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Remote Desktop Scanning: Extended Guide

Jul 15, 2021
RDP Scanner

Here are some scenarios to consider. You may use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to a machine to take advantage of the remote machine’s resources. This can happen if you are running on a thin client incapable of performing all the functionality you need to do your job.

Once you successfully create the remote session you need to access a USB scanner connected to the local machine. This can be challenging, especially when the remote scanner is required to interact with an application running on the server.

Trying to implement Remote Desktop scanning can pose challenges when working with cloud-based or terminal server environments. When remote desktop scanner redirection support isn’t available by default, USB to Remote Desktop software is here to solve the problem.

This software makes it possible for users to scan over RDP with the same level of convenience and functionality that one would experience if their device was physically connected to the remote machine.

The problem of remote desktop scanning

RDP scanning is not directly supported by the Remote Desktop Protocol. Clients running under RDP can access a subset of USB devices such as external drives and printers, but remote scanners cannot be used without additional support. Electronic Team offers a solution with remote scanning software that enables you to easily implement and use an RDP scanner.

Remote scanning solution

USB Network Gate enables remote desktop scanning through the use of a lightweight and powerful software utility. The remote scanning software allows you to use any USB scanner plugged into a network-attached machine from within your RDP session. When you share a USB port with USB redirection software, you are not restricted to remote scanning. You can access any USB device attached to a computer on your network. The port’s functionality enables you to swap devices with no configuration changes.
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How to connect a scanner to a remote desktop

USB Network Gate needs to be installed on both machines that will participate in the connection to access and use the scanner in the remote desktop:
  1. 1
    USB Network Gate Server is installed on the local machine with a Microsoft RDP client also installed. Configure the application to share a USB scanner over RDP. The Remote Desktop Connection serves as the client for the Microsoft RDP protocol.
  2. 2
    The remote machine, which is where the remote desktop scan is required, needs to have the USB Network Gate Client installed. Terminal Server also needs to be installed on this machine to allow the scanner to be accessed over RDP.

Note: To make the application easier to use, the server and client portions are all part of a single program. When setting up the software to enable a remote scan, you only need to register the server part of the application. You are not required to register the client. USB devices that are shared on the server can be accessed by any Network Gate client. Your RDP scan will work after the software’s trial period with no further configuration.


The USB scanner will appear in the client’s Device Manager and be treated as if it is locally attached.

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How remote desktop scanner software works

USB Network Gate software connects a USB scanning device that is physically plugged into a computer (known as the “server” computer) and then makes that device accessible to a remote desktop machine (known as the “client” computer).

USB Network Gate establishes a virtual USB port, allowing users to access their scanner (or any other network-attached USB devices) via the remote desktop.

With USB Network Gate, once a device is inserted into the USB port of a local (server) computer, users can utilize said devices over remote desktop sessions. This is because the TWAIN scanner in the remote desktop behaves like a physically connected USB device by the remote(client) computer’s operating system.

Barcode scanner in remote desktop

Having access to a barcode scanner in the remote desktop is a feature that anyone relying on modern POS systems needs to do business efficiently. While using cloud-based systems for scanner access during RDP is possible, it may be necessary to invest in additional equipment to function properly.

With USB Network Gate, that isn’t necessary, which means you can save costs by sharing a barcode scanner over RDP. How? Because our software redirects data from a local barcode scanner to the remote desktop and makes it easily accessible (and fully functional) during a remote desktop session.

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