How to Fix Windows Server 2016 Black Screen After Login

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Introduction

A number of users have reported Windows Server 2016 black screen after login. The black screen happens:

  1. When you login to the console
  2. On RDP Sessions
  3. On Citrix Sessions

This issue appear to be completely random with no specific reason for the black screen after login.

The fixes described in this guide resolves Windows Server 2016 black screen after login for RDP, Citrix and Console login sessions.

Specifically, the fixes apply as listed below:

If you are having this problem on Console or RDP sessions, try fixes 1, 2 and 3
Fix 4 applies to Console, Citrix and RDP sessions
Fix 5 Applies only to Citrix sessions.
To go straight to a specific fix, click the hyperlink on the fix number above. All links open in a new browser tab.
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Available Fixes for Windows Server 2016 Black Screen After Login

The fixes described in this guide are fixes other users have applied to resolve Windows Server 2016 black screen after login.

Here are the details for each fix:

To be able to apply the fixes discussed in this guide you may need to use On-Screen keyboard. This is because your computer may not have all the keys you require for this task.

Here is how you open the built-in keyboard on your computer

  • On your computer type keyboard. Then open On-screen Keyboard from the results
windows server 2016 black screen after login
  • The On-Screen keyboard will open. Here is what it looks like.
windows server 2016 black screen after login

To press a key, use your mouse…

For a list of RDP shortcuts visit this link Remote Desktop Services Shortcut Keys.

1
Kill the Windows Audio Service

This fix is specific to users with Windows Server 2016 black screen after login to RDP sessions.

Here are the steps to apply this fix:

  • Open On-Screen Keyboard on your computer and maximize it.
  • Then RDP to the Server with the black screen
  • While on the RDP session press this key combination Windows + R. This will open Run command.
  • At Run command, type cmd. Then click OK.
  • When command prompt opens, type the command below. Then press Enter.
TASKLIST /FI "ImageName eq audiodg.exe"

The command will return result for audiodg.ex process. Note the PID.

But if the command returns the result below, it means that audiodg.ex process is not running in the RDP session.

If this is the case for you, there is no need to proceed with the rest of the fix in this section. Proceed to fix number 2.

  • To kill the Windows Audio Service, run the command below:
TASKKILL /PID <audiodg.ex-PID>

In my example, I will use the command below:

TASKKILL /PID 13248

You may receive “access denied” error when you run this command. If you do use the command below to specify another account with admin privilege.

TASKKILL /PID <audiodg.ex-PID> /U <username> /P <password>

If audio or killing the process does not fix Windows Server 2016 black screen after login, try the next fix…

2
Add “NT AUTHORITY\INTERACTIVE” Account to the Local “Users” Group


This solution is also specific to RDP sessions. A number of users have fixed black screen issue in Windows Server 2016 by adding “NT AUTHORITY\INTERACTIVE” account to the the local “Users” group.

Apparently, some users have reported that they discovered “NT AUTHORITY\INTERACTIVE” account missing from the local “Users” group.

Here are the steps to apply this fix.

  • Open On-Screen Keyboard on your computer and maximize it.
  • Then RDP to the Server with the black screen
  • While on the RDP session press this key combination Windows + R. This will open Run command.
  • Then at Run command type lusrmgr.msc and click OK.
  • When Local Users and Groups open, click Groups node.
  • Then locate Users group and double-click to open its Properties.
  • At Users group properties, if “NT AUTHORITY\INTERACTIVE” is not in the list, add it. To add this user to the group, click Add.
  • When the Select Users, Computers, Service Accounts or Groups opens click Locations
  • If the server is a member of a domain, you will be prompted to authenticate to the domain. Click Cancel.
windows server 2016 black screen after login
  • Then click on the server name and click OK.
windows server 2016 black screen after login
  • You will be returned to the Select Users screen. Type interactive in the Enter the object names to select field. Then click Check Names.
windows server 2016 black screen after login
  • Finally, to add the user to the Users group, click OK.

If after applying this fix, Windows Server 2016 black screen after login is not resolved, try the next…

3
Turn UAC (User Account Control) Off

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Like any fix recommended in this guide so far, a number of users have resolved Windows Server 2016 black screen after login issue by disabling UAC.

Here are the steps:

  • Open On-Screen Keyboard on your computer and maximize it.
  • Then RDP to the Server with the black screen
  • While on the RDP session press this key combination Windows + R. This will open Run command.
  • Then at Run command type control panel and click OK.
  • When Control Panel opens, click System Security.
windows server 2016 black screen after login should now be resolved.
  • Then, on the Security and Maintenance group, click Change User Account Control settings.
windows server 2016 black screen after login should now be resolved.
  • Finally, in User Account Control Settings, move the highlighted bar to the bottom (Never Notify). Then click OK.
windows server 2016 black screen after login should now be resolved.
  • Log off the RDP session and log back in.

Windows Server 2016 black screen after login should now be resolved. If you are still having the black screen problem, the next fix may help..

4
Disable the ‘AppReadiness’ Service

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Here are the steps for this fix:

  • Use the steps in one of the previous fixes to open Run command. Then at the Run command, type services.msc and click OK.
  • Double-click App Readiness service.
  • When the properties opens, change the Startup Type to Manual. Then click OK.
  • Log off and log back on to the RDP or Citrix session

The next fix is specific to Citrix users with Windows server 2016 black screen after login to citrix sessions.

5
Change Startup Type for Citrix Profile Management Service

Citrix has a fix for this. To apply this fix visit this link 7.15 LTSR CU2 Session Launches as a Black Screen with Profile Management Enabled.

Conclusion

All the fixes discussed in this guide have fixed Windows Server 2016 black screen after login issue for so many other users.

I am confident that on of the fixes will work for your situation. Kindly share the fix that worked for you. To provide a feedback use the “Leave a Reply” form found at the end of this page.

For more Windows Server fixes, visit our Windows Server Fix page.

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