How to Enable Telnet in Windows 12

March 12, 2023

Well Windows 12 is here, and like the last several versions of Windows it has shipped with Telnet disabled out of the box. Should you need to enable it, here are a few ways:

Through Windows Features

  1. Open the Start menu and type “Control Panel” in the search bar. Click on the “Control Panel” app from the search results.
  2. In the Control Panel, select “Programs” and then click on “Turn Windows features on or off”.
  3. Scroll down the list and find “Telnet Client”. Check the box next to it.
  4. Click on “OK” to save the changes. Windows will install the Telnet client.
  5. Once the installation is complete, you can open the Telnet client by typing “telnet” in the Command Prompt or PowerShell.
  6. To connect to a Telnet server, type “telnet <server name or IP address>” and press Enter.

Via the Windows Registry

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “regedit” in the Run dialog box and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\TelnetClient
  4. In the right pane, double-click on the “Disabled” value and change the value data from “1” to “0”. This will enable the Telnet client feature.
  5. Close the Registry Editor.
  6. Open the Command Prompt or PowerShell as an administrator.
  7. Type “telnet” and press Enter to launch the Telnet client.

Via PowerShell

If you’re a PowerShell user this will probably be the quickest way to enable it. If you’re looking to enable just the client, run the following command:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName "TelnetClient"

That’s it! You should now be able to use Telnet in Windows 12. Keep in mind that Telnet is an unencrypted protocol and is not considered secure, so it’s recommended to use a more secure protocol like SSH instead. For that I highly recommend using Bitvise SSH Client over the infamous putty.

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