In some circumstances, your Windows 10 (1803 or later)/ Windows Server (2016 or later)/Windows 11 remote computer will not display correctly in VNC Viewer. The commonly reported issues are:
- a black or blank screen
- application windows are white
- the Start Menu is smaller than expected
The issue is most commonly seen when connecting to a computer with no monitors attached (headless), or a monitor using HDMI/DisplayPort is connected but powered off.
It appears that in the above situations, Windows does not correctly report graphical updates to be captured by VNC Server using DirectX. At this time, there are some known workarounds you can try below:
- Upgrade VNC Server to version 6.5.0, as this version contains some changes to try and automatically recover from a blank screen
- Change your Power settings on the VNC Server computer to never turn off the monitors/displays
- Check that Windows is not set to a "Battery Saver" power mode
- Connect an EDID emulator to the VNC Server computer. An example EDID emulator can be seen here
Note: RealVNC have not tested this particular emulator and it is only provided as an example
- Change the VNC Server
- On the remote Windows computer, open the VNC Server dialog.
- Select Options from the hamburger menu.
- On the Expert tab, filter the list for
CaptureMethod, and set the value to
- Restart VNC Server
This can also be specified using the Registry, in the HKLM\Software\RealVNC\vncserver key. Create a String value named CaptureMethod and set a value of 1.
Note: If you have an Enterprise subscription, you can configure computers remotely or in bulk using Group Policy.