How to fix the Remote Desktop in licensing protocol error

Matthew Adams By: Matthew Adams
4 minute read

Home » How to fix the Remote Desktop in licensing protocol error

The remote desktop in licensing protocol error is one that occasionally pops up for some users who utilize the Remote Desktop Connection tool in Windows. The full error message states: The remote computer disconnected the session because of an error in the licensing protocol. Please try connecting to the remote computer again or contact your server administrator. Consequently, users can’t connect with Remote Desktop Connection. These are a few fixes for that RDC error.

How can I fix Remote Desktop protocol errors on Windows 10?

  1. Run Remote Desktop as an Administrator
  2. Run Remote Desktop in the Built-in Admin Account
  3. Delete the MSLicensing Registry Key
  4. Roll Windows Back to a Restore Point
  5. Scan the Registry

1. Run Remote Desktop as an Administrator

Some users have confirmed they’ve fixed the remote desktop in licensing protocol issue by running Remote Desktop Connection as an administrator. Running RDC as administrator ensures that the app has the required permissions to modify the Registry. So enter the keyword ‘Remote Desktop Connection‘ in your Windows search box, right-click Remote Desktop Connection and select Run as administrator to open it.

2. Run Remote Desktop in the Built-in Admin Account

Alternatively, try running RDC within an admin account. You can activate a built-in admin account with the Command Prompt. Enter ‘cmd’ in your Windows search box, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator to open it. Then input ‘net user administrator /active:yes’ in the Prompt, and press the Return key. Restart Windows to log in with the new admin account.

— RELATED: Fix: “The remote connection was denied” in Windows 10

3. Delete the MSLicensing Registry Key

Users have also confirmed that deleting the MSLicensing key in the registry fixes the RDC licensing protocol error. You can delete that key with the Registry Editor, but you should set up a restore point first that you can go back to if required. This is how you can create a system restore point and delete the MSLicensing key.

  • Enter ‘create a restore point’ in your Cortana or Start menu search box.
  • Then click Create a restore point to open the Control Panel window below.

  • Click the Create button to open the window below.

  • Then enter a title for the system restore point in the text box, and press the Create button.
  • To delete the MSLicensing key, press the Windows key + R hotkey.
  • Then you can enter ‘regedit’ in Run and click OK to open the Registry Editor.

  • Next, open this key in the Registry Editor: HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftMSLicensing.

  • Right-click the MSLicensing key and select Delete to erase it.
  • Restart your desktop or laptop, and run Remote Desktop Connection as an administrator.

4. Roll Windows Back to a Restore Point

Rolling Windows back to a previous date with System Restore has also fixed the RDC licensing protocol issue for some users. System Restore might fix the error as restoring Windows to a system restore point can fix corrupted registry keys. This is how you can utilize System Restore in Windows.

  • You can open System Restore by pressing the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut, entering ‘rstrui’ in Run and clicking OK.

  • Click Next to open a list of restore points. Select the Show more restore points option to fully expand the list of restore points.
  • Select a restore point that will restore Windows to a date when the remote desktop in licensing protocol error wasn’t popping up.

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  • Then click the Next button and select Finish to confirm the restore point.

— RELATED: FIX: Remote desktop authentication error on Windows 10/7

5. Scan the Registry

As the RDC licensing protocol error can be due to corrupted registry keys, some registry cleaners might also resolve the issue. There are plenty of third-party registry utilities to choose from. CCleaner is one registry cleaner of some repute. This is how you can scan the registry with the freeware CCleaner.

  • Click Download on this webpage to save CCleaner’s installer, and then open the software’s setup wizard to add it to Windows.
  • Open CCleaner’s window, and click the Registry button.

Clean registry errors

  • Select all the check boxes, and press the Scan for issues button.
  • Click the Fix selected issues button. Then you can select Yes to back up the registry if required.
  • Press the Fix all selected issues button to delete the registry values.

Those are resolutions that have fixed the RDC licensing protocol error for some users. Remember, however, that you can always utilize freeware third-party remote desktop software instead of Windows‘ RDC utility. This software guide provides further details about some of the best remote desktop packages for Windows 10.

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