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Access Jellyfin remotely on Windows Server

Want to access your Jellyfin Media Server running on Windows Server from anywhere? You’ve got options. This guide will first walk you through using Tailscale for an easy setup, bypassing complex networking or firewall configurations. Alternatively, we’ll also cover how to directly adjust the Windows Firewall for those who prefer a manual setup. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped to enable remote access on your Jellyfin Server in the way that suits you best.

The Jellyfin Remote Access hero image.

How to Install Jellyfin Server on Windows Server

If you haven’t set up a Jellyfin Server on your Windows Server system yet, you need to do so. We can’t configure remote access until the server is installed. To install Jellyfin Server on Windows Server, start by downloading the official installer.

Please note that if you’ve already got a Jellyfin Server running on your Windows Server you can skip over this section of the guide and continue on with setting up remote access.

To download the official installer for Windows, head over to the Jellyfin Windows page. On the download page for Jellyfin Server, find “installer/jellyfin10.8.13windows-x64.exe” and download it to your Windows Server.

When you’ve downloaded “jellyfin10.8.13windows-x64.exe,” open up a Windows Explorer window on the Windows Server desktop, and navigate to the “Downloads” folder. Then, double-click on the “jellyfin10.8.13windows-x64.exe” file to launch the EXE installer.

In the EXE installer, you’ll see a welcome page. Read the welcome message, and click the “Next” button to continue to the next page in the installer. On the next page, you’ll be asked to agree to the Jellyfin license agreement. Click the “I Agree” button to move to the next page in the installer.

After selecting the “I Agree” button, the installation tool will begin installing Jellyfin on your system. This installation process should take a couple of seconds. When the process is complete, the installer will close. To start up the Jellyfin server, launch it from the Windows Server Desktop shortcut.

How to Enable Remote Access Without Unblocking Firewall

If you want to create remote access to your Jellyfin Media Server without unblocking ports in your firewall, and exposing ports to the internet, you can go the Tailscale route. Tailscale is a mesh networking tool that can connect computers and servers together without sacrificing security.

You’ll need to download and install Tailscale on your Windows Server. To get started, visit Tailscale.com and click on the “Get started for free” button. Then, select a login method for Tailscale. Choices are “Google,” “Microsoft,” “GitHub,” “Apple,” and “OIDC”.

Tailscale website instructing the user to connect to the tailnet.

After you’ve logged into Tailscale, you’ll see the “Welcome, Let’s add your first device.” Find the “Windows” logo, and click on it. Then, select the “Download Tailscale for Windows” button to download the Tailscale client to your Windows Server.

Once you’ve downloaded the installer, run the installation EXE file. When the installer is done setting up Tailscale, launch it from the Windows Start menu. When Tailscale is open, it will launch in the Windows Server system tray. Right-click on it, and select the “Log in” button to log your Windows Server system into Tailscale.

When you connect Windows Server to Tailscale, it joins your mesh network. To give other systems remote access without unblocking ports in your firewall, simply add the device to your Tailscale network.

Tailscale IP address information for the Windows Server on the Tailnet.

When you’ve logged in to all devices to your Tailscale network, visit the Tailscale dashboard, copy the Windows Server IP from the dashboard, and access the Jellyfin server via the following URL. Alternatively, you can paste the Tailscale IP into Jellyfin Media Player.

http://TAILSCALE_IP_FOR_WINDOWS_SERVER:8096

How to Enable Remote Access via Windows Firewall

If you prefer not to use Tailscale and wish to enable remote access through Windows Firewall for Jellyfin, it is possible. Begin by opening the Windows Start menu on your Windows Server desktop and searching for “Allow an app through Windows Firewall.” Select the corresponding result.

Important: In the “Networking” section of the Jellyfin Media Server’s Admin panel, make sure to enable “Allow remote connections to this server. This is essential for remote access functionality.

The Jellyfin admin interface showing the networking settings.

After selecting “Allow an app through Windows Firewall,” the Windows Defender Firewall settings will open. Click “Allow another app,” and navigate to find the Jellyfin Server EXE file in the “Program Files” folder. Select it to add it to the allowed apps list. This step instructs Windows Server to unblock the Jellyfin Server, which is crucial for remote access.

Once you’ve allowed Jellyfin Server through the Windows Firewall, you’ll need to set up port forwarding on your router to direct incoming connections to Jellyfin on your Windows Server. The standard port for Jellyfin is TCP Port 8920. Once you set up port forwarding, you can access Jellyfin Media Server on Windows Server over the internet. You can access your Jellyfin Media Server remotely using the following URL in Jellyfin Media Player, or any web browser.

http://WINDOWS_SERVER_IP:8096

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