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Remote Desktop Tips and Tricks


very few people use keyboard shortcuts

So you never press CTRL+ALT+DELETE? Your computer must get very lonely… :wink:

so you didn’t read the whole comment:
"another note… very few people use keyboard shortcuts (I’m one of those very few, I know)"
I do use shortcuts, and now that you mention it, I’m the ONLY ONE in the office who blocks the computer everytime I walk away


I have an idea: 14-bit color!


I had severe issues scrolling with the mouse wheel inside a remote desktop session: the window seemed to scroll continuously until I managed to click on some arrow…

This issue could by fixed by installing MS Intellimouse drivers on the client side.


Additional tips:

  • You can remote desktop into localhost, very useful to test something (e.g. security) under a different user account.
  • With Virtual Server, use remote desktop to get into the VMs, more functional and easier than the VMRC ActiveX in IE.
  • Use the “Remote Desktops” MMC snapin to run/manage multiple connections, includes running at (seemingly) arbitrary screen sizes (on XP you may need to install the Win2k3 admin pack to get this).


Thanks. I sometimes tunnel using Putty and secure the line using SSH by CopSSH. The tutorial that I used is here, http://theillustratednetwork.mvps.org/Ssh/RemoteDesktopSSH.html


Any idea if you can you have Remote Desk Top switch you left/right mounse buttons?

As is, if have to do it manually for each server that I log into…

Thanks for the tips!


And it doesn’t hurt that it’s actually the best performing remote control tool I’ve ever used

You should try Nomachine NX! That is fast. And I mean fast.


This full screen method does not work for me. my 2nd monitor is 1900 x 1200. Full screen only gets me 1600 x 1200 no matter what I do. Works fine for everything accept a remote desktop session.


my 2nd monitor is 1900 x 1200. Full screen only gets me 1600 x 1200 no matter what I do

That’s right, the 1600x1200 limitation is a known issue with RD.

I heard the Vista version of RD supports multimon and high resolutions. I also heard the Vista RD binaries work on XP. Hmmmmmm. :wink:


We use Remote Desktop at work ALL the time since many machine we need access to are behind locked doors. We have refresh problems where an image of a window you closed does not get removed. If you minimize the “unrefreshed” window or move it below the screen and back up then it is refresh properly. Anybody else every have this problem, and if so, anybody know how to fix it?


On a different note, starting about a month ago my remote desktop started going REALLY slowly (when I type text into an open word document, it shows up about 1 letter a second). As far as I can tell, my network speed on both sides is good (gigabit at work, cable modem at home). I’ve tried setting everything down (256 colors, etc) with no noticeable change. I’ve checked background processes on both machines and the loads are normal (low). I’ve disabled virus protection on both machines because I heard that sometimes they try to check networked drives and can slow things down. I’m out of ideas and very frustrated. I’d really appreciate any suggestions.



I’ll agree that RD is very nice, however my main issue with it is that it always messes up my icons.

I too run multiple monitors for my desktop computer. The issue is that I don’t use Remote Desktop to access other destops, I use it from my laptop to get to my home machine when I’m away. This ALWAYS messes up the icons on my destop. Any icons that were on the secondary monitor all get moved and crammed onto the primary after I’ve connected with the lappy.

I’d prefer for it to retain the rez that the desktop has and force me to scroll, instead of forcing my to reorganize my icons everytime I connect from afar.

Any suggestions?

Here’s my setup (well close, I’ve moved since then)



Maybe I’m missing a special command here, but this is one thing that drives me loopy:

When you remote into a machine you get that bar at the top that gives you the name of the computer - take off the pushpin, and it goes away. Nice. But now from THAT machine remote into another machine, then I’ve got 2 of the bars at the top that how the HECK (I’m being polite) do I easily cycle between bars??? For years I’ve been playing this hand-eye action game every time to get the CURRENT bar to come down so I can minimize the session … is there a way to do that?



To shut down the computer you can also click the start button and then hit alt + F4 this will bring up the normal windows shutdown dialog.

Just a thought.


But now from THAT machine remote into another machine

Oh no-- I’ve gone crosseyed!

But seriously, at the point where you’re remoting from machine A into machine B, and then remoting from machine B to machine C, isn’t it time to stop and ask yourself… why?


I know that the Remote Desktop Web Connection uses ActiveX, but does the Remote Desktop Client that would be used with XP to connect via a NON Web connection use ActiveX??
and if so, does Citrix have the same issue.
My problem is that my customer isn’t allowed to use any ActiveX controls, so I want to know if I can use RDP?
If you have an answer and can provide documentation to that affect, that would be fantastic.
Alan Sawyer


It seems if you’re a fan of swapping the Control and Caps Lock Keys via the Registry, these tips won’t work as well because the RDP client side doesn’t send the remapped keys to the other side. (For example Control + Alt + Pause to windowize a Full Screen). Keep your original Control key handy!


Widescreen works for me if i drop the resolution to 1600x900. To bad because I can use 1920x1200.



I have been right-clicking on the task bar and selecting taask manager then selecting shut down from the options. Now the option to shutdown is missing - anybody know why?


I have a dual screen computer at work, and I regularly work on other people’s single screen computers. When using RDP I can only see the primary screen. How can I switch to my second screen in RDP. I currently use the “Extend my windows desktop” onto the second monitor. I could use Log Me In to do this, but it seems a waste to send all that data outside the building and back.