How To Enable Telnet Client in Windows Server

Telnet is a protocol that allows you to connect to remote computers (called hosts) over a TCP/IP network (such as the internet). Using telnet client software on your computer, you can make a connection to a telnet server (that is, the remote host). Telnet clients are available for all major operating systems.

Telnet is helpful when you’re trying to troubleshoot network connectivity problems, for example, say we have a web server which should be listening on port 80 to serve HTTP traffic but we are not able to load a web page, by using telnet to connect to the web server on port 80 we can verify the connectivity.

It may be that the connectivity is fine but there is a problem with the web server, or that the web server is stopped and the port is not listening at all, for instance. With telnet, we can get a better understanding of what’s going on.

By default the telnet client in Microsoft’s Windows operating systems is disabled, this is unfortunate as it is an extremely useful tool which can be used for testing TCP connectivity to external hosts on a specified port.

This article will show you how to install the telnet client in Microsoft’s Windows Server. Below are the examples with command prompt, PowerShell, and graphical user interface.

Enabling the Telnet Client

Firstly you need to enable the telnet client, if you don’t enable it you’ll get a result similar to the below message when trying to use it.

You can enable the telnet client either by command line or through the graphical interface.

Enabling the telnet client through command prompt

Using the command line is the easiest and fastest way to install the telnet client. Run the below command in command prompt with administrator permissions.

after run this command, telnet should be ready to use.

Enabling the telnet client through PowerShell

Again we can also do this instead with PowerShell, we can run the below cmdlet in a PowerShell console with administrator permissions which will install the telnet client.

Once complete, you should see the following output returned:

Enabling the telnet client through the graphical user interface

Open Server Manager.

From Server Manager click “Add roles and features”.

The Add Roles and Features Wizard open to the Before You Begin screen, click next.

On the Installation Type screen, leave Role-based or Feature-based installation selected and click next.

On the server selection screen, select the server to install on. By default it should be the local server itself, click next.

On the Server Roles screen, click next. We are installing a feature rather than a role so don’t select anything here.

On the Features screen, tick the check box next to Telnet Client.

On the Confirmation screen, click Install.

Once the installation succeeds, click the Close button. The telnet client is now installed and ready for use.

Verifying that the telnet client is enabled

Simply open the command prompt or PowerShell, type ‘telnet’ and press enter. If this was successful you should have a prompt similar to the below:

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