By Annie / Last Updated August 11, 2022

The issue: Remote Desktop can’t find the computer. This might means that...

"When I try to connect to a desktop from my laptop, I keep receiving the message - Remote desktop can't find the computer "xx". This might mean that "xx" does not belong to the specified network. Verify the computer name and domain that you are trying to connect to. Both two PCs are with Windows 10 Professional. It used to work normally. Is there anybody who knows how to fix it?"

Remote Desktop Cannot Find the Computer

What does it mean when Remote Desktop can't find the computer?

It's frustrating to get Remote Desktop can't find the computer error when using RDP to access a remote computer. When the RDP error occurs, it means that the target remote PC isn't open, the name that you have input is wrong, the DNS cache stores a wrong IP address, the host file of your PC doesn't have the correct entry for the RDP server, or the remote desktop credentials are invalid. 

How to fix Remote Desktop can't find the computer Windows 10 and Windows 11/8/7

First of all, you should make sure that the remote host computer is turned on as you can't connect to a computer when it is turned off. If you can confirm that the remote target PC is open, you can go to the following ways to fix the RPD error on Windows 10 and Windows 11/8/7.

Way 1. Check whether you have input the right name of the host computer

If you have input the wrong name of the remote computer, of course, you'll get Remote Desktop can't find the computer error. To find the computer name for Remote Desktop, do as follows:

Step 1. On the host computer, right-click This PC and choose Properties.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, you can see the computer name of the host computer for Remote Desktop. 

Computer Name

Way 2. Replace computer name with IP address

If you don't want to input the computer name of the host PC, you can replace it with the IP address for Remote Desktop.

Step 1. On the host computer, in the Search box, input Command Prompt, right-click it, and choose Run as administrator to run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 2. Input ipconfig and type Enter. Then, you can see the IP address of the host computer.

IP Address

Way 3. Flush your local DNS cache using CMD

As mentioned above, Remote Desktop can't find the remote computer can be caused by DNS cache. Flush the local DNS cache to see whether it is fixed.

Step 1. On your local computer, in the Search box, input Command Prompt, right-click it, and choose Run as administrator

Step 2. In the Command Prompt interface, input ipconfig / flushdns and press Enter key.

Flush Local DNS Cache

Way 4. Manually add an entry for RDP server to the host file

If the local host file has no RDP entry, you can manually add it to fix the issue. Look at how to perform the task:

Step 1. Run Command Prompt as administrator, type

Notepad C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts and press Enter to open the system host file. Or open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts to open the host file.

Manually Add Entry

Step 2. In the file, add the hostname of the server and press Ctrl + S to save the change.

Way 5. Clear the credentials cache in Registry Editor

Step 1. Press Windows + R, input regedit, and click OK To open Registry Editor.

Step 2. Navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsft\Terminal Server Cleint\Default

Terminal Server Client

Step 3. Locate MRU entries and delete them.

Way 6. Turn to Windows Remote Desktop free alternative [IP address no required]

If the five solutions are not working for the Remote Desktop can't find the computer that does not belong to the specified network issue on Windows 10/11/8/7, you can resort to a free alternative to Remote Desktop, AnyViewer.

It is fast remote access and remote support utility. It requires no computer name and IP address of the remote computer, saving you from inputting the wrong name/IP address completely. With it, you can perform one-click unattended access from one computer to another easily and quickly. Now, get it by clicking the following button and do as the prompts.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7& Win Server
Secure Download

☞ Note:  If you need to control a computer from iPhone or iPad rather than another PC, you need to download AnyViewer iOS app from Apple Store. 

Step 1. Install and fire up AnyViewer on both devices. Create an AnyViewer account from its official website or on the software. 

Step 2. Log into the same account on both devices. Once logged in, the device will be assigend to the account aumtaically. 

Log in

Tip: Once you logged in to the account, you can see all devices assigned to the account and then start one-click unattended remote access among assigned devices. 

Step 3. On your local PC, go to Device and find out the remote computer that you want to access, click it and choose Remote Control.

Remote Control

Immediately, the remote connection is established. And you can take operations as if you were in front of the remote computer. 

Operations

Conclusion

It's common to encounter RDP error Remote Desktop can't find the computer whether the computers are running Windows 10 or 11. And there are possible to get other errors like Remote Desktop can't connect to the remote computer for one of those reasons... It's troublesome to try kinds of fixes and ways do not always work. Thus, it's highly recommended to switch to another professional and reliable remote access software directly.