How to access local files when using a Remote Desktop Session

If you use the Remote Desktop service you may wish to work with files on your local computer or to transfer files between the remote service and your local computer.  This short article provides a step by step guide on how to switch on this feature.

09 September 2014 How to...  Working from home

Microsoft Windows - Article

If you use the Remote Desktop service you may wish to work with files on your local computer or to transfer files between the remote service and your local computer.  This short article provides a step by step guide on how to switch on this feature.

Note that some remote desktop services may, for security reasons, not permit you to use this feature even if you switch it on at your computer.

Switching on access to local files

How you change the settings for your Remote Desktop connection may vary slightly depending on the Remote Desktop application you are using and how it is configured. 

  1. If you have an icon on your Desktop for the Remote Desktop Connection, move your pointer over the icon and then right-click.  The shortcut menu will appear and you should (left) click on Edit...
     
    Remote Desktop Connection - Edit
     
  2. Or, open your Remote Desktop Connection as usual however do not click Connect at this stage.  You should have a window similar to that shown below - click the down arrow to the left of "Show Options".

Remote Desktop Connection - Show Options

You will now be editing the settings for the connection and a series of tabs will now be shown, click the Local Resources tab.

Remote Desktop Connection - Local Resources tab

The Local Resources tab is where we can change various aspects about what your local computer provides to the remote desktop for example, any printers, your speakers etc. 

To change the ability to see your local drives, click the "More..." button (see below).

Remote Desktop Connection - Local Resources - More

We can now decide which local resources will be offered to your Remote Desktop session.  To make the local drives available, tick the Drives box (1) and then click the OK (2) button.

Remote Desktop Connection - Enable Local Drives

To save the settings for future session, click the General Tab (1) and then click the Save button (2).  If you wish to connect at this stage, click the Connect button (3).

Remote Desktop Connection - Save Settings

Once connected you should now see your local drives appear whenever you browse to open or save files or use Windows Explorer to navigate around. 

Some things to note about working with local drives in a Remote Desktop session:

  1. The first time you browse it may take a few moments to list all your drives
  2. When browsing within drives again it may take a few moments to show the contents.
  3. Depending on the speed of your connection copying large files back and forth may take some time to copy.

Tags  files local remote desktop

Corrections or suggestions

Popular
Cloud Backup

LiveDrive Essentials Cloud Backup (1 year)

Cloud Backup

Office Subscription

Microsoft Office 365

Secure USB Flash Drive

Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ 16GB USB Flash Drive

Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2

Windows Desktop (Standard)

Dell Optiplex 3020 Small Form PC

Dell Optiplex 3020 Small Form Factor PC