EC2 (Remote Desktop) RDP refuses Administrator credentials


Firstly, the first thing you should do after Creating an EC2 instance is change the Administrator password. Its easy to lock yourself out of an EC2 instance permanently by neglecting to change this. For example if you create an EBS Image and restore it you'll no longer be able to decrypt the windows password.

Are you still able to retrieve the windows password using the Management Console? If not, then the password will irretrievable. Have you tried rebooting the instance. Double check your Route 53 settings to make sure you are pointing to the correct instance and you're not trying to log into someone elses.

If all else fails I'd suggest rebuilding the instance, and immediately changing the password before changing any other settings.

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Updated on July 22, 2022


  • adaj21
    adaj21 over 1 year

    My EC2 (Windows Server) instance was accessible through RDP logging in as Administrator and the default password retrieved from EC2 dashboard (AWS Management console).

    I relegated my domain name to Route 53, and I also created an Elastic IP address for my instance and modified the DNS CNAME record to point to the EIP.

    http access to my app works fine using domain name.

    However, RDP broke since my existing rdp link pointed to the old public DNS name given to my EC2 instance.

    I tried to recreate the RDP link and all the following attempts failed:

    1. Using an RDP link downloaded from EC2 dashboard on AWS management console.

    2. Enter the Elastic IP's public DNS name into the 'Computer' field of the RCP General tab (click on options on the bottom left of the dialog)

    3. Enter the Elastic IP's external IP address (ie the XX.YY.ZZ.VV taken from ) into 'Computer' field.

    4. Enter the EC2 Private IP address taken from the EC2 console into the 'Computer' field

    In all cases listed above I used the existing password and I double checked by decoding the the Administrator's password again (from EC2 console using the original key file).

    And in all cases, I keep getting the invalid credentials error from RDP connection.

    For all practical purposes, I am locked out of my running instance.