Changes to Remote Connection Manager in Windows Server 2016

This article describes Remote Connection Manager (RCM) and the changes to RCM in Microsoft Windows Server 2016.

Applies to:   Windows Server 2016
Original KB number:   3200967

Changes to RCM

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and earlier versions, when a user logs on to a terminal server, the RCM contacts the domain controller (DC) to query the configurations that are specific to Remote Desktop on the user object in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). This information is displayed in the Remote Desktop Services Profile tab of the users object properties in the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in.

Starting in Windows Server 2016, RCM no longer queries the user object in AD DS. If you require RCM to query AD DS because you are using the Remote Desktop Services attributes, you must manually enable RCM. For more information about this by-design behavior in Windows Server 2016, see RCM behavior in Windows Server.

Additionally, consider the following scenario:

  • You install Windows Server 2016 with the Remote Desktop Session Host role.
  • You configure a local user account to start an application during logon. You do so by using the Local Users and Groups tool in Computer Management.

In this scenario, you expect the user to be presented with the application in the Remote Desktop Session only. However, by default in Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) in Windows Server, a full Remote Desktop Session is presented, and the application setup process in the profile doesn't start.

To revert to the earlier (pre-Windows Server 2016) behavior, here's what to do:

If the server has the RD Session Host Role installed, apply the following registry keys to enable the RCM legacy model. It triggers an Active Directory query to check for RDP profile settings:

  • Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\<Winstation name>\
  • Name: fQueryUserConfigFromDC
  • Type: Reg_DWORD
  • Value: 1 (Decimal)

Then, restart the Remote Desktop Service. If the server doesn't have the Remote Desktop Service role installed, you must set up an extra registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server

More information

When a user logs on to an RDSH server, the attributes on the Remote Desktop Services Profile tab of the users object properties in AD DS aren't applied to the user. The user's attributes aren't enforced, and everything is working as designed. So, no warning is generated, and no event is logged.

For example, if you use the RDS attributes to specify a Remote Desktop roaming profile, users won't load that profile. They will use a local profile instead. In this situation, there are no error message or logged events. You can only know whether the user profile isn't the RDS roaming profile in one of the following ways:

  • You notice that the desktop environment isn't the expected layout.
  • You view the profile types in the system Control Panel applet.

Remote Desktop Services Profile tab in Active Directory Users and Computers:

Screenshot of the Remote Desktop Services Profile tab

User profiles in Control Panel > System > Advanced SystemSettings > User Profiles:

Screenshot of User profiles

The attributes that you can set in the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in are as follows:

  • Profile Path
  • Home Folder
  • Deny Logon to the RDSH server

Enable RCM in Windows Server

Important

Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

Use either of the following registry values to enable the behavior of RCM in Windows Servers 2012 R2 and earlier versions:

  • Registry key 1:

    • Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services
    • Name: fQueryUserConfigFromDC
    • Type: Reg_DWORD
    • Value: 1 (Decimal)
  • Registry key 2:

    • Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\<Winstation Name>\
    • Name: fQueryUserConfigFromDC
    • Type: Reg_DWORD
    • Value: 1 (Decimal)

Note

The default value for <Winstation Name> is RDP-tcp. However, this value can be renamed.

RCM behavior in Windows Server

At each user logon, RCM does the following things:

  • Query the Terminal Services registry key for the fQueryUserConfigFromDC value.
  • If the value is found and set to 1, contact the DC to get the user configuration information.
  • If the value is set to 0 or not present, query the Winstations key for the fQueryUserConfigFromDC value.