Remote Desktop Connection - Setup and Use (Windows)


The article describes how to setup and use Remote Desktop Connection software on a Windows computer so you can access another computer in a different location.


Remote Desktop Connection is a way to access a Windows computer through a different computer in another location in order to run programs or access files from that computer. It can be used to connect to servers that run specialized software, or to your office desktop computer when you are working from home. If you wish to connect to your College-issued computer remotely, your computer needs to be plugged into the Middlebury network and be left running in order for you to connect successfully.

Remote Desktop Access should be used only when your office computer is in a secure location.



  • Both computers need an active Internet connection.
  • Remote desktop is not enabled on computers by default at Middlebury, only by request. Please submit a ticket with ITS to have it enabled on your device.
  • The computer you will be connecting from needs to have the Remote Desktop Connection application installed on it.  (This client is available for Windows and Mac OS.)
  • You need to know the Computer name -- or preferably the IP address -- of the computer you wish to connect to.


  1. Record the name of the computer, since you'll be using this to connect to it. The name is available in the System window, accessible by clicking the Start orb, right-clicking on "Computer" and selecting "Properties".
  2. If you are an administrator on the machine in question, you should already have permission to use Remote Desktop Connection. For other computers, contact the Helpdesk to verify that you have the appropriate permissions.
  3. Ensure the computer you want to connect to is turned on and is connected to the College's wired network.  (If the computer is off or not connected to the network at the time when you try to connect to it, you'll just see an error message.)
  4. (Off-campus users only): Establish a VPN connection.
  5. Open Microsoft's "Remote Desktop" program (Start => Programs => Accessories => Remote Desktop Connection).
  6. In the window that appears, enter the name of the computer that's on campus (E.g. midd-12345.)
  7. Login with your own credentials. (If this is a single-user machine such as a desktop and there's anyone else logged in, you will be prompted to "log this person off" which kicks them off the computer.)

Common Problems

No network connection on one or both computers

Both computers must be on and connected to the Internet for RDC to be enabled. Computers that are "hibernating" do not count as on, though normal sleep should be fine.

Remote Desktop Connection is not enabled

This is managed at the network level on most computers. Contact the Helpdesk for more info.

Windows Firewall blocks the connection

  1. Go to Control Panel and choose Windows Firewall.
  2. Click on the "Exceptions" tag and make sure that "Remote Desktop Connection" is checked on the list.

User does not have Permissions

On most college computers, the primary user assigned to that computer has permissions by default. Terminal servers are configured to allow remote connections by most users. If you are trying to connect to a non-College computer, permissions may not be set. To give permissions:

  1. Right click on My Computer and choose Properties.
  2. Choose the "Remote Tab" and enable Remote Desktop Connection.
  3. Click on "Select Remote Users" and then "Add" and then you can add users either from the directory or just manually.

Error: Can not connect, please contact the owner of the computer

Try to connect using the IP address instead of the computer name.



Article ID: 358
Thu 9/22/22 11:35 AM
Thu 6/27/24 9:19 AM

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