If you use Microsoft’s Remote Desktop connection on a regular basis, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve run into this problem: Eventually, you get an error that tells you that your Remote Desktop License will expire in “X” number of days. If you try to google a solution to this problem you’ll be inundated with accusations that you’re stealing the program and that you should go pay for a valid license. How can you be stealing something that is included with most modern versions of the Windows operating system? Without going into just why this happens, the solution is actually pretty easy. The following procedure is for either Windows Vista or Windows 7. Read below and follow the instructions closely:
- Click on the Start button and in the search box type “regedit” (without the quotes)
- The Regedit program should be highlighted at the top of the start window. Either simply hit ENTER, or double click it.
- In Regedit, navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSLicensing
- Right click on the key name “MSLicensing” and select DELETE.
- Close Regedit
- Do NOT open any shortcuts for Remote Connections at this point. Instead, you need to open the Remote Desktop Connection Manager. It’s VERY important that you do this by RIGHT clicking on the program and selecting “Run as administrator.” If you don’t do this properly, the registry key you deleted in step 4 will not be recreated. The Remote Desktop Connection Manager can be found at: START/All Programs/Accessories/Remote Desktop Connection.
- Select the remote connection you want to use and click “Connect.” If you’ve done this properly, a new registry key will be added that will have updated licensing information.
This fix will need to be redone on a somewhat regular basis. I think I’ve got to do this about two to three times a year.