By Ellie / Last Updated September 13, 2021

RDP not working over VPN

Can Remote Desktop work without VPN? The answer is yes. If your two computers are under the same network, then you can use it without VPN. However, in most cases, you need to use RDP to connect two computers under different networks, for example, remote into your office computer from home, you’ll need to configure the VPN.

But using RDP over VPN is not that easy and users often face problems. Let’s see the case below:

“I haven’t had any problems with my VPN connection for a long time. But recently, I’ve got a timeout error message when I’m trying to use RDP over VPN. What is puzzling is that VPN connected but Remote Desktop fails in Windows 10, and this problem only occurs over the Plusnet connection. But the problem was not resolved after disabling the Plusnet One router firewall. Can anyone tell me how to solve the RDP not working over VPN problem?”

The above case is very common. Many users have encountered Remote Desktop not working over VPN problem, which has brought trouble to their work and life. Therefore, if you want to use RDP normally, there are two options. One is to continue to find a solution to this problem; the other is to find an alternative to avoid Remote Desktop not working over VPN problem.

How to solve RDP not working over VPN problem?

Here, I have summarized 5 methods, you can choose according to your own situation.

Method 1. Uninstall and reinstall the RDP client

Uninstall and reinstall is an effective solution for a lot of problems. Therefore, when you encounter the Remote Desktop not working over VPN problem, you may try this method to see whether it can help you solve the problem.

Step 1. Press Win + I to open the Windows Settings interface, then click Apps.

Windows Settings Apps

Step 2. Find Remote Desktop in the Apps & features, and then click uninstall.

Uninstall Remote Desktop

Step 3. Get Microsoft Remote Desktop on its Official website.

Free Get Remote Desktop

After reinstalling Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can try again to see if the Remote Desktop not working over VPN problem is resolved successfully.

Method 2. Disable the Windows Defender private network firewall

The main function of Windows Defender private network firewall is to improve network security. But after the VPN is connected, it may hinder the RDP connection and ultimately affect the remote control effect. Therefore, we need to turn it off to ensure that RDP works normally over VPN.

Step 1. Navigate here: Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall. On the left pane, click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.

Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off

Step 2. In the Private network settings, tick Turn off Windows Defender Firewall, and then click OK. (This may cause safety issues, please choose carefully.)   

Private Network Settings

After disabling the Windows Defender private network firewall, you can try again to see if the Remote Desktop not working over VPN problem is resolved successfully.

Method 3. Update or recover system version

Step 1. Open the Control Panel, locate and click Update & Security.

Find Updates and Security

Step 2. In the Update & Security interface, check whether a new version is available. If yes, download and install it (remember to back up your data first).

Update Windows Version

Step 3. If your computer system is already the latest version, you can consider to Go back to the previous version of windows 10 in Recovery (choose carefully).

Restore the Windows Version

After updating or recovering the system version, you can try again to see if the Remote Desktop not working over VPN problem is resolved successfully.

Method 4. VPN configuration error

In fact, among the various reasons why RDP not working over VPN, VPN configuration error is the most common one. But because there are too many VPN clients types, it is difficult to provide specific solutions. So you need to remember that the “DHCP Lease” is the key point to solve the problem. Take Sonic Wall VPN client as an example:

Open the VPN settings, view it under the WAN VPN policy list. Click the configuration icon on the right, click the Client tab, and change the Virtual Adapter Settings from None to DHCP Lease.

Change DHCP Lease

Method 5. Change network adapter

Step 1. Press Windows + R, and then type in “devmgmt.msc”.


Step 2. Click and expand Network Adapter in the main interface, right-click the following items, and select Uninstall device:

  • WAN Mini Port (IKEv2)
  • WAN Miniport (IP)
  • WAN Miniport (IPv6)
  • WAN Miniport (L2TP)
  • WAN Miniport (Network Monitor)
  • WAN Miniport (PPPOE)
  • WAN Miniport (PPTP)
  • WAN Miniport (SSTP)

Uninstall Devices

Step 3. Click Uninstall.

Uninstall Device Warning

 Step 4. After uninstalling all the devices, click Network adapters and then click Scan for hardware changes.

Scan for Hardware Changes

After changing the network adapters, you can try again to see if the Remote Desktop  not working over VPN problem is resolved successfully.

AnyViewer: achieve remote access over internet without VPN

If none of the above 5 solutions can solve the RDP not working over VPN problem, then you might as well find a free and powerful remote control software alternative, such as AnyViewer.

The similarity between AnyViewer and RDP is that they are both free to use and there’s no account required. The difference is that AnyViewer can connect to remote devices without any restriction. It is more convenient in operation compared to RDP, no IP address or VPN is needed.

In addition, AnyViewer is also perfectly compatible with multiple Windows versions, such as Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 R2, which is very suitable as an alternative to avoid the RDP not working over VPN problem.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Preparation work:

  • Connect the client computer (the controller computer) to the intranet.
  • Connect the host computer (the controlled computer) to the network.
  • Download and install AnyViewer on the client computer and the host computer respectively.

Set up AnyViewer

Step 1. Run AnyViewer on both computers.

Temporary Code

Step 2. On the host computer, click on Setting and then Recipient. Tick the third option; set the security code you want in the box and then click OK to finish the set-up process.

Accept Remote Control

Remote control over AnyViewer

You’ve already configured it for remote control. On the client computer, enter the device ID of the host computer. After entering the device ID, you’ll be given two options:

Option 1. You can send a control request; then the host computer will receive a pop-up request. People sitting in front of the host computer could either allow it or deny it.

Send a Control Request to Your Partner

Request to Control Your Device


Option 2. You could also input a security code of your home PC to achieve remote assistance directly. You can either input a permanent security code or a temporary security code.

Security Code

Tip: A permanent security code is set by you in advance. A temporary security code is automatically generated and will change every time you restart the software. Both security codes allow you to establish connection directly.

AnyViewer can also provide users with some practical functions for remote control after a successful connection. Such as lock, logout, restart, Command Prompt (CMD), etc.


Users can choose image quality according to the network connection speed. If the network connection speed is better, it can provide a higher image quality. The default wallpaper hiding function makes the remote connection smoother.

Image Quality

AnyViewer also provides users with different resolutions. Users can choose according to their preferences.



If you happen to encounter the RDP not working over VPN problem, you can try the 5 solutions mentioned in the article to see if the problem can be solved. If none of the above 5 solutions work, then we can only suggest you find an alternative, such as powerful free remote control software AnyViewer.

AnyViewer can not only effectively avoid Remote Desktop not working over VPN problem, but also has no other RDP problems like RDP user account did not work. The attached functions are very practical and the operation process is very simple, especially suitable for users with cross-network requirements. On the whole, AnyViewer is very suitable for the majority of RDP users as an alternative.