Resolving Issues with Miracast in Windows 10 on a Domain

By | January 29, 2017

Recently I had a project to rollout a number of Surface Hubs, Surface Books, and Surface Pro 4 for a client. One of the cool features of the Surface Hub is to present from your device wirelessly using Miracast. Everyone assumed, since these were all Surface devices, this would just work – we were wrong. As it turns out, there are a number of things in a business environment that can block Miracast. Unable to find any formal documentation, I had to do a lot of digging. Below are the steps we took to eventually get it to work and I hope it helps someone else one day.

Device Compatibility

The first thing you should confirm before attempting to use Miracast in your environment is making sure the devices are capable of using Miracast. Although we were using all new Surface devices which we already knew had this capability, I’ll show you a quick way to see if your device is also capable.

In Windows 10, from the search box in the taskbar, type DXDIAG and press Enter.

From the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, click the button on the bottom that says Save All Information and save the file to your desktop.

Now open the DxDiag.txt file that you saved to your desktop. Under System Information you should see a line that mentions the Miracast setting (or just do a search in the text file for Miracast). As you can see below, Miracast capabilities are available on my device.

Group Policy

The next thing you should check is your group policy. If you are using a Wireless Network (IEEE 802.11) policy in your environment, there is a specific setting that will break Miracast if not set correctly. First off, there are two templates or profiles you can use with this policy. If you are using the legacy XP policy, the setting you need will not be available and Miracast will not work until you upgrade to the Policy for Windows Vista and Later Releases. If you are using the Policy for Windows Vista and Later Releases, uncheck the checkbox under the Network Permissions tab that says Don’t allow Wi-Fi Direct groups

The reason for this is Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect directly to each other, without the need for a Wi-Fi AP, and requiring just the push of a button, the entry of a PIN, or tapping two NFC-capable devices together. Wi-Fi Direct allows source and display devices to discover one another and provides the underlying device-to-device connectivity for Miracast. Miracast builds upon Wi-Fi Direct with mechanisms to negotiate video capabilities, setup content protection (if needed), stream content, and maintain the video session.

Firewall Rule

The next thing to do is make sure you are allowing Wireless Display through the firewall. This is a built-in app in the firewall rules and should be easy enough to enable depending on how you manage your firewall.

Once I set the firewall rule and updated the GPO policy, we were good to go. Although in my research I did find people having to do a little more to get it to work in their environment.

Docking Stations, Virtualization, and Wireless USB adapter drivers

Verify that any device or software (like a virtualization software) that is emulating networking or creating any “virtual” devices like virtual network adapters are not causing the issue. You could easily test this with a device that is not.

Third-Party Antivirus and Firewalls

If your using any third party anti-virus or firewalls, you will want to temporarily disable them to see if it is preventing Miracast from working.