TL;DR – If you are experiencing display artifacts through remote desktop you can get rid of them through the group policy setting – Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Remote Session Environment -> Configure image quality for RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics -> Options -> Image Quality.
I’ve recently started using my iMac as my main machine at home, as it’s just kind of sat there since I bought it, but I still wanted to use Windows 8.1 on my laptop so I’ve been using RDP to remote into the laptop. This has worked pretty well (using a wired network) but I found that there were a display artifacts showing up which was kind of distracting. After doing some searching on the web, I came across a few different articles talking about “disabling bitmap caching” on the RDP client but unfortunately this option isn’t available for the Mac OSX RDP client. This gave me the idea to check if there was a server side setting I could tweak which eventually led me to find the “Configure image quality for RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics” setting in my local group policy. Below are the steps that I used to fix my issue.
DISCLAIMER: Use the following steps at YOUR OWN RISK. You can seriously mess up your Windows configuration if you mess with your local group policies without understanding the implications. I have purposely not explained how to get access to the Group Policy console or explained what it is etc. as If you don’t already know what group policies are, IMHO you shouldn’t be messing with it.
Open your “Local Group Policy Editor” MMC.
Go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Remote Session Environment.
Open the edit window for the “Configure image quality for RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics” policy.
Enable the policy then set the “Image quality” option to what is appropriate for your network connection. In my scenario I was using a wired network connection so setting it to “Lossless” had no noticeable impact for me. Press “Apply” and “OK” to save the settings.
I had to reset my laptop computer for the new settings to be applied.