Slow Remote Desktop Performance in Windows 7 or Vista

Symptom:  When connecting to a server running Terminal Services using the Remote Desktop client in Windows 7 or Vista, the connection is slow and lags despite a fast network connection.

Problem:  This is usually, but not always, caused by the way TCP “Auto-tuning” is handled in Windows 7/Vista.

Solution:  As stated above there are several settings that can lead to this loss of Remote Desktop performance, but the more I run into this it seems that the following steps will fix the problem 99% of the time.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt. (Start -> Run.  Type cmd and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter)
  2. Type the following command, all on one line, followed by the Enter key:  netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted
  3. If the program returns Ok., then the command completed successfully.
  4. Try connecting to the Terminal Server again, it should be much faster!


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