How to grant ‘Allow log on through Terminal Services Right’

How to grant ‘Allow log on through Terminal Services Right’

To log on to this remote computer, you must be granted the Allow log on through Terminal Services right. By default, members of the Remote Destop Users group have this right. If you are not a member of the Remote Desktop Users group or another group that has this right, or if the Remote Desktop User group does not have ths right, you must be granted this right manually.

We were setting up remote access for a user on a domain controller for some tests. This user was not an admin (but belonged to the Remote Desktop Users) and kept getting the same error message above. Setting this user to domain admin solved the problem, but of course I did not want to make any remote user a domain admin.

It so happens that it is not enough for a user to belongs to the Remote Desktop Users to gain the rights it needs. Here is how you fix this:

  1. Open gpedit.msc (the local group policy editor)
  2. Expand Local Computer Policy –> Computer Configuration –> Windows Settings –> Security Settings –> Local Policies –> User Rights Management
  3. Look for the setting on the right called Allow log on through Remote Desktop Services
  4. Double click this policy
  5. Add the user/group you would like to have remote access to the box.

Once this was done, the user was able to connect w/o hassles.

*That* pesky setting


74 responses to “How to grant ‘Allow log on through Terminal Services Right’”

  1. Peter Saunders says:

    Worked a treat – thanks.

  2. Rick says:

    Thanks for this! It was driving me nuts trying to figure it out!

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks, exactly what I was looking for!

  4. Robert says:

    thx, it was my salvation!

  5. Art says:

    Thanks a BUNCH ! ! ! ! Exactly what I was looking for….

  6. Mike Breslin says:

    Thanks! This really saved me.

  7. Patrick says:

    Wow! That’s exactly what I’m looking for!

  8. Zevargo says:

    Thank you. Just what I was searching for.

  9. Zevargo says:

    Thank you.

  10. Tony says:

    Thanks for this info. It helped a lot!

  11. Harry says:

    Thanks. That helped.

  12. Troy says:

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

  13. Richard says:

    Must be more to it, I have 7 users and all can access through Remote Desktop except 1
    I did verified this and still have 1 that cannot connect?

  14. Mirbek says:

    Thank you so much! I was pulling off my hair until I found this.

  15. Alitet says:

    THANX!!! What’s for Remote Desktop Users group then? MS like a lovely wife. You hate her but you can not live without her.

  16. josh says:

    Thank you!

  17. Heidi says:

    Thnx for this solution!! Really helped me out!

  18. Carl says:

    Wow, thanks. Had this issue for a while and finally Googled it again.
    This worked!!
    So many other tops hits misses the boat entirely.
    I appreciate your help.

  19. Warren says:

    While you are in the Group Policy editor, why not add the group “Remote Desktop users” to that list, and then just put people into that group when they need to get access to the server remotely?
    I find it easier to add people to a group than to go into gpedit every time.
    Just a thought.

  20. Dan says:

    Legend – this has been making my head hurt for days!

  21. Izhar Saharuddin says:

    Thank you. You have saved me a lot of time on this.

  22. André says:

    Obrigado !

  23. Bill says:

    The Remote Desktop Users group controls who can connect. The security policy controls who can login once they are connected. Two different things.

  24. Aadithya says:

    This helped me too! Great! Thanks!!!

  25. Marvin says:

    YOU ARE AWESOME!!! It worked!

  26. Steve0 says:


  27. George says:

    Thanks so much for this solution. Fixed the issues right away.

  28. Edwin says:

    Thanks! It really saves me.

  29. Stefan in Sweden says:


  30. Jeevan says:

    Thanks it works.

  31. jalel says:

    thank you very much !!!
    but why do we have to use gpo ?
    it has to work when users belong to Remote Desktop Users group !!

  32. Ricardo says:

    Excellent! That solved the problem I had. Thanks for offering such a clean and direct solution.

  33. John Jayaseelan says:

    Thanks a lot, You saved my day 🙂

  34. Ajay says:


  35. Jodie says:

    Thanks a lot 🙂

  36. amin says:


  37. Ashish Mishra says:

    Thx ton this is desired solution.

