Remote Access Timeout

When using remote access you may find that uploading or downloading a large file or a group of files will cause the connection to time out before the operation finishes with the error message “The remote connection to the computer timed out. Please connect again.”

By default, remote access is configured to timeout after 20 minutes, which is adequate for uploading/downloading about 15 MB even at slow DSL speeds but if you are frequently seeing this error message, you’ll need to adjust the timeout value to something higher. Setting the timeout to 30 up to 60 minutes is reasonable if circumstances require it. Setting a timeout interval that’s too long increase your security risk and can consume an unreasonable amount of resources on a server.

It is easy to change this timeout value:

  1. Using mstsc.exe, start a Remote Desktop Connection session to your home server.
  2. Use notepad.exe, to edit C:\Inetpub\remote\web.config.
  3. Locate the following line:
    <sessionState mode=”InProc” cookieless=”false” timeout=”20″/>
  4. Replace “20” (which represents 20 minutes) with a larger number to allow your uploads to finish.
    If you change the timeout value to more than 200 minutes, you must also change the executionTimeout value. Search for the following line
    <httpRuntime maxRequestLength=”2097151″ executionTimeout=”12000″/> 
    and increase the executionTimeout value (measured in seconds) to the same or greater value than the timeout value (measured in minutes).
  5. Save your change, close the file, restart the IIS after this edit or better still, restart the server. Any edit to IIS or a related issue with the web    configuration will need the web services to be restarted and log off from your Remote Desktop Connection session.
  6. Use Remote Access to upload your file or files to ensure that the timeout parameter you chose is sufficient to complete the upload.

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  1. Simon Smith says:

    Or just use the setting within the Microsoft WHS toolkit add-on. A far less brutal approach!

  2. Hi Simon Smith,
    Thanks for the tip. Yes, using the WHS toolkit add-in you can set it to 20, 40, 60 minutes or above.

  3. Peter H says:

    Hi, I’m getting this error when first attempting to connect to the WHS Console remotely. It lets me connect to the website and view shares, PCs etc, but when I try to viwe the Console, it asks for password then comes up with blank white screen for a few seconds – then pops up with the error mentioned above.

    Is there anything I can try to sort this out?



  4. Hi Peter H,
    This is a new one on me – Anyone?

  5. Peter H says:

    Just a quick update if anyone can help – my friend also tried it from home, and had the same problem the first few times. Then it let him in once; not sure whether he can still get in. I can’t get in from work – it might be a firewall issue here, but he won’t have a corporate firewall blocking him. Cheers.

  6. Bradley Fredrick says:

    I too have the same problem regarding the TimeOut Error when connecting remotely to a machine or the WHS. I have always had this from day one and I am a preorder on my HP475.

    I have tried everything I can think of to get this to work, even put the WHS in the DMZ to see if it was my router (DLINK DI624) blocking it. I have heard from a little birdie, that it might be my DSL connection, that they filter out remote access occasionally (ATT), but I cannot confirm or deny this.

    I have tried to connect remotely from multiple locations and none are successful. Therefore, I too am open to suggestions.

    Bradley Fredrick

  7. Hi Bradley Fredrick and Peter H,
    Take WHS out of the DMZ zone and forward the 4 ports detailed here. If that doesn’t work the ports may be blocked via your internet provider, so I would change the ports to different ones (see here).

  8. Lee R says:

    Hi Guys,

    I’ve recently been getting the same problem, I though it may have been something ‘funky’ over my remote connect, so had an idea to connect locally.

    Even connecting from a host on my LAN to the WHS, then onto a remote machine I still get the same error “The remote connection to the computer timed out. Please connect again”.

    Any help appriciated,



  9. Rick says:

    All – This just started happening on my WHS-Server. I’ve been connecting remotely for over a month. No changes to my network, but now getting time-outs after connecting. Anyone with an idea on how to fix?


  10. M F says:

    I did a reinstall last weekend and after that I also have the time-out problem when trying to connect to the WHS console from a remote location. I had some issues with my D-Link router after the reinstallation as well. Apart from that everything is normal. Has anyone come up with anything?

  11. dave says:

    do you all plan on installing that tool kit on every machine you want to access your sever with. and how do you get that option??? cuz the tool kit i have does nothing but troubleshoots the connector. is it really that hard for you all to open one little directory and add 4 0’s. save and reboot. my site seems to come in and out as to wether it works or now. but it works. i could never get more then 5 minutes out of before. and my cell phone is going on 10 hours now and has 600 megs of a 2 gig file. that’s a record 4 times over now thanks to those instructions. a simple little fix that msft for some reason can’t send a update for. or better yet. why did they put something so lousy like that in the software in the first place. i mean. email was just as good why spend 180 dollars for server software, or 500 for an hp machine. THANK UUUUUUUUUU MR. CHURCHILL

  12. dave says:

    all i need now is website to stay active. instead of work one minute and not the next minute then work again the next minute.

