By Hester / Last Updated April 18, 2023

How do I transfer files using Microsoft Remote Desktop?

“Sometimes I need to handle work issues at home. But when I work on this, it troubles me a lot that I don’t have the files on my home computer. I try to transfer files via Remote Desktop Connection, but I don’t know how to operate it. Can anybody provide me with some detailed steps?”


How to perform Microsoft Remote Desktop transfer files [2 ways]

Here in the post, we introduce you two ways to perform Microsoft Remote Desktop transfer files.

  • Windows Home Editions can’t receive remote control via RDP, please upgrade to Pro or Enterprise Editions.
  • If your PCs are not in the local network, you need to perform port forwarding or use a VPN.

Before starting, we’ll introduce how to set up Remote Desktop Connection on your host computer. If you have already enabled RDP and gotten the IP address and username of the host computer, skip to the steps below, and continue with establishing a remote connection.

Preparation work: Set up Remote Desktop Connection on the host PC

1. Enable Remote Desktop Connection

Navigate to: Settings > System > Remote Desktop > Turn on the Enable Remote Desktop switch, and then click the Confirm button.

enable remote desktop

2. Allow remote connections to the host PC

Step 1. Select Control Panel > System and Security > System, under the “System” section, click Remote Settings.

remote setting

Step 2. Check "Allow remote connections to this computer" and then click OK.

remote desktop tab

3. Get the IP address and username

Step 1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box. Enter "cmd" and then click OK.

run box cmd

Step 2. Enter the command “ipconfig” and take a note of the IPv4 Address.

find the computer name in the console

Step 3. Enter “query user” to see the username of the host computer.

When you have done these above, follow next steps to learn how to transfer files via Remote Desktop Connection.

Establish a remote connection from the client PC to the host PC

Step 1. On the client PC, press Win + R to open the Run Dialog Box, type “mstsc”, and then click OK.

run box mstsc

Step 2. Click Show Options and select Local Resources, and then click the button More in the last section. Please also make sure that Clipboard option is ticked.

Check Clipboard

Step 3. Click “+” beside Drives and then select the disk you want to perform transfer and then hit OK.

check drives

Step 4. Back to the General interface, type in the IP address and username of the host PC, and then select Connect.

realize remote connection

Step 5. If you see the pop-up window, type in the password of the host PC and hit OK.

enter your credentials

When the connection of PCs is been established, there are 2 ways for you to achieve Microsoft Remote Desktop transfer files.

Way 1. Copy and paste directly

You can copy and paste directly if the files are smaller than 2 GB. Please notice that the speed of RDP file transfer is rather slow.

Step 1. When the connection is achieved, you can see the files of the host computer.

the desktop of the remote pc

Step 2. Press Ctrl + C to copy the files or folders you want to transfer, and then press Ctrl + V to paste them onto the desktop.

transfer files to local pc

Step 3. If the files or folders are on the disk drive, go to “This PC” to find them, and then press Ctrl + C to copy the files and press Ctrl + V to paste the files on the client computer.

drives of remote pc

Way 2. Use Move to function

If the files you need to transfer are larger than 2 GB, we suggest you use Move to function.

Step 1. Click This Computer on the host computer desktop to find the Redirected drives and folders you checked before.

turn on this computer

Step 2. Find the disk that stores the files you need and select the files you want to transfer. Go to Home > Move to > Choose location, then choose the client drives you redirected before to achieve RDP file transfer between computers.

transfer files

Pros and cons of transferring files via RDP

After learning how to transfer files via Remote Desktop Connection, here is a list of pros and cons to make you have a clear perception of RDP file transfer.

It is a built-in program without installation.
It’s free to use. 
It is quite slow when transferring files, and the transfer speed can be affected by many factors.
It fails to copy and paste files exceeding 2 GB. 
It’s complicated when the 2 PCs are not in the local network.
It doesn’t support Windows Home editions, for example, your Windows 10 Home Edition is not supported to transfer files remotely.
It will lock the host PC during the remote session, which causes a loss of your working time for you can’t use your PC when someone is controlling you.

AnyViewer: File transfer without limitations

You may search for different file transfer freeware to guarantee work effectiveness and save more time. We would like to suggest AnyViewer to you in this case for the following advantages.

It’s user-friendly without any restrictions, for example, it won’t lock the host PC during file transfer.
It works with several Windows versions and supports a variety of internet environments without the necessity of a VPN or port forwarding.
It’s more efficient with fast file transfer speed.
It offers a chat box to allow text communication between the devices.

Download, install and launch AnyViewer on both computers.

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

Part 1. Sign up for AnyViewer

Step 1. On the host computer, go to Log in and then click Sign up (You can log in directly if you have already signed up).

log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill in the sign up information.

sign up for AnyViewer

Step 3. When you successfully logged in to AnyViewer, you can see your devices automatically be assigned to the account you’ve logged in to.

free editions

Part 2. Transfer files via AnyViewer

After logging in to AnyViewer on the host PC, here are two options for you to choose to transfer files via AnyViewer.

Option 1. Transfer files with the partner ID

When you need to transfer files to someone you don’t trust enough, you are supposed to use this method to transfer files without logging into the same AnyViewer account on the other device to ensure security.

Step 1. On the client computer, type in the device ID of the host PC and select File transfer, and then click Connect.

file transfer connect

Step 2. Then there is a Connection Request to ask you whether to Send a request to your partner or Input security code.

After you choose the way to control the other PC, you are allowed to transfer files between the two devices.

choose a method

Option 2. Transfer files with the same account

You are recommended to use this method which is more convenient and efficient when you need to transfer files frequently on your computers. Before starting file transfer, ensure your devices are logged in to the same account.

Step 1. On the client computer, go to Device to choose the target device you want to connect to, and then click File Transfer.

file transfer AnyViewer

No matter which option you choose, a File Transfer dialog box will appear. The host PC is displayed there on the left of the box, while the client PC is displayed there on the right. To send the selected files to the client PC, click the right arrow after selecting the files you wish to send. To transfer files to the host PC, select the files and click the left arrow on the opposite side.

choose files

The transfer status is at the bottom of the box. Right-click to pause or remove the tasks.

transfer status

✍ Notes: AnyViewer file transfer support for a single file smaller than 100 MB for the free account, and you can transfer no more than 100 files per time. Upgrade to a Professional or Enterprise plan to transfer larger files. Then you'll have the following rights: 
Transfer more files at once to save your time.
Connect to another computer in privacy mode, which means you can black the screen and block the mouse and keyboard of the remote computer.
Faster file transfer speed. Transfer speed for a free account is 500 KB/s, and for a paid account is up to 10 MB/s.


This post is a detailed guide to Microsoft Remote Desktop transfer files. However, it has a lot limitations of the size of files and network conditions, besides, it’s quite slow to transfer files via Remote Desktop Connection. Therefore, AnyViewer is a better option for more convenient file transfer without limitations.