How to reset the Remote Desktop Server Licensing Grace Period on Windows Server 2012 with Remote Desktop Services

So we recently started looking into Terminal Services and RemoteFX to power some of our admin users and move them off to thin clients instead of full blown desktops.  As a trial I begun setting up RDS on one of our Dev machines.  After going through the motions of enabling the Remote Desktop Features and setting up RemoteFX on a Virtual Machine for testing, I found that I couldn’t login via RDP to that machine.  Going back to the RDS host I found the Licensing popup that informed me that the 128 day trial license had expired.  Since this was a test I didn’t want to go using keys to activate or setup a licensing server (purely a PoC for us in IT at this stage).

To reset the grace period there is a registry key that we need to delete. As always when editing the registry, take a backup of the key/s you’re modifying. Navigate to the following location

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod

Now there should be a binary key value (like in the screenshot), you first need to have full access permissions to the folder (or take ownership) and then simply delete that value and reboot the server.  Once back up your RDS Licensing should be back at the start of a 128 Day grace period.  I wouldn’t do this if you have already obtained licensing and should definitely not be used in a production environment.

5 thoughts on “How to reset the Remote Desktop Server Licensing Grace Period on Windows Server 2012 with Remote Desktop Services

  1. Vyankat says:

    This is an excellent solution for temporary purpose.
    But can we extend this registry key under Grace Period or can we simply make it permanent.

    • John says:

      Hi Vyankat, this isn’t a permanent solution, only way I could think of would be to write a script to automate this registry change. But this definitely isn’t something for a production environment.

  2. Vyankat says:

    This is an excellent solution for temporary purpose.
    But can we extend this registry key under Grace Period or can we simply make it permanent.

    • John says:

      Hi Vyankat, this isn’t a permanent solution, only way I could think of would be to write a script to automate this registry change. But this definitely isn’t something for a production environment.

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