Fix Remote Desktop Not Working on Windows 11: Troubleshooting and Solutions

Remote Desktop functionality in Windows 11 allows us to access our computer from another device remotely, a feature that’s become increasingly important in today’s world where remote work and management of devices are prevalent. However, several users have encountered issues where Remote Desktop is not working properly after upgrading to or installing Windows 11.

A computer screen displaying a "Remote Desktop Not Working" error message on a Windows 11 desktop background

Our collective experience with technology teaches us that resolving such issues often involves checking both software configurations and network-related settings. These issues can range from incorrect settings within the Windows operating system to external factors, like network restrictions, that prevent Remote Desktop from establishing a successful connection.

Checking Remote Desktop Configuration on Windows 11

A computer screen displaying the "Remote Desktop Configuration" window on a Windows 11 operating system, with a cursor hovering over the settings options

When troubleshooting Remote Desktop on our Windows 11 PC, it’s critical to verify several configurations to ensure the feature is set up correctly. Below we’ll examine the key settings that need to be addressed.

Enable Remote Desktop from Settings

To activate Remote Desktop, we navigate to Settings by pressing Windows + I, select System, and then click on Remote Desktop. Here, we ensure the feature is toggled on, which allows other devices to connect to our PC.

Verify Remote Desktop Services Status

We confirm that the necessary Remote Desktop services are running. This includes checking the Remote Desktop Services status in the Services app, where we ensure the service is set to Automatic and is Running.

Adjust Windows Defender Firewall Settings

It is vital to adjust firewall settings on Windows 11. We verify that Windows Defender Firewall allows the Remote Desktop Connection through the firewall. This is done by going to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall and confirming that the appropriate rules are enabled for both private and public networks.

Troubleshooting Network and Connection Issues

When we aim to tackle network and connection issues for Remote Desktop on Windows 11, we focus on network discoverability, firewall configurations, and ensuring the RDP services and ports are properly set up. Let’s start by confirming the necessary network configurations are enabled.

Confirm Network Discovery and File Sharing

To establish a successful Remote Desktop connection, both network discovery and file sharing must be active on our network. These settings allow devices to see each other and communicate over the network, which is crucial for Remote Desktop to work. Here’s how we check and enable these options:
  • Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi (or Ethernet).
  • Select the network profile and turn on Network Discovery and File Sharing.

Check Antivirus and Firewall Blocks

It’s essential to ensure our antivirus or firewall isn’t mistakenly blocking Remote Desktop connections. Sometimes third-party antivirus suites are overly aggressive and disrupt these connections. We need to:

  • Review our antivirus exceptions and add Remote Desktop if needed.
  • Go to Windows Defender Firewall and confirm the Remote Desktop is allowed on both private and public networks.

Antivirus and firewall settings should be scrutinized to confirm they are not impeding Remote Desktop functionality.

Resolve Port and RDP Service Problems

Check the RDP Services Verify the RDP Port
We verify that the RDP services like Remote Desktop Services and Remote Desktop Configuration are running. Here’s how we do it:
  • Open Services.msc using the Run dialog.
  • Find the services and check their status. If they’re not running, we start them manually.
TCP/UDP ports for RDP, which by default is 3389, need to be open. We’ll:
  • Use Windows Firewall to ensure the port is not blocked.
  • Check our router settings if necessary to guarantee the port is forwarded correctly.

Resolving both service and port issues can often rectify connection issues, thereby restoring Remote Desktop connectivity.

Altering System and Registry Settings

In this section, we will cover essential changes within Group Policy and the Registry to repair Remote Desktop functionality in Windows 11.

Modify Group Policy for Remote Desktop

We must ensure Group Policy settings are correctly configured for Remote Desktop. Here’s how we do it:
  • Open the Group Policy Editor by typing gpedit.msc in the Run dialog (accessible with the Windows Key + R).
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Connections.
  • Find and double-click “Allow users to connect remotely using Remote Desktop Services” and set it to Enabled.

These steps ensure Remote Desktop connections are permitted through our system’s policies.

Edit Registry Keys for RDP Configuration

Altering the registry can resolve certain Remote Desktop issues, but we must proceed with caution. Always back up the registry before making changes.

Action Registry Path Value
1. Open Registry Editor Press Windows Key + R, type regedit, and press Enter.
2. Locate RDP Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
3. Modify fDenyTSConnections Double-click fDenyTSConnections Set to 0
If the specified keys don’t exist, they may need to be created or may not be applicable to your version of Windows 11.

After editing the registry, we should restart our computer to apply these changes and see if they resolve the Remote Desktop connectivity issues.

Guidance on Advanced Remote Desktop Features

As we dive into the complexities of Remote Desktop on Windows 11 Pro, it’s imperative to understand how to maximize its offerings. Exploring Remote Assistance options and ensuring Remote Connection is correctly enabled will leverage the full power of the feature for support and seamless connectivity.

Explore Remote Assistance Options

Windows 11 Pro offers a robust Remote Assistance feature, which differs from the standard Remote Desktop Service. These advanced features afford you the ability to provide or receive help with higher flexibility. To enable Remote Assistance:

Navigate to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System -> Remote settings -> Remote tab, and check the Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer box. Ensure that your firewall settings permit Remote Assistance.

Initiating a Remote Assistance session allows another user to view or control your PC. This is highly advantageous for troubleshooting without granting full access as would be the case with Remote Desktop.

Enable Remote Connection on Windows 11 Pro

For a seamless Remote Desktop experience, ensure the remote access server features are enabled. Follow these steps to activate Remote Desktop Services:

Step Action Goal
1 Open Settings -> System -> Remote Desktop. Access Remote Desktop settings.
2 Toggle on Enable Remote Desktop. Activate the Remote Desktop service on your machine.
3 Confirm that your PC’s name is visible for connections. Make sure your computer can be identified on the network.

Enabling this feature allows other devices to connect to your PC over the network. We must remember that only Windows 11 Pro and above editions inherently support this feature, while Home editions might require additional steps or third-party applications. It’s essential to also confirm that no previous settings have disabled the remote desktop access server as this will prevent any remote connections.

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