Remote Desktop Connection in Windows 7

What is Remote Desktop Connection? 

Remote Desktop Connection is a Windows feature that allows us to be able to access desktop computers remotely from other computers. You can do keyboard input, click the mouse, run applications, reboot and so on from other computers even though they are different locations and networks. This feature is available in Windows XP or above. With Remote Desktop Connection, we can remote our computer without having to install other applications. 

Remote Desktop Connection uses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) protocol that communicates via TCP port 3389. In order for our computer to be able to be remote with Remote Desktop Connection, we must enable the Remote Desktop feature on the computer that will be remote. Here is how to activate Remote Desktop Connection in Windows.

If you currently use a Windows-based computer, you can Connect with another computer using the Remote Desktop Connection service. In this tutorial, we will show you how to connect from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to a computer or other device based on Windows and the Remote Desktop Connection is activated.

NOTE: Before actually applying this tutorial, make sure that you have enabled Remote Desktop Connection on the computer that you want to connect to. Also, the steps described in this tutorial can be for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, but most of the screenshots that we will use are taken from Windows 8.1.

How to Start Remote Desktop Connection

If you use Windows 7, then you can start the Remote Desktop Connection client from the Start Menu. Point your cursor in the Accessories group and click the Remote Desktop Connection shortcut.

If you use Windows 8.1, you can start Remote Desktop Connection from the Start screen. First, open Apps view. Then, move the cursor to the bottom left corner of the screen and click the arrow pointing down. If you use a touch screen, slide your screen from the bottom up.

Look for the Remote Desktop Connection client and click to start. You can find it in the windows accessories section.

A slightly faster way to start a Remote Desktop Connection client is to use the search column. To do this, move to start screen and type the word "remote". Then, click the search results: Remote Desktop Connection.

By using one of these methods, the Remote Desktop Connection client will open. Then you can type the name of the computer you want to connect to and connect directly. But beforehand, maybe you should change some settings first. Read the next section to find out how to set up Remote Desktop Connection.

How to Set Up Remote Desktop Connection

To set Remote Desktop Connection to work as you want, expand the preferences by clicking Show Options.

The general tab has options for changing the computer name and user name. Computer Name is the name of the computer that you want to connect to in the network. If you are hesitant to determine the name of the computer, you can see it in System Properties on the computer you want to remote. And if it's difficult to connect when using a computer name, just use the host's local IP address.

In the username section, type the user name of the administrator account that is on the computer you want to remote. Or you can also use a standard user account "standard user account", which has been activated for Remote Desktop Connection.

NOTE: You will see the user name formatted as Microsoft Account \ username or ComputerName \ username, depending on the user account type on the remote computer or device. You don't have to type in a format like this, but Remote Desktop Connection will change it to like that when you have saved your connection settings.

On the display tab you can slightly change some video settings. By changing the screen size on the "screen size" and color depth in the "color depth", you can improve your computer's performance when connecting.

On the local resources tab, you can manage audio, keyboards, and additional tools.

If you click settings on the remote audio section, you can choose between playing back audio through the remote machine, client machine, or not both. You can also activate the voice recorder through the client machine.

In the keyboard section, you have 3 choices to change the screen to fullscreen or not with Windows key combinations (ALT + TAB and CTRL + ALT + DEL). For example when your computer is in full screen and you press the ALT + TAB button, you can switch windows on the remote computer.

But if it is in window mode, ALT + TAB will only move windows on your computer. You can change this so that Windows key combinations can only be recognized by the client machine or host machine.

Finally, you can choose settings for local devices and resources. By default, you can share the clipboard between two interconnected PCs (for example a copy of the host and then paste it to the client) and print documents from the host PC using a printer that connects to the client PC.

You can also share devices and other resources, such as hard drivers. Click more to see more choices. If you select check drives, you will be able to choose which drive and volume you want to share with the host machine. These options are found in the tsclient section of the host machine, which is on the network part of your file explorer for Windows 8.1, or Windows Explorer for Windows 7.

Programs tab is useful for running certain programs when connecting with a remote machine. You can then run "single programs" on the remote computer, without having to go through Windows Explorer. To activate this feature, give a check list in the "Start the following program on connection" box and enter the program path and filename. If you want to start from a folder to work, type in the second box.

The experience tab is useful for a little more changing your settings for better performance. For example, it would be better if the desktop background, animations menus and windows are removed because they are not useful for most of the tasks that you will do remotely.

You can also eliminate font smoothing to make the text a little easier to read, especially when the screen size is changed. You can also assign Remote Desktop Connection to choose the best settings based on connection speed in the drop-down menu.

The advanced tab provides additional options. Here you can change the way server authentication works. Usually Remote Desktop Connection will check, to ensure that the server name on the certificate matches the computer name you used to start the connection. If they don't match, you will be warned before Connect. If you want to skip this message, you can choose "Connect and don't color me". This will be useful if you use an IP address to connect to the remote machine.

If that is the problem, authentification will always fail, because the remote computer cannot introduce itself to the server. Or you can choose "Do not connect" if the authentication server fails, which will cancel the connection without warning you first when the server name does not match.

Finally, you can also set your Remote Desktop Gateway settings, by clicking the settings button in the "Connect from anywhere" column. Remote Desktop Gateways is used to connect to corporate networks or Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), from outside this network area.

For example, if you are at home and you want to connect to a desktop that is in the office through Remote Desktop Connection, you might have to use the Remote Desktop Gateway. Contact your network administrator, to find out how to set these settings.

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