Enable RDP in CMD: A Windows Guide 👩‍💻

enable rdp in cmd windows 10

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enable rdp in cmd windows 10
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Microsoft’s remote desktop protocol is one of the most popular and valuable remote access protocols in the world. It is one of the principal protocols that is used by many different software clients and users to establish remote access to server and desktop systems alike. Sometimes, using the predesigned GUI-based platform of Windows cannot be accessed, whether due to technical difficulties or lack of first-hand access. You have to enable RDP in CMD. 

RDP is widely used by many companies to create shared servers, and it is even used to host websites with dedicated resources. During the pandemic, the number of users who rely on protocols like RDP has skyrocketed. If you find yourself one of these people who now rely on tools like RDP in order to perform your work, business, or education-based tasks, it is important to know your way around its operational basis. 

Therefore, in order to attain this level of proficiency, you need to know how to enable RDP in command line. But before we get to the step-by-step guide, let’s quickly go over what RDP is, the principal use cases of RDP, the properties of CMD, and the root reasons behind using CMD to control RDP. Let’s get to it. 

What is RDP?

RDP stands for remote desktop protocol. It is a remote access protocol developed by Microsoft all the way back in 1998. While originally it was intended to run on a Windows desktop-to-desktop basis, it has evolved to become a multi-platform protocol that is used in many different software programs and clients in order to establish connections between computers and servers. For a deeper understanding, I encourage you to take a look at “What is RDP?” if you think you need a comprehensive guide on this topic. As of 2022, Microsoft’s remote desktop protocol covers Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android. RDPs are an additional extension of the ITU telecommunication standardization sector. By default, the running port of the RDP protocol is 3389 on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and port 3389 on User Data Program (UDP).

While RDP was originally an insignificant protocol with lots of errors and incompatibilities, it has grown to become one of the premier remote access protocols in the world. Microsoft constantly updates and improves the protocol. The clients and software that use the RDP protocol, therefore, also use the enhanced and updated versions as they are released. It can be used via Windows itself without any of these clients, although using it through software does make it easier to set up and also offers certain additional utilities. You can read our article with a list of the top ten best RPD providers as well as six recommended RDP clients in it!

What is RDP Used For?

RDP is used to establish high-quality connections, which then can be used in different forms within a server by the admin to create either a direct computer-to-computer connection or even a shared server. These variations include shared servers, dedicated servers, remote access, and even hosting with RDP. The protocol itself has evolved throughout the years to also include a ton of secondary features that makes it easier, more beneficial, and safer to use. For example, smart card authentication and bandwidth reduction are very useful features included as part of the RDP protocol.

RDP is also a great remote access protocol due to its flexibility in establishing connections between different platforms and OS options. Unlike its principal rival, the SSH protocol, it also establishes these connections using a graphical user interface, which makes it much more useful for use cases such as trading on forex with RDP and so on. RDP also has support for many different features, such as live chat and 128-bit encryption for mouse and keyboard data, in order to secure the connection even in the case of a potential breach. So these features can easily be made useful for different clients. 

In general, the main use cases that you can employ with these features include establishing a connection in order to perform remote troubleshooting and repairs, establishing remote access to another computer, and of course, remote administration of large servers, as already mentioned.

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What is CMD?

CMD is a simple acronym denoting the word Command. CMD is a tool within the Windows operating system that acts the same as Terminal in macOS, as well as Unix Shell in all the OS forms that fall under that umbrella. As the principal command interpreter of all Windows versions, it is commonly used in order to give commands to their computer in order to perform tasks and operations. CMD uses the command language and the implementation structure of the Win32 console. A user uses this console to put in command lines and perform the task that they want without manually navigating through the Windows GUI itself.

This is useful for getting tasks done fast, and some operations are not even represented as part of the base Windows GUI and, therefore, can only be performed through the CMD. This command processor shell is one of the oldest, most recognizable, and iconic command shells dating all the way back to 1987, and having command of how it works is incredibly useful. In order to enable RDP in CMD, you are going to need a beginner level of understanding about enabling remote desktop command line. But why open RDP from CMD in the first place?

Why Use CMD for RDP?

There are two main scenarios that could necessitate using CMD in order to operate the RDP terminal in Windows 10 or any other Windows version. The first scenario is when for whatever reason, the client cannot be navigated and opened using the normal options within the Windows GUI. There are several reasons for this happening. One could be a recent broken Windows update or operating on an outdated Windows version. Corrupted system files can also be the reason behind this. Fixing these issues, especially the latter one, can be time-consuming and, in some cases, could even require a fresh reinstall of your Windows. So instead, we bypass the GUI and use CMD to operate it.

