Remote Desktop connection fails using IP or URL but succeeds using server machine name. DNS Configuration Problem??

Dave Riba 20 Reputation points

I am missing something obvious. We have a Windows 2012 server with a static IP hosting our websites. Remote Desktop using the machine name works as expected Remote Desktop using the IP address or domain URL fails with an error: Remote Desktop can't connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons: <3> The remote computer is not available on the network

The remote computer is on. The remote computer responds when accessing it by machine-name The remote computer fails when trying to access by IP or URL I am guessing DNS ??? I need a pointer on how to solve this problem Not seeing any error messages.


Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016
A Microsoft server operating system that supports enterprise-level management updated to data storage.
2,418 questions
Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop
A Microsoft app that connects remotely to computers and to virtual apps and desktops.
4,340 questions
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Accepted answer
  1. Marcin Policht 16,170 Reputation points MVP

    If the connection via an IP address fails then this doesn't appear to be a DNS related issue.

    For starters, make sure that the IP address is correct.

    You mentioned "it just only works as a local connection". It's not clear to me what you mean by "local". Care to clarify?

    If the above response helps answer your question, remember to "Accept Answer" so that others in the community facing similar issues can easily find the solution. Your contribution is highly appreciated.



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  1. Dave Riba 20 Reputation points

    Sorry I was unclear.

    This is a client-server network configuration.

    Inside the network Client Machine B to Server Machine A, Remote Desktop works when addressing Server Machine A by the machine name. That is what I mean by "local".

    Remote Desktop is designed to allow access to a machine from external to the network -- eg via the internet.

    When trying to access Server Machine A across the internet, either by it's Static IP address or the URL for the domain, Remote Desktop fails with the error popup:

    Remote Desktop can't connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons:


    3 The remote computer is not available on the network.

    Make sure the remote computer is turned on and connected to the network, and that remote access is enabled.

    A) the remote computer is turned on

    B) the remote computer is connected to the network

    C) remote access is enabled

    Hope this is a clearer explanation of the problem. Any assistance is most appreciated


  2. Dave Riba 20 Reputation points

    Looks like that is the culprit. Ports are open in Port Forwarding, but somewhere they are closed. Trying to track down the errant port lock. Thanks for the tip.