RDS Licenses On Windows Server

How To Expand RDS Licenses On Windows Server?



Scalability is a concept for project growth not only in terms of hardware resources (CPU cores, Random Access Memory, and storage space) but also when it comes to software. Whenever you have to deal with Windows VPS Bitcoin, at some point, you will face the necessity to expand the RDS licenses on the Windows server. This should be done to increase the capacity of the server to allow more concurrent remote connections. 

Today, we want to provide you with a brief guide on how to do it so that whenever you face such a necessity, you will not have any trouble setting up the desired configuration. Without further ado, let us dive in!

What Are RDS Licenses?

RDS is a feature in Windows Server that has to do with enabling users to access applications and desktops remotely, thus making it easier to organize a centralized computing environment. When users connect to an RDS server, they consume Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses (RDS CALs), either in the form of User CALs or Device CALs. These are the key concepts you have to deal with.

RDS CALs refer to Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses. They are required for each user or device that connects to the Remote Desktop Services on a Windows Server and are purchased from Microsoft.

Expanding them means acquiring more licenses so more users and/or devices can establish a concurrent connection to the server. It is needed in case the current number of RDS CALs is insufficient, considering the increased demand for remote connections.

Besides that, it’s important to cover the available licensing models. There are two of them – Per user and Per device. Per-user CALs are CALs that allow a specific user to access RDS from any device. Conversely, per device, CALs allow any user to access the RDS from a particular device. Whenever you deal with expanding licenses, make sure that the licensing mode matches the CAL type that you acquire.

The last but not least concept you’ll come across is the licensing server. The licensing server is responsible for the management and distribution of RDS CALs. It keeps track of how many RDS CALS are currently used and makes sure that they comply with licensing agreements.

Expanding RDS CALs: Step-By-Step Process

There are the steps that you need to undertake to increase the number of RDS CALs. Therefore, you must expand the RDS CALs by following this Step-By-Step Process:

  1. Acquire additional CALs: By additional calls from a Microsoft licensing provider. There is an extensive network of authorized Microsoft partners that deal with selling RDS CALs. Find a provider whose offers seem most attractive to you, make sure it’s an authorized distributor, and purchase the appropriate number of CALs according to your needs.
  2. Install RDS licensing role: Install the newly purchased role on the appropriate server by opening the server manager and following the instructions provided.
  3. Access Remote Desktop Licensing Manager: Now go to the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager by navigating to “Administrative Tools” > “Remote Desktop Services” > “Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.”
  4. Connect to the License Server: In the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager you’ve just opened, right on the root node and choose “Connect.” After connecting to the License Server, you’ll be able to add additional CALs.
  5. Install the CALs: After successfully connecting to the license server, right-click on the server name and choose “Install Licenses.” In the wizard, you’ll come across the license information (produce key) at some point where you will be able to interact with the CALs you’ve purchased.
  6. Complete the wizard: Go on with the installation. Make sure to carefully enter the correct information from the CALs you’ve newly acquired.
  7. Review the license usage: Now that you’ve installed the license, you can use the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager to monitor whether the CALs are used and whether the current number of CALs is sufficient.
  8. Check Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration: Go to “Administrative Tools” and open “Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration.” Make sure that the configuration of the licensing mode is correct. The latter has to correspond to the type of CALS that is installed (Per user or Per device).
  9. Verify licensing compliance: From time to time, you’ll have to verify that your licensing is compliant with the number of users or devices connecting to your Remote Desktop Services.
  10. Restart service if the necessity arises: From time to time, there may arise a necessity to restart your services for changes to come into force. 

How To Migrate RDS CALs?

After you finish identifying the RDS connection method (preferably the automatic connection method), you must complete the RDS migration process. Therefore, follow these steps to complete the migration of your RDS licenses:

  1. First, go to the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager and right-click on its origin server.
  2. Next, click on the Migrate RDS CALs from another license server to this license option. Moreover, you need to check one of these options:
  • This license server is replacing the source license server – Choose this option if you see a prompt asking for your source server’s IP address. However, if no server is available in your network, you must confirm your operating system info and your license server ID from the source server.
  • The source license server is no longer functioning – If you choose this option, then it’s mandatory for you to specify your Operating System info and your license server ID from the source server.
  1. After you choose one of the two options above, the Obtain License Key Pack page will automatically open up.
  2. Next, open the License Program Page.
  3. Here, fill out the form you see, where you must give details like your license code, license code, and your agreement number.
  4. Then, follow the Wizard to connect your server automatically to Microsoft Clearinghouse.

How To Reset RDS Licensing Grace Period?

As you know already, there is a 120-day licensing grace period, which starts after you install your RDS licenses. However, do you know that you can increase this grace period?

Therefore, if you wish to reset your 120-day RDS licensing period, follow the steps below:

  1. First, launch the Registry Editor (Regedit) from the RDS session host.
  2. Now, on the Reegedit page, browser to this file – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\RCM\GracePeriod.
  3. Inside the registry key, you will find a REG_BINARY entry, which has the name – L$RTMTIMEBOMB. Click on it.
  4. Now, right-click on the GracePeriod option on the left panel of the Regedit screen.
  5. Next, select Permissions.
  6. On the Permissions window, select the Administrators option.
  7. Next, select Full Control under the Permissions section. Follow it by clicking on OK.
  8. Then, right-click on the L$RTMTIMEBOMB entry and delete it.
  9. Now, exit Regedit.
  10. Finally, Reboot the RD session host server so that the registry changes can be finalized and start taking effect.


RDS licenses are a necessary element of building a network of devices interconnected via the RDS protocol.

We hope that this guide has covered all the necessary elements of RDS CALs installation so you have a good idea of how to scale up this software side of your Windows Server hosting. Thank you for your attention, and good luck in your ventures!

More Resources:

author image

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *