Under review

Guest laptop lid closing causes blank screen on host remote control

support 3 years ago updated by Zanthexter 1 year ago 36 1 duplicate

Whenever the guest laptop lid is closed the host sees a black screen, the guest session is active but the host can't see the screen.  Any Idea when this is going to be resolved.  This happens on Windows 10 guest but not with Windows 7 guest.

ConnectWise Control Version:
Server Affected:
Host Client Affected:
Guest Client Affected:

Duplicates 1

Waiting for information

To help with replication, do you have the exact driver version, as well as the OS on the laptop (and any other laptops that you've had issues with, if they are different)?

I'm replying and updating AGAIN. 

This is becoming a HUGE friggin problem. I'm trying to work on a customers laptop. I can't even see the Norton screen to click uninstall.

I do know what triggers it. The laptop lid is closed. I'm sometimes seeing the same thing happening on a desktop when the monitor is powered off.

It's a KNOWN problem. People are saying to purchase hardware "ghost monitor" dongles. Which doesn't help when I'm controlling customers computers I physically can't get to. Which is sort of the whole POINT of remote support software.

Please install a driver for a fake monitor that gets "turned on" when the support person connects. Even switching to the Microsoft Display Adapter doesn't fix the problem all the time, and as that requires a reboot and sign back in, can leave me locked out of the computer I'm trying to work on.

This is becoming really huge. I am going to have to start looking for a support tool that works reliably if it's not fixed soon.

And no, I don't give a rats rear end if it's "Microsofts Fault". Just install a driver for a fake USB monitor or whatever else you need to do to make it work, whose fault it is really doesn't matter at all. I just need it fixed.

I have replied multiple times. Why is this still flagged as waiting for information?

It's a COMMON problem, happening on nearly every new laptop I buy. I'm spending money buying HDMI ghost adapters as a work around because Control just doesn't work reliably.

It's REALLY frustrating. If you need more information, specify it. If you want to remotely access multiple examples of the problem contact me and I'll arrange it. 

Whatever you do, please do not continue to ignore this. It's at times been a crippling can't get my job done issue.

Under review

I neglected to update the status of this issue. We're presently working on a solution, but what we have at the moment isn't ready for release, and might not work in every circumstance. I'm going to label this as "under review" until we can say with confidence that it will resolve the issues you're experiencing.

I'm working on 3 brand new Lenovo laptops right now. Factory fresh, prepping them for the users. 

I can't scroll the start menu,  Windows 10 settings (like power options, or taskbar options) or the settings in Edge. I can see the scroll bar on the right move, but the contents of the window do not.

I deleted the video driver Lenovo shipped, installed the generic Microsoft Display Driver. Scrolling works fine. 

Used Device Manager to auto-update the driver. Not working again.

Updated Control server to the most recent version. 6.9.21027.6898

Updated clients. (host and guest)

Restarted clients

Nada, same problem. There are settings I literally cannot change without switching to the Microsoft Display Driver so that I can scroll to them.

Lenovo Ideapad 330 81DE00LCUS 15.6" Laptop, Intel® Core 8th Gen i3-8130U, 128GB SSD, 8GB DDR4, Win 10 Home

Staples item # 24328358  if you want to order one and see for yourself. Same problem on all 3 I received.

Intel UHD Graphics 620 driver version 9/28/2018.

I've had the same problem on several other machines. 

Well, I finally had time to dig into it more. Seems Windows 10 has a lot of problems with "headless" machines and laptops with the lids closed. The lid closed being the problem here.

The solution is to set up a "fake" monitor. Either through hardware or software. For lack of a software solution, people are buying dongles "ghost HDMI" to fake a monitor being attacked. That's really not an acceptable solution given how often you can't physically get to a machine.

So what needs to happen with ConnectWise Control is a "fake monitor" driver. Fake a USB to HDMI adapter connected to a monitor or something, and add a button to switch to "virtual monitor". This is getting to be a huge issue with more and more machines I work with running into the problem.

Why is this still flagged as "waiting on information" when I've provided the information weeks ago?

Are you running each operating system on the same hardware? Which GPU and driver are you running on each?

You'll also find that on many laptops and some desktops when the screen is off instead of going blank you get display problems, layered windows don't show properly, can't see scrolling, start menu is unusable.

I'm stocking "ghost HDMI" and "ghost VGA" adapters because it's becomming such a common problem. Except I can't teleport and plug them in a lot of the time. So right now I'm trying to remotely uninstall some software on a laptop and I can't because the lid is closed.

It's been going on for months and months. Doesn't seem like you guys care enough about a working product to address it. It's such a common problem that at this time I would recommend against buying Control if asked.

Same problem here, only resolved by opening the laptop lid. What's the current status?

Rebooting resolves it like 40% (the grey blank screen goes away) but once I'm signed in things start acting up - start won't let you scroll down, Hyper-V Console sessions will open up blank with odd scroll bars. Eventually Explorer itself stops responding, I get a grey screen again, and I'm forced to reboot a second time.

what about going to --power and sleep setting-- and --setup what happens when you close the lid--,  ---set it to do nothing--- 

it might be set to sleep , or hibernate , ect . if set to  = do nothing  ,  might allow SC to continue to run and display video

hope this helps 


I want you to think about that suggestion for a second - how could I be connecting, moving the mouse, logging in, etc if it was asleep?

It's a many months old issue that they seem to have no interest in addressing.

The video card is being put into a "sleep mode" whenever it detects there isn't a monitor attached/lid is closed. It's independent of any power settings. No, setting the "what to do when lid is closed" does nothing. (And if anyone is doing remote support and actually needed to be told to try that....shudder.)

You can attach a "ghost" VGA or HDMI dongle and it will keep the video card active. Or you can switch to the Microsoft generic video driver, reboot, and things will work. (including all the weird issues with scrolling and overlays) And then switch it back when done. Of course you'll have to be able to sign in and you won't see anything in progress before you reboot. Much fun!

My guess is that creating a fake USB monitor would solve the problem, but no action or interest. 

It just doesn't seem to be on their to-do list to make the software work correctly with laptops using integrated Intel 620 graphics. Ya know, all 8th generation ones right? I've not found a single exception so far.

It boggles my mind that this isn't considered a priority to fix or even to kludge.

Please address this. 

Guys, you haven't even acknowledged this is a problem. You haven't said you're working on it. You haven't said you have any ideas to solve it. You haven't mentioned reaching out to Intel and working with them on a fix. Nada, nothing, no action at all.

It simply doesn't matter what the features and aesthetics of the program are when it fails at basic functionality. If I can't remote control a Dell XPS with the lid closed, what's the point of the rest of it?

This is a huge issue we have a lot of laptops we do remote support on if they close the lid you are done working on them we discover this issue while over a year ago still going on what a pain.

Reporting that I've come across a similar issue. Luckily I'm only dealing with one system that does this.

When the laptop lid is closed (set to "Do nothing" in power settings) scrolling will not work for the Start Menu and Settings menu. The scroll bar will move, but the menu stays in place. It does work for other programs like the Control Panel or Chrome.

On the Start Menu the app list is zoomed out and basically useless (see image). You cannot click on apps in it. You can click on pinned programs to the right and menu options to the left.

For the Settings menu it is possible to click on options that you can see without scrolling. However, if you try to change an option you don't need to scroll to like the text scale size, you get this lovely mess that breaks the menu:

The computer itself can still be used normally in my experience as long as you do not need to use/scroll in base Windows 10 applications. Opening the lid immediately fixes it, plus having external monitors attached works as well.

It's looking like an issue with Windows 10 as I've had this happen with AnyDesk as well. However, it would be nice if a workaround can be found.

This bug also happens on modern systems with no VGA port and the client turns the Display Port connected monitor off. My "workaround" (which is REALLY horrid) is to issue a re-install and reboot the system. Besides being a productivity crippler, this does not always work either!

Guys: This is a show stopper for us. We absolutely need ScreenConnect or whatever you want to call it this week to Just Work.

