By Ellie / Last Updated October 13, 2021

The scenario: How can I use Remote Desktop on Windows Server

“I need to learn how to use remote connection because of my job requirements. I’m using a Windows Server 2016 now. Most tutorials on remote connection now are about Windows 10 Remote Desktop Connection. There are not many remote connection tutorials related to Windows Servers, including Windows Server 2012 R2/2016/2019. I don’t know is there any difference in operation? Could anyone teach me how to use Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2016?” 

How to complete Windows Server remote connection

Although the setup process of Windows Server Remote Desktop Connection is not complicated, it is still difficult for people who have relatively little computer knowledge. Actually, the operation steps of the Remote Desktop Connection of Windows 2012 R2/2016/2019 are similar to and other Windows versions.

Here, I take Windows Server 2016 as an example, teaching you how to easily use Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2016. The way to enable Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2019 is the same.

Part 1: Enable Remote Desktop on Window Server [Two methods]

Before we finally realize Windows Server Remote Connection, we need to enable Remote Desktop on Window Server first.

Method 1. Enable RDP on Windows Server 2016 via the Graphical User Interface

In terms of operation method and user interface, Windows Server 2016 has many similarities with Windows 10, but there are also many differences. The most obvious difference is the server manager, which is the key point to enable Windows Server remote connection.

Step 1. Click the Start in the lower-left corner, find and click Server Manager in the expanded menu.

Server Manager

Step 2. Select the Local Server tab on the left pane, find the Remote Desktop column on the right pane, and click the Disable button next to it.

Click to Disable

Step 3. Press Win + R to invoke the Run dialog box. Then type in “sysdm.cpl” and hit OK to open System Properties. Find the Remote tab in the System Properties window, and tick Allow remote connections to this computer.

Remote Desktop Tab

Note: If you are running a Linux operating system, then you need to be disabled Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended).

Step 4. A warning window of Remote Desktop Connection will pop up automatically, then click OK. This pop-up window is mainly used to inform the user to enable the required firewall rules in the Server to allow the network to connect to the Server remotely.

Warning Popup

Step 5. Then you can see that Remote Desktop is switched to Enabled on the Local Server tab, which means that the Windows Server remote connection is enabled.

Officially Opened

Method 2. Enable Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2016 via Windows PowerShell

Step 1. Press Win + R to open the running dialog box, type in PowerShell.exe and click OK to open the PowerShell window.

Open a Windows Powershell

Step 2. Enter Set-ItemProperty -Path’HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\

Terminal Server’ -name “fDenyTSConnections” -value 0 to enable Remote Desktop Registry value.

Enable Registry Value

Step 3. Then enter Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup “Remote Desktop” to set up the Windows firewall to allow Remote Desktop Connection.

Allow Windows Firewall

If you want to confirm whether the Remote Desktop Connection has been opened, you can open the Server Manager, find Remote Desktop in the Local Service, and see if the status is switched to Enabled. 

Part 2: Access Windows Server using Remote Desktop

After enabling Remote Desktop Connection on Windows Server via the Graphical User Interface or Windows PowerShell, the next step is to realize the remote connection. If you know how to operate Windows 10 Remote Desktop Connection, you will find that the steps to operate Windows Server Remote Desktop Connection are the same.

Step 1. On the Windows Server 2016, search for Remote Desktop Connection in the search box, and then click to open Remote Desktop Connection.

Remote Desktop Connection

Step 2. Enter the IP address and user name of the account that you want to log in the Remote Desktop Connection interface to achieve connection.

Computer and User Name

Step 3. In the pop-up Windows Security window, enter the corresponding password of the remote computer and click OK.

Windows Security

Step 4. In the authentication pop-up window, directly click Yes to successfully establish a remote connection.

Click on Authentication

Actually, Windows Remote Desktop Connection is not the only choice for Windows Server remote connection. And there are chances that you encounter issues like the remote session was disconnected License Servers. Then, you can try AnyViewer, a third-party free remote desktop software for Windows, which is even more convenient than Windows Remote Desktop Connection.

Free Windows Server remote connection software: AnyViewer

AnyViewer is perfectly compatible with multiple Windows versions, including Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 R2 and Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7. It is the best alternative to Windows Remote Desktop Connection. It superiors to RDC because it can realize remote connection without IP address and user name, and has more practical functions.

AnyViewer has two connection methods: one is to send a control request, and the other is to connect input a security code. The following will introduce the operation steps of the two methods respectively. You can choose according to your own situation.

Preparation work:

  • Connect the client computer (the controller computer) and the host computer (the controlled computer) to the Internet.
  • Download and install AnyViewer on the client computer and the host computer respectively.
Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Methods 1. Send a control request to realize Windows Server remote connection

Step 1. Run AnyViewer on both computers. On the client computer, input the device ID of the host computer in the Partner ID box, and then click Connect.

Temporary Code

Step 2. Then there will be a pop-up window, choose Send a control request to your partner. And then click OK.

Send a Control Request to Your Partner

Step 3. The host computer will receive a pop-up request. People sitting in front of the host computer need to click Allow to make the connection successful.

Request to Control Your Device

Methods 2. Input security code to realize Windows Server remote connection

There are two types of security codes:

  • A permanent security code is set by you in advance.
  • A temporary security code is automatically generated and will change every time.

Step 1. First, you need to set up a permanent security code on the host computer. Click Settings and then Recipient. Tick the third option. Then set the security code you want in the box. Then click OK to finish the set-up process. 

Accept Remote Control

Step 2. Return to the main interface of AnyViewer on the host computer, you could see the Temporary Security Code.

Copy the Temporary Security Code

Step 3. On the client computer, input the device ID of the host computer and click Connect. Choose Input security code, then enter either the permanent security code or the temporary security code of the host computer and click OK.

Security Code

As we mentioned before, AnyViewer has more practical functions. After the remote connection is successful, you can adjust the resolutions and image quality according to your needs. You can also lock, logout, restart, shutdown computer remotely.



If you are planning to realize Windows Server remote connection, Remote Desktop Connection is not your only choice. You can use AnyViewer, a free yet professional remote control solution. With it, you can easily realize remote connection, no matter you are using a Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019.