HOW-TO: Enable Remote Desktop in Windows Server 2012

You may want to enable Remote Desktop for your new server to easily RDP into it and manage it remotely from your PC. Remote Desktop is disabled by default for security reasons, some are not comfortable having it on, to not allow users to try to access your server remotely. There are many ways to enable Remote Desktop but block your users from using it, making it only available for admins or a specific group, but we will not discuss that in this article.

Launch Server Manager if it is not already up


Click on Local Server on the left hand side of Server Manager. Under your server properties, you will see Remote Desktop and it will say “Disabled” by default, click on “Disabled”


Under “System Properties” click on “Allow remote connections to this computer”


The “Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended)” box will be checked automatically, you may leave it as is or un-check it if you want, leaving it on is more secure by protecting your network from the risk of DoS (denial-of-service) attacks. Also, it will help use fewer server resources when you try to remote in initially.

Once Remote Desktop is enabled, you can always follow the same steps to go back and disable it by checking the “Don’t allow remote connections to the computer” radio button.

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