I can't connect to the Windows-based computer

Cause: The Windows-based computer is not set up to accept remote connections.

Solution:    Turn on the remote desktop setting on the computer that you want to connect to.

Turn on the remote desktop setting in Windows 7

 Important   To change remote desktop settings, you must be an administrator on the Windows-based computer.

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start Windows Vista Start button, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Security, and then under System, click Allow remote access.
  3. Under Remote Desktop, click the option that you want.

If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

 Note   Network Level Authentication improves security because it requires that you enter your Windows login information on the Mac before the remote connection is initiated. For more information about Network Level Authentication, see Windows Help.

  1. Click Select Users.
  2. Do any of the following:
To Do this
Verify that you have access Make sure that your user account is listed underneath the box. If you are an administrator on the computer, you are automatically listed.
Add another user account Click Add, and then, in the box, type the user account name that you want.

Turn on the remote desktop setting in Windows Vista

 Important   To change remote desktop settings, you must be an administrator on the Windows-based computer.

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start Windows Vista Start button, and then click Control Panel.

If you are in Classic View, in the navigation pane, click Control Panel Home.

  1. Click System and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. In the navigation pane, click Remote Settings, and then under Remote Desktop, click the option that you want.

If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

 Note   Network Level Authentication uses improved security features in Windows Vista and is more secure than the other two authentication options.

  1. Click Select Users.
  2. Do any of the following:
To Do this
Verify that you have access Make sure that your user account is listed underneath the box. If you are an administrator on the computer, you are automatically listed.
Add another user account Click Add, and then, in the box, type the user account name that you want.

Turn on the remote desktop setting in Windows XP

 Important   To change remote desktop settings, you must be an administrator on the Windows-based computer.

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start, and then click Control Panel.

If you are in Classic View, in the navigation pane, click Switch to Category View.

  1. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. On the Remote tab, select the Allow users to connect remotely to this computer check box.
  3. Click Select Remote Users.
  4. Do any of the following:
To Do this
Verify that you have access Make sure that your user account is listed underneath the box. If you are an administrator on the computer, you are automatically listed.
Add another user account Click Add, and then, in the box, type the user account name that you want.

Solution:    Make sure that Windows Firewall allows exceptions for Remote Desktop.

Allow exceptions through Windows Firewall on a computer that is running Windows 7

 Important   To change firewall settings, you must be an administrator on the Windows-based computer.

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start Windows Vista Start button, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Security, and then under Windows Firewall, click Allow a Program through Windows Firewall.
  3. In the Allowed programs and features list, verify that the Remote Desktop check box is selected.

Allow exceptions through Windows Firewall on a computer that is running Windows Vista

 Important   To change firewall settings, you must be an administrator on the Windows-based computer.

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start Windows Vista Start button, and then click Control Panel.

If you are in Classic View, in the navigation pane, click Control Panel Home.

  1. Click Security, and then under Windows Firewall, click Allow a Program through Windows Firewall.

If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  1. In the Program or port list, verify that the Remote Desktop check box is selected.

Allow exceptions through Windows Firewall on a computer that is running Windows XP

 Important   To change firewall settings, you must be an administrator on the Windows-based computer.

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start, and then click Control Panel.

If you are in Classic View, in the navigation pane, click Switch to Category View.

  1. Click Security Center, and then under Manage security settings for, click Windows Firewall.
  2. Make sure that the Don't allow exceptions check box is cleared.
  3. Click the Exceptions tab and verify that the Remote Desktop check box is selected.

Cause: The Mac cannot connect to the network.

Solution:    Make sure that the Windows-based computer is turned on and is connected to the network.

A remote connection can fail because of problems with the network. For example, a remote connection can fail if the remote network is down, or if the Ethernet cable on the Windows-based computer is unplugged.

Cause: Network policy is blocking connections.

Solution:    Contact the network administrator about your organization's security policy.

Security policies vary by organization. For example, if you want to connect to a Windows-based computer on a network that uses IPsec to help secure network traffic, you must have a boundary exception for that Windows-based computer.

Cause: The Windows-based computer can't be found.

Solution:    Check that network settings on the Mac are configured correctly for the type of connection that you are using.

The Ethernet or wireless connection settings on the Mac must be configured for the network that you want to connect to.

Solution:    Verify that you have entered the correct computer name.

Verify the computer name in Windows 7

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start Windows Vista Start button, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Security, and then under System, click See the name of this computer.
  3. Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings note the computer name, or the full computer name if the Windows-based computer is a member of a domain.

When you open Remote Desktop Connection on the Mac, you have to enter this name.

Verify the computer name in Windows Vista

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start Windows Vista Start button, and then click Control Panel.

If you are in Classic View, in the navigation pane, click Control Panel Home.

  1. Click System and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings note the computer name, or the full computer name if the Windows-based computer is a member of a domain.

When you open Remote Desktop Connection on the Mac, you have to enter this name.

Verify the computer name in Windows XP

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. On the Computer Name tab, note the full computer name.

When you open Remote Desktop Connection on the Mac, you have to enter this name.

Solution:    Use the computer's IP address if you can't connect by using the computer name.

  1. On the Windows-based computer, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. At the command prompt, type ipconfig, and then press ENTER .
  3. Under Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection, note the computer's IP address.

When you open Remote Desktop Connection on the Mac, you can enter the IP address instead of the computer name. On computers that are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, the IP address is listed as IPv4 Address.

Solution:    Make sure that the Internet connection on the Mac is working.

  • Open your Web browser (Safari, for example) and verify that you can view a Web page.

Cause: The identity of the Windows-based computer cannot be verified.

Solution:    Check that the Remote Desktop Connection security preference is compatible with the version of Windows that is running on the Windows-based computer.

If a Windows-based computer is running Windows XP or earlier, or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or earlier, it cannot provide its identity for verification. If the remote computer is running one of these versions of Windows, and the security preference on the Mac requires authentication to connect, the remote connection will fail.

  1. On the RDC menu, click Preferences, and then click Security.
  2. Make sure that Do not connect if authentication fails is not selected.

See also

Windows and Mac OS version compatibility

 
 
Applies to:
Remote Desktop Connection for Mac 2