If you RDP (remote desktop) to a Windows 7 or 8 PC and see only a black screen the computers involved appear to be arguing over screen resolution.  The easy way to resolve it is to:

  1. Click on the black RDP windows (to select it) and press CTRL-ALT-END to bring up the Windows Security screen and select LOG OFF, then log back in
  2. Start a new RDP client on your desktop but BEFORE you click CONNECT, click the SHOW OPTIONS link, click the DISPLAY tab and set the DISPLAY CONFIGURATION to a low resolution like 640×480

To actually solve the problem in the future:

  1. Disable BitMap Caching in your RDP client (on the EXPERIENCE tab).
  2. You can use THIS process to reduce the RDP compression to none.

For more details see, THIS Microsoft KBase article or THIS blog.

For the record, I like the phrase BLACK SCREEN OF DOOM that has been coined by others.

 


39 Comments

Abc · September 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Hi all,

Just press CTRl+ALT+END on that black screen,,should work

Please refer:

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/31b681c5-3658-45a5-8158-a0a0f967c4a2/rdp-screen-goes-black-after-successful-remote-login

patmartin06@hotmail.com · September 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

On my case I’m trying to remote to an VM from the host (terminal) and get black screen on the vms that uses remoteFX. the previous solutions didn’t fix the issue.

Eliot Goren · July 27, 2015 at 5:21 am

I am trying to rdp using multi monitors but whenever I do i just get the black screen. There is no desktop tool bar, just black screen. Nothing happens when I hit ctrl alt end. When I long in using the single monitor option it works fine. If I first log into using the single monitor, then log off, then log back on using the multi monitor option it works. Is there any way to log into the multi monitor the first time?

    Ian Matthews · July 28, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I have not hear of this issue, but I would look at my RDP client. Specifically, I would attempt the same connection from a different PC, preferably with a newer RDP client like Win 8.1 or Win 10.

    What OS are connecting to and from?

    P · October 30, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Eliot were you able to find a solution, I’m stuck the same way.

Dekozi · July 21, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Were you able to find a fix for this?

    Ian Matthews · July 28, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Just the work arounds that are described.

Laura N · April 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

I have been getting the white screen of death and I’ve tried your fixes and their support fixes and deleted and reinstalled the program. Server works – when plugged in directly. No avail. Anyone else have any suggestions?

Kathy · April 15, 2015 at 8:55 am

This article was so helpful thank you so much, I was able to use the command however instead of choosing log off, if you select start task manager, it brings your screen back with loosing anything that might have been lost due to logging off.

Thanks again.

Arni Sigurdsson · March 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Remove kb2830477 update in All programs-Installed updates
and no more black screen.

    Alexia · August 5, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Thank you so much, that worked for me!

Derrick · February 27, 2015 at 6:41 am

So, what do you do if you can’t get physical access to the machine you’re trying to RDP into? :-/

Thanks!

    Ian Matthews · March 1, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I am big fan of panicking. Ok… well, if cannot RDP or get physical access, I would try connecting via SERVICES; start SERVICES.MSC, click SERVICES (LOCAL) on the left, click ACTION, CONNECT TO ANOTHER COMPUTER, enter the host name or IP of the PC in question, sort by STATUS and see what you can turn on or off to fix your issues.

Gymhawk · January 13, 2015 at 11:44 am

Disabling BitMap Caching in my RDP client (on the EXPERIENCE tab)worked for me. Thanks dude.

Abdullah · November 3, 2014 at 11:27 pm

When I get a black screen using remote desktop connection, the Ctrl-Alt-End does not do anything. Maybe you mean when I back at the Host computer. Then, I will check that out too. Please suggest.

    Ian Matthews · November 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Yes, try CNTL ALT DEL on physically on the PC you are trying to remote to. If you are out of the office, perhaps you can have someone that is in the office walk over and connect.

Pilar · October 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Thanks a lot. I had this problem randomly since several months ago, I no one knew what happenned. The workaround was ask to someone at the office for deirectly logging on to the machine and then I was able to log on remotely. This way is much better, specially during the weekend.

John · October 29, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Trying this fix as I am having the black RDP screen but can’t figure out how to get ctrl-alt-end to work. On all my keyboards the End button is a function on the right arrow. I’ve also tried ctrl-alt-fn-end but nothing. The only fix I’ve been able to do is cold boot the remote PC…only when I can get to it though.

    Ferro · November 13, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    John, you should use Crtl+Alt+Delete, not End. Ususally, all computers, including noutbooks have all these keys at separate buttons.

      Lyall · February 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Ctrl-Alt-Del acts on the local PC and Ctrl-Alt-End does the same on the remote PC.

James · October 29, 2014 at 5:47 am

Wow, thank you so much! This is awesome and worked perfectly!

Rita · October 18, 2014 at 2:46 am

you’ve just save my life, ok my working Saturday 🙂 THANKS!!!

Giridhar · September 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

how can you see or perform operations on just 600 480 resolutions and how much time it will take

    Ian Matthews · September 27, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Well, you do this once to ‘fix’ the issue and then you log out/in with a larger setting. It’s analogous to how booting a problem PC into Safe Mode often resolves issues.

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