Windows Server Enable Audio Over RDP

Q. I’ve sans hardware soundcard and Windows server 2008 installed. How do I enable audio over RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) on my Windows server systems?

A. RDP is a multi-channel protocol that allows a user to connect to a networked computer. Audio Redirection is a feature of RDP, which allows users to run an audio program on the remote desktop and have the sound redirected to their local computer.

Remote Desktop Connection Settings

  • Start Remote Desktop Connection
  • Click to expand Options
  • Select Local Resources tab.
  • Under Remote computer sound, ensure that Bring to this computer is selected.
  • Login to the server which needs audio enabled.
  • Now, you should hear the Windows startup login sound.

Finally, make sure Audio is configured correctly for all Windows applications over RDP:

  1. Go to the sound control panel (Start-> (Settings->) Control Panel-> Sounds and Audio Devices)
  2. Select Audio tab.
  3. Select Microsoft RDP Audio Driver for the default playback device, if not already specified.
  4. Check the “Use only default devices” checkbox at the bottom of the dialog.
  5. Click the Voice tab.
  6. Select Microsoft RDP Audio Driver for the default playback device, if not already specified.
  7. Save settings by clicking on OK button.

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🐧 25 comments so far... add one

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25 comments… add one
  • Gary Snyder Jan 25, 2009 @ 6:08

    This is all very nice, except that it doesn’t work. There is no Sounds and Audio tab in 2k8, nor is there an RDP audio driver available to select.

    To enable sound to be delivered from a 2k8 server (virtual or not, and with or without TS role installed) to any RDP client, the following steps are needed.

    1. Change the properties of the Windows Audio service on the 2k8 box so that it’s start mode is “Automatic”. Do the same for the Windows Audio Endpoint service. Start both services. This is probably already done if the box is a physical one and a sound card is installed. It won’t already be done if the box is a virtual.

    2. Log out and back in. You will now be presented with a different error on your speaker Icon “No Audio Output Device is installed”. This is because RDP exports your sound card, but not your speaker connections and by default, the audio subsystem requires at least one device connected before it enables the audio functions (how f**stupid is that!)

    3. Make a ton of registry changes (repetitive and redundant, but necessary)
    a. run regedit and locate the following key. You must be logged in as an Administrator to do this: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AudioEngine\AudioProcessingObjects it will contain several subkeys each named with a GUID
    b. for each subkey:
    Click on the subkey. Then right click and select “Permissions”. Click on the Advanced button, then click on the “Owner Tab”. The current owner will show as “TrustedInstaller”. Select your Administrative account or group from the list, and click OK to change the ownership. Select the account you just gave ownership to (Administrator or the administrative group), and click on the “Full Contol” checkbox, then click OK.
    In the detail box, double click on the DWORD value MinOutputConnections. Change the value from 1 to 0 and click OK.
    Repeat for each and every subkey in the group.

    Close regedit

    Restart the Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint services.

    Log off.

    Log back in and enjoy the sound!

    • cmh May 17, 2012 @ 21:14

      Before trying this, read and try what loqster suggests a few comments down.

      • John Y May 23, 2013 @ 4:22

        I agree, loqster suggests a way to change it using the RDP GUI and no registry changes,

        I just Qoute his comments , Good job Longster and thanks.

        “For win 2k8 the eassy way would be to edit the RDP-tcp propertis. (the Client Settings Tab)
        This should be located in Start -> Administrative Tools -> Romote Desktop Services -> ‘Remote Desktop Session Host Configuratio’
        By default ‘Audio and Video Playback’ and ‘Audio recording’ ar disabeled.

  • WINNT Mar 26, 2009 @ 17:36

    Before changing the registry settings, make sure you enable sound in the rdp-tcp properties of tsconfig.msc on the client settings tab.

  • John Apr 19, 2009 @ 4:37

    Thanks a lot guys, very helpful and works for option “Bring to this computer” but… I need audio to “Leave at remote computer”. On Server 2008 x64 SP1 RDP 6.1 – doesn’t work. Any help appreciated. Tnx

  • BenjaminJWD Jul 17, 2009 @ 22:48

    It there a similar solution for registry edit in Windows Server 2003 x64? I can not get this to work at all. The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AudioEngine\AudioProcessingObjects does not exist in the registry in 2003. Thank you for your time. -BenjaminJWD

  • Sophia Aug 9, 2009 @ 3:40


    I need advise on how to enable my audio service on my vista.

    Can any help me?

    where my speaker icon is it reads :audio service is not enabled.

    I use to be able to control the volume level althoiugh thaat option is no longer available to me. Don’t know what happened.

  • Kfire Dec 3, 2009 @ 20:49

    Hi All,
    The above tips were very helpful. I just installed Windows 2k8 and had a difficult time enabling sound through remote desktop. I was finally able to to do it by enabling in the GOP settings.

