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Q. How do I enable Remote Desktop connections to Windows 7 using Group Policy on a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain?

A. With the rename of Terminal Services to Remote Desktop Services in Server 2008 R2, you also have new locations for the Group Policy settings to enable Remote Desktop.

  1. Open the Group Policy Object (GPO) you'll use for the remote desktop settings.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, Network, Network Connections, Windows Firewall, Domain Profile.
  3. Double-click Windows Firewall: Allow inbound Remote Desktop exceptions.
  4. Set this to Enabled and add the addresses that can connect. This could be * for all IP addresses, specific subnets, or localsubnet for only the local subnet.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Navigate to Computer Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop Session Host, Connections.
  7. Double-click Allow users to connect remotely using Remote Desktop Services, set it to Enabled, then click OK.
  8. Close the Group Policy object and make sure it's linked to the required locations.

Learn more: Q: How can I remotely enable Remote Desktop Services on a remote server? 

Below is the report of my GPO that enables Remote Desktop. It will also enable Remote Desktop on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and later systems.

GPO to enable Remote Desktop

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