By Ellie / Last Updated June 26, 2023

Why do I get a black screen when using Remote Desktop Connection?


During my attempts to establish a remote connection to a computer within the local area network (LAN), I repeatedly come across a puzzling problem: the remote desktop background consistently presents itself as entirely black. What might be causing this unexpected behavior?”

- Question from StackExchange

How to fix “Your background is currently turned off by Remote Desktop Connection”

To resolve the perplexing issue of “Your background is currently turned off by Remote Desktop Connection” on Windows 10 and 11, it is recommended to examine the group policy settings on the remote computer, which is the target of your connection. Specifically, focus on the remote session policy that governs the display of the desktop background or wallpaper when a client establishes a connection with the host. This particular policy, aptly named "Enforce Removal of Remote Desktop Wallpaper", holds the key to rectifying the situation.

Here's a step-by-step guide to resolving the issue and enabling the display and modification of the desktop background on the remote computer:

Step 1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box. Type "gpedit.msc" and hit Enter. If prompted to allow the program, click Yes.


Step 2. In the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop Session Host, and finally, Remote Session Environment.

Step 3. Right-click on the Enforce Removal of Remote Desktop Wallpaper policy and select Edit.

Enforce Removal of Remote Desktop Wallpaper

Step 4. In the policy settings window, set the option to either Disabled or Not Configured. Click Apply, then OK to save the changes. You can now close the Local Group Policy Editor window.

Disable Enforce Removal of Remote Desktop Wallpaper

By following the above steps, you should now be able to view and modify the desktop background on the remote computer from your local machine. However, it's important to note that you still need to enable the "Desktop background" option in the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client. Here's how:

Step 1. To launch the Run dialog box, use the Windows key + R. Enter "mstsc.exe" into the search box.

Run Box Mstsc

Step 2. Go to the Experience tab and check the "Desktop background" option.

Desktop Background

Step 3. Switch to the General page, input the remote machine's computer name or IP address, enter your credentials, and click Connect.

general tab

It's worth mentioning that the remote computer will only respect this option if the "Enforce Removal of Remote Desktop Wallpaper" policy is not enabled. Therefore, make sure to verify the policy setting before attempting to enable the "Desktop background" option in the RDP client.

AnyViewer: RDC alternative with an easier way to enable/disable remote desktop wallpaper

Similar to Remote Desktop Connection, AnyViewer is a free remote desktop program designed for Windows users. However, AnyViewer offers a more convenient approach to enabling or disabling remote desktop wallpaper, even during an ongoing remote session.

Furthermore, AnyViewer boasts several advantages over Remote Desktop Connection, making it a preferred alternative for remote desktop needs:

  • Easy setup: AnyViewer is renowned for its user-friendly interface and swift setup process. It eliminates the need for complex network configurations or firewall adjustments, making it particularly accessible to non-technical users. In contrast, Remote Desktop Connection often requires network and firewall configurations to establish a successful connection.
  • Accessibility beyond the local network: AnyViewer enables users to access and control remote devices via the internet, even if those devices are located behind firewalls or NAT routers. This feature simplifies remote support scenarios and grants users the flexibility to connect to their computers from anywhere in the world. In contrast, Remote Desktop Connection is primarily restricted to local network connections by default, necessitating additional setup for LAN access.
  • Additional features: AnyViewer offers a diverse range of supplementary features that enhance the remote access experience. These include the ability to transfer files between local and remote devices, integrated chat functionality, and the option to reboot and automatically reconnect to a remote computer. Although Remote Desktop Connection offers fundamental remote control capabilities, it falls short in comparison to AnyViewer, which boasts a range of advanced functionalities.
  • Versatile usage: AnyViewer is suitable for both commercial and personal use, catering to individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises alike. In contrast, Remote Desktop Connection primarily caters to internal networks used within an organization and may require specific licenses for commercial purposes.
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Step 1. On the host computer, click Log in on the left pane, and click Sign up (log in directly if you already have signed up).

log in anyviewer

Step 2. Complete the sign up information.

sign up for anyviewer

Step 3. When you successfully logged in to AnyViewer, your device will automatically be assigned to the account you’ve logged in to.

free editions

Step 4. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the two devices, and click One-click control to achieve unattended remote access.


✍ Notes: You can upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan to enjoy more rights: 
Assign more devices to achieve unattended remote access to more devices.
Connect to another computer in privacy mode, which means you can black the screen and block the mouse and keyboard of the remote computer.
Faster file transfer speed. Transfer speed for a free account is 500 KB/s, and for a paid account is up to 10 MB/s.


The bottom line

The Windows 10/11 “Your background is currently turned off by Remote Desktop Connection” issue is a frustrating one. Fortunately, there is a tested way available to help you fix the black screen issue. If the problem still exists, you can try a Remote Desktop Connection alternative.

AnyViewer proves to be an excellent alternative to Remote Desktop Connection, offering easier setup, accessibility beyond local networks, additional features, and suitability for both personal and commercial use. With its user-friendly interface and enhanced functionalities, AnyViewer provides a seamless remote desktop experience for users of all backgrounds.