There's a known "solution", connect a 2nd screen.

Doesn't need to be a real screen. You can use a dummy/ghost HDMI adapter. 

So WTF hasn't ConnectWise added a fake USB HDMI adapter that can be toggled on/off? 

I get that this is an Intel created problem. Who cares. I need my few thousand dollar investment to work on all devices without having to jump through hoops. I'm really surprised more people aren't complaining, because I'm running into this problem nearly every day.

Microsoft Basic Adapter fixed it for me, but this was a machine I own, we certainly can't do that if it's a customer device.


This issue is far more complicated than a "bug".

For some laptops, when the lid is closed, the hardware treats this as physically disconnecting the monitor. Doing this has some advantages for most consumers, such as closing the lid while connected to a TV with HDMI will then automatically adjust the TV as a single display. I believe it also decreases power consumption.

Consumer GPUs/drivers are not designed to operate with 0 active monitors (a.k.a. "headless"). It usually breaks some hardware acceleration features, which makes some apps bug out. It seems to more affect UWP apps, which is why you see more problems in Windows 10 than 7. Again, this is a "bug" in the GPU drivers, not with ConnectWise. VNC and other similar apps are all affected the same way.

Yes, ConnectWise could build a virtual monitor driver from scratch as a workaround. Alternatively, they could implement a feature to open a virtual RDP session similar to Apache Guacamole. However, these are both "feature requests", and would require significant development time. I don't think hassling them about it as a "bug" is the correct approach.


Connect a second monitor or dummy monitor device (HeadlessHDMI)

Connect to a closed lid computer using Remote Desktop or Apache Guacamole instead.

P.S. Most server GPUs are not affected as they are designed to operate headless.

I have a similar problem with a Lenovo Thinkpad E565. ScreenConnect was working fine on this machine under Win7 Pro. I've just upgraded it to Win10 Pro.

Initially, ScreenConnect was completely unresponsive unless the laptop lid was open.
I updated the display adapter driver (AMD Radeon T5), and now ScreenConnect works with the lid closed.

But if I restart the computer, the ScreenConnect screen is black and will not respond. The only way to get it going is to open the laptop lid, and then it's fine to close it. That's not acceptable. I can't count on a person being available to open and close the laptop lid, and I'm not interested in leaving the lid open full-time.

How can this problem be corrected? I'm willing to install the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter, but have not found instructions on how to do that.


Update: Installing Microsoft Basic Display Adapter resolved the problem for me. Here are the steps:

1. Open Device Manager.
2. Right-click your display adapter and select Update driver software...
3. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
4. On the next screen, click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
5. Select Microsoft Basic Display Adapter or, in older Windows versions, the Standard Windows VGA driver. Follow the installation instructions to complete the installation.

I also just encountered this issue today with a client who just upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Has there been any update to this? Is CW still working to resolve?

The problem is that the Intel graphics driver has a "power saving mode" that can't be disabled. It ignores power management settings.

The work around is to always have an "active" monitor. You can do this with a ghost HDMI adapter for servers. You cannot do this for end user laptops (and occasional other devices.)

The "obvious" (from a non-developer) fix is to create a fake USB monitor that would trick the Intel driver into thinking there was still an "active" screen attached. 

I don't get the impression that's impossible. I just get the impression no one at ConnectWise seems to think it's worth the effort. They're prioritizing minor cosmetic changes and "premium" add-ons instead. I guess form sells better than functionality.

"Ghost" adapter on Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XT1Z9TF


This affects all new Lenovo ThinkPad AMD laptops. The screen is blank (grey), and even if another remote control system connects and can move the mouse to wake the screen so Connectwise Control can view the screen, Connectwise Control can't actually *control* anything.

Note, this issue is NOT present on TeamViewer, Splashtop Business, or Solarwinds Take Control; with the lid closed on a Thinkpad laptop running AMD integrated graphics, they can all connect, see the screen, and control the mouse/keyboard. Once one of these other remote control tools "wakes" the screen, Connectwise Control can *see* the screen but can't click the mouse. Once the lid is re-opened, Connectwise Control can again control the mouse. This can be fixed *sometimes* by reinstalling Connectwise Control and rebooting, but sometimes not.

