Windows : Remote Desktop “The requested session access is denied.”

By | May 30, 2020

Having the following login error attempting to establish a RDP session to a Windows server or workstation?

The requested session access is denied.

The following behavior apply to your case:

  • The user you are using is a part of the Remote Desktop Users group (or allowed to the RDP users)
  • The user is a non-administrator user on the target machine
  • The same connection to the same machine works with a user member of the administrator group
  • Attempting the connection with the same non-administrator user from a different client machine is working
  • No obvious log entry in the Event Viewer related to the login events

This is most likely because you are trying to login taking over the admin console session on the target machine. If you are using a 3rd party client, look for “Admin Console” or “Console Session” option and disable it. If you are using the Windows default RDP client, make sure you are not connecting using the “/admin” parameter.

In my case, while investigating this issue for a colleague, he had a shortcut created on his desktop that he was using for the last 10 years with the /admin parameter appended at the end of the target application.