How to Change RDP Port? | Default RDP Port Number

Default RDP Port Number, How to change RDP Port on Windows that the device listens on.

Updated: 15 May, 24 by Sophia H 10 Min

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The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) port is a crucial component of Windows operating systems that facilitates remote desktop connections, allowing users to access and control another computer over a network. default RDP port is 3389 to listen for incoming connections. This port acts as a gateway for administrators and users to connect to a computer remotely, providing the flexibility to work from any location as if they were sitting right in front of the remote machine. The ability to change this default port is an essential security measure for reducing unauthorized access risks by making the service less discoverable to potential attackers.

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RDP port is an essential feature for many users while setting up a remote desktop connection in windows or mac devices with the remote access port. However, changing the default RDP port [Default RDP Port Number is 3389, and it is used for Microsoft terminal server] can also create issues in maintaining the usual working devices. To fix this problem, this guide will help you with this tutorial on change RDP port in windows.

When you connect to a remote computer (either a Windows client or Windows Server) through the Remote Desktop connection, the Remote Desktop feature on your computer "hears" the connection through a listening port (3389 by default). You can change that listening port on Windows computers by modifying the registry. This article will guide you to change the RDP port used in remote desktop access.

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Changing the default Remote Desktop Protocol port is a common security measure known as port obfuscation. This practice involves altering the standard port number (3389) to a different value. The primary reason for doing so is to reduce the visibility of RDP services to automated scans and attacks that often target default port configurations, potentially lowering the risk of unauthorized access attempts.

Reduced Attack Surface: By moving away from the well-known default port, you make it slightly more difficult for attackers to identify open RDP services on your network. This can be particularly effective against bots and automated attack tools that scan large IP ranges for open default ports.

Obscurity as a Layer of Defense: While not a robust security measure on its own, port obfuscation can add an extra layer of defense by obscuring your RDP setup. It's akin to hiding a door from a would-be burglar; while it doesn't make the door any stronger, it might make it less likely to be targeted.

  • Not a Standalone Solution: It's crucial to understand that changing the RDP port is not a substitute for comprehensive security practices. Without proper authentication methods, strong passwords, and encryption, a non-standard port alone offers minimal security enhancement.
  • Potential for False Security: There's a risk of developing a false sense of security upon changing the RDP port. Attackers with enough determination or resources can still discover the new port through advanced scanning techniques or by exploiting other vulnerabilities within the network.
  • Operational Challenges: Changing the default port can lead to operational issues, such as difficulties in configuring firewalls, additional steps for users to connect, and potential conflicts with other services.

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In Windows, Windows Registry works as a configuration settings database for installed apps, Windows services, etc. Windows Registry is the best way to change the default RDP port from 3389 to the desired custom port. Here you go with a complete step-by-step guide to change default RDP port.

Step 1: First, right-click on the start menu and click on the Run option, or you can use the Windows+R keys on the keyboard to open the Run utility. Then, type the regedit and press OK to launch Windows Registry Editor. 


How to Change RDP Port

Step 2: In the Windows Registry Editor, go to the below path and click on the following registry folder: 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp

Step 3: After that, double-click on the PortNumber in the RDP-TCP folder. 

Step 4: Select the Decimal option in the Edit DWORD(32-bit) value box and type a new port number. You can select the values between 1 and 65353.  

Important Note: You have to ensure that the values don't match any common ports, so if you select a common port (like port 80 for the web traffic), you can't establish the Remote Desktop connection afterward. 

Step 5: Finally, press OK to save the changes and restart the system to make changes successfully. 

Here you will get a detailed step-by-step guide that will help you to connect a remote desktop with a custom RDP port:

Step 1: Open the run utility by pressing Windows + R (Explore Windows keyboard shortcuts.)keys, then type mstsc and press Enter button. Simply type "RDP" into the Windows search bar if you're using Windows 10.


connect a remote desktop with a custom RDP port

Step 2: Now provide a specific IP address of the remote server and a new port number in a "Remote Desktop Connection" window, then press Enter button to begin the connection. It should be written in the following format: serveripaddress:customport. For our example, we used port 2020.



Remote Desktop Connection custom port

We hope this guide help you how can connect RDP with the custom RDP port. Let's learn how to configure a windows firewall for a custom RDP port.

Step 1: Open the Run utility using Win+R key and type wf.msc, then click the press Enter button. This command will open the Windows Firewall management options in which you can add a new firewall rule.


Configure Windows Firewall for Custom RDP Port

Step 2: Now select inbound rules in the Windows Firewall MMC menu.  After selecting these values, select a new rule by Actions Panel on the right. 

