How to Enable Hardware Transcoding in Remote Desktop

Many Plex server owners run their servers headless. This means that there isn't a monitor connected to the server. They would use remote desktop software to connect to their server from another machine.

The users that run their Plex Media Server on Windows may encounter an issue where hardware transcoding stops working. This issue happens when using the Windows remote desktop application to connect to their server.

How to Enable Hardware Transcoding in Remote Desktop

Fix: Hardware transcoding stopped working when using remote desktop

  1. On the Plex server, run gpedit.msc as an administrator.
  2. From the tree on the left, navigate to:
    Computer Configuration
        -Administrative Templates
            -Windows Components
                -Remote Desktop Services
                    -Remote Desktop Session Host
                        -Remote Session Environment
  3. On the right side, open each of the following settings, and then select the Disabled option from the setting window:
    • Use hardware graphics adapters for all Remote Desktop Services sessions
    • Prioritize H.264/AVC 444 graphics mode for Remote Desktop Connections
    • Configure H.264/AVC hardware encoding for Remote Desktop Connections
    Fixing hardware transcoding in remote desktop using Group Policy Editor.
    Fixing hardware transcoding in remote desktop using Group Policy Editor
  4. Close the Group Policy editor and then restart the server.

Once those policy options have been disabled, each time you remote desktop into the server, the hardware transcoding will work without any issues.