Wednesday 10 October 2012

RDP Shift Key Gets Stuck

Problem definition

Using RDP between a Windows 8 machine and Windows Server 2008 R2 (both fully patched), there is an issue whereby the shift key seems to "randomly" result in the shift key being "virtually" held down.  The shift key can be released by pressing and releasing the key.  This is annoying as hell.


To determine exactly what was hapenning, I tried a number of key-press and release sequences, including shift keys, control keys and arrow keys.  All sequences start with a "normal" state.


Here are the important results:
  • Press Shift and Control (either order) -> Release Shift -> Release Control: Normal state
  • Press Shift and Control (either order) -> Release Control -> Release Shift: Problem state


RDP has a bug whereby the shift state incorrectly remains in the "pressed" state if, after pressing Shift+Control, the Control key is released first.

Bug reference

Bug is with Microsoft:


Thanks to "Unknown" (see comments, below), it seems that there is a hotfix for this


  1. You have described the exact same problem that I am having, only in my case it's with RDP between two Win7 machines. I have followed your test method with the same results: pressing Ctrl-Shift, then releasing Ctrl, then releasing Shift, results in Shift being stuck on. Pressing Shift once again cancels the error.

    I have been using RDP for years without problems, until about 2 or 3 weeks ago when it suddenly starting going wrong.

  2. I'm so glad I found someone else with this problem, Win8 has killed a bit of my RDP-usage because of this bug.

    I can't follow the link though, is it dead?


  3. So is there any solution to this issue ???? It is killing me!!

  4. Also, the link to microsoft connect requires a login. How convenient huh?! I don't want to register with them, is there any way to see the bug page without login?

  5. As workaround use Shift+Alt instead for switching keyboard languages.
    But for some hotkeys there are no solution :(

  6. Unfortunately it does not happen only when changing language. The first thing I tried was this, but I was still getting SHIFT stuck randomly.

    After experiencing this since October 26, 2012, I think it is a bug of Windows 8 RDP client...

    I am sad to see that people suggest that you apply the "handle keys locally" workaround, which obviously is not a solution.

  7. Question is, does anyone know anything of what is beeing done to fix this?

    I can't access the link so I can't see what the Microsoft response is.

  8. The problem is the Windows 8 rdp client. (Both the desktop app and Windows Store App)

    Verified the problem from several Windows 8 clients against:

    Windows Server 2008 R2
    Windows 8
    Windows 7

  9. Also tested connecting against the same machines with a Windows 7 client without the problem.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I work with Delphi XE3 and use Ctrl-shift-arrows a lot, so this problem was realy annoying. I implemented small fix, it is not perfect of course, but at least for me it solves most annoying problems. Maybe it can be helpfull for someone else:

    There two exe in archive (x32 and x64), they should be started with Administrator rights. As long as started they monitor keyboard activity and trying to detect&fix stuck of shift key.

    1. It is important - fix should be started every time when you start to work with windows and it should be started on remote side (where RDP server is, not RDP client).

    2. Thanks for the fix! Seems to be working alright!

  12. This is not a fix for the bug but since I first started experience this problem I really needed to find a workaround.

    I have found that using this program:
    completely removes the problem, they seems to be launching the regular RDP client but somehow the bug doesn't appear when connections are initiated from here.

    I have been experimenting with it during the Trial eriod and havn't found the problem to appear yet.
    They charge $69.99 and I think this will be my workaround for now.

  13. I found that Royal TS solved the problem UNTIL I enabled Windows keys passthrough. Please test whether Alt-Tab works in full-screen mode your solution and report back!

  14. As far as I can see after a quick look, even though I forward the windowskey everything still seems to be working with Remote Desktop Manager.

    However I noticed that even though the Windows-key works on remote computer, Ctrl + Alt + Delete is still executed on local computer.

  15. I am experiencing the same from windows 7 to Windows 2008 R2. the issue show when pressing the shift key it stayed pressed virtually and pressing the left shift again release it.

    Any solution?

  16. does anyone know if there's an actuall fix for this bug?

  17. Still a problem for me. How can this not be fixed!!

  18. The fix is just to change the option in local resource apply windows command to on remote computer ...

  19. Hey,
    Does anyone know if the 8.1 update will solve this issue?

  20. SOLVED:

    Right click rdp - click edit - local resources - change the middle section keyboard to - "this computer". click apply or connect.

    1. this is wrong .. Alt+Tab will be executed locally (it will switch from the RDP to another open program)

  21. I have similar issue and it comes from "Sticky Keys"
    when alt+shift or similar combination is used frequently the Shift keys stays "virtually pressed". By definition it will stay pressed when you press Shift 2 times in a short interval .. there is an option to stop this behavior but for some reason it is not working on RDP.

  22. Thanks
    Works on win7 64 bit too

  23. I just encountered this error and it seems there's a fix from Microsoft that isn't too easy to find. it sits here:
    Simple hotfix and ur done. Hope this helps :)

  24. Any alternative workaround without the KB ? I have this issue at work and I can't install anything.