How to Set Up a Remote Desktop Connection in Windows XP

By James Stone

When you set up a Remote Desktop connection in Windows XP, you have the ability to access to any of the files and programs from your office-based computer from home. After you establish a connection, the Remote Desktop application gives you control over your host computer's operating system. Your monitor will show what is running on the remote computer's monitor, creating a workplace environment from your home computer.

Host Computer (Office)

Step 1

Click "Start," then click the "Control Panel" link. Click the "Performance and Maintenance" heading, then click the "System" heading, displaying the "System Properties" window on the screen.

Step 2

Click the "Remote" tab, then check the "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer" box. Click "OK" to confirm the changes.

Step 3

Click "Start," then click "Control Panel." Click the "Security Center" heading, then the "Windows Firewall" heading. The "Windows Firewall Properties" window will appear on the screen.

Step 4

Check the "Don't allow exceptions" box under the "General" tab. Click the "Exceptions" tab, then check the "Remote Desktop" box. Click "OK" to confirm the changes and close the "Security Center."

Remote Computer (Home)

Step 1

Click "Start," then click "All Programs." Click the "Accessories" folder, then the "Communications" folder. Click the "Remote Desktop Connection" application.

Step 2

Type the computer name of your host computer in the "Computer" box.

Step 3

Click "Connect," then type your user name and password when the "Log On to Windows" dialog box appears. Click "OK" to open the Remote Desktop window.

Tips & Warnings

  • To find the name of the host computer, click "Performance and Maintenance" in the "Control Panel." Click "System" then the "Computer Name" tab.
  • Microsoft Windows XP must be installed on the computer that will allow access to the remote computer, and the remote computer must be running Windows 95 or later.
  • Both computers must be connected to the Internet through a VPN connection. If there's no VPN connection, you must use the IP address of the host computer instead of the computer name.