So here's my Remote Desktop Probelm. I frequently need to use RDP to connect to a Windows box at work.

On my Mac, I use FortiClient 5.4 to establish a VPN connection, and then I use Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0 to connect. No problems.

  • I can connect to my box (Running Windows 7 Enterprise). No problem.
  • I can connect to another box (on the same subnet) (Running Windows Server 2012). No problem.

However, when I'm doing work stuff, I generally boot into Windows 10 on my Mac (via Bootcamp). Then I follow the same steps. I establish a VPN connection with FortiClient 5.4, and then use Remote Desktop, to connect. But there's a problem:

  • I cannot connect to my box (Running Windows 7 Enterprise). I get a message "The connection was denied because the user account is not authorized for remote login" (even though I'm using the same user account/credentials)
  • Meanwhile, I can connect to another box (using the same user account, on the same subnet) (Running Windows Server 2012)

In summary:

  • RDP from OSX to Win7 = No Problem
  • RDP from OSX to WinServer2012 = No Problem
  • RDP from Win10 (via Bootcamp) to WinServer2012 = No Problem
  • RDP from Win10 (via Bootcamp) to Win7 = PROBLEM. Error message: "The connection was denied because the user account is not authorized for remote login"

My user account grants me access to both these boxes (as demonstrated when I connect from within OSX).

Based on this… it SEEMS like it might have something to do with connecting to Win 7 from Win 10? Can anyone shed any light on this?

  • 2
    Not sure, but you might be able to fix this by disabling: Allow only connections from remote computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended). You can find this in the System properties where you enable Remote Desktop on your windows 7 machine.
    – LPChip
    Sep 2, 2017 at 13:23
  • Also, make sure you have the username setup correctly. It should be WINDOWS7_PCNAME\username
    – LPChip
    Sep 2, 2017 at 13:23
  • Tried that. Same results. But thank you for the suggestion.
    – Dummy
    Sep 2, 2017 at 17:30
  • Did you check RDP from WinServer2012 to Win7 ? (Should be fine too but it's best to check)
    – Rik
    Sep 4, 2017 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


Are you using the same windows 7 box login when connecting from mac-os and when connecting from windows 10? If not so, make sure to add it to the remote users group of the windows 7 box.

For reference: https://serverfault.com/questions/225620/how-can-i-authorize-users-for-remote-desktop-without-using-the-gui

  • Yes. I'm using the same account (windows 7 box login).
    – Dummy
    Sep 2, 2017 at 13:30
  • This actually worked for me. The thing is you have to set the local account on the Windows 7 machine (host) as part of the Remote Desktop Users group. This group is usually ignored by Windows 7 (host side) or clients-side (android or Windows 7 or Linux), as long as your local account is part of the administrators group or given permission individually in Advanced System Settings > Remote. Windows 10 as client actually checks that the local user profile you want to log on to is part of the remote users group regardless of administrator status.
    – Mobus
    Nov 23, 2020 at 11:18

2020 and I have the same issue. Trying to connect to windows 7 via windows 10 gives me the same error. I have checked local group policies (on the win 10 client) nothing seems to help. RDP works 100% with the andriod rdp client to connect to the windows 7 pc so its a specific problem connecting to win 7 via win 10 client.

None of the PCs are part of a domain but the local user accounts on the windows 7 and 10 pcs have the same name e.g. "JDoe" (not the same password). I tried @LPChip 's comment by adding the pc name\jdoe thinking that the rdp client may be confusing the two accounts.

Here are a few possible solutions which I will try and report back on (perhaps they will spur on other solutions by others in the meantime):

  1. Enable NLA connections only on win 7 host
  2. Sync passwords on both systems
  3. Create a new, differently named user on win 10 then try and join from there


Specifically adding the local Win 7 account to the Remote Desktop Users group worked (even though this account was already part of the administrators group).


#3 didn't work. Also tried another Windows 10 laptop (not company) still didn't work. So its not a security policy. #2 Password sync clearly wasn't required. #1 Enabling NLA on Windows 7, disabled access via Android, so I didn't even try if it would have worked from Windows 10.

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