How to Fix the “Windows Could Not Start the Remote Desktop Services” Error

Remote Desktop Services is an important Windows service that allows you to connect to remote computers. This service ensures that the Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop Session Host Server operate properly. But for some reason, this service is not working for many users and shows an error message that says “Windows could not start the Remote Desktop Services service on Local Computer.”

Fortunately, it’s a cakewalk the eliminate this error message. Just try the below fixes to resolve all the problems with the Remote Desktop Services.

1. Ensure Remote Desktop Is Enabled

Before diving into the advanced fixes, make sure that the Remote Desktop is enabled on your computer. You can check it by following the below steps:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your computer.
  2. Select System from the left panel, and click the Remote Desktop option on the right side.
  3. Enable the toggle next to Remote Desktop.
  4. Click Confirm on the confirmation box that crops up.

You can check out our guide on enabling and setting up a remote desktop connection for more information.

If the Remote Desktop is already enabled, disable the toggle and restart your computer. As the system restarts, enable the Remote Desktop again and check if it fixes the problem.

2. Whitelist Remote Desktop in the Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall allows you to block or unblock different applications and inbound and outbound communications. If the Remote Desktop is blocked under the Windows Firewall, you’ll most likely face the problem at hand.

The solution, in this case, is to whitelist Remote Desktop from the Windows Firewall. To do this, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu, type Allow an app through Windows Firewall, and press Enter.
  2. Click the Change settings button to modify app permissions.
  3. In the Apps and features section, locate Remote Desktop.
  4. Checkmark the Public and Private box next to Remote Desktop.
  5. Click OK to save the changes.

That’s it. Now try to open the Remote Desktop Services on your computer and check if you still face the error message.

3. Disable IPv6 Protocol

IPv6, aka Internet Protocol version 6, allow your computer to establish a connection and talk between all the connected networks. By default, Windows prefers IPv6 over IPv4. But for some reason, the IPv6 protocol can sometimes make the network inconsistent, adversely affecting the Remote Desktop Services.

As a solution, you will have to disable the IPv6 protocol, which will force the RDP connection to switch to IPv4. You can disable the IPv6 protocol by following the below steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel and navigate to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click on the hyperlink next to Connections.
  3. Select Properties from the window that crops up.
  4. Uncheck the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP /IPv6).

  5. Click OK.

Restart your system and check if the problem persists.

4. Check the RPD Services Status

For Remote Desktop to work properly, the RPD Services must be running in the background. You can check the status of this service by following the below steps:

  1. Open the Services window on your computer.
  2. Locate and right-click on Remote Desktop Services.
  3. Choose Properties from the context menu.
  4. If the Service status says “Stopped,” you will have to restart the service to use the remote desktop.
  5. Click on Start.

  6. Click Apply > OK.

5. Turn Off Custom Scaling

The computer you are trying to connect remotely must be compatible with the scaling feature. If not, you are likely to face the error at hand.

The solution, in this case, is to disable custom scaling on your computer. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings and navigate to System > Display.
  2. Click on the Scale option.
  3. In the following window, click on Turn off custom scaling and sign out.

You will be signed out of your account. Wait for a few seconds, and then sign in again.

6. Configure the RDP Listen Port

The next solution on the list is to configure the RDP Listen Port. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Win + R hotkeys.
  2. Type Regedit and press Enter.
  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp
  4. Select the RDP-Tcp key. Then, in the right pane, right-click on PortNumber and choose Modify.
  5. Type 3389 in Value data and click OK.

Check if you’re still facing the problem.

7. Enable RDP Protocol on Remote Computer

You must enable the RDP Protocol in the Registry so that Remote Desktop Connection works properly. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
  2. Right-click on the fDenyTSConnection value and choose Edit.
  3. In the pop-up window, type 1 in the Value data and click OK to save the changes.

8. Run SFC and DISM Scan

System File Checker, aka SFC, is an important diagnostic tool on Windows. You can run an SFC to fix most Windows services, including the Remote Desktop Services.

To run an SFC scan:

  1. Open the elevated Command Prompt window.
  2. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

Once the scan is complete, check for the issue. If it persists, you’ll have to run a DISM scan. It is the most powerful Windows diagnostic tool that can easily fix system errors.

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth and press Enter.

If running the SFC and DISM scan wasn’t helpful, you’ll have to reset the Remote Desktop Connection credentials.

9. Reset the Remote Desktop Connection Credentials

The issue can appear due to corrupt or changed credentials. The solution, in this case, is to reset the saved credentials. To do this, follow the below instructions:

  1. Open the Start menu, type Remote Desktop Connection in the search bar, and press Enter.
  2. Click on the drop-down icon next to Computer and choose your remote PC from the list.
  3. Select the Delete link under the User name section and choose Yes to confirm your selection.

Once the credentials are reset, open the Remote Desktop Connection again, and check for the issue.

Use Remote Desktop Again Without the Errors

Remote Desktop Services is an essential Windows service. It makes sure that you connect to the Remote desktop without any issues. But for some reason, sometimes it can stop working and cause an error. Depending on your PC’s status, you can troubleshoot the problem by following the above fixes.

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