How to Access Microsoft Remote Desktop on Your Mac in Three Easy Steps

How to Access Microsoft Remote Desktop on Your Mac in Three Easy Steps

Remote Desktop Connection software allows you to access files and programs on your home computer from anywhere, including the library or an Internet café. It’s easy to install and set up on your Mac, but first, you have to download it from Microsoft’s website. Once it’s installed, you’ll have access to your computer from anywhere with an Internet connection! Here’s how to do it in three easy steps

Step 1: Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app

The first step is to download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app from the Mac App Store. Once the app has been downloaded and installed, open it up and click on the + sign in the top left corner to create a new connection.

In the Connection Name field, you can name your connection anything you want. For example, we’ll name ours My Connection. In the PC name field, you’ll need to enter either the IP address or hostname of your Windows PC.

If you don’t know your PC’s IP address, don’t worry! You can find it by going to Control Panel > System and Security > System and looking for the Network section. There should be an option called Wi-Fi, which will list all available networks. Look for your Wi-Fi network name and then copy that into the PC name field on the Remote Desktop app on your Mac.

Now, select what type of authentication you would like. We recommend using the second option: Use my user name and password (sign in with a secret). Now, input your user name and password into the corresponding fields on the app and click Connect.

Optionally mention any problems encountered when connecting if they’re not already mentioned in previous steps. Otherwise, go on to Step 2.

For some reason, the Use my user name and password button wasn’t available so I had to select Use a different type of authentication. However, once I selected this option and clicked Next at the bottom right side of the screen, it worked perfectly fine.

Step 2: Enter Hostname and Password

  • The next step is to enter the hostname and password for your remote connection. The hostname is the IP address or URL of the remote computer, and the password is the password you use to log into that computer. If you’re not sure what your hostname or password are, you can find them in the Remote Desktop Connection application on your PC. When you open this app, it should automatically detect the correct values for both fields. But if it doesn’t, don’t worry
  • you can easily find these by following these steps:
  •  Select the Show Options button from the toolbar
  • Choose Local Resources from the left-hand menu
  • Select Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 (or newer) from the right-hand menu
  • Click Edit… to change these settings. Be sure to enter a secure password!

If all goes well, you’ll see something like this screenshot where I’ve connected to my home server with the appropriate credentials. Note that after entering your username and password, you’ll be asked to give permission for the computer at the other end of the wire to view your desktop remotely.

It’s a good idea to click Yes here so others don’t access your computer without permission, but sometimes it’s easier said than done if you have lots of people connecting with different permissions needs.


Step 3: Connect via IP Address

To connect to your PC, you’ll need its IP address. On the PC, open System Properties (you can search for this). Click the Remote settings link in the left sidebar. In the System Properties window that appears, click the Allow remote connections to this computer radio button.

Then click OK. The IP address will be listed next to IPv4 Address. Copy it and paste it into the Hostname field on your Mac’s Remote Desktop application. Click Connect and a message pops up to ask if you want to store the connection information in iCloud Keychain for later use. You can choose Yes or No here and decide if you want an automatic login at startup too.

Once connected, your Windows desktop is running live and full-screen from inside of OS X! You may notice a warning message appear that says You are about to give control of your computer to someone else. Click Continue here and confirm with your admin password.

When finished working remotely, just close the window on either side–from OS X or Windows–and things will go back as they were before! That’s all there is to it.

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