Caps Lock and Num Lock become inverted in Remote sessions

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This issue has been a thorn in my side for the past several months. I’ve got one user that uses always Caps Lock instead of Shift. We use remote desktop to connect to a Windows Server 2019. While investigating I’ve read every post/article I could find on the topic and wanted to share my findings, as well as include instructions how to recreate the issue which I haven’t seen elsewhere. So on this article I’ll show you how I “solved” Caps Lock and Num Lock become inverted.


In Server 2012r2 and Server 2016 RDS environments, while in published RemoteApp applications, the Caps lock/Numlock keys become inverted from the local computer. For example, the keyboard indicator shows Caps Lock is off, but capitalizes all characters in the RemoteApp application.


The Caps Lock/Num Lock keys are inverted when the application opens a new window, a text field is selected, and the “Caps Lock” or “Num Lock” keys are the first input. It appears that when new Windows are generated from the published application they don’t get keyboard sync information until text is input. For instance, if you launch a published instance of File Explorer, click the search bar, and hit the “Caps Lock” key, the issue doesn’t happen. However, if you right click a folder, select”open in new window”, click the search bar in the new window, then hit the caps lock key, it will. Again, only if the Caps Lock/Numlock keys are the first input.

You can recreate the problem easily by doing the following:

  1. Publish “Notepad” in your RemoteApp environment
  2. Launch “Notepad
  3. Go to File -> Open
  4. Select the “File name:” field
  5. Press the “Caps Lock” or “Num Lock” key before pressing anything else
  6. The caps lock/num lock key will now be out of sync

I have tested this in several applications including: Adobe, WordPad, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. This also works in clean installations on both Server 2012r2 and 2016.

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Currently none. We placed a paid ticket with Microsoft Support where we explained the issue and provided instructions on how to recreate. The ticket was escalated, and we were eventually informed that this is a known issue that hasn’t been documented. We were then provided a refund and informed that they would let us know when a fix is in place.


Clicking anywhere outside of the RemoteApp applications will correct the inversion. We typically recommend clicking the task bar. Another option is minimizing and maximizing the application manually or by pressing Win+D twice. Many of our users use the caps lock key in place of the shift key. I’m not sure how effective it has been but we are instructing users to use the shift key, especially when entering credentials. 

Even though there isn’t currently a solution I hope that this is at least informative and someone finds it helpful.

The second workaround that I’ve found is to use onscreen keyboard to disable caps lock:

On-Screen Keyboard >>>>> in Accessories > Ease of Access/ or Accessibility

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