Fixing artifacts in an RDP session

Most Windows admins spend quite a bit of time in RDP windows. I can’t imagine how many RDP sessions I’ve used since I started in IT 15 years ago, but it’s conservatively more than 10,000 (4 times a day X 5 days per week X 49 weeks a year * 15 years).

In all of that time and all of those sessions, never once have I come across these artifacts in my RDP session:

Artifacts in the RDP session
Artifacts in the RDP session

It took me quite some time in Google to find the answer, and I ended up finding an obscure post mentioning something about bitmap caching. I disabled bitmap caching on my RDP session and the problem disappeared.

Disable persistent bitmap caching
Disable persistent bitmap caching

The feature prevents the RDP client from re-downloading the same bitmap file, saving bandwidth and improving the user experience. I don’t know what particular set of configurations caused this to happen, but now I know how to get around it.



  1. Tom

    This exact issue started happening every time I was RDPing to my laptop yesterday, out of nowhere because there were no winUpdates on either machines since at least a week ago.
    Disabling persistent bitmaps fixed the issue indeed, and this page was the first google result.
    Thank you Mr Kremer !

  2. Joe

    Windows 2016 RDP. Windows 10 clients.

    The user randomly had (what looked like) a really odd repeating desktop background and a bit like artifacts.

    Lots of debugging, AV scans, group policy checks, and ruling out malicious causes… looks to be the same thing! Random.

  3. Anir

    +1, same issue, I was going crazy debugging on the RDP machine until I realized the problem was with the RDP client itself…

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