How do I license and configure RealVNC Server on a Windows computer over RDP?

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Licensing RealVNC Server

Once RealVNC Server has successfully installed, you need to manually open the licensing wizard - you can do this by navigating to the installation directory of RealVNC (C:\Program Files\RealVNC\VNC Server by default) and then locate and double-click vnclicensewiz.exe.

Once the licensing wizard is open, you can either:

  • (All subscriptions) Sign in to your RealVNC account to enable cloud connectivity, or;
  • (Subscriptions that include offline licensing) Apply your offline license (located under the "Deployment" section of your RealVNC account) for direct connectivity.

Configuring RealVNC Server

When connected by RDP, you will not have access to the RealVNC Server icon. This is because RDP doesn't actually show the console session (the screen you'd see if you were sitting in front of the computer). It creates its own virtual session, meaning that RealVNC Server is in fact running correctly in the background, but the system tray icon will be showing on the console session, not within your virtual user session.

As soon as you’ve installed and licensed RealVNC Server, we recommend disconnecting your RDP session and connecting using RealVNC Viewer instead. You will then be able to access the RealVNC Server UI and tray icon.

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