Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Let me start by saying I fully understand the purpose of Network Level Authentication, its benefits, etc...

I am trying to find a way to connect to a Windows 7 box from another Windows 7 box without using NLA. This is for a proof of concept I want to perform. The target machine is set to accept connections from all RDP versions. The problem is that the Remote Desktop Client dosen't seem to have an option for a non-NLA only connection.

Is there a way to force it to connect without NLA? Could I install an older version of the RDP Client that dosent support NLA next to my current version? Is there a third party program that would suffice?

I found an old copy of mstsc 5.2 which dosent support NLA. This works for my purpose and I can keep it on hand, but I'm still curious if there is a better way to work this. Thanks.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe the key to this is that modern RDP with NLA uses the CredSSP SSPI. So you might be able to pull this off if you can disable the CredSSP provider, perhaps just for that particular RDP session by putting something like this in an *.rdp file:


RDP Settings for Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 (

share|improve this answer
Nice find. Thanks! – Chris Frazier May 31 '12 at 12:28
It's insane this isn't a GUI option or a switch anymore in the RDP7 client! – Jon Kloske Sep 4 '14 at 2:09
Why would MS include a GUI element that would, in essence, be a "click here to make this connection less secure" checkbox? – Ryan Ries Sep 4 '14 at 2:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.