Disable Network Level Authentication in Windows 11 or 10

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Network Level Authentication (NLA) is a security feature Microsoft added to make Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) safer. NLA makes sure the user is who they say they are before connecting them to the RDP server. But, sometimes, you might need to turn it off – maybe because it’s not working with older software or certain network setups.

This guide will show you how to turn off Network Level Authentication in Windows 11 and 10. Remember, turning off NLA might leave your computer open to unwanted remote access, so be careful and make sure you’ve got other security backups.

Disable Network Level Authentication in Windows 11 10


Before we start, here’s what you need to know to make everything go smoothly:

  1. Administrator access: You’ll need to be the boss of your computer, with admin rights, to change these settings.
  2. Client computer specs:
    • Your computer should have “Remote Desktop Connection 6.0” or newer.
    • It should be running on Windows 10 or Windows 11 since these versions support the Credential Security Support Provider (CredSSP) protocol, which is important for this process.
  3. Understand the risks: Just a heads-up, turning off NLA could make your computer more attractive to hackers.
  4. Have a backup plan: It’s smart to have another way to get into your system if things get tricky. This could be a local account, another remote access tool, or just being able to physically get to your computer.

Also see: How to remote desktop over the internet in Windows 11

Why NLA is usually a good idea

Though we’re focusing on turning off NLA, it’s good to know why it can be beneficial:

  • It’s easier on your resources, making the initial connection lighter until you’re verified.
  • It boosts security, helping keep out unauthorized users and reducing the risk of attacks.

If you’re sure you want to turn off NLA on your Windows PC, let’s move on to how you can do it.

Linked issue: Windows 11 Remote Desktop “An authentication error has occurred”

Turning off Network Level Authentication

Here’s how to turn off NLA in a few steps:

1. Get to System Properties

  1. Hit “Windows + R” to pop up the “Run” box.
  2. Type “sysdm.cpl” and hit Enter to bring up “System Properties”.Open System Properties via Run Command
  3. Head over to the “Remote” tab at the top.

2. Change NLA settings in Remote Desktop

  1. Under the “Remote” tab, find the “Remote Desktop” section. Check the box that says “Allow remote connections to this computer”.
  2. Below that, you’ll see a checkbox for “Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication”. This is the NLA setting.How to disable Network Level Authentication
  3. Uncheck this box to turn off NLA.

Useful tip: How to open an RDP connection via CMD in Windows 11

3. Apply the changes

  1. Click “Apply” at the bottom of the “System Properties” window.Apply changes to disable NLA in Windows 11
  2. Then click “OK” to confirm and close the window.

4. Maybe restart Remote Desktop Service

If you want to make sure everything works smoothly, you might restart the Remote Desktop Service:

  1. Hit “Windows + R” again, type “services.msc” into the “Run” box, and press Enter.Open services.msc
  2. Find “Remote Desktop Services” in the list, right-click it, and choose “Restart”. Give it a moment.Restart Remote Desktop Service in Windows 11

With that, NLA should be off. Just make sure you’ve got other security steps in place, especially if your computer will be accessible from afar.

Related resource: How to open an RDP connection via CMD in Windows 11

What to do after turning off NLA

Once NLA is off, here are some tips to keep your computer safe:

1. Beef up your security

  • Use strong passwords for all accounts, especially those that can log in remotely.
  • Check your firewall settings to keep out unwanted visitors.
  • Keep Windows and your other programs up-to-date to close security gaps.Check for Windows Update

2. Keep an eye on remote access

  • Check the logs for any weird login attempts or unfamiliar IP addresses.
  • Try to limit who can remotely access your system to reduce the risk of a break-in.

View Remote Desktop connections access logs in Windows 11

3. Maybe think about turning NLA back on later

If you had to turn off NLA for now, keep in mind that it might be good to turn it back on later as things change.


Turning off Network Level Authentication in Windows 11 or 10 is pretty straightforward if you follow these steps. But don’t forget about the security risks. Keep your computer safe with other measures, stay up to date on security advice, and be ready to tweak your settings as needed.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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