Remote Desktop Freezes When Connecting Through Windows Vista

So ever since I installed Windows Vista, I’ve been having problems connecting to our Windows Server 2003 workstation through terminal services. Looks like I finally found an answer to the problem. After connecting to the server, I am able to see the desktop, but the connection typically freezes on this screen for about a minute with the following message:

The connection has been lost. Attempting to reconnect to your session…

Connection attempt: x of 20

Apparently this problem is because Windows Vista has a low initial setting on it’s Auto Tuning feature. What Auto-Tuning does is continually adjusts the TCP/IP receive windows size based on current (and changing) network conditions. It seems that many people have reported problems with auto-tuning causing various network timeout issues with some applications and routers. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, you can turn off Auto Tuning as described below.

Here’s what I did to fix this Remote Desktop Connection problem:

  1. I had to create a new shortcut on the desktop. Enter the command “cmd” as the shortcut command.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut and select “Run as Administrator”. This will open up a DOS window.
  3. Enter the following command
    netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

Here’s another version of how to disable auto-tuning as seen on ComputerBits


  1. Open up an Elevated Command Prompt
  2. Enter the following command to disable auto-tuning
    netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

And if you find that disabling auto-tuning doesn’t fix your problem, you can turn it back on as follows:

  1. Open up an Elevated Command Prompt
  2. Enter the following command to enable auto-tuning
    netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal

And if you’d like to just view the states of your current TCP parameters, you can use this command:
netsh interface tcp show global

31 thoughts on “Remote Desktop Freezes When Connecting Through Windows Vista”

  1. Wanted to drop a ‘thank you’- I work from home, haven’t been able to connect to the office w/my laptop since my Vista upgrade. Surfed around a bit this afternoon to see what I could find. Quick, easy fix, outstanding!

  2. What was weird is that to some servers (win2k3), it was working fine, and I had no trouble, but certain ones I did.

    This fixed the problem. THanks muchly.

  3. I have the same issue when connecting from Windows XP -> Vista Ultimate, and a wireless Dlink router between.

  4. Excellent results here. I’ve been coming very close to removing Vista in favor of XP over this and a couple of other annoying problems. Many thanks. Unfortunately, we remote desktopers will have for forfeit the benefits of Auto Tuning, whatever they might have been.

  5. Thank you so much. This totally fixed my problem, haven’t been able to connect since the new laptop came with Vista.

  6. This did not work for me. I still get the: The connection has been lost. Attempting to reconnect to your session…

    Connection attempt: x of 20

    Any more options


  7. You know what… this doesn’t work for me either. I think it could either have to do with a networking issue (either at your location, or at the location of the remote computer) or someone has suggested to me that it is due to a lack of resources on the remote computer. Either way, I have not yet found a solution to my problem and I am getting very frustrated.

  8. Thank you Marcel. It was driving me round the bend. Vista Remote Desktop would work wired connection to XP , but not via Wireless. Changing the MTU size of the wireless connection worked great. This should be a technet article…

  9. I started having this problem after I installed D-Link Xtreme N Gigabit Router Dir-655 ver 1.02. Above solution does not work for me. Could someon help? Thanks.

  10. Thanx much… you have no idea how long i’ve been pounding on my machine looking for a solution! Worked like a charm.

  11. many thanks buddy – I was almost going to uninstall the “Vista” resources-hungry-beast and go back to xp, you saved me a lot of hours and the money I invested in the worthless vista pro

  12. This is the best post I have read all year.

    If I had one dollar for every minute I sat waiting out the freeze in remote desktop I’d be rich.


  13. Hi there,

    well.. i do have the same issue.
    am using Vitsa as a client to access the TS Win2003 Server ent edition.
    in my case, whenever i try to connect to the TS, it takes long time until the user name n password window appears!
    i tried the above mentioned way and it didnt work….

    Other servers can be accessed easily without any trouble! AND without implementing the above??!!

    PS. sometimes it works fine without any delay and sometimes it takes time.. , its not stable!

  14. I know this post is old, but I think it solved my remote desktop issue with Windows 7. Thank you so much!

  15. I just wanted to tell you thank you so much! This whole time I have been thinking it is my internet connection causing this error on my Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit OS, but I did this and so far so good! Thanks again. I really can’t thank you enough!

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