TightVNC Frequently Asked Questions
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Does TightVNC work on Windows Vista?

Yes, it does, but it cannot be used as a system service. This issue is under investigation.

How would I connect from the Internet to a machine in the internal network which is behind a router?

You should enable "port forwarding" in your router's configuration. Port forwarding allows passing external connections to computers in the internal network. Almost all routers support this type of redirection.

For example, to access VNC or TightVNC server running on default ports, a router can be configured such way that TCP connections to ports 5900 and 5800 would be passed to the same ports of a particular machine with a specified private IP address (typically 192.168.x.x).

Here is an example of configuring port forwarding, assuming that TightVNC Server is running on default ports 5900 and 5800, on the machine with IP

 Application | Start port | End port | Protocol |  IP Address   | Enable
   TightVNC  |    5900    |   5900   |    TCP   | |  yes
   TightVNC  |    5800    |   5800   |    TCP   | |  yes

When port forwarding is set up, you can connect to the router's IP address such way as if it was your target machine's IP address, but you should specify those port numbers on which port forwarding was activated.

See also:

What is the default password in TightVNC?

There is no a hardcoded default password -- that would be too insecure to have one. The "default password" in TightVNC refers to the password used when there is no user logged in (and WinVNC is being run as a system service). To change the default password, choose TightVNC\Administration\Show Default Settings, in the Start\Programs menu.

How secure is TightVNC?

Although TightVNC encrypts VNC passwords sent over the net, the rest of the traffic is sent as is, unencrypted (for password encryption, VNC uses a DES-encrypted challenge-response scheme, where the password is limited by 8 characters, and the effective DES key length is 56 bits). So using TightVNC over the Internet can be a security risk. To solve this problem, we plan to work on built-in encryption in future versions of TightVNC.

In the mean time, if you need real security, we recommend installing OpenSSH, and using SSH tunneling for all TightVNC connections from untrusted networks.

How can I hide the system tray icon in WinVNC?

Win32 TightVNC includes code from TridiaVNC distributions, and therefore it should include Tridia's modification to disable the tray icon. Here is a quote from TridiaVNC 1.3.3 announcement:

  • Added registry flag to cleanly disable the tray icon on all platforms and in all modes without affecting other settings. The default is "0" and indicates that the tray icon should not be disabled. A value of "1" will suppress the tray icon for all users.
      HKLM\SOFTWARE\ORL\WinVNC3\DisableTrayIcon DWORD "0"
      HKLM\SOFTWARE\ORL\WinVNC3\DisableTrayIcon DWORD "1"

Thus, to disable the tray icon, you should start the "regedit" utility from the command line, go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\ORL\WinVNC3\ folder, and create a DWORD parameter with the name "DisableTrayIcon" and the value "1". Then, after restarting WinVNC, the icon will not be shown anymore.

But please note that hiding the icon is usually not a good idea. For example, if you want to restrict users from changing the server Properties, it might be better to use the AllowProperties setting. For more information, see the description of "AllowProperties", "AllowShutdown" and "AllowEditClients" options in the VNC documentation.

Do you plan to port TightVNC to Mac OS X?

It is possible that TightVNC will include a Mac OS X version, but not in the nearest days. Currently, our team is busy working on Win32 and Unix versions. So please consider looking at other VNC projects providing Mac OS X ports. For example, see:

However, if all you need is to use a Mac machine as a VNC viewer, use the Java viewer interface of TightVNC, it should work under both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.

How do I uninstall TightVNC?

Normally, TightVNC can be removed just like any other software, from the Control Panel (Add/Remove Programs). But if something goes wrong, or TightVNC was installed manually, you can always remove it manually using the following step-by-step procedure:

  1. Log in as an Administrator (or as a user with similar permissions).
  2. If TightVNC Server is running, close it. If it is running but not showing the tray icon, choose Process Manages, locate WinVNC.exe process and shutdown it.
  3. If TightVNC Server was registered as a system service, unregister it. To do that, locate WinVNC.exe file under \Program Files\TightVNC (or wherever TightVNC was installed), and type in the command line: WinVNC.exe -remove
  4. Remove the whole \Program Files\TightVNC directory (or wherever TightVNC was installed).
  5. Remove all TightVNC shortcuts from the Start\Programs menu.
  6. Remove the settings from the registry if desired. The settings can be found in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\ORL and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ORL.

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