How to enable the Telnet Client in Windows 10

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 is great 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.

Update October 21st 2015: I have also created a video showing the process:

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.

C:\>telnet google.com 80
'telnet' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.
C:\>

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

Enabling the telnet client through command line

Run the below command in command prompt with administrator permissions.

dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient

That’s it, after a few seconds telnet should be ready to use.

Enabling the telnet client through the graphical user interface

  1. Right click the start button and select “Programs and Features”.
    How to enable telnet in Windows 10
  2. Select “Turn Windows features on or off” from the menu on the left.
    Enable telnet in Windows 10
  3. The Windows Features window should open, scroll down and select “Telnet Client”.
    Enable telnet in Windows 10
  4. Click the OK button to proceed, this will display a screen while the changes apply.
    Enable telnet in Windows 10
  5. When complete it will display as below, you can now close the window.
    Enable telnet in Windows 10

Verifying that the telnet client is enabled

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

Welcome to Microsoft Telnet Client

Escape Character is 'CTRL+]'

Microsoft Telnet>

Already have telnet installed but still failing?
In some cases you must run command prompt or powershell as administrator in order to issue the telnet command, otherwise it will give the same error as if it was not enabled at all.

Summary

Now that you have enabled telnet you should be able to start issuing commands with it and using it to troubleshoot TCP connectivity problems.

Leave a comment ?

37 Comments.

  1. Great, this tutorial helped me a lot.

  2. Great tutorial thanks for posting it.

  3. thanks for useful post! Whiners will blather on about how insecure telnet is …bla di bla di bling blong. Nobody is going to spy on my in my wired, off-the-internet development network. What kind of lamer leaves their desktop PC connected to the internet when they are gone anyway?

  4. Jarek Przygódzki

    PkgMgr has been deprecated and should not be recommended anymore. One should use Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool instead

    dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient

  5. Thank you! a quick resolution for my problem

  6. This was extremely helpful! We were trying to figure it out and at first resolved it by loading it from the MS Store – which was an app with a trial.

    This allowed us to install the actual native command.

    Thanks again!

  7. Powershell:
    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName TelnetClient

  8. I am the admin of my home network, and need to enable the telnet client for public access, and I keep getting error 740 when I use your dism command. Do you know why the error;s happening, and if so how do I fix it? Please shoot me an e-mail A.S.A.P.

    Note: I am a programmer in training learned of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Java

    • I get “Error: 740” when I run the command without administrator privileges in PowerShell, when you go to open PowerShell right click it and select run as administrator.

      • Don’t have Powershell on my main computer or on any of them.

        • PowerShell is available by default since Windows 7/2008 R2 so you will likely have it unless you’re using a very old version of Windows.

          In any case Error 740 in Windows typically points to a problem with permissions, your account needs administrator permissions in order to complete this process.

  9. Why don’t they just leave this enabled what harm does it do?

    • I’m not completely sure why telnet isn’t enabled by default, probably because they try to keep things most people don’t need as optional add ons, perhaps their justification is to reduce the attack surface by having less moving parts?

  10. I just want to say thank you for the step by step directions on getting the telnet to run correctly.

  11. how can we get telnet ‘server’ for windows 10?

  12. Carlos E Aviles

    omg so im trying to play this new game skyforge and having random freezing issues blah blah etc so the support team wants me to send the a picture of telnet after i input this code telnet 192.31.179.24 9273 they say its the us server for telnet so i went and did all of that but when i click enter on the admin cmd it literally does nothing and im in telnet in the cmd. any ideas why its not working i already have it enabled and everything.

    • Are you able to provide a screenshot of what happens after you enter ‘telnet 192.31.179.24 9273’ and then press enter? If it connects properly the window will go black. If you are not able to connect it will just sit there saying “connecting to 192.31.179.24…” and eventually time out.

  13. Thank You! Very efficient post.

  14. Hello,
    I have an issue while trying to enable the telnet client on Windows 10 (x64, French version). The process ended with this message:

    “Erreur : 6800
    La fonction a tenté d’utiliser un nom dont l’utilisation est réservée à une autre transaction.”

    Which can be approximatively translated as:

    “Error: 6800
    The function attempted to use a name whose use is reserved for another transaction.”

    And the telnet client is still not enabled.

    Please, can somebody help me fix that.
    Thank you.

  15. Thank you :))))))) Helped alot

  16. Good … It helped

  17. I can see telnet client, but is there a way to install Telnet Server?

  18. Please advise how to elevate the command telnet. Running command, CMD, give you the window, but error received (to run as administrator, despite the fact that the calling user, IS the administrator) Thanks

  19. Jarrod,

    I followed your advice and enabled TelnetClient. I now need to go to the next step and delete a handful of e-mails on my Outlook account that seem to keep duplicating themselves with each Send/Receive. My POP server is sympatico.ca

    Any thoughts?

  20. Thanks for helpful information

  21. This helped a lot. Excellent instructions. THANK YOU!!!

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