By Ellie / Last Updated August 26, 2021

Windows Server RDP not working

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft which provides users with a Remote Desktop to connect to another computer over the network. RDP clients exist for most versions of Windows (including Windows Mobile), Linux, Unix, macOS, iOS, Android, and other operating systems, while RDP servers are built into Windows operating systems, Unix, and OS X. Its cross-platform compatibility basically allows you to use Remote Desktop on most of the devices.

However, sometimes you may encounter Windows Server RDP not working problems when you are trying to achieve remote control. As reflected by a lot of users on TechNet Forums, they have encountered  Windows Server 2016 RDP not working problem and could not accomplish connection anymore. The error notice was shown below.

Server RDP Not Working

Three possible causes and solutions of Windows Server RDP not working 

There are many reasons for Windows Server RDP not working problem. Here in this part, three possible causes and solutions of server RDP not working on Windows are identified, hoping to work out your problems on remote connection.

Solution 1 Allow Remote Desktop connection

When the Server RDP not working, the first thing you need to do is to check whether the computer you want to access is allowed Remote Desktop Connection. You can enable the Remote Desktop Connection either from System Properties. Please make sure you strictly follow the instructional steps listed below.

Step 1. Press Windows key + 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. Locate and click “Allow remote connections to this computer” and hit OK.

Remote Desktop Tab

Solution 2 Change your firewall settings

Sometimes the Windows Defender Firewall may also block the RDP port. Thus, you could change your firewall settings and see if you can connect to the remote computer now. The following steps will guide you how to change your firewall settings.

Step 1. Click on “Control Panel” and then select “System and Security”.

System and Security

Step 2. Click on “Windows Defender Firewall”.

Windows Defender Firewall

Step 3. Click on “Allow an App or Feature Through Windows Defender Firewall”.

Allow App or Feature

Step 4. Then select “Remote Desktop” and hit OK.

Tick Remote Desktop

Solution 3 Identify your Group Policy

Another possible cause of the Server RDP not working can be incorrect Group Policy settings. You may also work out the problem by changing Group Policy settings.

Step 1. Press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog box. Type in “gpedit.msc” and press OK. This will open up the Local Group Policy Editor window.

Local Group Policy Editor Window

Step 2. Navigate here: Computer configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Connections. Double-click “Allow users to connect remotely using Terminal Services” in the right pane.

Allow Users to Connect Remotely by Using Remote Desktop Sevices

Step 3. Set the status to Not configured. Then click OK.

Not Configured

Free Remote Desktop alternative

If you still have Server RDP not working problem after trying the above-mentioned solutions or you find it’s too complicated for you to follow the steps, here we recommend you a free remote desktop alternative AnyViewer. It is available for Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 R2, providing you with a perfect remote control solution. 

It is a stable and fast remote control software for Windows with high safety, which allows you to safely remote into PCs or Servers and establish remote desktop connections anywhere. Click the following button to download AnyViewer and follow the steps listed below to achieve remote connection.

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 1. Install, and run AnyViewer.

Temporary Code

Step 2. Click on Setting and then Recipient. Tick the third option. Then set your own security code in the box.

Accept Remote Control

Step 3. The controller can enter the recipient’s device ID and send a control request, or he or she can choose to input a security code to achieve remote connection.

Security Code

Step 4. If the Controller chooses to input a security code, then the connection will be established directly. If the controller chooses to send a control request, the recipient will receive a pop-up request to control his device. The Recipient can either allow the request or deny it.

Request to Control Your Device

In conclusion, this post provides you with three ways to fix Server RDP not working problem. Firstly, you can allow the Remote Desktop connection. Secondly, you can change your firewall settings. Finally, you can change your Group Policy settings. If your problem still exists after trying these solutions, you can use AnyViewer as a Remote Desktop alternative. As long as both computers have downloaded AnyViewer and are connected to the Internet, you can achieve remote control. And AnyViewer supports various Windows editions, including Windows Server 2019, 2016, 2012 R2 and Windows 10/8.1/8/7.