fDenyTSConnections. The default value is set to 1. This means that remote desktop access is not available.

To enable remote desktop access, set the value of fDenyTSConnections to 0.

Once the fDenyTSConnections value has been changed to 0, the change will take effect immediately.

If I try to access, I now have access to the machine.

More About the Author

Ideen Jahanshahi

Solutions Architect
Veeam NAS Backup: Integrating with Dell EMC Isilon Those of us who have been in the backup realm a long time remember when Veeam Backup and Replication (Veeam B&R) was one of the top ...
The InterWorks Approach to Great Consulting: Part 3 If you’ve been following along, you know that this blog miniseries is all about dissecting the shared traits that some of my most ...

See more from this author →

InterWorks uses cookies to allow us to better understand how the site is used. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy. Review Policy OK


Interworks GmbH
Ratinger Straße 9
40213 Düsseldorf
Geschäftsführer: Mel Stephenson

Kontaktaufnahme: markus@interworks.eu
Telefon: +49 (0)211 5408 5301

Amtsgericht Düsseldorf HRB 79752
UstldNr: DE 313 353 072


Love our blog? You should see our emails. Sign up for our newsletter!