5 Ways to Troubleshoot Remote Desktop Connection Problems

5 Ways to Troubleshoot Remote Desktop Connection Problems

Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection has many useful features, but it can also be very finicky if you aren’t prepared to troubleshoot any issues that might arise when using it. To troubleshoot problems with Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection, follow these five steps.

Troubleshooting 1: Restart Your Computer

If you’re not receiving any internet connection in your remote desktop, this is probably due to a Windows update. Your first troubleshooting step would be restarting your computer. After waiting a few minutes for the machine to boot back up, log into Windows and then connect with Microsoft Remote Desktop again. This will prompt the program to automatically check for updates, hopefully resolving the problem.

Troubleshooting 2: Disconnect and Reconnect

If you’re unable to connect, try connecting with the network type set to auto-detect. This can help resolve some issues where a certain type of network is being selected. In a corporate environment, it’s also possible that the server is locked down so that connections are forced into RDP sessions only. Try opening your organization’s DMZ for external connections if you think this might be an issue.

To do this on Windows 10, select Start and then press X to open the Quick Access Menu. From there select Network and then Network Settings. You should see an option called Change Adapter Options. Choose that option and right click on your wireless or wired connection and select Properties from the menu. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click Properties button at the bottom of the window.

Troubleshooting 3: Disable Firewalls

  • Disable Firewalls Your computer may have a firewall running that is conflicting with the remote desktop connection. To disable the firewall temporarily, you can right-click on the network icon in your system tray and click Turn Windows Firewall off for just this session. You can then turn it back on when finished with remote desktop. If that doesn’t work, try adding an exception for Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol by going to Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Defender Firewall -> Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall. Next, go to Allow another app, choose Remote Desktop from the list of apps and choose Always allow connections from these apps.

Troubleshooting 4: Reconfigure the Network Adapter

There are two settings you can change to try and solve the problem. The first is your connection type, which defaults as Automatic IP address assignment, but may be changed in the Local Area Network properties dialog box. The second setting is for reconnecting automatically after a disconnection, also found in the Local Area Network Properties dialog box. If this setting is enabled, then an automatic connection will be made after a network disconnection. For example, if your computer crashes or is shut down without warning, when it comes back on there should be a prompt for you to connect back to your remote desktop.

A disabled setting might result in an error message about not being able to establish a remote desktop connection and trying again later or never connecting back up with the remote desktop session until manually reconnected by starting another session of Remote Desktop Connection.

Troubleshooting 5: Reset RDP Host Configuration

If you’re experiencing problems connecting, try resetting the RDP host configuration on your local computer. The steps for this process vary depending on your operating system, but here are a few:

  •  Open up the command prompt and type netsh winsock reset without the quotes.
  • On Windows 10, go to Settings and then type Network & Internet into the search bar, select Network Connections and click Advanced settings in the upper right hand corner.