Remote Enable Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2003 using Regedit

Remote Desktop on Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 will allow access to a Windows session that is running on another computer from your local computer. However, this feature must be enabled to do so. I recently setup a Windows Server 2003 server and forgot to enable remote access.

To enable remote access, you can right click on Computer on the desktop, select the Remote tab, and then put a check in the Remote Desktop box below. Select users. Click OK. Done.


However, I didn’t do that. To fix this, from another computer access the remote registry.

  • Click on File, choose Connect Network Registry
  • In the Select Computer box, type in the name of the computer.
  • Look for the following registry key
 HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server 
  • Under Terminal Server find the value fDenyTSConnections (REG_DWORD). Change the value data from 1 (disabled) to 0 (enabled).
  • Click OK
  • Close Regedit.
  • Reboot the remote machine for the change to take effect. You can easily do so by opening a command prompt and typing the following command in Windows 2003.
     shutdown /m \\machinename /r /t 00 /f 

    or in Windows XP, Vista
     shutdown -m \\machinename -r -t 00 -f 

Worked for me, got me out of a real bind.

Remotely Enable Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2003