I'm trying to connect to a Windows Server 2016 cloud hosted machine using remote desktop, yet whether I enter the user name as Administrator or .\Administrator, I always get a "login failed" message for MYMACHINENAME\Administrator.

How do I force rdp to connect without any domain name?

  • @PimpJuiceIT Nope, it seems to take that literally, and says login failed for ~\administrator. My client tells me he can connect, so I think I'm going to have to go and watch exactly how he manages. – ProfK Jun 26 '18 at 6:29
  • There's no such thing as a Windows account that doesn't have a domain name, just accounts that aren't part of an Active Directory domain. Specifically, local accounts are members of the local computer's domain. – Twisty Impersonator Jun 26 '18 at 8:19
  • @TwistyImpersonator I never said there was a Windows account without a domain name. I asked how to log in without specifying a domain name. – ProfK Jun 27 '18 at 6:12
  • @PimpJuiceIT Yes, that worked for me, thanks, but I see that has already been added as an answer too. – ProfK Jun 29 '18 at 4:58
  • Ah.... I didn't even read that answer but I see that now too. No worries, glad you got it resolved. – Pimp Juice IT Jun 29 '18 at 5:22

Use the computername of the remote system, e.g., CLOUDHOSTEDVM\Administrator. When you use .\ (or no prefix) via RDP, it assumes the domain/computer name of your connection, not the target computer.


You can also use localhost\administrator to connect.

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