Remote Desktop Connection cannot connect

hello all,

i would like to connect using RDC from my netbook (using windows 7 starter) to my desktop (using windows 7 professional) on the road.

i have followed all the steps here:
Allow Remote Desktop connections from outside your home network

when i try to connect i get the dreaded "remote desktop can't connect to the remote computer" error message.

any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Have you set this up while you are at home to test?

You had no problems following the instructions you referenced, even the port forwarding?

Do you have a static IP address on your home network?

i am unable to connect at home also. my desktop does have a static ip. i have forwarded the port through my router (linksys befsr41) and i still get can't connect error message.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
The computer is not sleeping or in hibernation when you try to connect?

When connecting from outside, you are using the public IP address of your system shown in the router plus the port number?

You have the other computer set up to allow for remote Desktop connections (see attachment)?

You do not need a port number for an internal connection, just the actual IP address of the computer.


Last edited:
thank you for your help, salt. to answer your questions...

yes, desktop awake.
yes, using the public ip address of my router.
yes, desktop is set up to allow connections although i use the option below (the more secure option) the one you have pictured.

interesting new seems to be a firewall issue. even though i have "allowed" remote desktop. the connection never happens. when i shutdown the firewall, though, i am able to connect remotely. both through the home network and from outside. in both cases though i must use the port number i have opened.

so now there seems to be some reason windows firewall is blocking the connection even though i have allowed it?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I have never had to use a port if I was on my internal trusted network, but whatever works.

See the Attachments for Windows Firewall. If you use another version, it should be similar. Note the difference between private and public networks. It makes a large difference as to how the different networks are handled.


i use windows firewall. i have the items checked just as you have shown. i cannot connect until i turn the firewall off. then all goes as planned.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
You need to have the public network allowed, which the attachments do not show.

Does you LAN work normally, can you see and connect to the other computers from within your network if you are not using Remote Desktop?

Are you using the same Workgroup name for all computers and they are all on the same subnet?

There should be a log file for the Firewall but I have never been able to find it. Maybe you can and it might tell you why connections are being blocked.

i have checked the allow public remote desktop connection and am still not bale to connect unless i turn off the firewall on the desktop. all other network functions are fine.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
You are checking both the inbound and outbound rules? Check the dialog box in the attachment..


for all 3 settings, domain profile, private profile and public profile all show block (default) on inbound connections when i click on 'windows firewall properties".

although in the middle of the page it states "inbound connections that do not match a rule are blocked.

just a quick update. i wound up creating a new rule in windows firewall. i allowed incoming tcp to the specific port # i had set up for rdc. it's working now. i'm not sure why allowing rdc through windows firewall didn't work. maybe it had something to do with my changing the default port # windows chooses for rdc?

i'm not sure this is the best solution but it appears to be working.

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