Sunday, September 4, 2011

Enabling or Disabling Remote Desktop Connections in Windows Live Mesh

One of the very useful features included in Windows Live Mesh is the possibility to make remote desktop connections via the Internet, between the computers being synced with your Windows Live ID. However, this feature is not enabled by default. You need to enable it manually on each computer. This tutorial will show how to enable (or disable) remote desktop connections in Windows Live Mesh.

The Remote Tab

When you open Windows Live Mesh, you have two tabs to work with: Status and Remote. I’m sure you already guessed that the Remote tab is where you do all your remote desktop connection settings and activities. Click on it!
If you have not used this tab before, chances are it will look very similar to the screenshot below. On the upper side you are being informed about this feature and its prerequisites. Then you are shown that you have not enabled remote connections to your computer and, at the bottom, you get a list with all computers being synced via Windows Live Mesh. The computers marked with gray are not available for remote desktop connections (because their are either turned off or remote desktop connections are disabled) and the ones marked with green are available for remote desktop connections.
Windows Live Mesh

Allowing Remote Desktop Connections

As I mentioned before, you need to manually enable remote desktop connections on all computers synced via Windows Live Mesh, with the same Windows Live ID. If you do not wish for a computer to allow remote connections, you simply skip enabling this feature on it. Let’s see how enabling remote connections is done:
First, open Windows Live Mesh and go to the Remote tab. There, in the upper half of the window, look for the section called "Remote connections to this computer". There, click on the link which says "Allow remote connections to this computer".
Windows Live Mesh
You will get a UAC (User Account Control) prompt, asking for confirmation. Click on Yes, wait for a few seconds and you are done. As of now, this computer is shown in green (as being available for remote connections) to other computers.
NOTE: Don’t forget to do this on all computers where you want this feature enabled. Also, keep in mind that, if a computer doesn’t have this feature enabled, it doesn’t mean you cannot use it to connect remotely to other computers, which have it enabled. You simply block remote access to it from other computers.

Blocking Remote Desktop Connections

Let’s say you have a computer where you want to block remote access via Windows Live Mesh. If you haven’t enabled remote connections to it, you do not need to do anything. It is blocked by default.
However, if you did have remote connections enabled and you want this turned off, do the following:
Go to the Remote tab of the Windows Live Mesh window. In the "Remote connections to this computer" section, click on the link which says "Block remote connections".
Windows Live Mesh
You will get a UAC (User Account Control) prompt, asking for confirmation. Click on Yes and wait for a few seconds. This computer is now shown in gray (as NOT being available for remote connections) to other computers synced via the same account.


As you can see from this tutorial, enabling or disabling remote access via Windows Live Mesh is pretty quick and painless. For more articles on about Windows Live Mesh and its capabilities, don’t hesitate to check out the tag Windows Live Mesh.