Remote Desktop now connects to PC by name, allows resizable keyboards

Remote Desktop app brings notable improvements

Microsoft has updated its Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone that brings with it a few changes in addition to the notable bug fixes. Now, with the app, you can connect to your PC by name as well as resize the keyboard based on the size of your device so that the keyboard doesn't take up an overwhelming amount of space on that small screen.

Those were some of the major improvements listed on the change log. Are you noticing any additional features or improvements with this latest update, which brings us to version

QR: Remote Desktop

Thanks, Stuart K., for the tip.


Reader comments

Remote Desktop now connects to PC by name, allows resizable keyboards


First, if you have multiple networks, make sure you have your phone and PC connected to the same network.

There's two ways to do this:
1. From the start screen, type in "IP address" and press enter our the search button in the search bar. Bing search then should show the address of your PC. Tap the plus button in the WP 8.1 app and enter the IP address. Enter your credentials if you want to save time from doing that every time you connect.

2. On your PC, go to control panel » system » advanced system settings » settings (under the user profiles group). Your PC's name will be the first part of the addresses in the popup window ("name\user"). Type that name in the WP app in the text bar where you would've typed in the IP address.

Hope this helps!

Yep, your credentials are your MS username (your @outlook,live, or hotmail.com address associated with your MS account) and your MS password. If your account that you're trying to connect isn't connected to a Microsoft account, it'd just be your local account's username and password.

Would also need to check Remote Desktop connections are allowed by the host machine. Can't remember if it is on or not by default.

Being an programmer, I'm ashamed that I failed at getting Remote Desktop to work as well.  But screw it, I found a much better and easier solution.  Try out http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx.  They have windows 8 desktop/metro and windows phone 8 apps.  Its free for personal use.  Best of all, its incredibly easy!  I basically have all my computers tied to my account now and I can access them from any other computer or my phone without having to mess with ip addresses and shit.

Teamviewer is definitely easier but the technology behind Remote Desktop is miles ahead of any other remote control software. It just works so much better. Microsoft should really allow you to tie it in to your Microsoft account that way you won't have to worry about your IP address or use a dynamic DNS service if you have a dynamic IP which nearly all home internet services do. 

I use splashtop streamer, they make team viewer, and with the size and speed of the 1520, I can do most any short term task on my phone that I need a real computer for.

Teamviewer rocks!  Being an IT guy, and using all Windows-based equipement, the one thing that I had been lacking for awhile was a good remote access app on my phone.  I had used Teanviewer since 2009 on our corportae network.  When they finally came out with an app for Windows Phone it was literally a high point in my career.  I don't know how many times I've been away from the office and not been near a computer when someone calls me with a problem.  Now I can use my phone to very easily connect to any one of the 65 computers and 9 servers I manage and fix things as if I were sitting in fornt of it.

If you are familiar with remote desktop, it works flawlessly. If you are not, you have enable access from your PC (Advanced Settings from "Control Panel\System") and if you have a third party firewall, you have to add the exception. Remote desktop works with devices under the same network and the only way to get it done is through wifi, you need to have your PC connected to the same network.

You do not have to be on the same network, I utilize remote desktop while in class in cellular data or school Wi-Fi on a daily basis. So nice to print things at school from home PC and get home and have it waiting in printer. Or if I need to access site that is not mobile friendly or can't be accessed on mobile.

Nope. Home editions don't have it.  They can run the client however, you just can't use it to connect to systems running the non-Pro or greater editions.

My reply further down shows all the supported versions for connecting to.

1. You need Windows Pro (2000/xp/vista/7/8) 2. You also need to have a password on your computer as well as allow for remote control. 3. It will only work on your local network unless you configure a bounch of things. This you will find on youtube.

Why does it only work over my local network? I can't figure out how to use it from work when I'm away from home.

I've seen plenty of people say that they can connect remotely but I can't figure it out. What am I missing?

If you want to use remote desktop over the internet, You need to port forward the port TCP/3389 on the router towards the destination IP where the remote desktop is offered for connections. Not very straight forward, if done for the very first time, NAT is also tricky if someone doesnt understang the concept.

And it opens the router up on that port to anyone who knows its external IP address unless you have appropriate safeguards in place.

The fix for that is using port translation before you forward on.  Hackers would need the external port number to attempt a connection.  Have strong passwords on you windows machine as well.

Ex:  Outside IP:x.x.x.x TCP port 23344 -->NAT to inside: 192.168.1.x TCP port 3389.

So one could get this to work not being at home? Before I even think of it, is it hard to achieve?

