How to fix the ‘RPC server is unavailable’ error on Windows

If you’ve been a loyal Windows user for years, it’s likely that you have run into the very common ‘RPC server is unavailable’ error. To those who aren’t computer whizzes, this harmless error may have you racking your brain on how to get rid of the annoying pop-up.

Fortunately, we can help. Below, we will cover the different potential solutions to this common error so that you can carry on with your computer work in peace.

What is the ‘RPC server is unavailable’ error?

The RPC server is unavailable error, also known as error code 0x800706BA, stands for Remote Procedure Call (RPC). The RPC is what allows your Windows OS to process and communicate with a computer from another network. In this article, we will be referring to your device as the client, and the machine that your device is attempting to communicate with as the server.

In a stable RPC session, the client is able to send a message to the server, asking for the location of the service. The server then proceeds to tell the client where the location is so that your device can easily be sent to the right location.

When something interferes with this process, be it through the RPC server not being able to tell the client where to go, or something blocking the client from proceeding, you won’t be able to access and open certain programs, and your computer’s hardware and software won’t be able to be installed.

In this case, you will see a box such as the one below:

The RPC server is unavailable error message on Windows

What causes the ‘RPC server is unavailable’ error?

So, what exactly causes this RPC server is unavailable error? In short, there are a number of reasons as to why the client and server are unable to effectively communicate. Let’s take a look at each of these possibilities.

  • The RPC service has stopped – If your computer’s RPC service has stopped running, this prevents the client from being able to access the information necessary to take action.
  • There are name resolution issues – If your RPC server is not correctly directing the client to the right IP address, the client will be given the wrong instructions, leading it to contact incorrect IP addresses, which of course, will not work.
  • There isn’t a name resolution at all – There are also instances when the server is just not able to resolve the RPC server’s name.
  • The traffic is being blocked by your computer’s firewall – Not just privy to firewalls, any security application that is on your server has the potential to interfere with the communication between the server and client, which in turn prevents the traffic from ever being received by the server through the transmission control protocol (TCP) port 135, let alone the client.
  • Your computer is experiencing a network problem – Without a viable network signal, the client won’t be able to reach out to the server for the information necessary to function, leading to the RPC error.
  • Your file and printer sharing have been disabled – Printers and file sharing software are known culprits for this error. This is because procedure calls and requests that are sent to external, peripheral devices like printers need to be enabled in order for the RPC to work. If they’re not enabled, or if they’re not connected to your network, the RPC will not work.
  • Your registry is corrupt – A corrupt Windows registry can cause the RPC to not be able to find the correct files stored in the data, which will in turn lead to the RPC service unavailable error.

Regardless of the reason for your computer’s error, any issue that interferes with the RPC server will lead to execution issues. The most common reasons behind it are, thankfully, the easiest to fix, as we will be discussing in the next section.

4 proven methods to solve the ‘RPC server is unavailable’ error

Without further delay, let’s get into troubleshooting your device to get rid of the RPC server is unavailable error.

Firstly, you’ll want to try restarting your computer to see if the issue resolves on its own. If your issue has spanned over the course of a few days, and you’ve already restarted your computer to no avail, then check out these possible solutions.

Check your network connection

The remote procedure call needs a solid network in order for traffic to be sent and received, so it’s no surprise that a poor network connection may result in the RPC server is unavailable error. The client is unable to send the procedure to the server, making it impossible for the client to know where to execute commands.

Therefore, you will need to check your connectivity to see if there’s a network problem preventing the correct commands from being sent, received, and computed. This is an easy one to figure out, as all you need to do is check your connectivity to see if there is a network connection issue that is causing the communication between the RPC client and the server to not go through.

Let’s go over how to check your network connection. First, make sure you’re close to the router. Better yet, try connecting your device directly to the router using an Ethernet cable. If you’re able to open web pages and conduct basic commands using the network, chances are it’s not a connectivity problem.

If, however, you’re unable to use your network, then you’ll want to troubleshoot the connection using your computer’s built-in, automatic network troubleshooter, which attempts to solve the problem on its own. To test this out, do the following:

  1. Click on the Start Menu.
  2. Go to Settings and search for Network & Internet.
Network & Internet settings
  1. Choose the Status option and then click on Network troubleshooter.
Network troubleshooter
  1. Once the troubleshooting software has scanned your computer and attempted to fix the error, restart your device to see if this gets rid of the problem.

If you’re still encountering the error, move onto the next troubleshooting option.

Check your printer properties

As mentioned earlier, your printer and file sharing might not be correctly configured.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Internet, followed by the Network and Sharing Center.
Windows Control Panel
  1. Next, click on either Wi-Fi, if you’re connected via wireless connection, or Ethernet, if you’re using an Ethernet cord.
  2. Choose Properties to inspect your network.
Wi-Fi Status
  1. You’ll want to see that both “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” and “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” have checkmarks next to them. If they don’t, select them and click on OK.

Restart your computer to see if this fixes the error.

Check your computer’s firewall

Your computer’s firewall may be responsible for your error. Firewalls, and other security types of applications like MacAfee, for example, are known for blocking RPC requests, thus preventing the client from receiving important traffic.

The best way to check your computer’s firewall or other security applications is by configuring the software to allow it to permit incoming and outgoing traffic for the RPC server. Before you configure it, however, it’s a good idea to check to see if Windows firewall is the cause before spending time fixing something that won’t resolve the issue.

To do this, you can try turning off the features temporarily and then checking to see if the issue has been resolved to confirm that the problem doesn’t lie in one of these types of applications.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel on your device.
  2. Choose System and Security.
  3. Look for Windows Defender Firewall.
Windows Defender Firewall
  1. On the left you will see an option to Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
  1. Choose to turn Windows Defender Firewall off and then select OK.
  2. Restart your computer to see if the issue goes away. If it does, then you know it is the Firewall causing the problem.

If your computer is no longer showing the error message, then that’s great news, as it’s clear that your firewall is the culprit. As you don’t want to have your Firewall permanently disabled, you’ll want to turn it back on following the above steps and then configure your computer’s firewall, as shown below.

How to allow RPC communication through your firewall

  1. Go back to the Windows Defender Firewall section.
  2. Click on “Allow an app through Windows Defender Firewall” this time.
Allow an app through Windows Defender Firewall
  1. Once there, make sure that Remote Assistance is enabled.
Enable Remote Assistance

If re-configuring your computer’s firewall doesn’t fix the problem, or, for whatever reason you aren’t able to successfully configure the firewall on your device, then you will need to move onto the next section.

What if my computer is still showing the error?

Still encountering the RPC server is unavailable issue? There are a few other things you can try, such as inspecting the registry, but if you’re not a professional, you may risk exacerbating the problem.

We recommend letting a professional computer technician tinker with the registry and troubleshoot for other potential solutions.

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