Restarting Terminal Services Service remotely


  • Is there a way without restarting the server itself to restart the terminal services service on a 2003 box running in TS admin. mode?
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 6:26 PM


All replies

  • Aren't you able to do it through services.msc? or using command :net stop termservice;net start termservice?

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 7:05 PM
  • No.  This is by design on older versions of windows.  Please see this document:

    Terminal Services Cannot Be Manipulated



    Thursday, September 10, 2009 7:11 PM
  • But that article refers to Win2k and NT.
    I'm running Win2k3 R2, does it still apply?
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:03 PM
  • Yes, it still applies for 2003.

    In Server 2008 you can restart the Terminal Services service.


    Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:12 PM
  • Normally, you cannot restart the "Terminal Services" Service through Services Console. The commando buttons are all greyed out. Only by restarting the entire server you can restart the service; a method most annoying.

    If you cannot restart your server (production server), there's a workaround that involves local (Console) access to the server, or an remote console software like PcAnywhere, Dameware or DRAC (on Dell servers).

    The Terminal Services have a corresponding process called "svchost.exe -k termsvcs". You will need a tool called Process Explorer to spot this exact svchost process; since the regular Windows Task Manager doesn't show the entire command line of the process. Kill this process and you will stop the "Terminal Services" service. Now just start the service (the start button isn't greyed anymore) and the Remote Desktop should start to work again!

    Hope This Helps!
    • Proposed as answer by Larbac Wednesday, April 14, 2010 8:20 AM
    Thursday, February 11, 2010 4:49 PM
  • Ziphakiel,


    Thank you, this worked very well!

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 10:27 PM
  • I'll just say nonsence!

    It can be manipulated.

    C:\>tasklist /svc /S servername/U username /P password

    this will list the processes

    in my case these were the processes

    Image Name                   PID Services
    ========================= ====== =============================================
    System Idle Process            0 N/A
    System                         4 N/A
    smss.exe                     308 N/A
    csrss.exe                    356 N/A
    winlogon.exe                 380 N/A
    services.exe                 428 Eventlog, PlugPlay
    lsass.exe                    440 HTTPFilter, Netlogon, NtLmSsp, PolicyAgent,
                                     ProtectedStorage, SamSs
    svchost.exe                  696 DcomLaunch
    svchost.exe                  752 RpcSs
    svchost.exe                  820 Dhcp, Dnscache
    svchost.exe                  840 LmHosts, W32Time
    svchost.exe                  876 AeLookupSvc, AudioSrv, BITS, Browser,
                                     CryptSvc, dmserver, EventSystem, HidServ,
                                     lanmanserver, lanmanworkstation, Netman,
                                     Nla, RasMan, Schedule, seclogon, SENS,
                                     ShellHWDetection, TrkWks, winmgmt, wuauserv,
    spoolsv.exe                 1072 Spooler
    bedbg.exe                   1204 bedbg
    svchost.exe                 1252 ERSvc
    EUQMonitor.exe              1280 EUQ_Monitor
    HealthService.exe           1304 HealthService
    inetinfo.exe                1364 IISADMIN, NntpSvc, RESvc, SMTPSVC
    jqs.exe                     1388 JavaQuickStarterService
    NTRtScan.exe                1440 ntrtscan
    svchost.exe                 1492 RemoteRegistry
    svcGenericHost.exe          1528 ScanMail_Master
    svcGenericHost.exe          1568 ScanMail_SystemWatcher
    SMEX_Master.exe             1588 N/A
    snmp.exe                    1620 SNMP
    SMEX_SystemWatcher.exe      1644 N/A
    snmptrap.exe                1688 SNMPTRAP
    mssearch.exe                1828 MSSEARCH
    TmListen.exe                2004 tmlisten
    SMEX_ActiveUpdate.exe       2336 N/A
    svchost.exe                 2524 W3SVC
    w3wp.exe                    2892 N/A
    exmgmt.exe                  3056 MSExchangeMGMT
    mad.exe                     3128 MSExchangeSA
    store.exe                   3416 MSExchangeIS
    emsmta.exe                  3432 MSExchangeMTA
    MonitoringHost.exe          3480 N/A
    CNTAoSMgr.exe               3680 N/A
    wmiprvse.exe                3704 N/A
    wmiprvse.exe                3952 N/A
    MonitoringHost.exe          4084 N/A
    svcGenericHost.exe          5112 ScanMail_RemoteConfig
    SMEX_RemoteConfig.exe       5220 N/A
    svchost.exe                 5304 TermService
    TmProxy.exe                 5348 TmProxy
    beremote.exe                2848 BackupExecAgentAccelerator
    svchost.exe                 5084 TapiSrv
    wmiprvse.exe               22424 N/A
    dllhost.exe                20588 COMSysApp
    msdtc.exe                  21920 MSDTC
    tlntsvr.exe                19608 TlntSvr
    w3wp.exe                   20164 N/A

