By Annie / Last Updated March 9, 2022

What is mstsc.exe?

mstsc. exe (Microsoft Terminal Service Client), the client application for RDS (Remote Desktop Services), is an executable exe file of the Windows operating system. It is used to run Remote Desktop Connection to connect to a computer that has enabled RDP over the internet and then you can view the desktop and run the apps on the remote computer.

How to use mstsc.exe

Mstsc.exe has various parameters for different purposes. To make better use of mstsc.exe, have a basic understanding of the mstsc.exe syntax and parameters.

☞ How to Check out syntax and parameters

Step 1. Press Windows + R to open "Run" windows.

Step 2. Input “mstsc.exe /?” and hit the “Enter” key.


Then you can see a pop-up window where demonstrates the syntax and parameters: MSTSC[] [/v:[:][/g:][/admin] [/f[full screen]] [/w:/h:]/public][/span][multipmon][/edit“connectionfile”][/restrictedAdmin][/RemoteGuard][/Propmt[/shawdow:[/control][noConsentPrompt]



☞ How to use mstsc. exe to establish a remote connection

Actually, if remote access is allowed on the destination computer, you are able to connect to it if you use mstsc. exe command correctly. 

If you just want to run Remote Desktop Connection, you can open "Run" dialogue and input the basic command "mstsc" and hit Enter key.


After that, you can see Remote Desktop Connection window.  Just input all necessary information like remote IP address and you can connect to the destination computer. 


If you want to establish a remote connection in full-screen mode, open "Run" dialogue, type the command "mstsc.exe /f”" and then type in required information. 

You can use other parameters listed after running "mstsc.exe /?"  to achieve corresponding goals.

How to fix corrupted mstsc.exe

mstsc.exe is essential for remote connection. Sometimes, events like Windows update can break the Remote Desktop client. Then you may get kinds of RDP issues, like “Remote Desktop can’t connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons…”. To fix mstsc, you can run sfc/scannow or restore system to a previous status. 

Solution 1. Run sfc/scannow to fix system files

System File Checker tool (SFC) is a command prompt-based tool and it requires administrator rights to open and run the app. With it, you can scan Windows system files and fix them by exacting the correct file and replacing the incorrect version. Here is how to use it.

Step 1. On the Search box, type “Command Prompt”, right-click it, and select “Run it as administrator”.

Step 2. Input "sfc/scannow" in the window and hit Enter key.

SFC Scannow

Then the Windows system will scan the interscan integrity of all the protected system files and repair the damaged files. This process can take several minutes and please wait patiently.

Solution 2. Restore your system to a previous status

Since the issue that mstsc.exe file is broken occurs after the Windows update, you can restore your system to a status where there is nothing wrong with mstsc.exe file, if you have created a system restore point. Here are the detailed steps to restore your system (Take Windows 11 as an example).

Step 1. Type "System Restore" in the search box and choose “Recovery”.


Step 2. Choose “Open System Restore” among the three options. And then click “Next”.

Open System Restore

Step 3. Here you can choose the restore point and restore your computer to the state.


Step 4. Then, you’ll need to confirm the operation.


Or if you are willing to try third-party remote desktop software, you can try AnyViewer. A free, easy-to-use, reliable, and secure remote access solution for all editions of Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 R2. You can click the following button to download it to have a try!

Download Freeware Windows PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run AnyViewr on both destination and source computers. Sign up for an AnyViewr account and sign in to this account on both computers. 

Log in to AnyViewer

Note: Once signed in, the computer will be assigned to the account automatically. Between assigned computers, one-click remote control, screen view, and computer lock are available. 

Step 2. On your local computer, click "Device", and locate the target computer, click it. Then, click "Remote control" and you can get remote access to the computer quickly. 

Remote Access to Computer

Then, you can see the screen of the remote PC, edit files and run apps on it. 


More details about mstsc.exe

1. Is mstsc. exe a virus?

mstsc.exe isn't a virus. However, some virus can pretend to be mstsc.exe file. To confirm 

2. Where is mstsc.exe located?

Usually, mstsc.exe file is located in  C:\Windows\System32. 

3. What is the difference between RDP and mstsc?

RDP is the protocol that Remote Desktop Connection uses and mstsc is the name of the file that starts Remote Desktop Connection.