RDP Black Screen

RDP Black Screen KB ID 0001840


This problem has jumped up through various iterations of Windows operating systems. You attempt to RDP to a machine; it connects but you simply get a black screen.

Windows RDP Black Screen


RDP Black Screen Solution

Over the years various ‘hotfixes’ were known to cause this, but before proceeding make sure both the machine you are connecting FROM and the machine you are connected TO are fully patched and updated.

Common troubleshooting dictates that your first step is to see if you can replicate the same problem from another machine, and if possible, from a different OS. below I’m attempting the same from my MacBook and getting the same result.


mac RDP Black Screen

If something is happening on the target that is simply preventing the desktop from showing press CTRL+ALT+END, or CTRL+ALF+Fn+END (depending on your keyboard). Hopefully you should be able to now launch Task Manager > New > Run New Task > Explorer.exe > OK.

RDP Black Screen Fix

You can also try disabling ‘Persistent Bitmap caching’. On the Experience tab of you rdp dialog.

Persitant bitmap caching

In the same dialog on the Display tab also try some low resolutions in case the target machine is confused about what to display on your remote session.

RDP Change Resolution

If it’s still not working the next most likely culprit is a display driver, Either update it or roll it back to a known good one, try this n the source and target machines. Note: if you see something like this – then the target machine may just need its VMware tools updating.

VMTools Display Driver

Finally try using a different RDP client for windows there’s the Remote Desktop Connection Manager, and on a mac theres the Microsoft Remote Desktop app.

Remote Desktop Connection Manager

Did none of these work for you? or if you have a better solution post it below and Ill update the post accordingly.

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

Remote Desktop Services – Connection Errors

Windows – Black Screen Of Death


Author: PeteLong

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