Troubleshooting Windows Admin Center

Applies To: Windows Admin Center, Windows Admin Center Preview

Important

This guide will help you diagnose and resolve issues that are preventing you from using Windows Admin Center. If you are having an issue with a specific tool, please check to see if you are experiencing a known issue.

I get a This site/page can't be reached error in my web browser

If you've installed Windows Admin Center as an App on Windows 10

  • Check to make sure Windows Admin Center is running. Look for the Windows Admin Center icon in the System tray or SME Desktop Executable/SmeDesktop.exe in Task Manager. If not, launch Windows Admin Center from the Start Menu.

Note

After rebooting, you must launch Windows Admin Center from the Start Menu.

  • Check the Windows version

  • Make sure you are using either Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome as your web browser.

  • Did you select the correct certificate on first launch?

    • Try opening your browser in a private session - if that works, you'll need to clear your cache.

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If you've installed Windows Admin Center as a Gateway on Windows Server

  • Check the Windows version of the client and server.
  • Make sure you are using either Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome as your web browser.
  • Is the server disconnected from the internet? If yes, this is a known issue that will be fixed in the next update. For now, connecting the server to the internet will resolve this problem.

  • On the server, open Task Manager > Services and make sure "ServerManagementGateway" or "Windows Admin Center" is running.

  • Test the network connection to the Gateway (replace <values> with the information from your deployment)

    Test-NetConnection -Port <port> -ComputerName <gateway> -InformationLevel Detailed
    

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If you've installed Windows Admin Center in an Azure Windows Server VM

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Check the Windows version

  • Open the run dialog (Windows Key + R) and launch winver.

  • If you are using Windows 10 version 1703 or below, Windows Admin Center is not supported on your version of Microsoft Edge. Either upgrade to a recent version of Windows 10 or use Chrome.

  • If you are using an insider preview version of Windows 10 or Server with a build version greater than 17134.xxxx, Windows Admin Center has a known incompatibility.

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I can connect to some servers, but not others

  • Log on to the gateway machine locally and try to Enter-PSSession <machine name> in PowerShell, replacing <machine name> with the name of the Machine you are trying to manage in Windows Admin Center.

  • If your environment uses a workgroup instead of a domain, see using Windows Admin Center in a workgroup.

  • Using local administrator accounts: If you are using a local user account that is not the built-in administrator account, you will need to enable the policy on the target machine by running the following command in PowerShell or at a Command Prompt as Administrator on the target machine:

    REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1

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Using Windows Admin Center in a workgroup

What account are you using?

Make sure the credentials you are using are a member of the target server's local administrators group. In some cases, WinRM also requires membership in the Remote Management Users group. If you are using a local user account that is not the built-in administrator account, you will need to enable the policy on the target machine by running the following command in PowerShell or at a Command Prompt as Administrator on the target machine:

REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1

Are you connecting to a workgroup machine on a different subnet?

To connect to a workgroup machine that is not on the same subnet as the gateway, make sure the firewall port for WinRM (TCP 5985) allows inbound traffic on the target machine. You can run the following command in PowerShell or at a Command Prompt as Administrator on the target machine to create this firewall rule:

  • Windows Server

      Set-NetFirewallRule -Name WINRM-HTTP-In-TCP-PUBLIC -RemoteAddress Any
    
  • Windows 10

     Set-NetFirewallRule -Name WINRM-HTTP-In-TCP -RemoteAddress Any
    

Configure TrustedHosts

When installing Windows Admin Center, you are given the option to let Windows Admin Center manage the gateway's TrustedHosts setting. This is required in a workgroup environment, or when using local administrator credentials in a domain. If you choose to forego this setting, you must configure TrustedHosts manually.

Note

If you are installing on Windows 10 in a domain and using domain credentials to connect to the managed node, you do not need to modify TrustedHosts.

To modify TrustedHosts using PowerShell commands:

  1. Open an Administrator PowerShell session.
  2. View your current TrustedHosts setting:

     Get-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts
    

    Warning

    If the current setting of your TrustedHosts is not empty, the commands below will overwrite your setting. We recommend that you save the current setting to a text file with the following command so you can restore it if needed:

    Get-Item WSMan:localhost\Client\TrustedHosts | Out-File C:\OldTrustedHosts.txt

  3. Set TrustedHosts to the NetBIOS, IP, or FQDN of the machines you intend to manage:

     Set-Item WSMan:localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value '192.168.1.1,server01.contoso.com,server02'
    

    Tip

    For an easy way to set all TrustedHosts at once, you can use a wildcard. Note though that including all hosts is less secure than setting them specifically.

    Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value '*'
    
  4. When you are done testing, you can issue the following command from an elevated PowerShell session to clear your TrustedHosts setting:

     Clear-Item WSMan:localhost\Client\TrustedHosts
    
  5. If you had previously exported your settings, open the file, copy the values, and use this command:

     Set-Item WSMan:localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value '<paste values from text file>'## Credentials ##
    

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Still not working, or is your issue is not captured here?

Go to Event Viewer > Application and Services > Microsoft-ServerManagementExperience and look for any errors or warnings.

File a bug on our UserVoice that describes your issue.

Please include any errors or warning you find in the event log, as well as the following information:

  • Platform where Windows Admin Center is installed (Windows 10 or Windows Server):
    • If installed on Server, are you using:
      • A self-signed certificate created by the installer?
      • Your own certificate?
        • If you are using your own certificate, does the subject name match the machine?
        • If you are using your own certificate, does it specify an alternate subject name?
  • Did you install with the default port setting?
    • If not, which port did you specify?
  • Is the machine where Windows Admin Center is installed joined to a domain?
  • Windows version where Windows Admin Center is installed:
  • Is the machine that you are trying to manage joined to a domain?
  • Windows version of the machine that you are trying to manage:
  • What browser are you using?
    • If you are using Google Chrome, what is the version? (Help > About Google Chrome)

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