“Remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer” — What to do if your remote desktop is not working?

Remote desktop for Windows is one of the most important ways to access a remote Windows PC. It is a remote control software used especially in the business environment. It is supposed to facilitate access, which is why you can use a remote desktop from both a computer and a smartphone. Nevertheless, from time to time there can be connection problems. One of the most common problems is the following error message: “Remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer”

Why you can’t connect to remote desktop on Windows 10 or Windows 11?

One reason for connection problems and other typical errors like ‘remote desktop services is currently busy’ can be an unstable internet connection. Also, the wrong credentials often cause lead to the remote desktop not being able to connect correctly. Nevertheless, there are other reasons why the remote desktop can’t find the computer.

  • RDP: The firewall or antivirus software can block the RDP. The result is that the remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer.
  • Public network profiles: Security measures contribute to the fact that connection from public networks is often not possible.
  • Recent Windows updates: Recent Windows updates can affect the work of RDP. If as a consequence the remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer, then a manual root cause analysis is inevitable.

Remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer — How to fix the connection problem

The work-from-home culture makes reliable remote access essential. Nevertheless, common errors such as ‘remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer’ occur again and again. Regardless of whether it’s Chrome or Mac remote desktop, a quick fix is imperative. Knowing how to restart remote desktop can help, however there are many other problems with different approaches to solving them.

1. Enable remote desktop connections

If Windows 11 remote desktop is not working it may be because the remote desktop connection (RDC) is interrupted. In this case it is worth to check the settings of your home edition of windows. The RDC can be activated in the settings of the remote connections.

2. Using the right credentials

A common problem when remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer is that the credentials are wrong. Especially when connecting to different devices, it often happens that the stored credentials refer to a different terminal.

3. Checking permissions

The computer can’t connect to remote desktop could also mean that the necessary permission is missing. For access you have to be a member of a local user group. This setting is done by the admin.

4. Changing the current firewall settings

The Windows 10 remote desktop connection may fail if the firewall settings are not correct. If it is because the remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer, then the solution is simple: first, turn off the firewall to check if the access via Mac remote desktop works without this protection. If it does, add the remote desktop to the list of allowed apps through Windows Defender Firewall.

5. Changing the properties of the network

If remote desktop is not working, connection problems may be the cause. Especially public networks can be a problem. Windows blocks these from time to time to increase the security of the end device. If this is the reason why remote desktop is not working, the network should be changed from public to private.

6. Adding the RDGClientTransport Key

Adding the RDGClientTransport key can solve the problem that remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer. However, this is a technical fix that requires registry intervention. It works as follows:

  • Open Regedit
  • navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Microsoft>Terminal Server Client
  • add “DWORD” via the right sidebar
  • add the option RDGClientTransport as 32-bit value
  • set the value for the new option to 1 and close the registry

7. Checking the group policy

A possible cause can also be a wrong group policy. If additional settings are necessary, the administrator must change them.

8. Verifying the status of RDP services

The ‘remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer’ error can also be caused by an inactive RDP server. It is important that the services are running on the own and the remote device.

Tip: If you cannot connect to the remote desktop for Raspberry Pi, you should first see check the UmRdpService.

9. Adding the host’s IP address

If remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer, the reason could be problems with your IP address. If the Windows 11 remote desktop is not working, it may be necessary to add a new IP manually.

10. Checking the RDP listener port

If remote desktop can’t connect to the remote computer it is worth checking the RDP listener port. Because if another program is using the port, it is possible that your computer can’t connect to the remote desktop gateway server. If this is the case, the PortNumber of the RDP-Tcp of the WinStations shows. The best thing to do is to change the port and then check if the problem persists.

Alternative solution: Using TeamViewer’s remote software

  • As long as a TeamViewer client is installed, connection to various devices is possible. The fast and secure remote connection works even if a firewall protects the end devices.
  • Unlike Remote Desktop, TeamViewer for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Chrome OS and Android works equally well. Remote access to machines and servers is no obstacle either. It eliminates the problem that the operating system doesn’t support remote desktop.
  • Flexible file sharing and data transfer options make working with TeamViewer for Chrome OS Although a separate remote desktop for Chrome exists, this variant offers the possibility of team-internal collaboration.
  • Administrators benefit from the wide range of functions for remote device monitoring and control. Detailed real-time reports help to keep an eye on IT assets at all times.

By the way, the free remote PC software is an excellent way to get to know the individual functions of TeamViewer. A Windows 10 remote desktop connection is not necessary to establish a remote connection — only the TeamViewer client.

Try TeamViewer for free

Discover why you should use TeamViewer instead of traditional remote desktop solutions.