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RDP Connection Fails: How to Fix RDP Errors

RDP Connection Fails: How to Fix RDP Errors
Reading time: 5 min
Hostman Team
Technical writer

Connecting to a remote desktop using RDP is a common task. It is often used in a corporate environment so that employees can work remotely on a corporate computer within the company network. This is especially true in cases where work requires a large amount of computing resources that may not be available on a home PC.

In this article we will look at several common problems with RDP and how to solve them.

Typical connection issues

Here's an example of a common RDP error you might receive when trying to connect to a remote desktop.


In some cases, there might be no reasons provided at all, with the notification window simply informing you that “an internal error has occurred”.


Typically, the RDP connection errors have similar causes and solutions, so in this article we will look at several ways to troubleshoot connection problems that might work for most of those RDP errors.

Here are a few reasons that can lead to problems with connecting via RDP:

  • incorrect connection settings;

  • problem of matching the domain name and IP address of the remote computer;

  • DNS server cache;

  • RDP cache;

  • RDP port being used by another application;

  • the firewall is blocking the connection;

  • Windows updates.

Let's look closer at how to fix these issues.

Check your connection settings

One of the reasons why there may be a problem with connecting via RDP is incorrect connection settings. Below are a few settings that may affect RDP connectivity:

Incorrect credentials

If you enter incorrect login information on the remote computer, connecting via RDP will not be possible. Make sure you enter the correct credentials and that they have sufficient permissions to connect.

Incorrect address of the remote computer

If you enter an incorrect computer name to connect via RDP, the client will not be able to find it and will display the error "Remote Desktop could not find the computer." To find out the name of the remote computer to connect to, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on the remote computer and go to the This PC tab.

  2. Right-click in the work area and select Properties.

  3. After this, the System page will open. In the Computer name, domain name, and workgroup settings section, find the connection information.

If the problem is not resolved, continue to the next section.

Connecting to a remote computer by IP address

When connecting to a remote computer, the address is usually its domain name associated with a specific IP address. Domain names and their corresponding IP addresses are stored on a DNS server. Sometimes, the domain name in the DNS server is assigned an incorrect address; in this case, you will not be able to connect to the server via the domain. To fix this issue, try to connect to a remote computer using its IP address.

To find out the IP address:

  1. On the remote computer, launch cmd (Win+R, enter cmd and press Enter). 

  2. Type the ipconfig command and press Enter. 

  3. In the IPv4 Address field you will find the computer's IP address.

Now, try connecting to a remote computer via RDP using the IP address instead of the domain name.

Clear your DNS cache

Sometimes clearing the DNS cache helps. To do this: 

  1. Launch cmd as described above.

  2. Run the command ipconfig / flushdns.

Add the RDP server IP address to the hosts file

The hosts file in Windows is a text file that maps domain names to IP addresses. Your computer uses this file as the primary source of hostname information before it queries the DNS server. 

If you suspect there is an error in the DNS server information, you can add an entry to the hosts file with the domain name and IP address of the remote computer.

To do this, open the hosts file using Notepad. The file is located in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ directory. Add a new line to it with the IP address of the remote computer and its domain name and save the changes.

Check the RDP port

By default, RDP uses port 3389. If any other application on the computer uses the same port, an error will occur when connecting. Let's try changing the port to 3388 and see if we can connect via RDP. To do this:

  1. Open Registry Editor and navigate to the RDP-Tcp directory.

  2. Find the PortNumber entry.

  3. Right-click on it and select Edit.

  4. Enter another port number in the value data field.

Try using an alternative RDP client

If you are unable to resolve the RDP connection problem using a Microsoft client, try using its alternatives, such as AnyDesk or Remote Utilities.

Roll back or install Windows updates

You may sometimes encounter RDP connection errors after a Windows update because one of the newly installed files may interfere with RDP functionality. If your operating system has been updated recently, try performing a rollback.

Change your firewall settings

Disabling your firewall is an easy way to check if it is causing RDP errors. If the problem disappears when the firewall is turned off, you need to reconfigure it or leave it disabled. The last option is not entirely safe, so let's configure the firewall.

  1. Open Windows Defender Firewall and click Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall in the left menu.

  2. Click Change settings.

  3. In the list of programs, find Remote Desktop and check the Private and Public checkboxes next to it.

  4. Close the window and try to connect. If the problem was with the firewall, you should now be able to connect to the remote computer.