Remote Desktop Client For Mac Sierra

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Question: Q: Remote Desktop for Mac won't connect (but will from Windows) I'm trying to remote onto a Windows 2012 Server using Remote Desktop Connection for Mac. Using the same credentials, it works from my Windows PC (using Remote Desktop for Windows), but trying to do it from my Mac I get the error.

I am attempting a Remote Desktop Session. It will be from OSX 10.8.4 to Windows Server 2012 DataCenter R2(Build 9431).

  • I am using 2.1.1 Remote Desktop client for Mac.
  • I have disabled Network Level Auth, although in 2008R2 it works fine.
  • I have set 'always Connect, Even if Auth Fails on the Client.
  • MSTSC.EVE bin is able to connect to the machine.
  • Other window machines are able to connect fine.
  • Select “All users” to let anyone with a user account on your Mac to share your screen. Select “Only these users,” click the Add button, then select the users who can share your Mac. Click Computer Settings, then select options for your Mac.
  • The remote program is working well for me on Version 3.8 (380A95) on Sierra. The client you mention is so a Mac can be controlled by another computer, so perhaps you don't need that installation and can update only when App Store or softwareupdate -ad downloads a package to install.
  • Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9.3 is an update for any Mac that is viewed or controlled from the Remote Desktop app. It's available as an automatic software update for the following versions of these operating systems.
  • Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end-users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and automate routine management tasks — all from your own Mac.
Daniel B
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4 Answers

Watch out - the old OS X Microsoft Remote Desktop (version 2.1.1) that comes with Mac Microsoft Office 2011 no longer works with Windows 2012 R2 (it does work with plain old Windows 2012). For me it fails with the following error message:

Remote Desktop Connection cannot verify the identity of the computer that you want to connect to.

A (regular) Windows 2012 Remote Desktop client doesn't have this problem.

(Brief aside - Microsoft have a little note that says the 2.1.1 client is not supported on OS X v10.7 or later. Who knew and why did it make me report all those crashes?)

The good news is that the new OS X Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.24091 (Mac App store only though - grr) does work with Windows 2012 R2 . Why this information isn't listed on the What's New in 2012 R2 Remote Services page I don't know...

(If you wish to make the old client work you can follow the steps to get Mac RDP client 2.1.1 (110309) working or try the 2.1.2 unreleased build of the old client (please someone edit this answer))

Jeroen Wiert Pluimers

Microsoft Remote Desktop Client For Mac

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According to Microsoft's Download Center page, the Remote Desktop Connection client for Mac was last updated on 5/5/2011, over 2 years ago. As it says, 'Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac (version 2.1.1) is not intended for use with Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion) or later.'

Also note that that page does not list Windows Server 2012 at all under the 'System Requirements.'

I would suggest using a newer client (e.g. I use CoRD which supports OS X 10.5-10.8), as there may be unexpected behavior from using Microsoft's old software.


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For those of you still using the old RDP application, doing the following helps:

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Enable RDP security layer in Group Policy on the machine:

  1. Verify that the firewall allows remote desktop connections with RDP(Port 3389)
  2. Click Start>Run Type gpedid.msc and click 'OK'
  3. The Group Policy Editor will open In the left hand side bar, expand Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Remote Desktop Services>Remote Dekstop Session Host
  4. Select Security Change Require use of specific security layer for remote desktop (RDP) connection' to Enabled and select RDP in the Options pane.
  5. Change Require user authentication for remote connections by using Network Level Authentication to Disabled.
  6. Close Group Policy Editor and reboot the machine for changes to take effect.

I don't know if this is an unsecured way of doing it but for my home network I did not mind changing the settings. I got the above from here.

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I was using the new RDP client and it was working well until a recent update happened and it lost all my connections. More annoyingly it does not store the connections I create and shows a 'new features popup' every time I open the app though it is not new anymore. Until I fix this issue, I'll be using the old client.

Karthic RaghupathiKarthic Raghupathi

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I still have this exact same situation. The unreleased 2.1.2 version of RDC for OS X has become hard to find apart from some extremely sketchy looking sites, and somehow CoRD doesn't work at all for me, printing 'Connection reset by peer' to the command line. The solution was Royal TSX version 2.2.4, which is free for my limited needs. Apparently the future 3.0 version will also drop support for pre-10.9 versions of OS X but the current version should remain available.

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