In this article, we'll look at potential issues and workarounds that will allow you to enable Remote Desktop sessions for multiple users on Windows 10 and Windows 8/8.1.
As with earlier versions of the Windows operating system, Windows 10 and 8 restrict the use of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to one remote connection, preventing users from making multiple RDP connections.
The issue with multiple Remote Desktop Sessions on Windows 10 and 8
Attempting to initiate a second Remote Desktop session will cause any users working locally on the machine or logged in through an existing RDP session to be kicked out. The issue is not a result of the technical capabilities of Windows 10 but rather with the license agreement.
Now that we’ve determined the obstacles we’re facing, let’s consider two popular options you can use to enable multiple Remote Desktop users on Windows 10 and 8: either by using the RDP Wrapper Library application or by editing the termsrv.dll file.
Enabling multiple RDP Sessions in Windows
Note: Before you begin, it’s important to remember that both of these processes are in violation of the Microsoft License Agreement.
RDP Wrapper Library
This is the easier, or at least less tedious, option. The problem that arises when you modify termsrv.dll, is that when installing a new Windows 10 build or simply some security updates, the termsrv.dll file can sometimes be updated automatically. As a result, you will have to modify termsrv.dll using HEX Editor after every update.
The RDP Wrapper Library, on the other hand, will simply be loading the file with changed parameters, so after any updates, it will continue to work without any issues.
Follow these steps to use the RDP Wrapper Library to enable multiple user RDP sessions:
Start by downloading the RDP Wrapper Library here. The latest version is 1.6.2. According to the developer page, this will be supported for all versions of Windows. The RDP Wrapper Library serves as a layer between SCM (Service Control Manager) and Terminal Services, and it not only enables support for multiple simultaneous RDP sessions, it also enables RDP Host support on Windows 10.
Figure 1. Screen capture from github.com
To use the RDP Wrapper, you'll first need to install the RDP Wrapper Library by running install.bat with Administrator privileges.
Once the installation is complete, run RDPConfig.exe and first check that all elements in the Diagnostics section are green.
Test the ability to run multiple Remote Desktop connections by opening a second RDP session. You should be now able to successfully enable Remote Desktop connections for multiple users on Windows 10 or Windows 8.
The alternative to using the RDP Wrapper is to replace the original termsrv.dll file, which can be found in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. Before editing or replacing anything, it is recommended that you manually create a backup of the file. You can do this through the command line prompt (cmd.exe) with the following command:
Copy c:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll termsrv.dll_backup
Follow these steps to modify termsrv.dll:
First, you will need to become the owner of the termsrv.dll file and assign the Administrators group full rights to the file. Head into the Properties after right-clicking on the file. Then go to the Security tab and click on Edit. In the access list, find the local administrators group and give it full control over this file and save the changes.
Now you need to stop the Remote Desktop service (TermService) in either the services.msc console or from the command prompt with the following:
Net stop TermService
Now open the termsrv.dll file using any HEX editor (such as the freeware HxD editor) and search for the following line:
39 81 3C 06 00 00 0F 84 73 42 02 00
Replace this line with:
B8 00 01 00 00 89 81 38 06 00 00 90
Figure 2. Screen capture from mh-nexus.de
Finally, save the termsrv.dll file and run TermService before attempting to run multiple Remote Desktop connections by opening a second RDP session.
Regardless of what method you chose, you should now be able to connect multiple user Remote Desktop sessions on Windows 10 and Windows 8. If you experience any issues enabling multiple RDP connections or have some helpful advice to contribute, please share with us in the comments section below.
If you’re interested in learning how to allow multiple RDP sessions for Windows Server 2012, 2016 or 2019, check out our next blog post in this series.