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Allow Multiple Remote Desktop (RDP) Connections in Windows Server 2012/2016

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This guide will explain how to allow multiple sessions in a Windows VPS. A common usage case for this would be to allow the usage of a developed application or a remotely accessed support desktop. Additionally, there will be some information on where to purchase the RDS CAL license directly from Microsoft to allow for a larger number of users.

It may be best to consider a higher specification VPS or a Dedicated Server if you wish to use more than 3 users per machine, as the overall performance of the VPS will degrade per user.

How to Enable Multiple Remote Desktop (RDP) Sessions

Step 1. Connect to the Windows Server session by RDP.

Step 2. Click The Search button next to the start menu (Windows 2016) or typing into the start menu (Windows Server 2012)

The Start Menu where you can type into to search.

Step 3. Enter in gpedit.msc

The Search Menu with gpedit.msc/Edit Group Policy highlighted.

Step 4. Once Group Policy Editor had loaded navigate to Computer Configuration, next Administrative Templates, then Windows Components, then Remote Desktop Services, then Remote Desktop Session host.

The Group Policy Editor with the first half of the path marked. The Group Policy Editor with the second half of the path edited.

Step 5. From there, you should see a folder marked as Connections, click into it.

Step 6. Next right click with your mouse on Limit Number of Connections and click Edit.

The particular policies after the changes. Before changes, it will say "Not Configured"

Step 7. From there, you can set the number to the limit you wish to have, or turn it off.

Here you can change it from disabled, enabled, or Not Configured.

For access to more than two sessions at a time, you will want to purchase a RDS Cal license from a certified provider. You can purchase a Remote Desktop Service Client Access License from Microsoft.

Step 8. Next, click Next Setting until you are at the Restrict Remote Desktop Services users to a single Remote Desktop Services session screen so you can Edit this setting.

This window is simpler, and requests for you to enable, disable, or leave unconfigured. To allow more than once user, you can set it to enabled.

Step 9. In this window, you can click Disabled to turn off the user restrictions.

Step 10. Finally, reboot the server from your Cloud Control Overview page and the group policy changes should automatically apply.

Reversing These Changes

The process to reverse the changes is easy. You would follow the same steps above, and set the desired Group Policies to Not Configured and select Enabled or Disabled.

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