Remote Desktop – Black Screen Of Death

 The Issue – When using Windows Remote Desktop client the remote screen turns black right after login and you have no control. The issue can affect workstations and servers, laptops or desktops and happens in Windows 7 through Windows 10 with most any version of Windows server. The apparent cause is Screen Caching and accessing a system with different display resolution or RDP window sizes.

The Solution(s) – Try each bullet below

  • Task Manager – While logged in and stuck on the black screen of death
    1. Press CTRL+ALT+END or on laptops CTRL+ALT+FN+END. This calls Task Manager and in most cases you’ll immediately see the Desktop
    2. If only Task Manager but no Desktop appears try running Explorer from Task Manager:  File > New Task > Explorer.exe
  • Display Resolution – Connect at same resolution as the remote host
    1. Click Show Options on main Remote Desktop screen
    2. Display tab > Display Configuration > Adjust Display size (to the size of your remote hosts display)
  • Cache – Delete & disable the RDP bitmap cache:
    1. Delete your local RDP Cache: C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Cache
    2. Disable Persistent Bitmap Caching on the Experience tab
      Remote Desktop Black Screen - Disable Persistent Bitmap Caching
  • RDP Service – Access the remote computers Computer Management or Services MMC and cycle the Remote Desktop Services service.
    1. Launch your Services MMC using an account with admin level access on the remote machine
    2. Right click Services at top left > choose Connect to Another Computer
    3. Right click Remote Desktop Services, choose Restart


  1. Confirm your account has full administrative rights on the remote system (member of local administrators group)
  2. Disable bitmap caching for your RDP connections
  3. Access the remote computer using consistent resolution – Full screen may help
  4. Confirm both systems video drivers are up to date


30 thoughts on “Remote Desktop – Black Screen Of Death

  1. We had this issue and researched it for weeks, unfortunately none of the above fixes worked for us. Eventually we were able to fix it by using gpedit to disable a group policy called “Use WDDM graphics display driver for Remote Desktop Connections”. When this is disabled it reverts to the XDDM graphics driver – this was an immediate fix for us (Windows 10 VMs running in Azure)

  2. nothing helped me ,, I know what’s the solution but I don’t know how to do it
    my solution is to restart the rdp with a third part ,, like a tool or a program that shut down the rdp and restart it automatically

  3. Man I am still trying all of these solutions none worked. I think that my issue kicked up a time-out so maybe Internet extra slow today? Just not sure about this.

  4. I have discovered yet another reason for this to occur. In my case the server I was trying to RDP to was extremely low on disk space. The black screen was Windows trying to create my profile for the first time and not finding enough disk space to do that. Someone who already had a profile on the target system was able to successfully RDP. Once they cleaned up the disk, I was then able to successfully RDP.

  5. You absolutely rock! The adding of the function key to pull up the Task Manager option worked like a charm. Thank you!!!

  6. Thank you. Changing the resolution of my home PC to match the resolution of the PC I was connecting to worked. Many many thanks

  7. You, dear sir, have just save me of a long trip to reboot remote PC.
    And yes, I’m commenting this through remote desktop!

  8. Disabling Bitmap Caching works perfect. I agree that you find at most times you get to logging remotely on machines with different resolutions hence all this issues. Also Ctrl + Alt + End works fine.

    Cheers all.

  9. I am having the same problem everytime I login I get a black screen for 2 seconds then it is fine after that, if I minimize the remote desktop windows and maximize it again, then it will give me a black screen again.

  10. I have been remoting into this machine for years but the black screen issue only started when I upgraded to windows 10. Every morning I log into it and I get the black screen. I have tried disabling the bitmap cache but still same issue. I have found that if I log in and get black screen and just minimize that connection and wait around 5 minutes it will kick me out and the second remote attempt will work. This connect, wait connect again has been working for months now. I hope Microsoft resolves this soon.

  11. I have a linux server and when I log in remotely in it I will get the blue screen. Can I use this technique also?

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