Can you have multiple Remote Desktop Connections?
It has been requested that multiple developers be able to log into a Windows 10 machine at the same time with differing sessions. The machine is currently Windows 10 Home, but we plan to upgrade it. If this is possible. Does anyone know if Pro or Enterprise will allow this, or is it just a function of the Server editions?”
- Question from Spiceworks
We are sorry to tell you that even if you upgrade the Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise, it will not allow you to establish multiple Remote Desktop Connections to one PC. By default, multiple RDP sessions simultaneously can only be done on a Windows Server OS.
If another Windows user tries to connect when one Remote Desktop Connection is already established, then the new user gets an error message as shown in the following. If the second user chooses Yes, then the first user will lose its connection.
How to enable multiple Remote Desktop Connections to one PC on Windows 10, 11
Does this mean it is not possible to allow Windows 10 multiple users simultaneously on RDP? Not exactly. Here in this part, we’ll introduce two options on how to enable multiple Remote Desktop Connections to one PC on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7.
Warning: Before reading the two methods, please bear in mind the following points:
- Each user and device that connects to a Remote Desktop Session host need a client access license (CAL). If you want to enable multiple remote desktop connections to one PC, please buy more CALs.
- These two methods break the End User License Agreement (EULA). You are advised to only use these methods in a test or educational environment. Perform all the operations described below at your own risk.
Option 1. Enable multiple RDP sessions by using the RDP Wrapper Library
The first option to enable multiple RDP sessions on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 is to use the RDP Wrapper Library, which works as a layer between Service Control Manager and Terminal Services and allows users to establish more than one simultaneous RDP session without modifying the original termsrv.dll file.
Step 1. Download the latest available version of the RDP Wrapper Library.
Step 2. Extract the RDPWrap-v1.6.2.zip, below are the extracted content of RDPWrap-v1.6.2.zip archive:
- RDPWinst.exe: RDP Wrapper Library install/uninstall the program
- RDPConf.exe: RDP Wrapper configuration tool
- RDPCheck.exe: RDP check utility and Local RDP Checker
- install.bat, uninstall.bat, update.bat: batch files to install, uninstall, and update RDP Wrapper.
Step 3. Right-click on the install.bat and choose Run as administrator option from the context menu to install RDPWrap.
Step 4. The program will access the GitHub site for the most recent versions of the ini file during the installation, then install it to the C:\Program Files\RDP Wrapper directory. After installation is completed, you can see the successfully installed message below:
Step 5. Double-click RDPConfig.exe to open RDP Wrapper Configuration to ensure the installation was successful and RDPWrapper is functioning properly. In the Diagnostics section, make sure that all elements are green.
Step 6. Most likely, immediately after installation, RDPConfig will show that the RDP wrapper is running (Installed, Running, Listening), but not supported.
Step 7. Copy and paste the contents of the following page to the C:\Program Files\RDP Wrapper\rdpwrap.ini file:
Step 8. Restart your computer. Double-click RDPConfig.exe to open RDP Wrapper Configuration and ensure that all items in the Diagnostics section are green and the caption “fully supported” appears.
Step 9. Run RDPCheck.exe to try to start a secondary RDP session or connect multiple RDP sessions from remote computers. You should be able to start multiple RDP sessions at the same time.
Option 2. Enable multiple RDP sessions by editing the termsrv.dll file
The second option is to enable multiple remote desktop connections to one PC on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 by editing the termsrv.dll file. Here we’ll take Windows 8.1 as an example.
Step 2. Press Win + R, and then type in “services.msc” to open the Services management console. Find Remote Desktop Services in the list and right-click it to stop it.
Step 3. Run Command Prompt as administrator, back up the original termsrv.dll using the following command in case something goes wrong:
copy c:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll termsrv.dll_old
Step 4. Change the values of the following keys in HKLM > System > CurrentControlSet > Control > Terminal Server:
- fDenyTSConnections (DWORD) — 0
- fSingleSessionPerUser (DWORD) — 0
You can also do it quickly by entering the following two command lines in the Command Prompt:
- REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server” /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
- REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server” /v fSingleSessionPerUser /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
Step 5. Then go to C:\Windows\System32, find the file termsrv.dll, and right-click to open its Properties.
Step 6. By default, the owner of this file is TrustedInstaller and even the administrator doesn’t have any right to replace it. You need to give full control of this file to the administrator. Click Change.
Step 7. Go to the Security tab and click Edit. Find the local administrators group and give it full control over this file and save the changes.
Step 8. Copy termsrv.dll from the archive downloaded in Step 1 for your Windows 8.1 to %SystemRoot%\System32\ (with replacement).
Step 9. Open the Services management console again and start the Remote Desktop Services. Then you’re able to create two RDP sessions with the patched computer from different accounts.
How to enable multiple remote desktop connections to one PC on Windows Server
As we have mentioned before, Windows Server OS supports multiple RDP sessions simultaneously by default. You only need to do a few configurations to allow multiple remote desktop connections on Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 R2.
Step 1. Click the Search button next to the start menu then enter in “gpedit.msc”.
Step 2. Navigate here: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session host > Connections.
Step 3. On the right pane, find and double-click Limit Number of Connections.
Step 4. You can either set it to Enabled and set the number to the limit you wish to have.
Step 5. Again, on the right pane of Connections, find and double-click Restrict Remote Desktop Services users to a single Remote Desktop Services session.
Step 6. Set it to Disabled to turn off the user restrictions.
Step 7. Reboot the computer to make the changes apply. Then you are allowed to start multiple remote desktop connections to one PC on Windows Server.
Easier way to enable remote desktop connections to one PC on Windows
Actually, to enable remote desktop connections to one PC on Windows isn’t necessary to be so complicated. You can use a third-party remote desktop tool which allows multiple remote sessions to one computer at the same time. AnyViewer provides you with an easier way to do so.
Before learning how to use AnyViewer to let multiple users access a remote desktop on Windows. Let’s quickly review its benefits over RDP.
- Compatibility. RDP only supports remote connection to higher Windows editions (Professional and Enterprise). Windows Home and Single Language editions cannot receive incoming remote desktop connections. While AnyViewer supports multiple Windows systems, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 R2.
- Multi-session. RDP supports only 1 simultaneous connection at a time. If you try to open a second RDP session, the active user is prompted to close the connection. While AnyViewer supports 2 concurrent remote desktop sessions.
- Network restriction. RDP can’t be used when the two devices are on different networks unless you set up a port forwarding or use a VPN, while AnyViewer can be used directly without network restriction.
- Built-in chat. RDP doesn’t support built-in text chat, while AnyViewer supports it.
Step 1. Download, install, and launch AnyViewer on Windows computers. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up. (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly.)
Step 2. Fill in the signup information.
Step 3. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you’ve logged in to.
Step 4. Access the same AnyViewer account on multiple devices. You will then see a list of all the devices that have been logged into the same account. By selecting Remote control, any two of the three devices can start unattended remote access to a third device at the same time.
✍Note: You can upgrade your account to an Enterprise plan to initiate 10 concurrent connections.
This post primarily introduces how to allow multiple remote desktop connections to one PC on RDP on Windows and Windows Servers. But we introduce an easier, safer, and more legal way to achieve multiple remote sessions, which is using AnyViewer. Try it yourself right now.