Configure Windows Firewall for Custom RDP Port

Step 3: Afterward, select Port from the options list in the new Inbound Rule window. Then click on Next.

Configure Windows Firewall for Custom RDP Port

Step 4: As we are creating a custom rule for UDP and TCP ports, so first select TCP, then select Specific Local Ports, type in the custom RDP port you chose in section one, and click Next.

Step 5: Select Allow the connection and press Next to continue. 

Step 6: Now, leave all entries selected for full access except for Public to prevent establishing the Remote Desktop Connection on a public network. Then, click on Next to continue. 

Step 7: Finally, provide the new network rule name with the description in the appropriate text boxes and click on the Finish button to add a new rule. 

Change RDP Default port number

Step 8: Repeat steps 1 to 7 listed above, but select TCP in step 4 and restart the system after making the changes. 

Changing the default Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) port can be a straightforward process, but it may lead to several issues if not properly managed. Here are some common problems that users might encounter after altering the RDP port, along with potential solutions to ensure smooth remote access:

Connection Failures

  • Problem: Users might experience difficulties connecting to the remote desktop after the port change, often due to incorrect port forwarding or firewall settings.
  • Solution: Verify that the new port number is correctly configured in your router's port forwarding settings and that Windows Firewall (or any other firewall in use) has been updated to allow connections through the new port.

Security Software Interference

  • Problem: Antivirus or security software might block the new port, mistaking the altered RDP traffic for suspicious activity.
  • Solution: Add an exception for the new RDP port in your security software settings, ensuring that it allows traffic through the specified port.

Network Policy and Access Control Issues

  • Problem: Changing the RDP port might conflict with network policies or access control lists (ACLs) that specify allowed services and ports.
  • Solution: Update network policies and ACLs to include the new RDP port, ensuring compliance and accessibility within the network's security framework.

Remote Desktop Client Configuration

  • Problem: Users may forget to append the new port number when connecting, leading to failed connection attempts.
  • Solution: Educate users on the new connection format, which includes the IP address followed by a colon and the new port number (e.g., Ensure all users are aware of the change and know how to connect using the updated settings.

Port Conflicts

  • Problem: The new port chosen for RDP may already be in use by another application, causing conflicts and connectivity issues.
  • Solution: Before selecting a new port, use a tool like netstat to check for currently used ports on the system. If a conflict is discovered, choose another port for RDP that is not in use.

We have tested this article for various versions of Windows to change default RDP port like Windows 7, Windows 8, Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019. Here we have explained how to change the default RDP port, connect RDP with a custom port, and configure the RDP custom port in the windows firewall.

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Changing the RDP port can reduce the visibility to automated scanning tools that specifically target the default port (3389) for brute force attacks. However, this measure alone does not prevent brute force attacks, as determined attackers can scan for open ports across the network. Implementing account lockout policies, using strong passwords, and employing two-factor authentication are more effective strategies against brute force attacks.

Yes, it is generally necessary to restart the server or at least the Remote Desktop Services for the changes to take effect after changing the RDP port. This ensures that the RDP service starts listening on the new port.

To verify the new RDP port is working, you can use a tool like Telnet or PortQry to check the connectivity. For example, using Telnet, you would enter telnet in the command prompt. If the port is open and listening, the window will remain open; otherwise, it will close, indicating a connectivity issue.

While you can choose from a wide range of port numbers (1-65535), it's advisable to avoid using ports that are commonly used by other services to prevent conflicts and potential security risks. Ports below 1024 are reserved for well-known services, and using high-numbered ports above 49152 is generally recommended.

Beyond changing the port, securing RDP access involves several measures:

  • Use strong, complex passwords and consider using two-factor authentication.
  • Limit RDP access to specific IPs or networks where possible.
  • Keep your systems and the RDP software updated to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Consider using Network Level Authentication (NLA) for an additional layer of authentication before establishing an RDP session.
  • Regularly monitor RDP access logs for unauthorized attempts or suspicious activity.

Sophia H

Sophia H

My name is Sophia H. My degree is MS in Information Technology Engineering. I have been working for 5 years on Java developing (j2ee), Computer Networking (Optical Networks), Virtualization and Hosting.

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Willie Dickens

2024, Jun, 24

Great post! The detailed step-by-step guide on changing the RDP port is incredibly useful for anyone looking to enhance their remote desktop security. It's clear and straightforward, making it easy to follow. Changing the default port is a practical move to reduce unauthorized access attempts. Thanks for breaking it down so well and addressing potential issues that might come up. This is definitely a go-to resource for remote desktop setups!