By Ellie / Last Updated May 9, 2023

What is timed out waiting for a response from the host computer?


I am entering the IP of the machine I wanted to connect using VNC Viewer, but it's giving me this error: Timed out waiting for a response from the computer. How can I fix it?”

- Question from Stack Overflow

VNC Viewer Time Out

VNC is the remote frame buffer protocol that offers remote control and file transfer services. Timed out waiting for a response from the host computer is a typical VNC Viewer error. The following three reasons majorly cause the error:

  • The remote computer does not exist on the IP address or hostname you have entered.
  • Your connection attempt is blocked by the remote computer's antivirus software or firewall.
  • There was no response from the supplied IP address, not even to refuse the connection.

3 solutions to fix VNC timed out waiting for a response from the computer on Windows & Mac

Here are three solutions to fix VNC timed out waiting for a response from the computer on Windows and Mac.

Solution 1. Basic checks on the VNC Viewer

You'll need to do some basic checks on the VNC Viewer. First, check you have entered the correct IP address or hostname. Second, make sure the remote computer is switched on. Third, check the remote computer is connected to the internet. Of course, you can do other basic checks that you may think about.

Solution 2. Configure firewall to allow VNC Viewer port

You must ensure the firewall is set to enable access to VNC Server's listening Port 5900.

Step 1. Open Command Prompt, run below command:

  • ping [IP Address]

Pin IP

Assuming you are not filtering ICMP packets, you should be able to receive a valid ICMP ping response by pinging your server IP address.

Step 2. Next, make sure the default port for VNC, i.e., 5900, is open on your firewall. Run the below command:

  • telnet [IP Address] 5900

Telnet IP

If you can't establish a connection with the above command, either the Port is closed in the server, or the source IP address might be blocked on your server.

Step 3. Search Windows Firewall in the search box and then select "Windows Firewall with advanced security" to open Port 5900.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

Step 4 . Select Inbound Rules from the left sidebar. Click New Rule in the right sidebar.

Inbound Rules Firewall

Step 5. Select Port and click Next.


Step 6. Select TCP, enter 5900 in the Specific local port field, then click Next.


Step 7. Choose Allow the connection and click Next. Choose Domain and click Next. Enter a name for the rule, such as “vnc", and then click Finish.

VNC Rule

Step 8. Restart the VNC Viewer.

Solution 3. Allow direct VNC connection

Provided all of the above is not an issue, enabling the feature is very simple. On the machine you want to control, open Options in the VNC Server. Then, under Connections, ensure you check Allow direct VNC connections over TCP and UDP.

VNC Options

Bonus tip: Best VNC Server alternative without timeout

Have you fixed VNCtimed out waiting for a response from the computer on Mac and Windows? If not, you are advised to try the Windows VNC alternative, AnyViewer. AnyVieweris a free yet capable remote access tool that enables you to control a remote computer or provide remote support to others. Besides, it also offers features like unattended remote access, file transfer, remote restart, etc.

But most importantly, AnyViewer uses the optimized connection algorithm. It automatically connects to the best server to provide a faster and smoother remote control experience. With AnyViewer, you won’t experience any timeout problems.

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run AnyViewer on both of your computers. Navigate to Log in and then Sign up on the Controller computer (if you have already registered on the official website, you can log in directly).

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill out the sign-up form.

Sign Up for AnyViewer

Step 3. You should now see that you have successfully logged into AnyViewer. Your device will be assigned to the account to which you have logged in automatically.

Free Editions

Step 4. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the two devices, then you can click One-click control to achieve a direct connection, click View the screen to see another’s screen, or click File transfer to share files between computers.

Connect to My Devices

You can also upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan to enjoy more rights:
Faster file transfer speed. 
More assigned devices to achieve unattended remote access.
Connect in privacy mode to protect privacy.
Initial more concurrent connections to one computer.


The bottom line

This post primarily provides three solutions to the problem of VNCtimed out while waiting for a response from the computer. First, check if the remote computer is turned on and connected to the internet. Second, ensure that port 5900 is allowed through the firewall. Finally, Enable supports direct VNC connections.

If none of the above solutions helps, try to use the best VNC alternative, AnyViewer. AnyViewr is a free yet professional remote access solution. It provides fast and stable remote connections. With it, you won’t experience any timeout problems.