How to enable multiple remote desktops on Windows Server 2019

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Hello, how are you today? In this opportunity, we are going to talk about multiple desktops in Windows Server 2019. It is a type of technology that allows a user to work on a computer through their graphical desktop from another terminal located elsewhere. In other words, it is the possibility of completely controlling a distant device through a network connection. In Windows, this function is present since the XP version. Indeed, it is possible to activate it also in Windows Server. However, its use in the desktop version is limited to a single user. While in Windows Server 2019, the number of users is only two. But we’re here to help you, so we’ll show you how to jump this limitation. Through an open-source tool, we will see how to enable multiple remote desktops on Windows Server 2019.

Part 1. Preparing the server.

The first thing we need to do is check to see if the remote desktop is activated. With this intention we follow the following path: Control Panel>System and Security>Advanced system settings. Once there, please select the Security tab. Verify that the box corresponding to Allow remote connections to this computer is checked.

Allow remote connections.
Allow remote connections.

Create users who will connect by remote desktop.

Next, we will create the users who will be able to connect remotely to the server. We will then add these users to the corresponding group. To see in detail how to manage groups and users, please click here. With this in mind, press the Win+X combination and select Computer Management.

Select Computer Management.
Select Computer Management.

Then follow this path: Local users and groups>Users

At this point, add users who will be able to connect by the remote server. In this case, I will add 5 users, but you can add any number of users.

Creating Remote Desktop Users
Creating Remote Desktop Users

Then go to the Groups section, and click on Remote Desktop Users.

Adding users to the Remote Desktop Users group
Adding users to the Remote Desktop Users group

Step 2. Downloading RDPWrapper

As mentioned above, to bypass this Microsoft ban we will use an opensource software called RDPWrapper. With this in mind, please go to the project’s GitHub page. There you can download the zipped file.

Download the zip file
Download the zip file

Then unzip the file to the location of your choice. Once the folder is unzipped, double click on the file install.bat

Run install.bat
Run install.bat

The installation will begin immediately, please wait a few seconds while the installer does his job.

RDPWrap installer
RDPWrap installer

Then click on RDPConf.exe. Wait until the program’s configuration tab loads. You can leave the default settings. Please note that all three diagnostic options must be green and fully supported. However, it is likely that the not supported warning will appear in red. If this happens, the program will not work and you will not be able to connect multiple users. But do not worry, we will solve this issue.

RDPWrapper with the error message "not supported"-
RDPWrapper with the error message “not supported”-

This problem arises because Windows has released updates that have broken the program. The solution is to replace the rdpwrap.ini file in the installation folder of the program (C:\Program Files\RDP Wrapper). To download the new file, please go to the following link.

Location of the file to be replaced
Location of the file to be replaced

Now, in order to replace the file, it is necessary to stop the remote desktop service. If you don’t, the file will issue an access denied warning. So open a command prompt with administrative privileges and type the following command:

 net stop termservice 

Then replaces the rdpwrap.ini file in the installation folder. And at the same command prompt with administrative privileges, please run the following command to restart the remote desktop protocol

net start termservice 

Once the protocol starts, please go to the program folder and re-run RDPConf.exe. If you have done everything correctly, the result of the configuration window should be as follows:

RDP Wrapper running successfully
RDP Wrapper running successfully

By activating the program it will be possible to enable multiple remote desktops in Windows Server 2019.

Connecting Multiple Remote Desktop Users to Windows Server 2019

Finally, we will check if it is possible to connect more than two users per remote desktop. To achieve this, we will connect from a Windows 10 computer. Please follow the directions in this article. Here you can see the 5 remote writer users connected simultaneously from a Windows 10 computer.

Multiple remote desktop users
Multiple remote desktop users

In the following image, you can see the 5 users running in the task manager.

Task manager showing all remote desktop users running.
Task manager showing all remote desktop users running.

In the final analysis, we have seen how to enable multiple remote desktops on Windows Server 2019. With these instructions, it is possible to bypass the restrictions imposed by Microsoft and be able to connect more than two desktops. Even if Windows updates damage the program, we learned how to solve the problem. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial as much as I did. Greetings and see you soon!

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