How to Fix Account Restrictions are Preventing this User from Signing in

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When you try to connect to your computer using Remote Desktop and connect to the user account that does not have a defined password, you receive the error message “Login error: User account restriction”. Possible reasons include not allowing empty passwords, limiting connection time or applying a policy restriction. When you click on the OK button, you start immediately from the remote desktop connection.

The error occurs because on Windows operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 (or their R2 versions), the local user is not allowed to connect remotely over the network if the user account has not set a password.

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There is a restriction that prevents this user account from connecting to a target computer. There are a number of possible causes, the most common being an empty password for time limits. Make sure that the user can connect to the target computer and that all restrictions have been removed.

Check the Group Policy Editor

Basically, there is a new group policy setting that can prevent a system from transmitting identification information to a remote server. That was exactly the problem. As I said, our security team (which focused more on blocking access to the system than on providing good service to our customers) decided to apply these new group policy parameters without telling us.

If this setting is enabled on the computer from which you are trying to launch the remote desktop client (and not on the target remote server), you will receive the error message described above.

So, if you encounter such a message and you are using a current operating system, you can be sure that your security team has played with this new GPO.

Setting a password

The error message may also appear if the user account you are using does not have a password. Therefore, to solve the problem, you must set a password and see if it solves the problem. In this case, you will need to enter a password each time you log in. However, if you want to avoid this, you can simply disable a Windows group policy. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open the local group policy editor as described above.
  • Once you have opened it, go to the following location:
  • Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options
  • On the right side you should find the “Accounts”: Limit the use of empty passwords for local accounts to the “Logon Only Console” policy.
  • Double-click it to edit it, then simply set it to Disabled.
  • Click Apply, then click OK.

Understanding user accounts and permissions

Windows 10 requires at least one user account. You specify this account when you complete the installation process or when your computer starts for the first time after installing Windows 10. Windows 10 refers to this first account as an administrator account, so the account can be used to manage your computer. It is not possible to connect to your computer without a user account.

The words “user” and “account” are used in many ways in this book, and in particular in this chapter. The following is a summary of the use of these terms:

  1. A user is the person who uses the computer.
  2. A user account is an account with which a person connects to a computer.

Each user account is both:

  1. A Microsoft account, which is any email address registered with the Microsoft Account Service.
  2. A local account that exists on a single computer and is not associated with a specific email address.

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