RDC(Remote Desktop Connection) – Tips/helpful commands/shortcuts

Being a programmer, I often use Remote Desktop for a number of purposes like: accessing test/stage server and production servers, to local machines, and a few times to the localhost the analyze the behavior of software with different users(i.e. with administrator and normal users logins of operating system). And when I started using RDC, I found it tough to handle it so I am posting a few tips and shortcuts for using remote desktop connection that made my life easier.

1. At times, while connecting to RDC, a message is displayed “Terminal server has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections” and we are unable to establish remote desktop connection. In such scenario, open the command prompt and enter the following: mstsc /v: /console
Note: Replace the with the appropriate servername/ipaddress
Now this connection can be used to end the running connection. After this, log off and then login again normally to the remote desktop.

2. The local machine(localhost) can be also be accessed using remote desktop connection. It can be extremely helpful while testing the application with different users of OS

3. RDC can be established to virtual machines as well. It gives better interaction with the machine than the VMRC ActiveX control in IE when using Virtual Server 2005

4. Press CTRL+ALT+END will open up the Windows Security dialog box as a replacement to CTRL+ALT+DELETE.

5. In case we have to user RDC from another RDC and we need to switch between the machines, then CTRL+ALT+PAUSE can be used to switch between full screen and windowed mode,

6. If your not running Vista, get the Remote Desktop update with support for multiple monitors, 32-bit color, font smoothing and higher resolutions: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925876

7. When using Remote Desktop over the internet se the color depth to 16bit if your experiencing lag – it really helps a great deal.

8. When using multiple monitors you might have experienced that dragging a windowed remote desktop to another monitor and then resizing it to full screen doesn’t resize the client desktop size. Therefore you should drag the windowed session to the desired monitor, and then close it. Set the properties for the connection to full screen, and start a new connection. This will start a remote desktop in the right size for your monitor.

Other than these there are some more useful shortcut commands listed below:
• ALT+PAGE UP : Switches between programs from left to right.
• ALT+PAGE DOWN : Switches between programs from right to left.
• ALT+INSERT : Cycles through the programs in the order they were started.
• ALT+HOME : Displays the Start menu.
• CTRL+ALT+BREAK : Switches the client between a window and full screen.
• CTRL+ALT+END : Brings up the Windows Security dialog box.
• ALT+DELETE : Displays the Windows menu.
• CTRL+ALT+Minus (-) : symbol on the numeric keypad Places a snapshot of the active window, within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing PrintScrn on a local computer.)
• CTRL+ALT+Plus (+) : symbol on the numeric keypad Places a snapshot of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing ALT+PrintScrn on a local computer.)