Troubleshooting Solutions for Remote Desktop Connection Failure

Are you having trouble with your remote desktop connection? In this article, we will discuss troubleshooting solutions for remote desktop connection failure.

Enable Remote Connections on the Host

Computer with remote connection icon

1. Open the Start menu and search for “Remote Desktop settings”.
2. Click on “Remote Desktop settings” from the search results.
3. In the System Properties dialog box, go to the “Remote” tab.
4. Under the “Remote Desktop” section, select the option “Allow remote connections to this computer”.
5. If you want to allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop, select the option “Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)”.
6. Click on the “Apply” button and then click “OK”.

By enabling remote connections on the host, you can troubleshoot remote desktop connection failures and ensure that your computer is accessible from other devices on the network. This can be particularly useful for IT support or accessing your home computer while you’re away.

Verify RDP Protocol and Listener Functionality

To verify the RDP protocol and listener functionality, follow these steps:

1. Open the Start menu and search for “PowerShell” to launch the PowerShell command-line interface.

2. In the PowerShell window, type “Get-Service -Name TermService” and press Enter. This command will check if the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) service is running.

3. If the service is not running, type “Start-Service -Name TermService” and press Enter to start it.

4. Next, check if the RDP listener is functioning properly. Type “Get-NetTCPConnection -LocalPort 3389” and press Enter. This command will display the current RDP connections.

5. If no connections are listed, there might be an issue with the RDP listener. Restart the RDP listener by typing “Restart-Service -Name TermService” and pressing Enter.

6. If you’re still experiencing remote desktop connection failure, ensure that Windows Update is up to date, as updates can fix known issues with RDP.

7. Additionally, check your firewall and antivirus software to ensure they are not blocking the RDP protocol. Disable them temporarily to see if it resolves the issue.

8. Verify that the correct IP address or hostname is being used to connect to the remote desktop. Double-check the credentials and make sure they are entered correctly.

9. If you are connecting to a remote desktop from a home computer or laptop, ensure that the remote desktop settings on the host computer are configured correctly.

Adjust Firewall and Network Properties

Firewall and network settings screen

To troubleshoot a remote desktop connection failure, it may be necessary to adjust the firewall and network properties.

Firstly, check if the Windows Firewall is blocking the remote desktop connection. To adjust the firewall settings, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “control firewall.cpl” and press Enter.
3. In the Windows Firewall window, click on “Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall” in the left-hand menu.
4. Click on the “Change settings” button.
5. Scroll down and find “Remote Desktop” in the list of apps.
6. Ensure the box next to “Remote Desktop” is checked for both private and public networks.
7. Click “OK” to save the changes.

Additionally, it’s important to check the network properties. Follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “ncpa.cpl” and press Enter.
3. Right-click on the network connection you’re using and select “Properties” from the context menu.
4. In the Network Properties dialog box, scroll down and find “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” or “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” depending on your network configuration.
5. Double-click on the selected protocol.
6. Ensure that “Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server address automatically” are selected.
7. Click “OK” to save the changes.

By adjusting the firewall settings and network properties, you can resolve remote desktop connection failures and ensure a smooth connection.

Confirm User Permissions and Group Policy Settings

Confirming User Permissions and Group Policy Settings:

To troubleshoot remote desktop connection failures, it is important to confirm the user permissions and group policy settings. This ensures that the user has the necessary access rights and that the policies are correctly configured.

To do this, follow these steps:

1. Check User Permissions:
a. Open the Command-line interface.
b. Type “gpresult /r” and press Enter.
c. Look for any Group Policy restrictions or user permissions that may be affecting the remote desktop connection.

2. Verify Group Policy Settings:
a. Open the Group Policy Editor.
b. Navigate to “Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Connections“.
c. Ensure that policies related to remote desktop connection are configured correctly, such as allowing remote desktop access and specifying allowed users.

By confirming user permissions and group policy settings, you can eliminate any potential restrictions or misconfigurations that may be causing the remote desktop connection failure. This will help in troubleshooting and resolving the issue efficiently.

Inspect RDP Services and System Files Health

To inspect RDP services and system file health, follow these troubleshooting solutions for remote desktop connection failure:

1. Check RDP Services:
– Open the Services console by pressing the Windows key + R, typing “services.msc”, and hitting Enter.
– Look for the “Remote Desktop Services” and “Remote Desktop Configuration” services.
– Make sure these services are running. If not, right-click on each service, select “Start”, and set their startup type to “Automatic”.

2. Verify System File Health:
– Open the Command Prompt as an administrator by pressing the Windows key + X and selecting “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
– Run the command “sfc /scannow” to scan and repair any corrupt system files.
– If any issues are found, wait for the process to complete and follow the instructions provided.

3. Check Firewall Settings:
– Open the Windows Defender Firewall settings by pressing the Windows key + R, typing “control firewall.cpl”, and hitting Enter.
– Ensure that both inbound and outbound rules for Remote Desktop are allowed.
– If necessary, create new rules for RDP by clicking on “Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall” and selecting “Remote Desktop”.