Not 2k - only available in Server editions of Win2k.

The Terminal Services server is supported as an official feature on Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition, Windows 2000 Server, all editions of Windows XP except Windows XP Home Edition, Windows Server 2003, Windows Home Server, on Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs, in Windows Vista Ultimate, Enterprise and Business editions, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and on Windows 7 Professional and above.

Terminal Services being Remote Desktop Server - the executable for Remote Desktop is called mstsc.exe (Terminal Services Client).

Yup. XP Pro and above, Vista Business and above, 7 Pro and above, 8 Pro and above, and all the Server editions.

You can manage every aspect of the os from a remote place, you'll have virtual mouse and keyboard and the output of the vga

So many uses:
Access files on PC, print files on PC, open desktop full browsers through PC, control anything you have setup on your PC. View webcam to watch house, pets, creep on wife. Do all this from anywhere with internet.

Then in house, some uses would be: Control movie if watching on tv or something. Control music. Play store apps, use as extended mouse keyboard while in other room of house. Watch pron lol

There are so many possibilities. I personally prefer this over teamviewer.

I hope it fixes the bug where using Remote Desktop turns the glance screen upside down until you restart the phone.

I use TeamViewer.  It's extremely easy, very powerful, secure and works as easily from Windows Phone as it does from another PC. 

They need to allow 1080p resolution. My phone and PC, both have same resolution but Remote Desktop reduces the resolution and this ruins the arrangment of live tiles on Start Screen.

Needs enabling on the host machine, and it has to be running an edition that supports it in the first place. 

Why are so many people having issues with this app? I do remote desktop work all the time at home and when I'm on the road and this app works exactly as it does on my PC. I used teamviewer for a long time before this app was finally released and it is leaps and bounds ahead of teamviewer in terms of speed and performance using the same phone signal strength. I use it to manage my virtual servers,windows 8.1,windows 7 O/s 's flawlessly. If you are having issues, make sure that all credentials,ip, login info,etc is accurate before condemning the app for "not working". Rdp for Windows phone works the same as rdp for Windows O/s with minimal differences. If you don't like rdp for desktop, nothing will change your opinion about this rdp app for your windows phone.... (My 3 cents)

All of the 'it doesn't work' posts about this app crack me up. If you can't figure out how to use it, you don't need it.

I've always been able to connect to my desktop by name, since the first version of this app. Not sure what they did there to make that 'new'.

yup it was there but i suspect there was some problem .If you are on network with DHCP alloted IP,on the first instance remote desktop would resolve host name.But later if the same hostname was alloted another ip during restarr or joining n/w  old app would not resolve to new IP and cant connect.I am not sure if that is the case since i dont double check it with new version .

Lastly for those dont know how to connect from outside network, you guys should use teamviewer .Thats simple but RDP is superior protocol,data transfer wise.Also it needs static ip or dynamic dns to setup.its litte technicaly involved if you working from outside n/w unless have static ip

Wonder how many people complaining it's not working are using a Home edition that doesn't support hosting Remote Desktop.

It doesn't work.
Seriously. It worked yesterday and now it crashes instantly. I didn't even need to press the + button like on calendar.
I uninstalled and reinstalled, which fixed it, but of course that means it forgot all the servers I had previously setup.

So just to be clear, this app does allow me to connect to my PC from anywhere around the world right? Also, port 3339 has to be open but what's the danger in that exactly.

No time-off or auto-reboot. Screen blanking is ok. WiFi or NET afapter powerdown? No!
Check all these kind of things and you can use your PC via your Lumia 1520. Bigger screen is a plus.

Yeah and lose all my connections... Ms needs to offer auto backup of your connections to OneDrive. Sucks to have to type all that back in...

The only thing missing is support for a Remote Desktop Gateway. Otherwise it's working great.


http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/remotedesktop/e2af408b-555a-e011-854c-00237de2db9e is a good alternative when I need to go through an RDGateway, but would prefer a first-party app so I hope MS adds gateway support soon. (I use Windows 2012 R2 Server Essentials, and it operates as a gateway to every PC on my internal/home network through a single IP/port rather than having to configure a different port for every PC and adding a bunch of exceptions on my router).


I have no issues using this as I have been using RDP since its birth but for the love of all things Microsoft you could make all the people that are NEW to this type of thing's lives MUCH easier .. Roll a simple windows service that talks to the cloud and keeps track of all our devices "NAT" public IP's and hostnames and allow us to terminal in via our LIVE ID's to any of our Windows 8 machines sim. to what TeamViewer and others are doing. It would literally kick some serious ass.