  13. scott says:

    Any chance of getting a “for dummies” set of instructions?

    I don’t know how to use mstsc.exe to start a Remote Desktop Connection. Or how to use notepad.exe, to edit C:\Inetpub\remote\web.config.

    I know how to start a Remote Desktop Connection by going to start/accessories/Remote Desktop Connection though.

    This timed out error is making me nuts so any help will be greatly appreciated.

    I want to take this route rather than the tool kit because I want go up to 200 min.

    Thanks in advance,


  14. Manu says:

    I had the same problem in trying to connect remotely to my home server from Office. It came up with “The remote connection to the computer timed out. Please connect again”.

    I then tried the straight DSL connection from office without the corporate firewall and I was able to connect right away. I hope this helps some of the folks that are having connection problems from office.

  15. Matt says:

    Thanks Philip! Once I added the port 4125 redirect (I was already redirecting 80, 443 & 3389) to my WHS, the web interface of the WHS Console is now working wherever I go. I apprecate the help!

  16. Ernie Tirado says:

    I am having the timeout problem as well….I connect to my PC’s connection Times out immeditlly. I can remote connect to my PC’s thru my LAN Network. What a headache! I read in one of the forums that SP3 for XP caused this remote connect problem. I will try to remote connect with my Vista Laptop and see if this still accures.
    Any Idea’s please contact me…Thanks ernie49@gmail.com

  17. David says:

    I am not sure what changed but one day, I was accessing computers remotely with no problem, the next day I get the “The remote connection to the computer timed out. Please connect again”. I tried enabling the remote port, for either WHS or just a computer on my network, and still no go. Any ideas? fdiskdavid@yahoo.com

  18. Jason says:

    For the record, I had the same problem and then using the post from Nov 6, 2008 I forwarded port 4125 to my WHS and everything worked. Still haven’t figured out how to control XP-Home machines though.

  19. ted says:

    Can you just try using a different Remote Access software? Maybe it was an update to the software that induced the timeout error. And Dave, it doesn’t sound like everything is working out sunshine and butterflies for you either.

  20. Pharaoh says:


    So, I stumbled upon this post because I just started having the same problems that you all had dealt with a year ago. Yesterday I was able to remote log into my WHS from work. I even watched/streamed 20 minutes of the movie “2012” using webguide. When I went home, I logged into my whs and I found this little icon saying that an update is ready for me, I downloaded the update, installed and then prompted me to reboot, when I pressed ok, it disconnected my client. So I had to log on the machine running WHS directly and do a restart.
    Today, I can’t log in remotely, I keep getting the annoying message saying my “session has timed out”!
    I understand some folks have sucessflly overcome this challenge. Any tips will be greatly appreciated. Thank You

  21. Ray says:


    Glad to see your post. Ditto here. I know this thread is fairly old, and I was worried it was kind-of orphaned out there with no answers. Well, some time around the date of your post, I too had the same thing happen. Everything was fine from work, and a couple weeks went by when I didn’t use it, now… no remote control. Folders/browsing works, just no remote. My corporate network fols looked at traffic and nothing is getting dropped or disallowed on the company side. Anyone?? Anything??

  22. My experience of this error is the same, but I think I have a solution (it works for me). The problem for me was that as the WHS server was loaded with more and more backups it became slower. To the extent that the disc activity light would be going all the time; once the server was started; even if it was not doing any usefull work. Using mstsc.exe to remotely signon to the WHS server would also take a long time, although a direct Console signon was quick enough. So I looked at what processes were keeping the CPU busy using taskmgr.exe. To some extent all of the following were taking CPU time:-
    In never use Windows search on any of my systems (it is a lousy windows “feature”) ; so I knew this was likely to be the problem.
    I used explorer.exe to access the properties of both the C: (system) and D: (data) disc drives. In both cases I removed the tick from the setting:-
    “Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching”
    A re-boot of the WHS server brought back it a more healthy response time on the Console and via mstsc.exe as well as reducing considerably the disc activity.
    I have not had the silly time out message since; including a mammoth 11 backup session yesterday.
    I would appreciate some feedback on whether this works for anyone else…

  23. David H says:

    I have never been able to remotely connect to my homeserver or home PC using WHS. I have tried everything, including having my ISP (BT) take remote access of my homePC on a 4 hour call. The problem I have is that whenever I logon to my WHS home page and select the computer or server itself, it attempts to connect and then after a few moments I get a message saying ‘Message from webpage: The remote connection to the computer timed out. Please connect again.’ The firewall seems ok and I can share files with other users, but I cannot connect to me WHS or PC at home. Any ideas?

  24. hicks says:

    Matt, you rock. 443, 3389, 4125

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