The second scenario is when you do not want to directly use the RDP terminal, and you also do not want to use a third-party client. This will allow you to establish your own personal connection and use the features of the RDP connection based on your own personal preferences. This can be utilized both for administering servers via enabling and disabling features as well as on a remotely accessed computer. Knowing your way around the principal concepts of CMD is useful in general, and it does not hurt to also learn how to operate RDP using CMD.

Enable RDP in CMD: Step by Step Guide

Now we are going to use the enabled remote desktop Windows 10 command line in order to activate the Windows RDP terminal and access it without navigating to the Terminal itself from Windows. This guide will be step-by-step and easy to follow. If at any point you need further details on how to do it, you can get assistance by following the pictures. 

Note: This guide is viable for all versions of Windows from Windows 98 onwards to Windows 11. With slight variations on how to launch CMD and items like that. You can still use these commands to enable RDP on all versions. Since Windows 10 has the most users right now, we will enable RDP on windows 10 and the pictures will correspond to that version.

Step 1: Make Sure You Have Admin Access

First things first, you need to make sure the account that you currently are logged in on your version of Windows is an Administrator account. This is vital for launching CMD with the required privileges. You can access information on your account by navigating to the Control Panel and then to the User Accounts Section. If the account does not have the Administrator role beneath it, you need to make it admin or create an admin account on that version of Windows.

Step 2: Launch CMD With Admin Privileges

On your desktop, hover over the bottom left corner to bring up the panel and the search bar. They simply type in “CMD,” right-click on the program and then click on the run as administrator. A prompt will then appear, which you will have to click yes on.

open command prompt

Step 3: Enable RDP in CMD with the Command Line

Next, you will see the black Win32 Console; simply enter the following command. This command will adjust the local machine section of your Windows registry and enable RDP once again.

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

win32 console screenshot

Next, enter this second command to finalize the activation:

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=" remote desktop" new enable=yes

Step 4: Activate RDP in PowerShell

open power shell

Now there’s a low chance that RDP is not fully activated, so you need to also activate it using Windows Powershell. Navigate to the Windows Panel once again and type in “Powershell,” and right-click and launch it as administrator. 

Set-ItemProperty command on powershell

Then enter the following command: 

Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server'-name "fDenyTSConnections" -Value 0

Step 5: Configure Firewall in PowerShell

Now you need to make an exception for RDP ports via PowerShell in order to make sure that the firewall will not attempt to shut the RDP connection down. Enter the following commands into the PowerShell:

Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"

You have now set the rules in the firewall, and RDP will work as intended.

Step 6: Confirm the RDP Activation

Just to make sure that we have done everything correctly, we can quickly go for a confirmation process if you have managed to enable RDP in CMD. Navigate to the Windows registry and navigate to the following address:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services

Click on the fDenyTSConnections file and see if the value is set at 0 or at 1. If it is 0, it is active, and if it is 1, it is not.

fDenyTSConnections file on local machine

How to Disable RDP in CMD?

It is also useful to learn the reverse scenario of how to enable RDP with CMD. The main reason to disable RDP with CMD would be if you have no use of RDP at all and, therefore, you seek to make it disabled to prevent a potential security breach.

Step 1: Change the Value 

Open the CMD with admin privileges again and enter the following command in order to turn the fDenyTSConnections value back to 1: 

reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Step 2: Reconfigure the Firewall

Then launch the PowerShell with admin privileges and remove the rules you added before from the firewall with these two commands in order to completely block it:

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=" remote desktop" new enable=No
Disable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"

Now the RDP service is again disabled, and you won’t have to worry about any threat from RDP.


Once you have mastered how to disable and enable remote desktop CMD, chances are you want to establish an RDP connection of your own. If this connection is on a system-to-system basis, then no servers are needed. But if you want to establish a shared or dedicated server with your own management, then you will need a configurable and scalable RDP server. Cloudzy is here to help you out. Cloudzy offers highly scalable, configurable and reliable RDP VPS Server with excellent connection, low latency, 15 different server locations, and data centers, as well as ironclad security featuring anti-DDoS protocols and protection. Get your own for as low as $7.95 per month, with flexible billing, many payment options, and a 7-day money-back guarantee as the cherry on top.


Why Should I Enable RDP in CMD?

The registry or another aspect of accessing RDP from normal means in your computer may be disabled, and a quick workaround would be to quickly use CMD and Powershell in order to execute commands and efficiently operate, enable and disable RDP.

Can I Change my RDP Port?

Yes. You can do so by altering the files in the Windows registry. However, be really careful with the alternate port you use, as it can easily be used against you by malicious online hackers.

Should I Use an RDP Software?

This largely depends on whether you need a simple, bare-bones connection or if you want additional features and options. If the latter is true, programs like Zoho Assist and TeamViewer will be really helpful.

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