How to activate (enable) telnet client on Windows XP and Windows 7

1. Enable / Disable Telnet Client command on Windows XP

By default telnet is enabled on Windows XP. However on some messed up Windows installations, cause of viruses or some custom users changes the PATH variable set for command prompt to C:WINDOWSsystem32
is missing and therefore typing in telnet in cmd.exe fails to find the command. Thus it is good idea before trying to enable telnet with dism command to try running in Command Prompt


 If the command is not found  by giving it full path, then you can read down the article how to enable it.
Launch command prompt cmd.exe and type:

dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient

dism command enable disable telnet client command on windows 7 and windows 2008 servers Launching again:

dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient

Disables telnet, whether it is enabled on system, on some systems XP admins might want to do this for increasing system security 

2. Enabling Telnet client using XP Graphical interface

Start (button) -> Control Panel -> Add / Remove Programs-> (Click on Turn Windows features on and Off )

3. Turn on Windows Telnet Client on Win 7  using Graphical Environment

Probably out of security, concerns within Microsoft took a wise decision to make Telnet Client disabled by default on Windows 7. Thus just trying to run it via cmd.exe users one gets 'telnet is not recognized as internal or external command, operable program or batch file'

Telnet not recognized as internal or external command message on Windows 7

Start (button) -> Control Panel -> Program and Features -> (Click on Turn Windows features on and Off )

turning on-telnet client control panel turn windows features on and off screenshot

You will get a dialog listing a number of things you can turn on you need to set tick on
Telnet Client

windows 7 windows features on and off enable telnet tickset

 Then a pop-up User Account Control will require you to enter administrator user password (if not already logged in as administrator).

Please wait while Windows makes changes to features, installing telnet client post dialog window

Further on launch cmd.exe and type telnet

Start (menu) -> Start Search -> cmd.exe
or pressing Windows Button + R and type in cmd.exe and type telnet

4. Turn on ( Install ) Win 7 Telnet Client from command line:

Launch command prompt (cmd.exe) and type in:

C:Windows> pkgmgr /iu:"TelnetClient"

Installing using pkgmgr /ui: "TelnetClient" should be able to install telnet also on Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2 Servers and Windows Vista

Happy telnet-ing 🙂

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One Response to “How to activate (enable) telnet client on Windows XP and Windows 7”

  1. khalid khan says:
    Google Chrome 50.0.2661.94 Google Chrome 50.0.2661.94 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/50.0.2661.94 Safari/537.36

    how to uninstall telnet client and server from windows server 2003 .

    i followed the below steps

    control panel -add or remove programs – add or remove windows components

    but i cannot see telnet here .

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