This is with fully patched Windows 10 Pro and latest Connectwise Control build, Lenovo Thinkpad E495, AMD Vega 2200U integrated graphics, AMD Driver version 25.20.14122.8001 (build date 3/22/2019), Windows 10 Pro v1903 build 18362.418.

NOTE: This was NOT a problem with Connectwise Control 6.9, which we just upgraded from due to issues with Mac OS X connectivity.

So, this is definitely a bug and not a feature request.

If nobody mentions that a fix is coming, and gives beta access, we'll move onto another product.

OK, so just bumped into this huge show-stopper issue with Screen Connect...

We are running Nvidia RTX2080ti's in a bunch of machines that we need to remote control - and if the TV is turned off, then we cannot see the desktop, we just get a grey screen. The preview window updates OK, but when you connect, you just get the grey screen.

Any sign of a fix for this any time soon - this seems to be a major issue for a piece of software that is supposed to allow you to remote control a machine. Surely, they don't expect you to need to ask someone at the other end to turn the screen on first?

This is not a bug with Screenconnect, it is a problem with Nvidia's (and AMD's) consumer drivers.

There are some workarounds for this Nvidia issue, the simplest being to use RDP instead of a screen mirroring tool like Screenconnect.

As this problem ALSO affects Intel systems, and the problem does NOT happen with alternative similar products, it absolutely is either a bug or design flaw. Most other remote support tools install a shim driver to get around the problem but ScreenConnect does not.

It's still a major problem that needs to be addressed.

Edit: As a FYI, there is no such thing as a Consumer driver. Perhaps you really mean "Non-Server display adapter designed to run headless."

Agreed - I'm with Walt - how can anyone provide remote control software that does not work if the remote screen is turned off?

@Gary : well apparently THEY can !

Same issue here with an HP probook 6570b / W10 pro 64bits, and the damn lid is closed.

Same issue here. When the DP monitor(s) are powered off, CW Control does not render screen correctly. Grey screen. Been seeing that for quite some times now. I can relate now that the cause is monitors being powered off.

Inputs are sent to guest (login info) then desktop appears once, with wrong resolution.

Lenovo ThinkStation P520c with high end P2000 Nvidia Cards (no "consumer" driver involved here)

Workaround : using RDP or backstage mode for maintenance. (a real fix need to be provided as this issue is major for SC)

We've had this happen with the Lenovo M75q-1 desktops for a while. Now we're experiencing it with laptops with the lid OPEN! Lenovo E14, Carbon 7th Gen and X1 Yoga 4th Gen all experienced this issue.

I can confirm I am seeing this issue currently. When the lid is shut all the UI in windows gets messed up and multiple aps blank out just as depicted in those screenshots.

I'm having the same problem on an old Sony Vaio SVE171A11M with an i7-3612M CPU and AMD Radeon HD 7500M GPU, and a Lenovo ThinkPad X230 with an i5-3320M CPU and an Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU.

I'm using a self-hosted install of Connectwise Control 20.4.28399.7439 and both PCs are using Windows 10 Pro v1909

SplashTop created a Virtual Display Driver (a fake USB video adapter with a fake monitor) that works around the problem.


Other than defaulting to 720p and maxing at 1600x1200 display resolution with this "adapter" SplashTop solution works fine.


Unfortunately even with the Splashtop "adapter" installed ConnectWise Control still defaults to onboard video and doesn't let you select the virtual adapter as a screen to use. With Splashtop.

I suggested this fix over TWO YEARS ago. ConnectWise felt that prioritizing new premium features made more sense than fixing problems with fundamental functionality.

This year instead spending another few hundred dollars extending my ConnectWise support agreement, I'll be subscribing to Splashtop. It doesn't matter how much better ConnectWise might be in other ways. If I can't see the remote screen, all the bells and whistles just don't matter.