Microsoft Remote Desktop: How To Access Windows From Your Mac

If you are navigating your work from a Mac and a Windows software, accessing Windows from your Mac may just come in handy with the Microsoft Remote Desktop.

Microsoft has provided users a free tool that enables them to juggle their jobs across platforms i.e., between Windows and iOS on Mac. This feature enables you to use your Windows apps, access files, or do anything else on Windows directly from your MacBook or other macOS machines.

Wondering how possible that is, read on to get in on how you can use your windows app and access files on a MacBook.

Setting Up Microsoft Remote Desktop

To set up Microsoft Remote Desktop, you will need to be on Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, or Windows Server. The software runs solely on Microsoft’s proprietary RDP protocol, which isn’t available on the regular Windows 10 Home Edition. However, there are access tools that may enable you to run your PC to gain remote access.

To set up Microsoft Remote Acess, you need to follow these steps.

Enable Remote Access

On your Windows 10 PC, open the Start menu and go to Settings > System > Remote Desktop. Set Enable Remote Desktop to On, and click Confirm when prompted.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Access
Enable Remote Access

Keep in mind that your PC needs to be on and awake for you to successfully connect remotely. You might, therefore, want to activate the Keep my PC awake option.

To do this, click select ‘show settings’ alongside it and set Sleep to Never. You should probably only do this if you need constant remote access to the computer. If you don’t, then allowing it to sleep is not a problem.

Microsoft Remote Access
Set Device To Always On

Move further to user accounts which by default, your logged-in account will automatically have remote access permissions. To allow other users to log in remotely, click Select users to add their usernames.

Take Note Of Your PC Details

Next step is for you to get familiar with some details about your PC. You want to take note of your PC name and IP address. To find your IP address, Go to Settings > Network & Internet. Select Wi-Fi, then click on the network you’re connected to.

Microsoft Remote Desktop
Take Note Of Your PC Details

This will show you your network connection properties screen. Scroll to the bottom of the page and locate the IPv4 address in the list. Make a note of this number.

Install Microsoft Remote Desktop For Mac

Next, set in setting up remote access to Windows 10 from your Mac is to install the software on your Mac. The software is available in the Mac App Store. Microsoft also offers versions of the app for iOS and Android.

Download: Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac | iOS | Android (Free)

Add Your PC To Microsoft Remote Desktop

After installing the software on your Mac, launch the Remote Desktop client on your Mac. Click Add Desktop to begin. In the dialog box, type in the PC Name and IP address you made a note of.

Remote Desktop
Add Your Windows Account

User Account is set to Ask me every time by default, which means it will prompt your details each time a connection is attempted. If you don’t want this, click the dropdown list and select Add account.

Add your username in the format domain\[username]. You can add your password as well if you want to use an automatic login. Leave it blank and you’ll get a prompt to enter it each time.

Remote Desktop
User Profile

That’s all you need to do to set up a connection. Click Save and you can connect. However, you might want to adjust a few other settings before you go any further.

Personalize Your Remote Connection

Click on the ‘Show More’ tab to change your settings and personalize it to look friendly. You can choose how you want your remote connection to work:

Remote Connection
Personalize connection
  • In the General tab: you can add a Friendly Name to make a computer recognizable if you’ve got more than one connection set up.
  • Under the Display tab: you can select to make an appearance Fit session to the window if you aren’t planning on using the remote connection in full-screen mode.
  • In the Sound tab: you can choose which computer should play sound (if either), and whether you want to be able to use your Mac’s microphone.

Note that both computers should be connected to the same internet network.

Now That You Are Connected

Once a connection is established, your Windows PC will lock and be made available on your Mac. Once you try to use your PC, the established connection will be cut short as you can’t operate on both devices.

Remote Desktop
Established Connection

Using Windows through Remote Desktop is pretty much the same as using it on a dedicated computer.

Disconnecting And Deleting Your PC

To disconnect and end the session, simply close the Remote Desktop window on your Mac. You can edit your settings at any time by hovering your mouse over the thumbnail in Saved Desktop and clicking the Pen icon.

To delete a desktop, right-click on it and select Delete.

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