Four Tested Ways to Enable Remote Desktop Server 2016, 2022

How do I enable Remote Desktop Server 2016? In this post, we will offer four easy ways to enable RDP on Windows Server 2016. We also discuss how to Remote Desktop to Windows Server 2016 from Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.


By Hester / Updated on April 14, 2023

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How do I enable Remote Desktop on Server 2016?


Hi, I want others to access my Windows Server 2016 via RDP. How can I enable Remote Desktop Server 2016? Thanks in advance.”

- Question from Windows Forum

Windows Server 2016

How to enable Remote Desktop Server 2016 [4 ways]

Do you wish to enable Remote Desktop Server 2016/2019/2022? Need to establish a Remote Desktop connection but don’t know how to do so? By default, Remote Desktop option is disabled in Windows Server 2016 (except Server 2016 Essential edition). You can enable RDP on your Windows Server 2016 or later in the following four ways.

Way 1. Enable RDP from Server Manager

You can enable Remote Desktop through the Server Manager with easy steps.

Step 1. Open the Server Manager from the start menu.

Server Manager

Step 2. Click Local Server from the left panel, and you can see the Remote Desktop option is “Disabled”. Click the Disabled text to open System Properties.

Disabled Server Manager

Step 3. From the System Properties window, go to the Remote Desktop tab, and tick Allow remote connections to this computer. Click OK to take effect.

Allow Remote Connections to this Computer

Step 4. Then you will receive a warning message. Click OK to proceed.

RDP Firewall Exception

Step 5. At this point, you can optionally click the Select Users... option to give permissions to specific users or groups that can connect to your device via Remote Desktop. Click OK to exit the System Properties window and enable remote desktop.

Select Users

Step 6. Return to Server Manager, and click the refresh button to update the status to Enabled.

Enabled Server Manager

Way 2. Enable RDP via Group Policy

You can also enable Remote Desktop Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 via Group Policy.

Step 1. Press Win + R, enter “gpedit.msc”, and click OK.

Run Box gpedit.msc

Step 2. Follow the path: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Connections. Then double-click Allow users to connect remotely by using Remote Desktop Services.

Allow Users to Connect Remotely by Using Remote Desktop Sevices

Step 3. Tick Enabled and click OK to take effect.

Allow Users to Connect Remotely Using Remote Desktop Services

Way 3. Enable RDP using PowerShell

PowerShell is an object-oriented command environment. Here is how to enable Remote Desktop Windows Server 2016 PowerShell.

Step 1. Search for “PowerShell”and run it as administrator.

Run Powershell from Search

Step 2. Enter the following command to configure remote access:

  • Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:SYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlTerminal Server" -Name "fdenyTSXonnections" -Value 0

Step 3. Since the Windows Firewall may block the RDP connections, you can enter the following command to open the firewall.

  • Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"

Way 4. Enable RDP with the command line

You can follow the instructions below to enable RDP in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 with the command line.

Step 1. Press Win + R, enter “regedit.exe”, and click OK.

Run Box regedit

Step 2. Click File > Connect Network Registry.

Connect Network registry

Step 3. Enter the computer name of your PC and click OK.

Connect Network registry Enter Computer Name

Step 4. In the Registry Editor panel, go to HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server. Select the fDenyTSConnections parameter, change its Value data to 0, and click OK.


Step 5. Search for “cmd” and run it as administrator.


Step 6. Enter the following command to allow remote connections:

  • PsExec.exe \server1 -u contosoadmin -p password cmdnetsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="allow RemoteDesktop" dir=in protocol=TCP localport=3389 action=allowshutdown –f –r –t

Step 7. Enter the following command to set firewall rules in the Windows Firewall.

  • netsh advfirewall firewall add rule ?

How to Remote Desktop to Windows Server 2016 [4 cases]

Once you have enabled Remote Desktop on your Windows Server, you can remotely access it via RDP. Here is how to Remote Desktop to Windows computers from different operating systems.


Case 1. Remote Desktop to Server 2016 from Windows

You can perform RDP between Windows computers without extra downloading.

Step 1. Search for “Remote Desktop Connection” and click Open.

Remote Desktop Connection

Step 2. Enter the user name or IP address of the remote computer, and click Connect.

General Tab

Case 2. Remote Desktop to Server 2016 from Mac

To access Windows Server 2016 via Remote Desktop via Mac, you need to download the Microsoft Remote Desktop application from the App Store.

Step 1. Download and open Microsoft Remote Desktop. Click the New button, then enter the required information.

General Information

Step 2. You can see the device under My Desktops when you add the remote desktop. Click the device and press Start to start the remote control.

My Desktops Mac

Case 3. Remote Desktop to Server 2016 from Linux

You need to install the rddesktop package on your Linux device to run RDP sessions.

Step 1. Use xterm to open Command shell.

Step 2. In the window, enter "desktop" to check whether the rdestkop is installed.

Step 3. If it is installed, type "desktop" followed by the IP address of the Windows Server and press Enter.

Case 4. Remote Desktop to Server 2016 from iOS/Android

RDP also allows remote access from iOS and Android devices. Here are the instructions.

Step 1. Download RD Client on your iOS or Android device.

Open the App

Step 2. Open the software, tap the “+” icon, and tap Add PC from the upper right corner.

Add a Computer

Step 3. Enter the IP address of your Server and set the related settings based on your demands. Tap Save after that.

Computer Name

Step 4. Tap your computer in the PCs interface to start the remote control.

How to remotely access Windows PCs with one click

AnyViewer is free yet powerful remote desktop software that works with Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 R2/2022 and Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 all editions. With this software, you can achieve unattended remote access with one click over the Internet without VPN or port forwarding. It also supports file transfer, multiple sessions, multiple-monitor navigation, instant chat, etc.

You need to install AnyViewer on your devices, but overall it's pretty simple to set up.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Start AnyViewer on the host computer, and click Sign up to create a new account.

Log in Anyviewer

Tips: AnyViewer client also supports iOS and Android devices. You can access Windows PC from iOS or Android devices.

Step 2. Start AnyViewer on the client PC, and log in to the account you just created.

Free Editions

Step 3. Go to the Device interface, select the computer you want to connect to and click One-click control.

Connect to My Devices

Now you can control the remote computer as if sitting in front of it, and there are many considerate options in the upper toolbar. For example, you can transfer files, chat with your partner, remote lock/reboot/shut down the computer, etc.

Remote Access Operations

Notes:✎...If you are attempting to use AnyViewerfor businesses. We recommend you upgrade to the cost-effective Professional or Enterprise plan for more rights:
Assign up to 100 devices for one-click control.
Establish more concurrent sessions.
Access in privacy mode with blacking the physical screen and disabling the physical keyboard of the remote device.
Enjoy high-image quality.



We hope this post helped to enable remote desktop server 2016. If you think performing RDP setup is complicated, we recommend using AnyViewer due to its intuitive interface and easy operation.