Accessing a Windows 7 System via Remote Desktop

I needed to access a Windows 7 Professional system from a Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server (SBS) using Remote Desktop. I was initially unable to establish the connection, so I went to the Windows 7 system and enabled Remote Desktop support on that system by the following procedure. Note: this doesn't work for Windows 7 Home Edition, since Microsoft removed that capability as part of its marketing strategy for forcing business users to purchase more expensive Professional, Business, or Ultimate versions of Windows.

Enable Remote Desktop on Windows 7 Systems

  1. Right-click the Computer icon and choose properties.
  2. Click on Remote settings.
  3. Check the box next to Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer and select "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)", if you will need to access the system from systems running operating systems other than Windows 7 or Vista. If you will only be accessing the system from systems running one of those operating systems, you can choose "Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (more secure)."
  4. Click on OK

Don't worry about setting up firewall rules, Vista or Windows 7 does that for you automatically.

After I took the above steps, when I tried connecting to the system via remote desktop from the domain controller, which is a Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server (SBS) system, I saw the following message:

To log on to this computer, you must be granted the Allow log on through Terminal Services right. By default, members for the Remote Desktop Users group have this right. If you are not a member of the Remote Desktop Users group or another group that has this right or if the Remote Desktop Users group does not have this right, you must be granted this right manually.

To grant the account I was attempting to use for the remote login the appropriate privilege to the system, I took the following steps on the domain controller:

  1. Open "Server Management" by clicking on Start, All Programs, Administrative Tools, then Server Management.
  2. Click on Computer Management.
  3. Click on Action.
  4. Select Connect to another computer.
  5. Put the name of the other computer in the Another computer field and click on OK.
  6. Under System Tools, select Local Users and Groups.
  7. Double-click on Groups.
  8. Double-click on Remote Desktop Users in the right pane.
  9. Click on the Add button to add a new user to the Remote Desktop Users group.
  10. In the "Enter the object names to select" field, place the user's domain account. Put the domain name followed by a "\" and then the account name. E.g. Acme\jdoe. Or you can use the form
  11. Click on Check Names to verify the account.
  12. Click on OK.
  13. Click on OK again to close the "Remote Desktop Users Properties" window.
  14. Close the Computer Management window.


  1. Turn on Remote Desktop in Windows 7 or Vista
    Date: January 13, 2007
    How-To Geek - Computer Help from your Friendly How-To Geek
  2. Account Acces Via Remote Web Workplace
    Date: July 25, 2006
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Created: October 3, 2010