There is a strange problem i'm seeing when using remote desktop. I have passwords stored in notepad (yes, I realize i have passwords stored in notepad). When I copy/paste the password from notepad to RDP login, the login fails. When I type the password, the login works.

I am not getting any spaces or extra charactors when copying (verified by using a hex editor). The password is exactly as I type it (not replacing 1 for I or anything like that).

After I have successfully logged in, I can logout and then paste the password from notepad and it will work. I don't know how long before it will stop working again, but I've run into this many times.

Any ideas? I've also had this happen when logging into sharepoint.

  • Windows 7, lastest updates
  • AD Domain (there are no policies)

migrated from Aug 5 '11 at 13:21

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  • Am interested in A) How you verified no extra spaces/characters made it into the ?clipboard? with the hex editor?, and B) Where you are pasting the password after login and then logout? – user66001 Aug 11 '13 at 20:07
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I have a simple work-around for this and it is to use the shortcuts of Ctrl+C (Copy) Ctrl+V (paste) instead of the right-click menu.

Don't ask me why this works, but it does. :)

  • Actually I've found this to be the case. It doesn't like certain types of pasting. – DustinDavis Jul 4 '12 at 18:09
  • That is unbelievably bizarre. Can anyone shed light on why this happens? – Justin Morgan Jan 23 '13 at 20:28
  • 2
    Bizarrely, Ctrl+V works but Shift+Insert does not work. Both show the same number of dots in the password input field and both paste the identical contents into notepad. – jarmod Jul 17 '13 at 16:18

I had a similar issue. I was using Windows 7 on my workstation, and the issue was occuring with both Windows 2008 and Windows 2003 servers. I appeared to be pasting no extra characters - for an 8 character password, 8 circles appeared.

When logging in to a Windows 2003 server, after the login failed, I'd see 13 circles. However, if I intentionally typed an incorrect 8 character password, I'd see 8 circles. Clearly the password I thought I was sending was not being sent.

I used a third-party app (Ditto, in this case) to do a "Plain text paste". This login was successful. So somehow, extra data is being pasted. I'm living with this workaround, for now. I'm not sure if this is the case for you, but trying a "plain text paste" may help.

  • 2
    didn't think notepad was anything but plain text. I'll give it a try. – DustinDavis Aug 4 '11 at 20:17

There is a hotfix (not included in a Windows Update) for this issue: (Windows 7/2008R2 with or without SP1)

  • This is a great find! +1 – Burgi Jan 13 '16 at 13:25

It may be the disappearing Password text behind the textbox. If you type in gobbledygook, select it, then mouse-paste, it still works. You just can't mouse-paste into an empty text box.

  • Believe dustindavis is using mstsc.exe, which is not a web form, and hence no "textbox" involved. Also, what do you mean by "You just can't mouse-paste into an empty text box"? – user66001 Aug 11 '13 at 20:09
  • Hmm. So what do you call the box you type in on a non-web, graphical form? For example, the one where you type your password, as the OP is asking about? I've been programming since before CERN created the web -- back in the day, these were called textboxes. Whatever you call it, that thingy. Sometimes you have to select it before you can paste in it. Of course, I've discovered since that newer versions of RDP have disabled paste, as a security measure. So, storing your passwords in a password safe was too secure for MS, and they had to do something about it -- for security. Go figure. – knockNrod Sep 20 '13 at 14:08
  • Not sure what it is called, but when I read your answer, thought immediately of a webform, which has a z index, hence things can go behind it, unlike what I am aware can be done with the Windows GUI "thingy" that performs a similar function. As for mouse-paste, if it is what I think it is, you can just right-click and select paste, to fill the box you right-clicked in with the text on the clipboard. – user66001 Sep 20 '13 at 15:57
  • Interesting info about later version of MSTSC, will have to D/L a newer version to check it out (Might solve the silly disconnect from RDP and then stop redirecting keyboard input to the MSTSC.exe window/remote host problem, in earlier MSTSC.exe versions) – user66001 Sep 20 '13 at 16:00
  • In all honesty, the only time I've ever had this happen was when I was logging into a Remote Desktop via a web connection (as some VPNs do, like Citrix). Most times when this happens, it is a web form. (Sorry, I was just having some fun with the idea that because it wasn't a web, that it couldn't be a textbox -- I have a weird sense of humour.) Anywhere the textbox is filled in with some greyed place-holder text, though, this is done via a transparent textbox or label over the entry textbox, and a mouse-paste (as different from keyboard) will sometimes fail, just as the OP was experiencing. – knockNrod Sep 23 '13 at 16:14

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