How to Fix Remote Desktop Error Code 0x204 on a Mac?

System Properties - Remote Desktop

There are several ways to access your Windows on another device. Whether you’re using a Mac computer, an Android phone, or other devices running a different operating system, you can easily log into your Windows PC, manage your files, and access your apps using Remote Desktop Protocol. Remote Desktop Protocol or RDP is a Microsoft proprietary protocol that provides users with a graphical interface to connect to a different computer via a network connection. The user uses RDP client software to do this while the other computer is also running the RDP server software. Once this is done, you can log into your Windows PC from another computer and work as if you are in front of it.

Unfortunately, some users have been getting the Mac error code 0x204 Remote Desktop when trying to connect to their Windows PC using a Mac. Although Remote Desktop is a great tool for users to connect to their PC and get access to their apps, files, and other resources, sometimes things don’t work as smoothly as they should.

What Is the Mac Error Code 0x204 Remote Desktop?

This error message pops up whenever a user is trying to access their Windows computers from a device running macOS. When this happens, you will see this error message on your Mac’s screen:

We couldn’t connect to the remote PC. Make sure the PC is turned on and connected to the network, and that remote access is enabled.

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Error code: 0x204

This error is triggered whenever you try to use your Mac to access your Windows computer using the Remote Desktop client. The user is not able to connect remotely to the target computer and gets this error instead.

Causes of Remote Desktop Error Code 0x204 on Mac

In most cases, the Mac error code 0x204 Remote Desktop problem happens when the Remote Desktop Protocol is not turned on in the Windows machine you are trying to access. This is important because this software is what initiates the connection between the two devices, and without it, you won’t be able to connect to your PC. The easiest way to fix this is by enabling the Remote Desktop Protocol manually.

Another reason why you might be getting this issue is because of your Firewall since it is in charge of monitoring all incoming connections to your Mac. If you need to connect to your PC multiple times, then you need to establish an exclusion for your Firewall to allow Remote Desktop. If it is a one-time occasion, disabling your Firewall and security software temporarily should do the trick.

There are instances when the Mac error code 0x204 Remote Desktop occurs because of corrupted temporary files located in the Group Containers folder, preventing the client from functioning properly. Deleting the folder should help resolve the error.

Remote Desktop Error Code 0x204 on Mac Solution

If you’re getting this error when using RDP to connect to your Windows PC, you can give the solutions below a try:

Fix #1: Turn On the Remote Desktop Protocol on Your PC.

If Remote Desktop is not enabled on your Windows computer, you won’t be able to connect to it no matter what you do. This is the first thing you need to check when you’re trying to remote access your Windows PC. This is usually the case if you’re trying to connect to your PC via Remote Desktop Protocol and you get the same error no matter what device you use.

If this is the case, you need to enable Remote Desktop Protocol on the Windows computer you want to access. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. On your Windows computer, press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog.
  2. In the dialog box, type in SystemPropertiesRemote.exe and press Enter. This should open the System Properties window.
  3. Click Yes when you’re prompted by the UAC to grant administrative privileges.
  4. In the System Properties window, click on the Remote tab.
  5. Scroll down to the Remote Desktop section and tick off Allow remote connections to this computer.
  6. If you’re trying to connect to the PC using a different network, uncheck Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication.
  7. Click Apply to save the changes and close the window.

Go back to your Mac then try to connect this time using the same Remote Desktop protocol and see if the error has been resolved.

Fix #2: Allow Remote Desktop through the Windows Firewall.

By default, Windows Firewall is not set up to whitelist the Remote Desktop Protocol. Hence, your Firewall will try to stop the connection every time you try to connect. So if you want to access your Windows files from other devices, you need to modify your firewall settings to allow Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop (Websocket).

To do this:

  1. On your Windows computer, press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog.
  2. In the dialog box, type in firewall.cpl and press Enter. This should open the Windows Firewall settings menu.
  3. Click Yes when you’re prompted by the UAC to grant administrative privileges.
  4. In the Windows Defender Firewall settings, click Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall from the left menu.
  5. In the Allowed apps window, click the Change settings button to change the list of allowed apps.
  6. Scroll down to find Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop (WebSocket), then tick off the Private and Public boxes.
  7. Hit OK to save the changes.

Restart your computer and check if you are now able to connect via Remote Desktop Protocol.

Fix #3: Disable Third-Party Antivirus.

Sometimes this error is caused by the overactive security software, so you need to disable it temporarily to let the connection go through. You can use the security software’s dashboard to pause its protection while you’re trying to troubleshoot this error. Once disabled, try connecting via Remote Desktop Protocol and see if you’ll be successful this time. If you’re able to connect with your antivirus disabled, you might consider modifying the level of protection or switching to a different security program. You should also make it a habit to clean up junk files on your PC regularly using a PC cleaner to avoid errors like this.

Once you’re done troubleshooting, don’t forget to re-enable the security software to prevent malware from taking advantage of the situation.

Fix #4: Use the Remote Assistance Invitation.

Creating an offline invitation using Remote Assistance on your Windows computer is another workaround for this error. This will bypass any blocked port that could be preventing your devices from connecting. To do this:

  1. On your Windows computer, press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog.
  2. In the dialog box, type in msra.exe and press Enter. This should open the Windows Remote Assistance wizard.
  3. Click Yes when you’re prompted by the UAC to grant administrative privileges.
  4. Next, click on Invite someone you trust to help you.
  5. Choose Save this invitation as a file.

On your Mac, open the invitation that you have created using Remote Assistance and check if the error code 0x204 no longer appears.

Fix #5: Delete the Removing Remote Desktop Temp Folder on Your Mac.

If you are getting the error code 0x204 only on your Mac, then it is possible that the files related to the Remote Desktop Protocol have been corrupted, preventing you from establishing a connection with your Windows PC. Deleting the temporary folder should clear this issue. To do this:

  1. Quit the Remote Desktop client on your Mac by pressing Command + Q.
  2. Click on the Finder icon on the Dock.
  3. In the search box on the upper-right corner of the Finder window, type in group containers, then press Enter.
  4. Click on the Group Containers folder from the search results.
  5. Inside the folder, look for the file and drag it to the Trash.
  6. Restart your Mac and see if Remote Desktop is now working properly.


Remote Desktop is a cool feature that allows you to copy files between devices running different OS, without using a USB or an external drive. It also allows you to manage apps and control the device remotely through the Remote Desktop Protocol. If for some reason, you can’t connect to your Windows PC using your Mac, you can refer to the steps above and find the solution that works for you.

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