Enable or Disable the Remote Desktop Firewall Rule
Updated: July 9, 2009
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Use this procedure to open (enable) or close (disable) the TCP port required for Remote Desktop connections. This procedure is useful when you want to use Remote Desktop to connect to another computer.
To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure.
You can configure Windows Firewall settings in the standard profile or the domain profile. The domain profile is used when a computer is connected to a network in which the computer's domain account resides. The standard profile is used when a computer is connected to a network in which the computer's domain account does not reside, such as a public network or the Internet. Make sure Windows Firewall is using the correct profile when you perform this procedure.
For more information about Windows Firewall profiles, see Managing Windows Firewall Profiles.
You should configure scope settings for any exceptions that you create or enable. For more information about scope settings, see Configuring Scope Settings.
To enable or disable the Remote Desktop exception
This procedure can be performed using the graphical user interface or the command prompt.
Using the graphical user interfaceTo enable or disable the Remote Desktop exception
Open Windows Firewall.
Click the Exceptions tab.
To enable the remote desktop exception, in Programs and Services, select the Remote Desktop check box, and click OK.
To disable the remote desktop exception, in Programs and Services, clear the Remote Desktop check box, and click OK.
If a Windows Firewall setting appears dimmed in the graphical user interface, and on the General tab, you see For your security, some settings are controlled by Group Policy, the setting might be managed by Group Policy. If all Windows Firewall settings appear dimmed, and on the General tab, you see You must be a computer administrator to change these settings, you do not have administrative rights to configure Windows Firewall.
Using the command promptTo enable or disable the Remote Desktop exception
Type the following at the command prompt, and press ENTER:
netsh firewall set service type = remotedesktop mode = mode
Substitute values for the placeholder in italics. The following table lists possible values for the placeholder.
Specifies whether to enable or disable the exception.
If you get an "Access Denied" message when you run a command, you do not have administrative rights to configure Windows Firewall. If you get an "Ok" message but the command does not take effect, the setting might be managed by Group Policy.
To start Windows Firewall, click Start, point to Control Panel, and then click Windows Firewall.
To open a command prompt, click Start, point to All programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
You can also use Group Policy settings to perform this procedure and configure other Windows Firewall settings.
Windows Firewall is not included in the original release of the Windows Server 2003 operating systems.