Group Policy Quick Tip – Enable Remote Desktop

Welcome to the first of what will [hopefully] be an ongoing feature here at Group Policy, Y’all!  After troubleshooting a Group Policy problem for someone (completely and totally unrelated to Remote Desktop), the person I was helping told me how he just kept forgetting to set this one setting for new PC’s.  A rather long discussion ensued about creating PC images, checklists, automated OS deployment, etc.  While we were talking, I realized that I take a lot of the settings that I typically put into my Computer and User policies for granted.  There are so many ‘set it and forget it’ settings that you literally set once and never think about again.  Today’s tip is for one of those setting that you should set and forget:  enabling Remote Desktop in Group Policy.In your Group Policy Object (GPO), go to Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Connections > Allow users to connect remotely using Remote Desktop Services and set the option to Enabled.  This setting applies to Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Enable Remote Desktop in Group Policy Management Console


On a Windows 7 computer, your Remote Settings should look something like this:

Screenshot of Windows 7 Client with RDP Enabled
As you can see, the “Don’t allow connections to this computer” option is grayed out.  From here you can manually set the security level and add users that can access the computer via RDP.  You can also add users to the local ‘Remote Desktop Users’ group to allow user to RDP into the box.

3 thoughts on “Group Policy Quick Tip – Enable Remote Desktop

  1. Vidya November 16, 2012 / 3:05 PM

    Great Tip!! It saved my life! Thanks Much!!

  2. Naeem September 8, 2015 / 8:45 PM

    I have found this tip on various websites, but when I try it practically, it does not work. Any advise?

    • Kyle Beckman September 14, 2015 / 9:03 AM

      Have you ensured that the setting is applying to the computer by running gpresult.exe /h report.html on the system?

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