How to fix “RPC server is unavailable” error on Windows?


Issue: How to fix “RPC server is unavailable” error on Windows?

A couple of times the “RPC server is unavailable” pop-up appeared on my computer. I am not sure what it is? What should I do about this error?

Solved Answer

“RPC server is unavailable” is a Windows error that might occur on any version of the operating system. There are many reasons why it shows up on the screen, but in most cases, the problem is related to system communication problems.

RCP is an abbreviation for Remote Procedure Call.[1] It’s a Windows system that allows communication between different processes. The mechanism supports communication between a client and a server on a network and local machine. If some issues occur during this procedure, the “RPC server is unavailable” error shows up on the screen.

RCP error typically occurs for these reasons:

  • Problems with the network connection;
  • Name resolutions problems;
  • Firewall or antivirus blocks traffic;
  • Corrupted registry entries.

Fortunately, all these issues can be identified and eliminated quite easily. In order to fix “RPC server is unavailable” error on Windows, try the methods explained below.

Fix "RPC server is unavailable" error on Windows

Methods to fix “RPC server is unavailable” on Windows

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There are many reasons why RPC error might occur. Hence, each of the problems has a solution too. Try them all in order to get rid of it:

Method 1. Make sure that RCP services work properly

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  1. Click Win + R keys to open the Run window.
  2. Type services.msc and click Enter.
  3. In the Services window, find DCOM Server Process Launcher, Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and RPC Endpoint Mapper.
  4. Check if their status is set to Running and startup set to Automatic.
    Check RDP Settings service
  5. If not, follow the steps presented in the method 4.

Method 2. Check Windows firewall settings

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Another way to fix “RPC server is unavailable” error is to check if the firewall does not block RPC connections. In order to check if there are any issues with Windows Defender Firewall,[2] follow these steps:

  1. Open Start and in the search box type firewall.
  2. Open Windows Defender Firewall from the results.
  3. In Windows Defender Firewall, click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall option located on the left pane.
  4. In the allowed apps and features list, find Remote Assistance and make sure that it is allowed. If not, click Change settings button and mark Private and Public checkboxes.
    Check Remote Assitance settings
  5. Click OK to save changes.

Method 3. Check the network connection

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If there are some interruptions in network connection, the “RPC server is unavailable” error may have shown up on the screen too. In order to check it, follow the steps below:

  1. Click Win + R keys to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type ncpa.cpl in Run dialog window and click Enter.
  3. In the Network Connections window right-click on the Network connection that you use.
  4. Choose Properties from the menu.
    Check Network Connection settings
  5. Check if File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks and Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) options are enabled. If not, tick the checkboxes.

Method 4. Fix Windows Registry problems

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The following steps will help you to fix Windows Registry issues. However, you should backup registry[3] and create a system restore point. In case, something bad happens, you will be able to revert changes and avoid serious damage.

  1. Log in to the computer as administrator.
  2. Press Windows + R keys.
  3. In Run dialog type regedit and click Enter.
  4. When in Windows Registry navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\services\\RpcSs and check if any of the entries presented below are not missing.
    Edit Registry
  5. If RCP was not running or its startup type wasn’t set to automatic, you have to double-click “Start” DWORD entry on the left pane.
  6. In the appeared Window, set its Value Data to 2.
    Set Value to 2
  7. Click OK to save the changes.
  8. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\services\\DcomLaunch and check if none of the entries in the image are not missing.
  9. If DCOM Server Process Launcher was not correct, double-click Start key and set its Value Data to 2.
    Edit Registry and change Value data
  10. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\services\\RpcEptMapper and check if any items are not missing again. If previously discovered RPC Endpoint Mapper settings were not correct, double-click Start registry key. Set its Value Data to 2.
    Edit Windows Registry and change Value Data
  11. Close Windows Registry and check if it helped to fix “RPC server is unavailable” error.

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About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

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