Enable RDP using the registry editor

Sometimes you might find that you need to connect remotely to a PC, but it is not allowing remote desktop connections. If you do not have any other remote access software available, and the PC is in another location, this quick fix can come in quite handy.

Warning: Editing the registry can be dangerous and should be performed with extreme caution. I take no responsibility for any damages done while using the Registry editor.

To run the registry editor, click on Start and select Run. Enter “regedit” into this box:

This will start the Registry Editor. If this does not work, you can also try regedt32 instead of regedit. Once you’re in the Registry Editor, you’ll need to connect remotely to the machine you’re trying to enable RDP on. To do this, go to the File menu and select Connect Network Registry…

You’ll now be prompted with a box similar to this:

Enter the computer name into this screen and click OK to continue. You will now be taken back to the main screen, and you will now notice that the computer you have just connected to should now be showing in the left hand pane. When using the registry via the network, you will have limited access to the keys, but a lot of the ones you’d want to change remotely are available.

From this screen, browse through the tree structure to the following location:

ComputerName\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server

Look for the DWORD called fDenyTSConnections. This is the key that defines whether it will allow remote access or not. 0x00000001 (1) means that it is disabled. 0x00000000 (0) means that it is enabled. Anything else, and I think it’s broken!

To change the value, double click on it, and you’ll get a screen like this:

Simply change the 1 to a 0, wait about a minute, and then you will be able to use the RDP connection to this machine.