  • loqster Dec 31, 2009 @ 11:24

    For win 2k8 the eassy way would be to edit the RDP-tcp propertis. (the Client Settings Tab)
    This should be located in Start -> Administrative Tools -> Romote Desktop Services -> ‘Remote Desktop Session Host Configuratio’

    By default ‘Audio and Video Playback’ and ‘Audio recording’ ar disabeled.

    • HHC Jul 27, 2011 @ 12:38

      Hi, this solution works great, is true that the main solution originated this post does not work on Windows 2008, but this one savbe the day. Thank you Loqster

      • Andrew Randall Aug 3, 2011 @ 17:08

        Yeah i second that worked 100% for me aswell. Thanks

    • ldias Jan 6, 2012 @ 15:19

      Worked awesome. Just remember to configure the audio portion on the desktop RDP client

  • mike Jan 13, 2011 @ 19:57

    well, i made some progress, enabling audio and video playback made it so there is a “remote audio” device listed, but the sound card for the remote machine is still gone and will not play audio on the remote machine.

  • Chris May 17, 2011 @ 20:51

    Anyone get this to work? I tried the steps on Windows 2008 Server R2 and no luck, with services enabled, registry hacks and the like.

  • Satchi Jul 21, 2011 @ 9:28

    Works for me. (Client : xpsp2 & 2k8r2, server 2k8r2). The steps given by loqster works.

  • Josef Jul 21, 2011 @ 12:07

    did here! all of my w2k8 R2 TS servers have sounds locally and when connected via RDP from windows 7 hard workstation, but not from any of our thin client stations that used to work and still do in w2k3. not finding any solution anywhere :-(

    • Josef Jul 21, 2011 @ 12:40

      yes, i checked the solution provided by logster many times: the disable Audio and Video Playback checkbox is unchecked. Note that the sound works on the server and on RDP via Windows 7 but not via thin client devices: Neoware and ChipPC. all of our thin client devices work fine with sound coming from W2k3. I can do test back to back on the same client and prove it every time.

      This is a huge problem for me as 200 some users in my organization use the stations for on-line training, but w/o the sound, it is useless. as we did not expect sound issues, we moved all of our 5 TS servers to W2k8R2 and now i am stack.

      should i open a MS ticket? will they be able to help or point me back to the thin client manufacturers? i am straggling here.

  • Alejo Becerra Diaz Oct 30, 2011 @ 5:38

    Thanks, loqster.
    Your advice for W2008 inspired me to look for a similar procedure in W2003, and in fact the solution was very similar, reaching “Client Settings” and unmarking the only “Audio” related checkbox (I don’t know the precise name in english, but it is obvious). Log out of the remote desktop session, log in again, and solved.
    Why the h… the stupid client does not show a message as “Audio forwarding is disabled in the server”?… Microsoft wonders…
    Thanks again, whoever you are and whereever you are know :-)

  • Jonny Feb 16, 2012 @ 13:41

    Great many thanks guys

  • Satheesh May 24, 2012 @ 15:38

    When establishing an RDP session with Windows 2003 Server, in order to have sounds play at the server, it is necessary to:

    1) Enable the Group Policy setting at

    Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Client/Server data redirection\Allow audio redirection
    2) In the Remote Desktop Connection 6.1 configuration dialog box, add the parameter “/admin” to the Computer field.

    Now, when I configure the connection to play sounds at the server, the sounds do play there

  • Vinny Jul 12, 2012 @ 3:01

    Nice one Gary, thanks heaps

  • Matt Dec 19, 2012 @ 16:05

    Similar to Satheesh, in Windows 2008, you have to edit the group policy but instead of Terminal Services it is now under Remote Desktop Services. That being said… none of this worked for me.


  • Gatta Feb 25, 2014 @ 15:41

    I deployed VMs with Xenserver 6.0.2 and XenDesktop 5.6 on HP proliant ML G6 server.
    I will use ncomputing N500 to connect to my VMs.
    My problem is that I must use the audio device ds VMs (microphone and speaker).
    how I will solve this problem if my main server does not have any sound card.
    thank you
    i use windows xp as Vms

    Thank you

  • SHAH G Jun 29, 2014 @ 9:29

    hello ,

    i am accessing a VM through my windows 8 machine.when i access the Virtual machine and click on Recording Devices.There i see “No audio Device are installed.” .but when i click on Playback option there i see the Speaker option.i have perform many things to solve this Problem but the problem is still please if any one can help me i would be vary thankful .
    The VM’s OS is Windows 2008 .i have installed the integration services,also deselect the audio redirection from DC but the problem did not solve.also enable the redirection policies from server and also from the VM


  • Md Abul Kalam Azad Apr 27, 2015 @ 3:06

    I have a LAN with one server computer (Windows server 2003 OS) and N Computing terminal system. I wish to set up language lab over the network that any audio play form server computer which is hear every client or user automatically with their individual headphone, is there any software?

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