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… add one
  • 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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