4. Verify Antivirus Settings:
– Open the antivirus software installed on your system.
– Ensure that it is not blocking or interfering with Remote Desktop connections.
– Consult the antivirus documentation or support if needed, to whitelist RDP or disable any features causing conflicts.

5. Update Windows:
– Check for Windows updates by pressing the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
– Go to “Update & Security” and click on “Check for updates”.
– Install any available updates, including critical and optional updates.

Manage Credentials and MachineKeys Permissions

Key and lock

1. Open the Windows Start menu and search for “Credential Manager.”
2. Click on “Credential Manager” to open the application.
3. In the Credential Manager window, you can view and manage your saved credentials for various applications and websites.
4. To edit or remove a credential, click on the desired entry and select “Edit” or “Remove.”
5. To manage MachineKeys permissions, you will need to access the file system.
6. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following directory: %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA\MachineKeys.
7. Right-click on the “MachineKeys” folder and select “Properties.”
8. In the Properties window, go to the “Security” tab.
9. Click on “Edit” to modify the permissions for the folder.
10. Here, you can add or remove users and assign the appropriate permissions using the checkboxes or the “Add” button.
11. Click “OK” to save the changes and close the Properties window.

By managing credentials and MachineKeys permissions, you can troubleshoot remote desktop connection failures and ensure smooth remote access to your Windows system.

Modify Registry for RDGClientTransport Key

Registry editor interface

Step Description
1 Open the Registry Editor by typing “regedit” in the Windows search bar and pressing Enter.
2 Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client
3 Right-click on the RDGClientTransport key and select “Modify”.
4 Change the value data to 1 and click “OK”.
5 Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

Resolve Port Conflicts and Firewall Blockages

Firewall icon

1. Check Port Conflicts: Ensure that the port used for remote desktop connection (usually port 3389) is not being used by any other application or service. You can use the netstat command in the command prompt to check for open ports.

2. Configure Firewall: If the remote desktop connection is blocked by a firewall, you need to allow inbound connections on the appropriate port. Open the Windows Firewall settings and add an inbound rule for port 3389 (or the port you are using).

3. Port Forwarding: If you are connecting to a remote desktop over the internet, make sure that the port used for remote desktop connection is forwarded in your router’s settings. Consult your router’s manual or contact the manufacturer for instructions.

4. Disable Antivirus or Firewall Software: Temporarily disable any third-party antivirus or firewall software on your computer. Sometimes, these security programs can interfere with remote desktop connections.

5. Use a VPN: If you are connecting to a remote desktop over a public network, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to establish a secure connection.

6. Update Remote Desktop Software: Make sure you are using the latest version of the remote desktop software. Check for updates on the official website or through Windows Update.

Consider Alternative Remote Desktop Software

If you’re experiencing issues with your remote desktop connection and the usual troubleshooting solutions haven’t worked, it might be worth considering alternative remote desktop software. While Microsoft Windows offers its own remote desktop feature, there are other options available that could potentially provide a more stable and reliable connection.

One such alternative is Quick Assist, a built-in application in Windows 10 and Windows 11 that allows users to remotely assist or be assisted by others. It offers a simple and intuitive user interface, making it easy to use for both technical and non-technical users.

Another option to consider is third-party remote desktop software, such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk, or Chrome Remote Desktop. These applications offer additional features and flexibility, allowing you to access your desktop computer or laptop from anywhere with an internet connection.

Before switching to alternative software, it’s important to ensure that your network and firewall settings are properly configured to allow remote desktop connections. Double-check that the necessary ports are open and that any firewall software is not blocking the connection.

Remember to always prioritize the security of your remote desktop connection. Ensure that you’re using a strong password for both the client and the host, and consider enabling additional security measures such as two-factor authentication.

Explore Advanced Solutions with DISM and SFC Commands

Command prompt window

Command Description
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth Scan the Windows image for any corruption and perform repair operations.
SFC /scannow Scan and repair the corrupted system files on the Windows operating system.


Why does Remote Desktop keep disconnecting?

Remote Desktop keeps disconnecting because of a security error that prevents the client from connecting to the remote computer. To resolve the issue, ensure that you are signed in to the network and try reconnecting.

How do I resolve a Remote Desktop connection?

To resolve a Remote Desktop connection, ensure the credentials are accurate, update saved credentials, check for locked out accounts, verify remote access permissions, review the firewall settings, and confirm the correct target machine is being connected to.

How do I force Remote Desktop connection?

To force a Remote Desktop connection, press the Windows key + R on your keyboard. Then, type “mstsc /admin” (without quotes) and press Enter or click OK. Next, enter the name of the target server/computer and click Show Options. Finally, enter your username and click Connect.

Why is Remote Desktop not connecting?

Remote Desktop may not be connecting due to an unstable internet connection or incorrect credentials.

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