How to Enable Remote Desktop Audio in Windows VPS?

Sometimes you wish to play audio/video sound from your VPS, but you cannot due to the virtual nature of server. Indeed, you cannot attach external speakers to VPS, but you can certainly route VPS audio/video sound to play via your local computer. You can achieve this by redirecting the VPS sound to local computer via Remote Desktop protocol. This feature is more useful, when you run Forex trading software (Meta Trader) and you don't want to miss those important Forex Alerts.

Following guide will assist you to enable redirection of audio/video sound via Remote Desktop client. Note that, below guide is built on Windows Server 2012 R2 OS, though the procedure for both OS Windows Server 2012 and 2008 is similar.


Desktop Experience Feature Installation


To route VPS sound to local computer, your VPS must have Windows Audio service up and running. Windows Audio service is a part of the Desktop Experience feature. By default, Windows servers don't have pre-installed Desktop Experience feature to eliminate the additional UI overhead. Hence, to get Windows Audio service in VPS, we will have to install the Desktop Experience feature first.

To install the Desktop Experience, you can refer to our knowledge base article How to install desktop experience on Windows server.

Configure Windows Audio Service


Once Windows Audio service is installed in VM, the next step is to configure it. To launch the Services in Windows Server 2008, navigate to Start  >> Administrative tools  >> ServicesYou can also launch the Services window via Run menu as follows (for both Windows server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 systems).

  1. Once you are logged into your remote machine via Remote Desktop, press Windows key + R. This key combination will launch the Run menu.
  2. In Run menu, type 'services.msc' and hit enter.

    Run Menu

  3. This will launch the Services window. Find Windows Audio service, right click on it and then select the Properties option.

    Windows Services 

  4. At Windows Audio Service Properties page, select Startup type as Automatic and then Start the service using the Start button. Click Apply to confirm your settings and then OK.

    Service Properties

Allowing Redirecting Sounds In Group Policy

  1. Once Windows Audio service is configured, the next step is to allow sound and audio redirection from group policy. To do so, type 'group policy' in the search bar of VPS, and you will see Edit group policy option appearing as follows. Click on Edit group policy option.

    Group Policy

  2. This will launch Local Group Policy Editor as follows.

    Policy Editor

  3. On the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> Windows Components >> Remote Desktop Services >> Remote Desktop Session Host >> Device and Resource RedirectionDouble click on option Allow audio and video playback redirection.

    Device Resource Redirection

  4. On the next window, select Enabled, click Apply to confirm your settings and then OK.

    Redirect Video Playback

    Reboot the server, and when the system is up again, you would see an icon to control sounds and information about the redirection in the notification bar. Now, server settings are finished and you just have to verify whether sound playback is allowed in RDP client or not.

    Volume Mixer

Check If Sound Playback Is Allowed In RDP Client

  1. Launch your Remote Desktop client and click on Local Resources.

    New Remote Desktop Connection

  2. Make sure that Only when using the full-screen option is selected under Apply Windows key combinations. Now, click Settings in the Remote audio section of the Local Resources tab. 

    Local Resources

  3. On the next screen, select Play on this computer under Remote audio playback section and then click OK. You're done now, all VPS sounds will now be played at your local computer via the established RDP connection.

    Play on this Computer

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