How to Connect to a Remote Computer Using Command Prompt

By Heather Wilkins

Save yourself a trek back home when you are away from your computer but need a file. Using whatever computer is currently available to you, you can establish a remote connection to your home computer. You can use your apps, files and network resources, such as printers, just as if you were at home. However, your home computer (also called the remote computer) needs to be set up correctly to allow remote connections.

Set Up Remote Computer

Step 1

Open the Search charm and search for "remote desktop." Click "Select Users Who Can Use Remote Desktop." Type in your admin username and password if prompted.

Step 2

Click the "Remote" tab and click the "Allow Remote Connections to This Computer" radio button in the Remote Desktop pane. If your computer is set to hibernate or go to sleep, a warning box appears; click "OK."

Step 3

Click the "Select Users" button. The Remote Desktop Users box appears; click "Add." Click "Locations" and select the location you want to search. Click "Enter the Object Names to Select" and type in the username of the person you want to be able to connect to the remote computer. Click "OK."

Step 4

Discover the IP address of the remote PC by opening the Search charm, typing "network and sharing" and clicking "Network and Sharing Center." In the View Your Active Networks section, click the "Connections" link. Click "Details" in the dialog box; your IP address is in the IPv4 Address line. Write down the IP address.

Step 5

Disable hibernation or sleeping by opening the Settings charm and clicking "Change PC Settings," "PC and Devices" and "Power and Sleep." Set the "Screen" and "Sleep" drop-down boxes to "Never."

Connect to Remote Computer

Step 1

Open the Search charm on your current computer and search for "command prompt." Click "Command Prompt" to open the Command Prompt window.

Step 2

Type "mstsc /v:" without quotes. Use the remote computer's IP address in place of "." Press "Enter."

Step 3

Type in the username and password for the user you set up on the remote computer. Press "Enter" to connect.

Tips & Warnings

  • The computer you are currently using can be running any Windows XP, Vista or 7 version or Windows 8, RT, 8.1 or 8.1 RT. However, the remote computer must be running Windows XP Professional; Vista Enterprise, Ultimate or Business; 7 Ultimate, Enterprise or Professional; 8 Pro or Enterprise; or 8.1 Pro or Enterprise.
  • Do not turn off the remote computer.
  • These steps apply to Windows 8.1 and may vary for other versions.