There is no Remote Desktop feature in Windows 11 and 10 Home edition. Since it is for home usage, Microsoft removed some features from Windows Home, like the 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. The Microsoft Windows operating system is no exception. Windows 11 Pro has more features than the Windows Home edition, but the latter is also a costlier choice. The Home version has enough features for everyday users.
Remote Desktop is used for two reasons:
- Connect and control remote computers Desktop on your computer.
- Connect and control your computer from other computers over the network (or the Internet).
Upgrading to Windows 10 Pro just to use a specific functionality is not wise when so many remote desktop apps are available on Microsoft Store. Nevertheless, nobody can rule out the sophistication of the native Windows tools.
If you go to Settings app >> System >> Remote Desktop, you will see the following error message if you are using Windows Home edition:
“Your Home edition of Windows 1X doesn’t support Remote Desktop”
Difference between Microsoft Remote Desktop Server and Client
Before we move forward, you must understand that Windows has a Remote Desktop Server and a Remote Desktop Client. Remote Desktop Client is still present in the Home edition, which you can open using the mstsc cmdlet. This means you can still connect to other devices from a PC with Windows Home. However, the Remote Desktop Server has been removed, which means other devices cannot connect to your Windows Home computer.
Microsoft disabled the Remote Desktop Server on Windows 11/10 Home but did not remove it entirely. As a workaround, you can still enable the premium feature reserved for Windows Pro users to allow remote connections.
Trust me! You don’t have to be a computer geek to make Windows Remote Desktop tool work on your Windows Home PC. All you need to do is to download a file and install it on your computer.
Please go through the steps involved to set up Remote Desktop on a PC with Windows Home Edition. This method works for Windows 10 Home and Windows 11 Home Editions.
Enable Remote Desktop on Windows 11 and Windows 10 Home Editions
The following steps will allow remote access to your Windows 11 and Windows 10 Home computer remotely through the network:
Download Thinstuff Remote Desktop Host by clicking on the link.
Note: You will have to allow the downloaded .exe file through your web browser’s security, as it is considered malicious, otherwise it will be blocked.
Once downloaded, execute the file and go through with the installation wizard to install the tool on your Windows Home computer.
Once installed, restart the computer to finalize the installation.
After your system reboots, run the Thinstuff Remote Desktop Host application. A shortcut to the app should be available on your desktop.
Congrats! If you have enabled RDP or remote desktop protocol, the Windows Remote Desktop Server is now available on your Windows Home PC. You can now connect to this PC remotely from another computer on your network, using any Remote Desktop application of your choosing.
Here are a few things to note before you invite someone to remotely connect with your PC:
You can only connect to this PC remotely if the Thinstuff Remote Desktop Host is running. The tool does not start automatically, but you can manually add it to the automatic startup list.
If you have not purchased a license for Thinstuff Remote Desktop Host, then you will see a message, such as in the following image, when connected to the PC remotely. This message cannot be dismissed before 10 seconds.
Make sure your Windows firewall allows remote connections on 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 of Microsoft Windows EULA (End User Licensing Agreement). Therefore, you should avoid using it in a commercial setup.
Only give remote access to your PC to people you trust or those bound by a contractual or legal obligation.
Use the same credentials for a Remote Desktop Connection that you use to log into your system.
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 tons of remote desktop applications available for Windows 11 and 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.
Third-party apps also reduce the risks involved in enabling the RDP port over the network. The native RDP app from Microsoft is vulnerable to all sorts of security threats, especially when you allow access to your computer over the internet.
Apart from the Windows-native MSTSC app, Microsoft also provides a UWP Microsoft Remote Desktop app which can be downloaded from Microsoft Store. It gives the user m
TeamViewer is one of the most versatile remote desktop applications available for the Windows operating system 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.
You do not need a default port to connect to the computer remotely.
A potential competitor to TeamViewer, Anydesk is also free for personal usage and is compatible with every device you can think of, which also includes Raspberry Pi in addition to the usual mobile and desktop platforms.
Chrome Remote Desktop
For those who live and breathe in their Chrome browser or use a Chromebook, there is no 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.
Microsoft Remote Desktop for Android
Remote Desktop for Android can be downloaded from the Google Play Store on any Android device and can be used to connect to another device that supports the Remote Desktop Protocol.
Microsoft Remote Desktop App
Apart from the Windows-native MSTSC app, Microsoft also provides a UWP Microsoft Remote Desktop app, which can be downloaded from Microsoft Store. It gives the user more controls with a convenient UI over the built-in Remote Desktop client application in Windows.
The idea of using a pro feature on the Home version of Windows without paying for an upgrade, while a fascinating idea, is a workaround. It might or might not work for you.
If you’re a business that relies on Remote Desktop tool for business processes, the workaround isn’t exactly a cost saver for you. I recommend you upgrade to Windows Pro edition or buy a license to one of the aforementioned tools. For everybody else, I recommend giving this technique, to enable the RDP server on Windows Home, a try before going for an alternative.
That said, a third-party tool known as “RDP Wrapper Library” used to work as an alternative tool to enable RDP on Windows Home edition. However, the tool has not been updated since 2017 and no longer works on either Windows 10, or the Windows 11 operating system. Therefore, it can be concluded that the RDP Wrapper Library has become obsolete.