Copy , Paste and Transfer files with remote desktop connection to and from your remote computer

Normally, I have seen people using remote desktop connection utility provided by windows in my office lots of times while giving a presentation.

Sometimes there is a need to transfer files from the remote computer to the local computer in the middle of the presentation, but as due to the default settings of remote desktop connection utility it does not allow transferring of files in between the local and the remote computer.

How Configure Remote Desktop Connection Utility for File Transfer

1. Open Start>>Run and type mstsc

2. Now click on options and again click on Local Resources Tab.

3. Under Local Devices and Resources (in vista) ,click on more.. button. ( In Windows Xp ) you will see a checkbox as Local Drives

4. Check the Checkbox "drives" in the newly opened window in vista or check the checkbox Local Drives in Windows XP.








5. Click OK and connect to the remote computer now ,

This time you will be able to transfer files in between remote and local computer.

Tip: You can also configure some other options one time which will allow you to use remote desktop in a more convenient way.


  1. cak says

    You don’t mention how to get files from the remote connection. I go to my computer on both machines, no extra drives show up. Same with Network places. i can’t drag a file from the remote machine to mine. Bit of a hole in the article, don’t you think?

  2. says

    @cak – well it has nothing to do with drives but by checking the option above the hard drive become accessible. then u just need to copy or drag files from your remote desktop window to your computer

  3. Me says

    anyone know how to copy a display / open document and copy it say to word? im trying to copy a window display of an excel document and copy it to a word document.

  4. OS2FanToo says

    This works . . . not always. The one environment where I cannot get it to work is on a Windows 2000 powered Iomega NAS server being connected to remotely by Remote Desktop Connection running on NT 4 Workstation at SP6.

    My only work-around is I have to map an administrative share on the NAS back to the remote machine once logged in.

  5. alshnibn says

    How to do make it work across WAN network?
    I am using remote desktop to connect to my home computer from my work. Both are running windows XP Pro SP3.
    I can connect and all is well but cannot copy files across.

  6. Freak says

    i run sp3 and my friend sp3 we connect and we can copy files. right click on file that you want to transfer then go to your pc and click right button then the transfer will be started after transfer is complete you cant push paste and file will be on your computer!

  7. Gabe says

    Great stuff thanks

    I too thought there was a hole in the article as it didnt say how to access the drives but when i opened windows explorer it had the Drives mapped to the remote machine under My Computer

    I didnt try just dragging stuff from window to window.

  8. fr33mumia says

    @frank : check out my screenshot…havent u try this?


    1) type MSTSC in Run >> Enter
    2) click options
    3) goto Local Resources tab
    4) Local devices & resources >> Click More
    5) Tick & select your desired drives

  9. Jhasmin says

    I spent sleepless nights trying to transfer some files from a remote computer to my local. i wish i could meet you in person to give you a hand shake. your are awesome.

  10. MarkM says

    unfortunately it does not work for me. I’m trying to connect to a remote server; I can connect to it, I have the disks shared and I have administrator privileges. I have the disks clicked in local resources – but they do not show on the local machine or on the server. I can not drag files between the two and I can not copy and paste files. Strangely enough, I can copy and paste text between the machines while in remote desktop.
    I guess there must be something I’m missing.

  11. PeteM says

    Just in case you are still pondering……
    Press CTRL and PRTSC together. This will put a copy of the screen image into memory. Open your word document and press CTRL and V together (or right click and paste). This will paste the copied image into the word doc. Adjust the paper size / margins / orientation in page set up to give the best fit for the image.
    You can also paste it into a photo editor and select just a part of the image if you like.
    Office has features that allow excel to be viewed though. Just highlight the part of the spreadsheet you want, then copy. Switch to word and then paste. You may need to alter some of the column widths (wider) in excel because the display in word isn’t always perfect.
    Good luck

  12. Don says

    I have to agree…I can’t get this to work. On my local laptop I have the “Drives” box checked. On my remote desktop I can check the “Drives” box but the setting does not stick when I close the dialogue box. Why not? Does that matter?

    (I mean, it shouldn’t matter should it? I am not using the remote computer to connect, I’m using the local computer to connect to the remote one. RD settings on the remote computer should be irrelevant, yes?)

    Another issue is that my local laptop runs Vista, my remote desktop runs XP. Does that matter?

    No matter what I try I cannot get the remote drives to show up when I open Windows Explorer on my local laptop. What am I missing?


  13. says

    HOLD ON…further to my comment immediately above…I GET IT!

    Actually, the procedure described here works. Here’s what I wasn’t getting: I was expecting to see the drives on both computers by looking at Windows Explorer on my local laptop…and sure enough, that way you can’t see all the drives on both computers (local and remote).

    BUT…if you open Windows Exporer on the REMOTE computer (in my case my office desktop, which I’m accessing from my home laptop)…ah, there you DO see all the drives! Voila! It works! You just have to be looking at Windows Explorer on the right computer–the far away one.

    Thanks, Dudes! I have now transferred files with no problem.

  14. Valli says

    Very helpful. It worked great for me too. I can see my local drive in the remote computer.

  15. Suki says

    I have done this for some time using Windows XP to RDP with Windows XP. So, now the RDP is a Windows7 OS.

    The drives no longer show up even though I do resource sharing in the RDP prior to connection. Anyone got ideas? is XP RDP –> Win7 incapable of connecting to XP drives? Thanks in advance.

  16. abhishek says

    this might be due to windows 7 support ntfs file system and xp may have drives with fat or fat32 file system

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