By Annie / Last Updated August 26, 2021

The issue: Remote Desktop can’t find the computer

It's common to remotely control one computer using Remote Desktop Connection (RDC). However, sometimes, the error "Remote Desktop can’t find the computer [Computer Name]. This might be mean that [Computer Name] does not belong to the specified network. Verify the computer name and domain that you are trying to connect to." appears on your computer while using RDC.

Remote Desktop Cannot Find the Computer

Why Remote Desktop can’t find the computer?

The Remote Desktop can't find the computer that does not belong to the specified network issue can occur to different Windows systems, like Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows Server 2016, etc. Its main causes are listed as follows.

▪ The destination computer isn't open.
▪ You have input an incorrect name of the target computer.
▪ DNS cache stores the wrong IP address.
▪ The host file of your PC doesn't contain the correct entry for the RDP server.
▪ Your Remote Desktop Connection credentials are invalid.

How to fix Remote Desktop Can’t find the computer

First of all, make sure that the destination computer is open, as you can't use Remote Desktop to connect to a computer when it is turned off.  Then, you can take one or more solutions listed below to fix RDC not finding and connect to the target PC successfully.

Solution 1. Check whether you have input the right computer name

If you have input the wrong name of the remote computer, of course, the issue happens. To check out the computer name, right-click "This PC" and choose “Properties”. Or you can use the IP address to replace the hostname of the remote PC.

Computer Name

Solution 2. Replace computer name with IP address

Or you can use the IP address to replace the computer name and see the steps to find out the IP address of one computer.

Step 1. 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 computer.

IP Address

Fix 3. Flush your local DNS cache using CMD

As mentioned above, Remote Desktop unable to find computer can be caused by DNS cache. Thus, you can flush the local DNS cache to see whether it is fixed.

Step 1. 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

Fix 4. Manually add 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” key 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.

Fix 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.

Fix 6. Turn to Windows Remote Desktop free alternative

If the four solutions are not working for the Remote Desktop can't find the computer that does not belong to the specified network issue, you can resort to a free alternative to Remote Desktop, AnyViewer.It is a fast remote access and remote support utility. To use it to access another computer, you don't need to find out the IP or the computer name. What's more, it supports connecting one PC to another PC under different networks without complicated settings.Then, let's walk through how it works.

Click the following button to free download the remote connection utility.

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

Step 1. Install and run it on the PC that you want to control. The device ID of the computer and the temporary code are listed on the main interface.

Temporary Code and Device ID

Note: Temporary security code changes when you restart AnyViewr. To get a permanent security code, go to Settings, enable "Set my security code" and set the permanent security code.  Finally, click "OK" to keep the change. 

Permanet Security Code

Step 2. Install and run AnyViewer on the PC that is used to connect to the remote computer. Type the ID of the destination computer and then click "Connect".

Step 3. It gives a pop-up window where two connection modes are offered: Send a control request to your partner and Input security code. If you have got the security code of the remote computer, input it and click OK. Then, the remote connection has been established.

Security Code

If not, you can choose "send a control request to your partner" and click "OK". Then, your partner will receive a control request. The Allow shall be chosen; otherwise, you are unable to connect to the destination computer.

Control Request

After the remote connection is established between the two devices, you can see the desktop of the destination computer on the client computer. And you can view the files saved on the remote computer, run apps on it, and so on. AnyViewer offers shortcuts of many operations, including run CMD, open Task Manager, Lock the remote computer, etc.

Operation