VirtualBox VRDP authentication fails with mstsc.exe

I had this problem, when trying to connect with the External Authentication Method, using the Remote Display server in VirtualBox (4.1.8 and 4.2.0). When I want to connect with Microsoft’s Remote Desktop (mstsc.exe), it failed every time with “Your Remote Desktop session has ended. Your network administrator might have ended the connection (…)”.

Session Has Ended

Session Has Ended

(When using MSRDPClient, please read the comments).

Setting up Simple External Authentication

If you need to set up the Simple External Authentication, please read my other blog post Adding VirtualBox Simple External authentication.

Install Extension Pack

First make sure you have installed the VirtualBox Extension Pack (!), otherwise this functionality does not work at all! It looks like this would work without, because the Remote Desktop Server Port option is available without installing it, but it isn’t!

Save credentials

VirtualBox Remote Display Properties

VirtualBox Remote Display Properties

It seems it only works when one selects Allow me to save credentials in the Options -> General Tab in Remote Desktop Connection screen.

Remote Desktop properties

Remote Desktop properties

Using localhost should work (because you connect to the host where VirtualBox is running and not the guest!), but from the documentation, if this does not work with mstsc.exe, try

Happy connecting!

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8 Responses to VirtualBox VRDP authentication fails with mstsc.exe

  1. Yaping Zhong says:

    Thank you so much, this blog help me resoveling the problem.
    But I have another problem, can you help me ? I will appreciate you.

    I want to connect virtual machine in ie through MSRDPClient control. This is ok when i set the authentication method null.But it failed when the method is set external. Just like what you said in the blog. We could check the button “allow me to save credetials” to resovel it when we using mstsc.exe, but there is not a similar choice in the msrdpclient control.
    So, I want to ask what will happen when we check the button? Are there something different from we don’t check it ?

    Thank you.I look forward to your reply.

    • Ian Hoogeboom says:

      Hello Yaping,

      Sorry for the very late reply.

      I think this has to do with the fact that the credential has to be created and added to the Windows ‘Credential Manager‘. With checking the ‘Save Credentials’ box, this is done for you.

      If you want to use MSRDPClient, please try to create a Credential manually (or run mstsc.exe and connect once) from the machine that is connecting. The credential saved will/must be called ‘TERMSRV/’.

      I hope this helps…


  2. Maxim says:


    Thank you for your posts. Could you write a post about using VRDP with a strong encryption/cetificates with MSTC. Using stunnel (any external software) or using the same computers. I just want to be sure that my traffic is strongly encrypted (1) and that MITM is not possible. I need step-by-step instruction, because I have troubles with configuring VirtualBox and Windows 2003 (Host OS, where VM is hosted)…

    Thank you.

    • Ian Hoogeboom says:

      Hello Maxim, I’m sorry but I don’t have the knowledge about (strong) encryption/certificates to avoid MITM attacks…

  3. Mariano S. says:

    Thanks very much for writing this article Ian. Thanks to it, I was finally able to VRDP connect with authentication. I had noticed however, that once you connect for the first time, the following times you have to uncheck the “allow me to save credentials” in order to reconnect from that same PC, otherwise you’re back to having an error.

  4. JDB says:


    With all the info in the posts above I’m not able to solve my problem. As my English is not that good I made some printscreens so there are no misunderstandings.

    When I try to connect remotey to my VirtualBox using Authentication External (VBoxAuthSimple) I get the error message

    “A licencing error occured while the client was attempting to connect (licensing timed out). Please try connecting to the remote computer again”.

    With Authentication NULL I can connect without any problem.

    I used the following commands to install the authentication

    Name of virtualbox guest = Windows7ProKloon

    Some printscreens of the settings and the error

    I hope you can help me.

    Thanks in advance!

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