How to Disable Remote Assistance and Desktop in Windows XP

Turn off RDP in WinXP

Why would you want to disable remote assistance or remote desktop? Because either could be used or exploited by an attacker to gain remote access to your computer, allowing them to run programs on your computer or use your computer to distribute spam or attack other computers.

Support for Windows XP ended April 8, 2014.

How to Disable Remote Access in Windows XP

Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop can be beneficial when you need them. But, most of the time, you don't. In the meantime, if an attacker finds a way in, or if an attack is created to exploit a vulnerability in the Remote Assistance or Remote Desktop services, your computer is waiting to be attacked.

To disable Remote Assistance or Remote Desktop, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click My Computer.

  2. Select Properties.

  3. Select the Remote tab.

    The system properties in Windows XP


  4. To disable, or turn off, Remote Assistance, clear the Allow Remote Assistance invitations to be sent from this computer check box.

    The remote assistance settings


  5. To disable, or turn off, Remote Desktop, clear the Allow users to connect remotely to this computer check box.

The remote desktop settings Windows XP


Why Don't I See Remote Desktop?

You may not see Remote Desktop as an option on the Remote tab of your My Computer Properties. The explanation is simple. Remote Desktop is a feature of Windows XP Professional (and Media Center Edition) and isn't available on Windows XP Home.

That would be a good thing if you wanted it off anyway. If you want to use Remote Desktop, you will have to upgrade your version of Windows.

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