Windows Remote Login

Windows Remote Login
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


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Duo integrates with Microsoft Windows client and server operating systems to add two-factor authentication to Remote Desktop and local logons.

Important Notes

  1. Installing Duo Authentication for Windows Logon adds two-factor authentication to all Windows login attempts, whether via a local console or over RDP, unless you select the “Only prompt for Duo authentication when logging in via RDP” option in the installer. If two-factor is enabled for both RDP and console logons, it may be bypassed by restarting Windows into Safe Mode (e.g. in case of a configuration error). If you wish to protect local console logons with Duo, please see the FAQ for some guidance on securing your Windows installation appropriately.
  2. Duo Authentication for Windows Logon doesn’t support inline self-service enrollment. We recommend using bulk enrollment to send your users unique self-enrollment links via email. Read the enrollment documentation to learn more.
  3. Windows users must have passwords to log in to the computer. Users with blank passwords may not login after Duo Authentication installation.

Connectivity Requirements

This integration communicates with Duo’s service on TCP port 443. Also, we do not recommend locking down your firewall to individual IP addresses, since these may change over time to maintain our service’s high availability.

System Requirements

Duo Authentication for Windows Logon supports both client and server operating systems.


  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10 (as of v1.1.8)

Servers (GUI and core installs):

  • Windows Server 2008 SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016 (as of v2.1.0)

Duo Authentication for Windows Logon also requires .NET Framework 4.5 or later. If the correct .NET version is not present on your system then Duo setup prompts you to install the .NET Framework.

Ensure your system’s time is correct before installing Duo.

First Steps

  1. Log in to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.
  2. Click Protect an Application and locate Microsoft RDP in the applications list. Click Protect this Application to get your integration key, secret key, and API hostname. (See Getting Started for help.)

Enroll a User

Add your first user to Duo, either manually or using bulk enrollment. The username should match your Windows logon name. Install Duo Mobile and add your account to it so you can use Duo Push. If the user logging in to Windows after Duo is installed does not exist in Duo, the user may not be able to log in.

Run the Installer

Run the Duo Authentication for Windows Logon installer with administrative privileges. Accept the license agreement and enter your integration key, secret key, and API hostname when prompted:

Install options:

Setting Description
Bypass Duo authentication when offline (FailOpen) Enable this option to allow user logon without completing two-factor authentication if the Duo Security cloud service is unreachable.
Use auto push to authenticate if available Automatically send a Duo Push or phone call authentication request after primary credential validation.
Only prompt for Duo authentication when logging in via RDP Leave this option unchecked to require Duo two-factor authentication for console and RDP sessions. If enabled, console logons do not require 2FA approval.
Enable Smart card support Select this option to permit use of the Windows smart card login provider as an alternative to Duo authentication.

Test Your Setup

To test your setup, attempt to log in to your newly-configured system as a user enrolled in Duo.

The Duo authentication prompt appears after you successfully submit your Windows credentials. When auto-push is enabled (the default option), the Duo prompt indicates that a request has been pushed to your phone.

If auto-push is disabled or if you click the Cancel button on the Duo authentication prompt, you can select a different device from the drop-down at the top (if you’ve enrolled more than one) or select any available factor to verify your identity to Duo:

  • Duo Push: Send a request to your smartphone. You can use Duo Push if you’ve installed and activated Duo Mobile on your device.
  • Call Me: Perform phone callback authentication.
  • Passcode: Log in using a passcode generated with Duo Mobile, received via SMS, generated by your hardware token, or provided by an administrator. To have a new batch of SMS passcodes sent to you click the Send me new codes button. You can then authenticate with one of the newly-delivered passcodes.

Remember: if you find that Duo Authentication for Windows Logon has locked you out of your Windows system (e.g. due to a configuration error), you can reboot into Safe Mode to bypass it.


Need some help? Take a look at the Windows Logon Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or try searching our Windows Logon Knowledge Base articles or Community discussions. For further assistance, contact Support.

Network Diagram

  1. RDP connection or console logon initiated
  2. Primary authentication
  3. Duo Windows Logon credential provider connection established to Duo Security over TCP port 443
  4. Secondary authentication via Duo Security’s service
  5. Duo Windows Logon credential provider receives authentication response