Copying Files with Remote Desktop

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I'm using Remote Desktop to connect to my home computer when I travel. I can copy text to the clipboard between my laptop and the computer at home, but I can't copy files. One of the reasons I want to use Remote Desktop while traveling is to access files I forget to copy to my laptop before I leave. How do I copy a file between the two computers?

For security reasons, copying files or folders between your remote computer and the computer you are using to connect is not enabled by default. If the local computer you are connecting from is a public terminal, you may not want to share the drive for fear of transmitting malware or viruses between the machines. Since you're using your own laptop, the security risk is much lower and the convenience of transferring files between the two machines far outweighs any potential hazards. I know Remote Desktop already saved me several times by copying files I forgot at home to my laptop from the comfort of a hotel.

To enable copying files between computers, launch the Remote Desktop Connection on the machine you are connecting from (in this case, your laptop). Click the Options button to expand the list of Options tabs. Click the Local Resources tab. Check the box next to Disk drives. Checking the box next to Printers also enables you to print files from your remote computer to a printer connected to the local computer. Click the Connect button.

Remote Desktop Disk Sharing

To test the copy and paste function, right-click any file on the Desktop or in Windows Explorer on your remote computer. Choose Copy from the list. Right-click the desktop on your local computer and choose Paste. Without checking the Disk drives box on the Local Resources tab, the option to Paste will be grayed out on your local computer.

Keep in mind the Disk drives option will be on by default on any remote connection you make from your laptop, so if you are connecting remotely to a computer you don't trust, it may be wise to turn the feature off before connecting.