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Setting Up Remote Desktop on Windows 11 Pro

Remote Desktop allows you to connect and control your Windows 11 Pro PC from another device. This guide covers setting up Remote Desktop using both the graphical user interface (GUI) and PowerShell, along with additional configuration, optimization tips, and a deep dive into how Remote Desktop works.

Step-by-Step Instructions Using the GUI

  1. Enable Remote Desktop:
  2. Open Settings from the Start menu.
  3. Go to System > Remote Desktop.
  4. Toggle the switch to Enable Remote Desktop.
  5. A confirmation dialog will appear. Click Confirm.
  6. Set Up Users:
  7. In the Remote Desktop settings, click Select users that can remotely access this PC.
  8. Click Add, then enter the username of the user you want to grant access to. Click OK.
  9. Check Network Settings:
  10. Ensure your PC is on a private network. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status.
  11. If your network is public, click Properties and set the network profile to Private.
  12. Configure Firewall:
  13. Open Windows Security from the Start menu.
  14. Go to Firewall & network protection.
  15. Click Allow an app through firewall.
  16. Ensure Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop (WebSocket) are allowed for both Private and Public networks.

Step-by-Step Instructions Using PowerShell

  1. Open PowerShell as Administrator:
  • Press Windows + X and select Windows Terminal (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin).
  1. Enable Remote Desktop:
   Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server' -Name "fDenyTSConnections" -Value 0
  1. Allow Remote Desktop Through Firewall:
   Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"
  1. Add Users:
   Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Remote Desktop Users" -Member "YourUsername"

Ports Used

Remote Desktop uses TCP port 3389 by default. Ensure this port is open in your firewall settings if you encounter connectivity issues.

Additional Configuration Settings

  1. Dynamic DNS:
  • If your IP address changes frequently, consider using a Dynamic DNS service to keep your remote access consistent.
  1. Static IP:
  • For a more stable connection, assign a static IP to your PC via your router’s settings.
  1. Network Level Authentication (NLA):
  • NLA adds an extra layer of security by requiring the user to authenticate before establishing a remote connection. Enable it in the Remote Desktop settings under Advanced settings.

Optimizing the Connection

  1. Reduce Bandwidth Usage:
  • In the Remote Desktop Connection client, go to Show Options > Experience and adjust settings to Optimize performance. Disable features like Desktop background, Font smoothing, and Window animations to improve speed.
  1. Adjust Display Settings:
  • Lower the resolution and color depth to reduce the amount of data sent during the session.
  1. Use a Wired Connection:
  • A wired Ethernet connection is generally more stable and faster than Wi-Fi.

How Remote Desktop Works

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) transmits screen updates, keyboard, and mouse inputs over the network. Here’s a brief overview of how it sends information:

  1. User Input:
  • Keyboard and mouse inputs are captured and sent from the client to the server.
  1. Screen Updates:
  • The server processes the inputs, updates the screen, and sends the changes back to the client.
  1. Compression and Encryption:
  • Data is compressed and encrypted to ensure efficient and secure transmission.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Wake on LAN:
  • Configure Wake on LAN (WoL) to wake your PC remotely if it’s in sleep mode.
  1. Remote Assistance:
  • Use Windows Remote Assistance for troubleshooting help. It allows another user to view or control your desktop.
  1. Session Shadowing:
  • If managing multiple machines, consider using session shadowing to monitor and control multiple sessions simultaneously.
  1. Third-Party Tools:
  • For additional features, consider third-party tools like TeamViewer or AnyDesk, which offer cross-platform support and advanced functionalities.


Setting up Remote Desktop on Windows 11 Pro is straightforward, whether using the GUI or PowerShell.

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