OpenGL not working over Remote Desktop? Here’s a fix.

I recently ran into a problem using 12d Model OpenGL views when connected using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). It turns out that the latest Windows 10 Update (April 2020, i.e. v2004) has messed up with the display drivers when using hardware acceleration. I tried the usual fixes- turn it off and on again, update drivers, other software- but nothing really worked or got me the same functionality I had before. If you do have a similar problem this might be worth trying.

The Fix

  1. Open up the Group Policy Editor with Administrator rights:
    1. From the Control Panel; or
    2. By typing gpedit.msc in the Start menu or Run box (Win+R)
  2. Browse to: Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Remote Session Environment
  3. Find the item “Use WDDM graphics display driver for Remote Desktop Connections” and disable it.
  4. Restart your computer

So, after all of that, I now have OpenGL views back and working in 12d Model. What does that actually mean? Well, WDDM is meant to be the newer Display Driver Model for modern versions of Windows (refer to Wikipedia for all the gory details). Basically, by disabling that setting above, we’re telling Windows to use the old Display Drive Model from the Windows XP days (XDDM). Surprise, surprise, Microsoft broke something in an update.

If you feel like experiencing the full length and breadth of my adventure, you can read it all in this longer post.

1 thought on “OpenGL not working over Remote Desktop? Here’s a fix.

  1. Hi, I had the same problem with open GL views when using an external monitor through a dock. I had to bypass the dock and use the hdmi output on the laptop. Maybe a clue here to get the dock working again for open gl. Thanks

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