  38. kejjer says:

    Thanks–I have to say I install servers about once month now –but I always struggle with this part and have to google it when dealing with TS on the domain controllers.
    Thanks so much–your page is the best I have found in the last several years.

  39. Peter says:

    Thanks. this post is a savior!!

  40. mercy says:

    Thanks so much, the information saved me and my colleague much time to figure out

  41. sandeep says:


  42. barun says:

    Thanks it is very help full to me,

  43. Kevin says:

    The reason you wouldn’t want to put the Remote Desktop Users group into the policy is because they’re designed to control two different things. If you want an entire group to have remote login access create a new group, put everyone you want in there, and add that group to the policy.

  44. Manny Pacquio says:

    U r the man!

  45. Farhan says:

    Thanks mate! saved my time as well.. 🙂

  46. geeth says:

    Thank you so much. almost you saved my job.

  47. Anil says:

    But where we have to follow this steps ?…is it on local client system or on Domain controller. and why does it happens to particular member while even other users having same right and same access…they dont required Domain Admin rights to take a remote of particular server.

  48. MassiveLoop says:

    When a server has the Domain Controller role added, by default, the server deactivates the ability for anyone(including Remote DT Users) to access it remotely except of course Admins. That is why this step is needed at the local(server OS) level as opposed to the global user level.
    The reason for the server to default to this is because of the over-privileged access one may obtain to network resources.
    Great post! I know this will help many new small net Admins.
    As a side note, having an all-in-one server is good for practicing and SOHO LANs but once you get to the enterprise level its a good idea to keep your domain controller separate from your terminal server(remote DT). This will reduce the possibility of malicious network wide attacks.

  49. Tim says:

    Fantastic info, I search for ages in technet and could not come close to this answer, I thought I was going to go insane. Thanks for the info it works great. i did add the Remote Desktop Users Group and not induvidual users and that method works a treat too.

  50. Peter says:

    Way to go! It worked perfectly 🙂

  51. eric says:

    Thank you so much, it worked like magic. It was driving me crazy for a while

  52. Charith says:

    it’s working thanks…….

  53. Tim Fiandola says:

    THANK YOU!!!!

  54. Dan Erbs says:

    Thanks ,it worked

  55. Gary Ramos says:

    thank you very much for this info

  56. Richard says:

    Perfect – thank you!

  57. Dirk says:

    Still doesnt work. Trying to get RDS to work- and nothing.

  58. Jon says:

    Thanks, tried many other group policy settings, but this one finally fixed the problem!

  59. laxman says:

    nice thank you very much for info

  60. Cole says:

    Perfect!! Thank you! I was Googling for hours before I found this. 30 seconds to fix 😉

  61. Nige says:

    Any thoughts why my option to change who can access to the server is greyed out. Cannot add or remove name or groups

  62. Sherri says:

    What if it’s grayed out? I’ve logged on (remotely) with local admin and domain admin and still can’t access it. Do you have to set this while physically at the station?

  63. SeismicMike says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. Bookmarked. I know I’ll be back here. I love how Windows says “By default, the Remote Desktop Users group has this right” when it doesn’t. Typical Redmond, I guess =/

  64. G.Ashraf Ali says:

    Thanks , this is what i looking for.

  65. Marco says:

    It works correctly, thanks a lot

  66. Praful Soni says:

    What if it’s grayed out? I’ve logged on (remotely) with local admin and domain admin and still can’t access it. Do you have to set this while physically at the station?

    • Christian says:

      All the work I was doing back was done connecting remotely to the machine or using remote management, I doubt that’s the reason why you are seeing it greyed out. Maybe some other policy is affecting what you can see/change?

      • soni says:

        Grayed out means I am not able to click on “add user/group” button (its disabled).

        I logged in using VNC Viewer as local as well as domain administrator but result is same.

  67. Hussain says:

    Thanks, wonderful post

  68. mendy says:

    worked for me too. thanks!

  69. mrbrown says:

    This worked! after only an hour trying to figure it out with other sites. thank you

  70. Jake says:

    Thanks Christian, worked like a champ!

  71. negrofeo says:

    Muchas gracias por la información la verdad es que fue de gran ayuda.

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