Top 8 Ways to Fix Remote Desktop Can’t Find the Computer Error on Windows 11

Remote Desktop is a feature of the Windows operating system that allows you to access your computer from another computer. Microsoft even added support for Android and Mac devices, so the feature isn’t confined to Windows users only. Despite multiple Remote Desktop app alternatives like AnyDesk, this built-in tool remains the simplest to set up and use.

Top 8 Ways to Fix Remote Desktop Can’t Find the Computer Error on Windows 11

However, many users face issues in connecting to a computer using the Remote Desktop feature. If you face this perturbing error, don’t lose hope. We will list out multiple fixes using which you can successfully connect to the target PC.

1. Check Internet Connectivity

Remote Desktop needs an uninterrupted, decent bandwidth connection to function. If you are trying to access a Remote Desktop enabled computer, but it doesn’t have an internet connection, you will encounter an error. So, ensure that the host computer and the device you are using to connect to it have internet access. After that, reattempt the Remote Desktop connection and check if the error pops up.

2. Enable Remote Desktop on the Target Computer

Remote Desktop is a feature exclusive to the Professional and Enterprise versions of the Windows operating system. However, if the Remote Desktop feature is disabled on the host computer, you will encounter a connection error. Repeat the following steps to enable Remote Desktop:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + I shortcut to launch the Settings app.

Step 2: In the System section, scroll down and click on the Remote Desktop option.


Step 3: Check the toggle next to the Remote Desktop option. If it is disabled, click on the toggle to enable it.

enable remote desktop

Step 4: A confirmation window will pop-up. Click on the Confirm button to enable Remote Desktop.

enable remote desktop

3. Input the Correct Credentials of the Target Computer

Remote Desktop can only work if you enter the correct name and credentials of the target computer. It is common to enter an incorrect name, user name, or password. Moreover, if the host computer changes the user name, local account, or password, you won’t be able to connect to it. So, ensure you have the correct credentials and try to reconnect.

4. Restart Your Computer

Background services and processes related to the Remote Desktop can encounter glitches and stop working. A system restart can fix this issue. It will close all the system and kernel-level processes and force everything to start afresh when the system boots up again.

Open the Start menu and click on the Power icon. Click on the Restart option. Wait for the system to restart and boot to the desktop. Now try to connect to the host computer.

system restart

5. Allow Remote Desktop to Communicate Through the Firewall

If Remote Desktop is blocked from bypassing the Windows Defender Firewall, you won’t be able to connect to the host computer. So, allow Remote Desktop to bypass the firewall on Public and Private networks. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and press Enter.

Windows search

Step 2: In the Control Panel window, click on the System and Security option.

control panel

Step 3: Scroll down and find the Windows Defender Firewall section. Click on the ‘Allow an app through Windows Firewall’ option.

system and security

Step 4: You will need to provide administrator permissions before allowing any app through the Defender Firewall. Click on the Change settings button.

Allow Remote Desktop through firewall

Step 5: In the list of Allowed apps and features, find the Remote Desktop option. Click on all the check boxes next to the option. Then click on the OK button.

Allow Remote Desktop through firewall

After this, Remote Desktop can bypass the system firewall and allow incoming connections. Try to connect to the host computer.

6. Configure Remote Desktop Services

Remote Desktop feature relies on the Remote Desktop Service and Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector service to function properly. If these services are stopped or disabled on your system, other computers won’t be able to connect with your computer. So, you must configure the Remote Desktop Service to run in the background automatically. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + S shortcut to open Window Search, type services.msc, and press Enter.

windows search

Step 2: Next locate the Remote Desktop Service in the list and double-click on it to open its Properties.

services utility

Step 3: Expand the Startup type and select the Manual option. Then, click on the Apply button.

Configuring Remote desktop service

Step 4: Click on the Start button and then click on the OK button.

Starting Remote desktop service

Step 5: Similarly, configure the Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector service and Start it.

Configuring Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector service

Step 6: Close the Services window.

7. Use the Correct Port for Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop uses the RDP protocol, which uses listening port 3389. But if a program or app changes the port number, the guest computer won’t be able to connect to it. This method involves registry tweaking and we highly recommend creating a Registry backup before doing that. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + S shortcut, type Regedit, and click on the Run as administrator option.

Windows search

Step 2: Go to the address bar in the Registry Editor window and paste the following path:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp

registry editor

Step 3: Navigate to the right pane and double-click on the PortNumber DWORD value.

Step 4: Change the base to Decimal and modify the Value Data to 3389.

changing RDP port

Step 5: Click on the OK button and close the Registry Editor. Restart your system for the Registry changes to take effect.

8. Flush DNS Cache

Outdated or corrupt DNS cache entries can create problems establishing connections with the target computer. So you won’t be able to connect with the correct host computer. You must flush the DNS Cache and then retry the connection. Here’s how:

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select the Terminal option from the Power User menu.

Power user menu

Step 2: In the Terminal window, type the following command and press Enter:

ipconfig /flushdns

flush dns

Step 3: Close the Terminal window.

Manage Your Computers Remotely

Remote Desktop is a free alternative to AnyDesk and TeamViewer. But is only available to Windows Pro and Enterprise users. If you use the Windows Home version, you can only connect to a Remote Desktop system but not create a Remote Desktop of your system. We hope the methods mentioned above helped you restore the Remote Desktop to its working state.

Last updated on 22 March, 2023

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