5 Effective Ways to Solve RDP Not Working Over VPN

This tutorial primarily focuses on troubleshooting the issue of RDP not working over VPN and provides a summary of five solutions for users. Additionally, it introduces an RDP alternative that enables access to a remote computer over the internet without the need for VPN.


By Ellie / Updated on April 18, 2024

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Why is RDP not connecting through VPN?


My VPN has been fine until recently when I started getting timeout errors using Remote Desktop over VPN. Oddly, it only happens with my Plusnet connection, even after I turned off the Plusnet Onerouter firewall. Any ideas on how to fix it?”

- Question from Quora


If your two computers are on the same network, you don't need a VPN to connect them via Remote Desktop. However, when you're connecting two computers on different networks, like accessing your office computer from home, you'll need to set up a VPN. However using RDP over VPN isn't always straightforward, and users often encounter issues like the one described above.

How to solve RDP not working over VPN problem [5 methods]

Many users face the issue of Remote Desktop not working over VPN, causing disruptions in both their work and personal tasks. Therefore, if you're experiencing this problem and want to use RDP smoothly, consider the following five methods to resolve the issue or explore alternatives to VPN.

Method 1. Check Network Level Authentication (NLA)

Some VPN clients may not support NLA. Ensure that the option “Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication” is unchecked in the Remote tab of System Properties. Here are the detailed steps to disable Network Level Authentication:

Step 1. Press Win + R to invoke the Run dialog box. Then type in “sysdm.cpl” and hit OK to open System Properties.

Run Command Sysdm.cpl

Step 2. Go to the Remote tab and uncheck Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended).

Uncheck Identity Verification

Method 2. Disable the Windows Defender private network firewall

The main function of the Windows Defender private network firewall is to improve network security. However 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 the 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 the 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 client types, it is difficult to provide specific solutions. So you need to remember that the “DHCP Lease” is the key point to solving the problem. Take the Sonic Wall VPN client as an example:

Open the VPN settings, and 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: Remote access over the internet without VPN

If you still can't connect to RDP over VPN using the five solutions mentioned above, you might consider using a free and powerful third-party remote desktop software like AnyViewer.

Both AnyViewer and RDP are free remote access software, but they differ in functionality. AnyViewer can connect to remote devices without any restrictions and is more convenient to use compared to RDP. It doesn't require an IP address, port forwarding, or VPN, making it a suitable alternative to avoid the problem of RDP not working over VPN.

Step 1. Download, install, and launch AnyViewer on both computers.

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 2. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up.

Log in AnyViewer

Step 3. Log in to the same account on both computers. 

Free Editions

Step 4. On the local computer, choose the remote computer, then you can achieve a direct connection by clicking One-click control.

Connect to My Devices

✍ Note: You can also upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan to enjoy more rights.

  • Faster file transfer speed.
  • Assign more devices for unattended remote access.
  • Unlimited concurrent sessions.
  • Connect in Privacy Mode to protect your privacy.
  • Screen walls for managing multiple device monitors.
  • Create groups to manage enterprise devices conveniently.
  • Perform mass deployment to effectively deploy AnyViewer on devices.


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 the 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.