Which Windows Editions Allow Remote Desktop?

With many people now working in the comfort of their own homes, many companies have started using remote desktop connections to keep the business running. Setting up these connections is easy as long as the computers run on the right editions of Windows.

So which Windows editions allow remote desktop protocols? Activating and using remote desktop servers in Windows devices are only available on Windows 10 and 11 Professional editions. Those who have Home editions might need to install third-party software to use remote desktop services like RemotePC, Zoho Assist, or TeamViewer. 

What Windows Edition Supports Remote Desktop Protocols

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic struck and affected different industries worldwide, a huge part of the American workforce had no choice but to continue their jobs in their own homes. According to Gallup, about 62% of working Americans have worked remotely especially during the peak of COVID in April 2020, and employment from home is projected to only increase post-pandemic.

This pushes the need for businesses to manage their teams through remote desktop protocols. Remote desktop software is a type of technology that allows teams and companies to stay connected wherever they are. It authorizes the employee’s “client” computer to access files, open applications, and finish other work-related tasks on the company’s “host” device through a virtual private network (VPN).

Most devices that use Windows 10 or 11 as their operating system can utilize the remote desktop protocols easily. Just check if the computer uses a Professional edition because the remote desktop connection feature isn’t available in the Home edition. Users need to download a third-party remote desktop services software if they want to enable the remote desktop feature on their Windows 10 or 11 Home edition. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Remote Desktop on Windows 10 and 11

It doesn’t take an IT expert to set up the remote desktop protocols on the Windows 10 or 11 device. Just follow these instructions and you’ll be ready to work remotely in no time: 

Enabling Remote Desktop on Windows 10

When setting up the computer to allow remote connections from other devices:

  1. Check if you’re using Windows 10 Pro because remote desktop protocols only work in this edition. Click on the Start > Settings > System > About. Look for the “Edition” information on the page.
  2. People who use the Home Edition of Windows 10 or 11 may upgrade to the Pro Edition using a product activation key or by purchasing it from the Microsoft Store online.
  3. After ensuring that the device runs on Windows 10 or 11 Pro, select the Start button again. Click on Settings > System > Remote Desktop.
  4. Turn on the “Enable Remote Desktop” option.
  5. Remember the PC’s name because it’s needed later when another device connects to the host PC. The PC name is found under the “How to connect to this PC section.”

When connecting other devices to the host PC:

  • On a local Windows 10 computer: Type “Remote Desktop Connection” on the taskbar and click on “Remote Desktop Connection.” Put in the name of the host PC to connect to, then click on “Connect.
  • On iOS, Windows, or Android devices: Open a “Remote Desktop” app downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Type the name of the PC to connect to, select the right PC name, and then wait for it to automatically connect. 

Enabling Remote Desktop on Windows 11

When setting up the computer to allow remote connections from other devices:

  1. Check if the device uses Windows 11 Pro instead of the Home edition. Just go to Start > Settings > System > About and find the information about the Edition.
  2. Individuals who use the Windows 11 Home edition may upgrade to the Pro edition using a product activation key. If the key isn’t available, buy the Pro edition online on the Microsoft Store.
  3. After checking the PC’s edition, click on Start > Settings > Systems > Remote Desktop.
  4. Toggle on the switch at the right side of the “Remote Desktop.”
  5. Click “Yes” when the User Account Control (UAC) pops up, then select the “Confirm” button on the next window that asks, “Enable Remote Desktop?”
  6. Click n the drop-down button next to the switch of the “Remote Desktop.”
  7. Check the option for “Require devices to use Network Level Authentication to connect (Recommended).”
  8. Click on “Yes” on the next UAC prompt and “Confirm” on the “Allow connections only with Network Level Authentication?” This adds an extra layer of security by requiring remote PCs to authenticate themselves on the local network. It asks for the Windows user account and password of the host.

When connecting other devices to the host PC:

  • On a local Windows 11 computer: Look for “Remote Desktop Connection” on the search bar. Enter the username and password of the host PC then click on “Connect.”
  • On iOS, Windows, or Android devices: There are only a few mobile apps that allow remote connections, but Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app works on different Windows, Android, and iOS devices. Just open the app and tap the “+” icon on the right corner of the screen. Type the PC name and other account details. Press “Save” on the top right corner to save all changes. Return to the app’s home screen and tap on the right PC name to start the remote desktop session.

Other Remote Desktop Services to Check Out

Employees and companies that use editions other than the Windows 10 or 11 Pro may still set up remote desktop connections using third-party software. Here are three of the best ones to check out online: 

2. RemotePC

This popular remote access application is great for both home and business users. It utilizes cloud technology for delivering remote desktop solutions through its web application, mobile apps, and native desktop.

What most business owners and users love about RemotePC is its robust security, affordability, and scalability. It’s available at only $3.48 per year, but customers may try a 30-day free trial with any plan of their choice.

Pros Cons
  • It’s a versatile web app that covers all the essentials a business needs for remote access.
  • This app still works smoothly even with a huge number of connections set up remotely.
  • It takes some time to set everything up, but their team at RemotePC is always ready to help clients get settled.
  • The web app might not include other features that businesses are looking for. Clients might need to use other apps in addition to RemotePC.

2. Zoho Assist

Another cloud-based remote desktop software application to try is Zoho Assist. It enables remote access to different types of devices. It also features access plans and remote support to help businesses streamline their work processes better.

Zoho Assist also has one of the best security features compared to other software around the same price, which makes it a great choice for businesses that deal with sensitive data. Zoho Assist comes in different packages starting at $8 monthly.


Pros Cons
  • Zoho Assist has a huge selection of powerful tools to help teams and businesses become more productive.
  • This all-around remote access software has some of the most competitive prices available in the market.
  • They don’t offer a plan that includes all the best features from their different packages. Businesses would need to be thorough and completely decided when choosing which Zoho Assist package works well for them.
  • Their free tier has a limited set of features, so customers need to pay for the software to access the other tools.

3. TeamViewer

This powerful remote access tool allows connections to and from PCs, network machines, and mobile devices. It also has a modern and simple user interface, which allows beginners to utilize the app with ease. TeamViewer also allows businesses to gauge its usability and other important features as it comes with a free 14-day commercial trial.

Pros Cons
  • The application is easy to use, but their support team is also ready to help out employees navigate through it.
  • It has great cross-platform compatibility that allows seamless changes, connections, and communications across different devices.
  • This software is on the slightly expensive side, but business owners can trust that they’re getting their money’s worth with its amazing remote access features.
  • Users should ensure that their internet connections are excellent to avoid lagging when using the app.


Remote Desktop and Other IT Solutions by Abacus

Here at Abacus, we understand the importance of being able to work remotely with ease. Our team of highly-skilled IT experts is guaranteed to help businesses set up the best remote access software for their team and offer remote desktop support when needed. We also offer comprehensive programs and solutions to help your business become more efficient and productive.

Find out how our IT solutions can help you out by visiting us now and calling (856) 505 – 6860 for a consultation.



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The Abacus Blog Team
At Abacus IT, our blog is authored by a team of IT experts with a wealth of experience in various facets of technology. Our primary blog author is a seasoned IT professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry. With a deep understanding of cybersecurity, cloud solutions, network infrastructure, and IT management, our author provides valuable insights and actionable tips to help you optimize your IT operations.

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