DirectAccess Network Connectivity Assistant Missing in Windows 10

Occasionally when troubleshooting DirectAccess connectivity issues I will encounter a scenario in which a client will have an established DirectAccess connection, but DirectAccess does not appear in the Network & Internet settings window in the user interface.

Windows 10 DirectAccess Network Connectivity Assistant Missing

In addition, the Get-DAConnectionStatus PowerShell command returns the following error.

Network Connectivity Assistant service is stopped or not responding.

Windows 10 DirectAccess Network Connectivity Assistant Missing

This commonly occurs when the Network Connectivity Assistant service (NcaSvc) fails to start. The issue can be easily resolve by simply starting the NCA service using the following PowerShell command.

Start-Service NcaSvc

Once the service has been started, DirectAccess will appear in the Network & Internet settings window.

Windows 10 DirectAccess Network Connectivity Assistant Missing

Additional Resources

Planning and Implementing DirectAccess with Windows Server 2016 on Pluralsight

Implementing DirectAccess with Windows Server 2016 Book

DirectAccess Consulting Services

Leave a comment


  1. Stephen Coleman

     /  October 12, 2017

    WHat about this error?

    Start-Service : Service ‘Network Connectivity Assistant (NcaSvc)’ cannot be started due to the following error: Cannot
    open NcaSvc service on computer ‘.’.
    At line:1 char:1
    + Start-Service NcaSvc
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : OpenError: (System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController:ServiceController) [Start-Service],
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CouldNotStartService,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.StartServiceCommand

  2. Sam

     /  February 1, 2018

    I have a system where Direct Access will show while the PC is on the domain, but will randomly drop DA upon reboot and when not domain connected. The same service error message from the above post appears.
    Thank you in advance!

  3. You are hands down the best resource for Direct Access I have ever come across. Thank you for proving this information. It’s proved invaluable numerous times. Do you happen to know what Microsoft’s long term goal is with DA? Because I have heard it was replaced by the always on VPN? Because if that is the direction and they are replacing DA with AOVPN, I’d like to plan for that.

    • Thanks Thomas! 🙂

      Microsoft has stated publicly that they are no longer investing in DirectAccess. While they haven’t formally deprecated it, it’s a good be they will at some point in the future. Microsoft is positioning Always On VPN as the replacement for DirectAccess. It provides the same experience (seamless, transparent, always on) but is more flexible and has many more features and capability. Much more secure as well. If you are still in the planning phases it would be an excellent idea to consider Always On VPN, assuming you meet the requirements.

  4. Thank you very much sir. We are 100% windows 10 EE. Time to wipe off the whiteboard!

  5. J. Denison

     /  February 13, 2023

    This is a great posting. I have been troubleshooting a odd DA issue on a client for a week and it never occurred to me to check the Windows version. Thanks


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