There is no Remote Desktop in Windows 10 Home. Since it was for home usage, Microsoft removed some features from Windows 10 home like group policy editor gpedit.msc and remote desktop RDP. These features are only available in the Pro and Enterprise editions.
Technology firms tend to reserve a few features for their premium offerings. Microsoft Windows 10 is no exception. Windows 10 Pro has more features than Windows 10 Home has but the former is also a costlier choice. The Home version has enough features for everyday users.
Remote Desktop is used for two reasons:
- Connect and control network computers Desktop on your computer
- Connect and control your computer from other computers over the network
Upgrading to Windows 10 Pro just to use a specific functionality is not wise and when there are so many remote desktop tools available on Windows Store. Nevertheless, nobody can rule out the sophistication of a native Windows tool.
If you go to Windows Settings –> System –> Remote Desktop, you will see the following error message if you are using Windows 10 Home:
“Your edition of Windows 10 doesn’t support Remote Desktop”
Microsoft disabled the tool on Windows 10 Home but did not remove it entirely. With a workaround, you can still enable the premium feature reserved for Windows Pro users without buying an expensive license of Windows 10 Pro.
Trust me! You don’t have to be a computer person or geek to make Windows Remote Desktop tool work on your Windows 10 Home PC. All you need to do is to download a file and install it on your Windows 10 Home PC.
Let’s go through the steps involved to setup remote desktop in Windows 10 Home edition.
How to Remote Desktop Windows 10 Home?
- Download RDP Wrapper Library from here. The specific filename is RDPWInst-v1.6.2.msi for automatic installation. Or you can also download the zip file RDPWrap-v1.6.2.zip for manual installation.
- Extract the .zip archive to a folder and open the folder.
- Open install.bat and then update.bat ‘as admin’. Wait for it execute in command prompt.
- Congrats! You have enabled RDP or remote desktop protocol and as a result, Windows Remote Desktop is now available on your Windows 10 Home PC.
- To view/change the configuration parameters of this wrapper, run RDPConf.bat from the folder. It should look similar to the screenshot below.
- You can now test RDP access to your machine or do a localhost RDP connection test by launching RDPCheck.exe.
There are a few things to note before you invite someone to remotely connect with your PC:
- Add a tick mark beside “Enable Remote Desktop” in System Properties. To go to this setting directly, go to Run –> systempropertiesremote.
- Make sure your firewall allows TCP and UDP port 3389, which will be used by the RDP server as the default port.
- Although this method isn’t illegal, you will still be in breach with Microsoft Windows EULA (End User Licensing Agreement). You should avoid it in commercial settings.
- Only give remote access of your PC to people whom you trust or those bounded by a contractual or legal obligation.
Windows Remote Desktop Alternatives
While these steps are reasonable for most computer users, many people are not comfortable with the idea of patching their OS to add or remove features. At iTechtics, we suggest going for an inbuilt tool whenever possible over a third-party alternative. Nevertheless, there are tens of remote desktop applications available for Windows 10. You can use that application to establish remote connections to and from your PC without any workarounds. These applications also offer mobile and tablet apps. I will start with my personal favorite and the most popular one—TeamViewer.
TeamViewer is one of the most versatile remote desktop applications available for Windows and all major mobile and desktop platforms. The best part is the application is free for personal and non-commercial use and allows instant remote connection between two computers provided both the computers have the application installed and configured to connect.
A potential competitor to TeamViewer, Anydesk is also free for personal usage is compatible with every device you can think of and it includes your Raspberry Pi in addition to usual mobile and desktop platforms.
Chrome Remote Desktop
For those who live and breathe in their Chrome browser or use a Chromebook, there is not a better option than Chrome Remote Desktop. A Chrome extension developed by Google itself, Chrome Remote Desktop mirrors your Chrome browser on any authorized PC, Tablet or mobile phone.
The idea of using a pro feature on the Home version of Windows 10 without paying for an upgrade, while a fascinating idea, is a workaround at the end of the day. It might or might not work. While the contributors to RDP Wrapper on GitHub are doing an excellent job of keeping the library updated to absorb changes introduced by Windows updates, it is a cat and mouse game. They are not always on the same page. Going by the number of updates Microsoft is pushing to its Windows platform, it is hard to keep up.
If you’re a business that relies on the Remote Desktop tool for business processes, the workaround isn’t exactly a cost saver for you. I recommend you either upgrade to Windows 10 Pro or buy a license to one of the tools I mentioned above. For everybody else, I recommend giving this technique, to enable the RDP server on Windows 10 Home, a try before going for an alternative.