    then to end the process and all threads

    C:\>pskill -t \\servername -u username -p password 5304

    do some searching for switches if necessary.

    Friday, June 10, 2011 9:43 PM
  • This did not work for me. I found the svchost process for termsvcs but when I attempted to kill it, it remained running. I think the posts about being able to quit it are wrong. I suppose if there is a way to force a process to quit, you could do that, but I do not thing that is a good idea.


    Friday, June 17, 2011 10:25 PM
  • Found that termservice was also running with dcomm so once this was killed the XP box shutdown and restarted...

    Would be good to just restart the termservice but if this is linked in with some other service I dont think there is a way?

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 11:06 AM
  • Great solution.

    Let me a little correction on the taskkill command.


    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>tasklist /svc /S REMOTESERVER

    Image Name                     PID Services
    svchost.exe                   4140 TermService

    Matar proceso terminal service remoto

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>taskkill /S \\REMOTESERVER /U administrator /P password /PID 4140
    SUCCESS: The process with PID 4140 has been terminated.

    Friday, December 09, 2011 11:28 PM
  • CJlindell has a great answer, but if for some reason that does not work for you, you cant try rebooting the computer remotely.  You can do this by running the following from the command line:
    shutdown.exe /m \\remotecomputer /r
    If you're more comfortable with a GUI:
    shutdown.exe /i

    PSKill is a sysinternals technet download, I highly recommend it. (
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 7:33 PM
  • Hi Everyone,

    I my case I successfully killed the svchost from process explorer that was associated with Terminal services.  Terminal services also stopped. Then I started services remotly. Earlier I was facing problem to take RDP with /Admin session only and was able to take normal RDP however now I am not able to take RDP at all. I get following out put in Qwinsta. Only server reboot is the option.

    C:\>qwinsta /server:XXX.XX.X.XX
     SESSIONNAME       USERNAME                 ID  STATE   TYPE        DEVICE
     console                                                   0    Conn    wdcon
     rdp-tcp                                                65536  Listen  rdpwd
                                                               4  Down
                                                               5  Down
     rdp-tcp#3                                            6  Idle    rdpwd

    Original Issue: When I was trying to get RDP with /Admin session , I was receiving error as 'The requested operation cannot be completed because the terminal connection is currently busy processing a connect operation'

    Observation: I found there was one dead 'Disc' connection with '0' id however was not getting killed with rwinsta or not from Terminal services reset or logoff option.

    If anybody came across such issue and have solution, please respond.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012 3:26 PM
  • Hello everyone,

    I use the below way to troubleshoot it.

    Open terminal server manager

    Find the server in the network and click on it in teh left pane. On the right side pane, you will see three tabs - Users, sessions, processes. Click on the 'Sessions' tab.

    The session 'RDP-Tcp' should show 'Listen' across the state. If it shows 'Down', right click on 'RDP-Tcp' and click on 'Reset'. Once done, it should show the status as 'Listen'. This state should allow you to take RDP of the server.


    Vijay C

    • Proposed as answer by Odin369 Monday, October 21, 2013 6:10 PM
    Thursday, August 01, 2013 6:58 AM
  • Nice, this works
    Tuesday, April 14, 2015 9:29 AM