How to Enable the Remote Desktop on Windows XP Home Edition

Updated February 21, 2017

The Windows XP Home Edition operating system does not provide users with access to the Remote Desktop tool that is available in other Windows versions. Windows XP Home Edition users can use the Remote Desktop tool by upgrading from the Windows XP Home Edition to Windows XP Professional. After upgrading, Windows XP Home Edition will serve as the client and will be used to access the files hosted by the computer that is running Windows XP Professional.

Click the "Start" menu, then select "Run." Type "regedit" into the box and press the "Enter" key to launch the Registry Editor tool.

Select the "+" icon next to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES" folder to expand the directory. Scroll down and expand the "SYSTEM" folder located inside the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES" folder.

Expand the folder named "ControlSet00X" folder located inside the "System" folder. Open the folder with the highest number in the "00X" part of the file name. Then expand the "Control" folder underneath it.

Click to open the "ProductOptions" directory, then locate the "ProductSuite" registry key on the right window panel. Right-click on the "ProductSuite" key and select "Delete."

Right-click an empty area of the right window panel and select "New." Then click "DWORD Value" and type "Brand" as the name for the new value.

Double-click on the "Brand" value, set the "Value data" box to "0" and click "OK." Then click the "Start" menu and select "Turn Off Computer." Click "Restart" to reboot the computer.

Press the "F8" key on the keyboard after the BIOS screen to display the Windows XP Startup Menu. Select "Last Known Good Configuration" and press the "Enter" key.

Download DevCon, a free command-line utility that also doubles as a replacement for the standard Device Manager. Double-click the DevCon.exe file and select a folder to unpack the files. DevCon will create two folders inside the chosen directory: "i386" and "ia64."

Click the "Start" menu and select "Run." Type "cmd" and press "Enter" to launch the command prompt window. Type "cd c:\DevCon\i386" and press the "Enter" key. Change "c:\DevCon\" to the actual path of the directory where the DevCon files were unpacked. Type "devcon.exe -r install %windir%\inf\machine.inf root\rdpdr" once inside the "i386" directory to reinstall the rdpdr driver. Restart the computer.

Download "enable_tsxp.bat," then run it. This is a batch script that will create a .reg file and re-enable the Terminal Services missing from the Home Edition. Restart the computer.

Click the "Start" menu and select "Control Panel," then click "Administrator Tools." Select "Services" and find the entry named "Terminal Services." It should already be running, but if it is not right-click on it and start it manually.

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About the Author

Chris Brake has been a freelance writer since 1999. He has attained numerous graduate and undergraduate study courses involving language and the written word as a vehicle of expression. He co-wrote the feature film, "Imaginary You."