How to Configure Remote Desktop to a Windows Computer from a Mac

Running Windows-specific applications or accessing Windows PC on Mac is now easy, and there are a lot of possible ways to run Windows software or games on your Mac. Here you will learn to use remote desktop to run Windows on MacOS.

Sep 01,2019 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions


In this digital age, technology has come a long way in closing the divide between Windows and MacOS apps and other features. However, a gap still exists between the two interfaces, and for some, it requires a bridge to move between computing environments.

For Mac users, the robust tool has been the Microsoft Remote Desktop connection. It allows Mac users to remotely connect to a Windows PC’s to access and share files, apps, and network resources. Here in this article, you will learn all sorts of tips and tricks to use Windows-based programs on Mac by using the Remote Desktop application.

Step 1. Prepare Your Windows PC:

What is Remote Desktop?

Remote desktop is an application on an operating system that offers a user the ability to connect one computer to another in a different location. This tool also features the ability to see that computer's desktop and interact with it as if it were local. A remote desktop connection depends upon several protocols, including Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), virtual network computing (VNC), and NX technology.


Most operating systems and platforms provide Remote desktop software with their package. Microsoft and Apple each have their manufactured tool called "Remote Desktop." People use this task to perform specific functions which are listed below:

Virtual machines, Dual-booting, CrossOver Mac, and remote desktop solutions provide the means to run Windows-based programs on Mac. These are all tools designed specifically for the Mac operating system. You can choose either one of them, but they are not as efficient as the Remote Desktop. For example, if you want to use dual-booting, you would have to shift from Mac to Windows permanently, other options like the Virtual Machine are not free, and you would have to pay a hefty amount to gain access to the full features of the program.

Enable Remote Desktop on Windows PC:

In this section, we will discuss how to configure and gain access to a Windows PC by using a Mac with the help of Remote Desktop application. The first thing we need to do is prepare the Windows PC and set-up remote desktop on it. In this portion of the article, we will discuss the steps to organize the Windows PC.


First, head on to your Windows PC to enable the built-in feature of Remote Desktop. Follow the steps mentioned below to start the procedure:


If by any chance, the Keep my PC awake option does not work, then follow the steps to enable the option.

1. Click on Show Settings right next to Keep my PC awake.

2. Click on Additional Power Settings.


3. Click on Change Plan Settings.


4. Select Put my Computer to sleep option to never.

5. Click on Save Changes.


Step 2. How to Install Microsoft Remote Desktop?

After downloading the Remote Desktop from the app store, you are required to install it on Mac and establish a connection with the Windows system. Follow the step-by-step guide to install the tool on your computer.


Whenever you try to connect a device, Remote Desktop will ask you to add a user. The program will prompt you for a username and password each time you connect a PC with the tool. You can disable the option by merely adding the account to avoid any future hassle.

Step 3. Configure Your Remote Desktop Connection:

The additional settings options are listed below:

Local Resources enables access to specific folders on your Mac within the existing remote Windows session. Windows Explorer is used to accessing the folder from the Windows PC’s side. You’ll be able to find them under by opening any folder inside the windows computer. You can share, copy, and create files from one computer to another with ease. But there is a twist; you can only access those folders through the remote desktop tool; they are not available on your physically on the PC.


Click on Start to connect to the other computer.


You’ll see a warning dialogue box regarding the certificate not being verified. Just click Continue to make the connection and start using the Windows PC.


Step 4. Use Windows on Your Mac:

You can gain access to some of Windows’s features that are not available on Mac. You can use the Windows version of MS Office suite with its full capacity. You can’t drag and drop files and folders between Mac and Windows. The two systems share a clipboard by default through remote desktop so that you can copy and paste the files between them. We will now discuss how to Import and Export files between the two computers. You can export a remote desktop connection and use it on a different device. Remote desktops are saved in separate.RDP file format. Follow the steps to export and import RDP files.


Step 5. Disconnect and Delete Your Desktop

Windows Remote Desktop is an efficient and useful tool, but each and everything in the world has its pros and cons. Hackers can exploit remote desktop to gain control of your system to install malware or steal personal information, which is extremely dangerous in this digital age. It is highly recommended that once you complete your tasks with an already established connection, then you should keep the feature turned off or delete it. It is easy to disable the program, and unless you need the service again, it is best to keep the program in that state. To avoid any inconvenience, you should create strong passwords, update your software, and limit the users who can log in. You should enable your anti-virus firewalls once the work is complete. In this section, we will discuss the method to delete the remote desktop from both MacOS and Windows PC.


You can also click on the Remote Desktop app icon and move it to the Trash by pressing on the Cmd + Del key; this will delete the file permanently.


Step 6. How to Recover Lost Data

Your data is exposed while using a networking tool like the Remote Desktop. It might get deleted in the process of sharing and accessing another computer network. As we know, the file system does not get permanently deleted, unless any other new data overwrites the original data. The data can be easily retrieved by using data recovery software. Here, we will use Wondershare’s Recoverit Data Recovery Software for Mac to recover the deleted files. The program offers data recovery in over 500 formats with high efficiency. First, download the Recoverit Mac Data Recovery on your Mac from its official site to initiate recovery.

After successfully downloading the software, follow our guide on how to recover lost your files.

1. Select the Location:


2. Scan for Lost Files:


3. Retrieve the Lost Data:


Closing Words:

Mac computers are getting popular every day, especially in a professional setting. But some apps are used as an industry standard, and they are not available on Mac with their full capacity. If you own a Mac, there are many ways to use Windows OS apps that won’t work or perform as well as a Mac program.

Conveniently, you can use Remote Desktop to share files and operate apps from one computer to another. Using a remote desktop connection developed by Microsoft is the safest option when it comes to data sharing from one system to another as compared to third-party apps. We are sure that all the tips and tricks provided in the article will help you in establishing a connection with another computer system through the remote desktop app.

Sue Wen

staff Editor

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