3 Ways to Enable Telnet in Windows 10 & 11
Here’s how to get Telnet up and running on Windows 10 and 11.
Despite the vulnerability issues, Telnet is still used as a client-server protocol by Windows users. It is primarily used for initial network hardware configuration, remote access, port testing and forwarding, and other tasks that don’t involve sensitive information transfer.
You can enable Telnet on Windows 10 and 11 computers via Command Prompt or the Graphics User Interface (GUI) tool. Here we show you the many ways to enable Telnet on your Windows computer.
1. Enable Telnet on Windows Using Control Panel
You can enable Telnet Client using the Classic Control Panel. Since it is an optional feature, you can enable it using the Windows Optional Feature dialog. You can use it add or remove other users’ optional features on Windows.
To enable Telnet Client using Control Panel:
- Press Win + R to open Run.
- Type control and click OK to open Control Panel.
- In Control Panel, Click on Uninstall a Program under Programs and Features.
- In the left pane, click on the Turn Windows feature on or off.
- In the Windows Features dialog, scroll down and select Telnet Client.
- Click OK and wait for the feature to install. Once installed, restart your PC to apply the changes and enable the feature.
If you need to disable Telnet:
- Open the Windows Features dialog and unselect Telnet Client.
- Click OK and wait for the feature to uninstall.
- Click on Restart now to reboot your PC and apply the changes.
2. Enable Telnet Client Using Windows PowerShell
You can use the Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet to enable Telnet Client using Windows PowerShell. Useful if you are unable to turn on the feature using the Windows Features dialog and it is also faster than the GUI method.
To enable Telnet using Windows PowerShell:
- Press Win + X to open the WinX menu.
- Click on Windows Terminal(Admin) and click Yes to open the terminal app as administrator. If you are using Windows 10, type PowerShell in Windows Search and open Windows PowerShell administrator.
- In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press Enter to enable Telnet:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName TelnetClient
- This process may take several minutes, so wait for it to complete and return a status report. If successful, you’ll see the result as Online:True.
- If you want to disable Telnet Client, use the following command instead:
Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName TelnetClient
- Close PowerShell and restart your PC.
3. Install Telnet Client Using Command Prompt
If you prefer Command Prompt over PowerShell, you can use the DISM /Online command to enable the optional features on your Windows 11 computer.
Follow these steps to install Telnet using Command Prompt:
- Press the Win key and type cmd.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
- In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:
dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient
- Command Prompt will start enabling the feature and display the operation completed successfully message.
- If you need to disable Telnet, type the following command and press Enter:
dism /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient
- Wait for the success message.
- Type exit and press Enter to close Command Prompt.
How to Check the Telnet Client Status on Your PC
You can check if the Telnet client is enabled on your PC using a Command Prompt command. When enabled, the Telnet command will open a new CMD to connect to remote servers and perform other tasks.
- Launch Command Prompt as administrator (see how to run the Command Prompt as an administrator for in-depth steps).
- In the Command Prompt window, type Telnet and press Enter.
- A new CMD with Microsoft Telnet will open.
All the Ways to Enable Telnet On Your Windows 11 Computer
Telnet is a built-in remote access utility that you can use to troubleshoot firewall and network issues. While it is still part of Windows, system administrators now prefer the more secure SSH protocol to access computers over an unsecured network.
The major disadvantage of Telnet is that it is not secure and prone to a man-in-the-middle attack. If not for particular situations, switch to a more secure network protocol such as SSH and Mosh with better password and public key authentication.