How to Install & Enable Telnet on Windows 10/8.1

Telnet is one of the famous network protocol widely used to manage network devices and other equipment that support this protocol. If you are a system or network administrator, I’m sure that you know the importance of having telnet client utility on your Windows 7, 8.1 or latest Windows 10 desktop and laptop. For some strange security reasons, the latest Windows versions do not come with an installed telnet client. By default, you can’t use Windows 10 or 8.1 to connect other network devices without installing telnet clients utilities.

If you search telnet in apps or type ’telnet’ in the command prompt, it will return an error message saying ’not recognized as an internal or external command’. Installing the telnet client from the control panel in Windows 10 and 8.1/7 will solve this issue easily.

telnet error

Installation medium such as CD/DVD, ISO or any other downloads are not required for this purpose, we can simply enable it from the control panel.

Follow these steps to Enable Telnet on Windows 10/8.1

1) Go to  Control Panel.

In Windows 10, you can use the start button to access the control panel. Right-click on the button and select Control Panel as shown below.

access control panel Windows 10

On Windows 8.1 and 8, you can use the charm bar (by moving the cursor to top right corner or press the Windows key + I ) from the desktop then select Control Panel. It is easy to access the Control Panel from Windows 7.

telnet in windows 8

2) Even though the following screenshots are taken on Windows 8.1, it’s very similar on Windows 10 computer.

In ‘Category’ control panel view, click ‘Programs’.

click on programs

3) Click ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ in next screen as shown below.

install telnet in windows 10

5) The earlier step will bring a dialogue box where you can select extra features to install. Select ‘Telnet Client’  by ticking the box. A small installation will run once you have pressed OK.

telnet in windows 8.1

That’s it, you do not need to restart the PC after the installation. You have successfully installed telnet client on Windows 10 and 8.1.

Install From Command Prompt

Open the command prompt as Administrator and execute the below command.

pkgmgr /iu:”TelnetClient”

Telnet By Command Prompt

Now if you try telnet command in command prompt or search in Apps, you will get the correct telnet prompt as below.

working telnet client

Alternates for Windows Telnet

The built-in telnet client in Windows Operating Systems is pretty basic. You can’t manage or use it with more devices easily. If you are a professional network administrator, Windows telnet client utility will not be suitable for you. You must have an alternate and professional telnet client in this case.

PuTYY is a great telnet client which is freely available and fully compatible with Windows 10 and 8.1 and Windows 7.


Here we have listed the PuTTY alternatives that can be used to manage and customize telnet sessions from your computer. You can follow the same steps to install Telnet client on Windows Server Operating Systems such as Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 2016/2019 server versions.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

22 thoughts on “How to Install & Enable Telnet on Windows 10/8.1”

  1. I went to the turn windows features on/off thing, but I couldn’t find the Telnet client or Telnet server box. could it be that it is because I have a windows RT as opposed to pro version?

    • windows RT has nothing to do with the “normal” versions of windows. the look may be the same but it is all different.

  2. I was actually looking what was wrong and why my computer didn’t had telnet active. Thanks for sharing this, saved me from a lot of trouble.

  3. Having an issue – When I check the box and click ok, nothing happens! If I go back into the menu it’s unchecked again. I think it’s an issue with my rights but I’m the only user of the computer and I’m the administrator so I should have admin rights. Tried to see if I could run control panel specifically as admin but didn’t seem to work.. Any thoughts?

  4. According to Microsoft, while telnet client can be activated as described, telnet server has been “deprecated”. IOW, no longer supported or provided. The image above that shows both client and server must be from Win8 — in Win10, telnet server does not appear so it cannot be enabled.

    So my understanding is that you can telnet FROM a Win10 machine (I have done this myself), but you cannot telnet TO a Win10 machine (I am not able to connect with telnet to any Win10 machine).

    I hope someone will correct me if this is wrong, but what I reported above is fact.

  5. I don’t have admin rights and there is this thing coming up and you have to put in a passcode that only my parents know. What do I do?

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