Learn How to Fix RDS Black Screen and other Common RDS Issues

The App Readiness service is responsible for getting applications ready for use the first time a user logs into a session host and also when adding new applications. However, in Remote Desktop Services (RDS) deployments, it may sometimes cause black screen issues. This blog post outlines some possible solutions for RDS black-screen issues and explains other common problems that may prevent the service from working properly, including potential ways to address them.

What Is RDS?

Microsoft RDS, formerly known as Terminal Services, is a general term used to group certain roles of Microsoft Windows Server that allow users to access Windows desktops and applications remotely by using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

Below are the main roles within an RDS environment:

What Are Some Common Issues with RDS?

Some common issues that may prevent RDS from working properly and possible ways of fixing them are described below:

Firewall blocking connection

RDP uses port 3389 by default, and the session host must have this port accessible from the end-user devices for internal connections or from the Remote Desktop Gateway for external connections.

Ensure that the port your RDS environment uses isn’t being blocked by an existing firewall between the client and the session host, including the Windows Defender Firewall if it is enabled on the session host.

Figure 1 - Learn How to Fix RDS Black Screen and other RDS Common Issues

Certificate issues

Remote Desktop Gateway requires a certificate to be installed because it uses SSL encryption. Clients must trust the certificate authority that issued the certificate to guarantee a successful connection with the session hosts.

Open the Certificates Microsoft Management Console (MMC) on the client device, and check that a copy of the certificate authority’s root certificate has been imported to the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store.

Figure 2 - RDS Black Certificate issues

Remote access rights

Users accessing RDS resources must be granted the Allow log on through Remote Desktop Services right over the session hosts they are connecting to.

Open the Group Policy Object Editor by running GPEdit.msc from the command prompt. Navigate through the console tree to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment. Double click on Allow log on through Remote Desktop Services and include the necessary users or groups.

Figure 3 - RDS Black Remote access rights

DNS problems

Domain Name System (DNS) inconsistencies due to Internet Protocol (IP) changes or other issues can cause different connection problems when using RDS services.

Ensure that the existing DNS entries for the session hosts and the infrastructure components are configured with the correct IP address.

CredSSP unpatched version

Credential Security Support Provider protocol (CredSSP) is an authentication provider used to process authentication requests for other applications. Microsoft detected a remote code execution vulnerability in unpatched versions of CredSSP and requires both the client and session host to use an updated cloud solution provider (CSP) to work properly.

Ensure that both the client and session hosts are running patched versions of CredSSP.

Capacity problems

Ensure that your RDS setup always has available resources and licenses to host new, incoming user connections. For instance, when working with personal virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) pools, new users’ connections will be rejected if all deployed machines are already hosting other users’ sessions.

What Are Possible Solutions for “Black Screen of Death” When Using Remote Desktop?

Below are possible solutions that may fix the “black screen of death” issue in RDS scenarios:

Connect using a different resolution or color depth.
What Are Possible Solutions for “Black Screen of Death” When Using Remote Desktop?

Confirm video drivers are updated both on client and session host.

Disable Persistent bitmap caching.

Run CTRL+ALT+END. This combination will sometimes open the entire desktop or at least the Task Manager. If only the Task Manager is available, run File-> Run new task and type explorer.exe.
run File-> Run new task and type explorer.exe.
Run Group Policy Editor (GPEdit.msc) on the client device. Navigate through the console tree to Computer Configuration > Administration Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Connection Client. Double-click on the Turn Off UDP On Client setting, and select Enabled.
 Turn Off UDP On Client setting, and select Enabled.

Remotely restart the Remote Desktop Services service (TermService) or the entire machine via command line using administrator credentials.

Run services.msc.

Click on the Services name in the left pane, go to Action, then Connect to another computer… ,and enter the name of the remote computer.

Connect to another computer

Restart option.

How to Configure App Readiness to Avoid Black Screen on Log On

As has already been explained in this blog post, there can be multiple possible causes for black screens in RDS scenarios. However, it has been found that the App Readiness service may be responsible for this behavior when using Azure Virtual Desktops and FSLogix Profile Containers.

If you are experiencing black screen issues under this scenario, check the following alternatives:


Data Type: DWORD


Data Type: DWORD


Data Type: DWORD


The App Readiness service can also be stopped or disabled, but this is not a recommended workaround because this service is involved in other common tasks such as the Windows Update process.

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