How to Fix a DCOM Error

By Ken Burnside

Microsoft uses the Distributed Component Object Model as a method to allow client-side (or local) applications to transmit and request data on a server. It is an integrated part of Windows, and is used by most Windows applications that connect to a network, including the Internet. It's used to perform silent authentications (sending login credentials with cached information) and to get live data updates for things like stock tickers and push notifications on applications. A large number of DCOM errors are the result of out-of-date login credentials, which return a "connection timed out" error message -- or, if no error message shows up, a browser or other networked application giving an "unable to load content" message.

Step 1

Log in to your computer with an administrator-level account.

Step 2

Open the Start screen, click the "Apps" icon and then enter "Component Services" into the search box. Press "Enter." Windows will start the Component Services Snap-In application, which is part of the Microsoft Management Console framework. The application will have a pane of options on the left-hand side.

Step 3

Double-click "Component Services," then navigate to "Computers," then "My Computer," then "DCOM Config" and finally "Microsoft Windows Remote Shell Host." Right-click "Microsoft Windows Remote Shell Host" and select "Properties" from the context-menu. A window will appear.

Step 4

Click the check box next to "Enable Distributed COM on this computer." Turn them off, click "OK" and turn them back on again, clicking "OK" a second time.

Step 5

Check to see if this has resolved your issue. If it hasn't, there is a chance that the DCOM problem will resolve itself with a full system reboot after this procedure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Because DCOM works over a network connection, the problem with DCOM may be with the implementation of the components on the other end of the connection. If the above procedure does not resolve your problem, contact your server administrator for the application that's generating errors.
  • Disabling DCOM and leaving it disabled makes it extremely likely that you'll have problems with network-enabled applications.