Fixing Exceptionally Slow Remote Desktop Performance to Windows Server 2008

My Problem

Remote desktop connections to a Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise server were absurdly slow. Refresh times were as high as ten seconds. No amount of lowering the connection settings on the remote desktop connection would increase the speed. This problem occurred from Windows Vista and 7 clients connecting to the Windows Server 2008 machine. It did not happen when connecting via RDP from Linux machines.

My Solution

On the Windows Server 2008 machine, navigate to the following registry key:


Add a new DWORD and give it the name DisableTaskOffload. Set the value on the new DWORD to 1.

More Information

Many articles on the web about slow RDP speeds will focus on Receieve Side Scaling (RSS) and Autotuning. I tried turning both of those off using the following method from an elevated command prompt:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal

That did not help matters any. For more information on Windows network offloading, see this old article from 2001. Here are some other references to disabling task offloading that might be of interest


  1. Adam

    February 19, 2012 at 8:53 am

    If you are experiencing performance issues with RDP when connecting to Terminal Server, you should try Ericom Blaze, a software-based RDP acceleration and compression product that provides improved performance over WANs. Besides delivering higher frame rates and reducing screen freezes and choppiness, Ericom Blaze accelerates RDP performance by up to 10-25 times, while significantly reducing network bandwidth consumption over low-bandwidth/high latency connections.

    Ericom Blaze works with any standard RDP host, including VDI, Terminal Servers and remote physical machines.

    You can read more about Blaze and download a free evaluation at:

    Note: I work for Ericom


    • Wesley David

      February 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Adam.


      • Adam

        February 23, 2012 at 9:07 am

        My pleasure. I hope it helps.


  2. Thomas Felber

    September 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Thanks Adam. I resolved my issue using the command from above, but with the option value “highlyrestricted”
    netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted

    Moreover I added the the following config entry to my (default) rdp-File


  3. Yasser

    November 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Thank you, You’ve saved me from a headache trying to solve this problem


  4. Daniel

    January 20, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Try this:
    System > Advanced system settings > Advanced > Performance Settings > Adjust for best performance

    On users accounts work great! :)


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