By Annie / Last Updated May 28, 2021

The issue: Remote Desktop can’t find the computer

Remote Desktop, a built-in feature in Windows Enterprise or Pro Edition, is the first choice to access remote PC for many users. However, sometimes, you can get such an error message:

Remote Desktop can’t find the computer [Computer Name]. This might be mean that [Computer Name] does not belong to the specified network. Verify the computer name and domain that you are trying to connect to.

Remote Desktop Cannot Find the Computer

Why Remote Desktop can’t find the computer in Windows 10?

After confirming that the host computer is open and has a password and both computers are connected to the same internet, you can have look at these factors that can account for Windows Remote Desktop failing to find the computer:

▪ You have input the incorrect hostname of the remote host PC.
▪ DNS cache stores the wrong IP address.
▪ Your PC’s host file doesn’t contain the correct entry for the RDP server.
▪ There is something wrong with Remote Desktop Connections Credentials.

How to: fix can’t find the computer issue in Windows 10 (5 ways)

After realizing what can account for Windows Remote Desktop connection failure, it’s time to check out effective solutions under different situations.

Fix 1. Input the IP address instead of the computer name

First of all, check out whether you have input the correct hostname of the remote host PC. To check out the name, on the host desktop, right-click the “This PC” and choose “Properties”. Then, you can find out the name of the host PC. Or you can use IP address to replace the hostname of the remote PC.

Computer Name

Fix 2. Flush your local DNS cache using CMD

Supposed that the hostname you have input is correct, you can flush the local DNS cache to see whether the issue can be resolved.

Step 1. In the Search box, input “Command Prompt”, right-click it, and choose “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. In the Command Prompt interface, input “ipconfig / flushdns” and press Enter key.

Flush Local DNS Cache

Fix 3. Manually add entry for RDP server to the host file

If the local host file has no RDP entry, you can manually add it to fix the issue. Look at how to perform the task:

Step 1. Run Command Prompt as administrator, type

“Notepad C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts” and press “Enter” key to open system host file. Or open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts to open the host file.

Manually Add Entry

Step 2. In the file, add the hostname of the server and press “Ctrl” + “S” to save the change.

Fix 4. Clear the credentials cache in Registry Editor

Step 1. Press Windows + R, input “regedit” and click “OK” to open Registry Editor.

Step 2. Navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsft\Terminal Server Cleint\Default

Step 3. Locate “MRU” entries and delete them.

Fix 5. Turn to Microsoft Remote Desktop alternative

When the two devices are not connected to the same network, it’s a little bit complicated to use Windows Remote Desktop to access one from another, as you need to configure port forwarding on firewall, get public IP, and so on.

Thus, it’s highly advised to resort to third-party remote desktop software, like AnyViewer. It is a reliable & safe remote access utility, you can free download it on your PC and do the following steps to log into your remote PC.

Step 1. Free download AnyViewer and install it on your host and client PC. 

Step 2.  Then, install and run the tool on the client PC and type the device ID of the controlled computer in "Request Control" section and click "Connect".

Main Interface of AnyViewer

Step 3.  The message "Allow or Deny" will appears on the PC that's going to be controlled.  Your partner should allow the connection; otherwise, the remote connection will fail. 

Control Request

The utility also offers another way of remote control: Security Code.