I want to connect to my headless work PC from my home PC.

Before I made my work PC headless, I connected to my work PC (Windows 10 Enterprise) using my home PC (Windows 10 Home) via RDP, and that worked great for everything aside from smart-card authentication. Unfortunately, my work PC uses a smart-card authentication system for our company VPN, and RDP doesn't seem to allow remote clients to interact with smart cards attached to the remote host; in other words, I couldn't do any smart-card authentication on my work PC when using RDP.

I've gotten around this limitation by connecting to my work PC using TightVNC, then logging in as a remote user, and this workaround functions great when I have a monitor connected to my work PC. But this solution stops working when I make my work PC headless (ie no monitor, keyboard, or mouse connected).

When I run the work PC headless, I can still connect and interact with the work PC via RDP like before, but both RDP shadowing and TightVNC don't work. They will connect to the work PC, but they will both just show a perpetually black screen. This is the case even when I try to VNC or shadow an active RDP session.

I have tried setting up a "virtual" monitor using the "Display Device on VGA" workaround, but that feature doesn't seem to exist on Windows 10. I also found CRU, or Custom Resolution Utility, which someone said can spoof monitors, but it seems like it's centered on adjusting resolutions of real monitors, not spoofing monitors.

I know that I could just buy a loopback DisplayPort adapter (though I'm having trouble finding one?), but I was hoping to get by with a software solution. I know that TeamViewer works with a headless machine, but the business license is far too expensive. NoMachine might work, but I would like to avoid paid solutions overall.

Both my work PC and my home PC are on the same LAN, but they are part of different domains.

How would I go about getting a VNC system (like TightVNC) to work with my headless work PC?

2 Answers 2


If your home and work pc’s both come of the same modem/switch then you should be able to use Microsoft Remote Desktop and enter in your work PCs is address domain/user and password what domain it’s on dose not matter. If you what to use something like tightVNC it should work headless but if it dose not there is no easy way to get it to work, you can try VNC server and then install VNC viewer on your home pc.

VNC server download link: https://www.realvnc.com/en/connect/download/vnc/

Edit: I think I know why tightVNC dose not work when your pc is headless, tightVNC dose not logout when it is in use, but RDC dose, tightVNC shows what is on the desktop at that time and lets you control it, So when you take away the monitor it shows nothing.


The problem is with your graphics card. When running a PC headless, some cards, like onboard Intel Chips simply turn off. So while you can connect to your PC, theres nothing running to generate an image with. I had that issue too. The solution is simple. Get a display emulator plug and plug it into your headless pc. This will keep the graphics running at all times and allow for image generation.

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