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I'm running Windows 7 and would like to use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to my home computer. As such I want to enable password security for Remote Desktop Connection, but I do not want to have to enter a password to log into my computer if I'm physically at my computer. Is there any way to do this?

I am an administrator user, and I want to have the same icons and configuration regardless of if I log in remotely or locally but I want only the remote connection to require a password. I read about being able to do something similar by adding another user account, but is there any way to do it so that the same icons and settings take affect regardless of how I log in?

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    You're just lazy... Type in a password.
    – Fosco
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 19:12
  • Default passwords: Change them or Chuck Norris might. Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 21:02

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You can set a password for your account, then set autologin.

To set up autologin, type control userpasswords2 into the run box (accessed by pressing WinKey + R). Then, uncheck the box for "users must enter a username and password to use this computer." When you click OK, it will prompt you for the username and password to login to by default. Now when you start up your computer, it will automatically login to that account, but when you access the system remotely it will always prompt for your password.

control panel

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  • This solves starting the computer, and you can disable needing a password on wakeup, but I still need to put in a password if I logout or if the screen is locked (which happens when I connect with remote desktop). Is there a way to simply NEVER require a password locally, or to prevent Windows from locking the screen when a remote desktop session starts?
    – agf
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 22:29
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I believe if you enable the AutoAdminLogon feature, although your account will log on automatically, you will still be prompted to authenticate when you remote in.

After you remote in, however, the computer will be locked and you'll have to enter a password when you return.

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  • Sweet, if it only prompts me after i remote desktop in that's relatively minor i will try it when i get a chance. Thanks.
    – Coder
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 19:42
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You could try setting up a VNC server with a password, as VNC authentication can be set up independently of Windows authentication. That wouldn't be remote desktop in the RDP/mstsc sense, but the functionality is similar.

I have TightVNC set up in a similar fashion.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion, this is actually what i was using for a long time, the only problem is it's pretty laggy sometimes and doesn't refresh properly for some situations in Win 7.
    – Coder
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 11:03
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Everything you are asking for is just not possible with Remote Desktop. There is a third-party solution, though, one that is much less laggy than VNC.

Try the program Splashtop Personal. The freeware edition will allow you to have up to five server computers and as many clients as you want. The program keeps track of which servers belong to you with a free account on the Splashtop website, and you must set a password on that account (which you can save so you don't have to type it in all the time). Furthermore, the Streamer (server) options will let you set a password for each individual computer.

When you log in, you will use the currently active user account, and, by default, the screen will not be blanked. There will be a slight lag, but it is low enough that you can even successfully watch video. It accomplishes this by actually rendering the screen to MPEG video, choosing options that maximize speed of compression and minimize bandwidth.

Note that, due to the aforementioned free account, both computers must have an active Internet connection, even if you use Splashtop on a private LAN.

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What about Teamviewer? Not as responsive as Remote Desktop, but works without redirecting port through NAT, so it's a bit more secure than RDP...

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