How to Troubleshoot a Remote Desktop Disconnected Problem

By Bonnie Conrad

The remote desktop connection is one of the most useful features for computer users. With the remote desktop connection in place, workers can access their office computers from the comfort of their own homes to finish projects and fix last-minute problems. The remote desktop connection feature also allows computer owners to seamlessly connect to their computers while on vacation to check email, make online reservations and even book hotel rooms. While most of the time the remote desktop connection will function properly, it is important to know what to do when something goes wrong.

Step 1

Make sure you have administrative rights to the computer from which you are working. The administrator of your company's network may have disabled the remote connection for users without admin rights. Check with your network administrator or supervisor to make sure you are permitted to access your computer remotely.

Step 2

Try to log on to another computer on your network using the remote desktop connection. For instance, if you get a "remote desktop disconnected" message when trying to reach the computer named PC102, try to reach PC103 instead.

Step 3

Make sure the computer you are trying to connect to is powered on. One of the most common problems with the remote desktop connection occurs when the computer goes into sleep mode and the remote command fails to wake it from its slumber. If you are working offsite, contact a coworker and ask them to reboot the PC.

Step 4

Change the power settings on your computer to "Always on" if the problem persists. Click on the "Start" button, choose "Control Panel" and then "Power Settings." Change the settings to "Always On." This will prevent the computer from entering sleep mode.

Step 5

Make sure the computer you are working with is connected to your home or company network. If the computer has lost connectivity, you will not be able to use the remote desktop function. Click on the "Start" button, choose "Run" and type "cmd." Then type "ipconfig" to see the connection status of your computer. Remove and reseat the network cable if you see a "media disconnected" message.

Step 6

Log on to the computer you are trying to reach and right-click on the "My Computer" icon. Choose "Properties" from the menu and go to the "Remote" tab. Make sure both of the check boxes are checked, then restart the computer and try to reconnect.