Coming Soon: GET:IT Endpoint Management 1-Day Conference on September 28th at 9:30 AM ET Coming Soon: GET:IT Endpoint Management 1-Day Conference on September 28th at 9:30 AM ET
Cloud Computing|Windows Client OS|Windows Server

Sponsored: Five Essential Remote Desktop Tips

Windows Remote Desktop Connection is the IT administrator’s best friend and is one of the Windows infrastructure management tools that’s in constant daily use for remotely managing both local and cloud-based virtual machines (VMs). In Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, the Remote Desktop Connection can be found on the Start menu under Windows Accessories and Remote Desktop Connection. Let’s look at five essential tips that can make your work with Remote Desktop Connection faster and more efficient.

Save Common Connections as RDP Files

One of the most basic tips is to save your common connections as .RDP files, which you can put on the desktop or in a folder. Using .RDP files makes it far more convenient to open your frequently used systems because all you need to do is click on the .RDP file. There’s no need to reinput all your connection information. To save your Remote Desktop Connection settings, open Remote Desktop Connections and click Show Options; you will then go to the General tab and select the Save As option to supply a name and location for the .RDP file.

Optimize Your Display Settings

Another handy management tip for Remote Desktop Connection is the ability to customize the display settings. Some administrators prefer to run their Remote Desktop Connection sessions in full-screen mode with the connection bar at the top of the screen, while others prefer multiple windowed displays. To optimize your display settings, click the Display tab and then use the Display configuration slider to size the Remote Desktop Connection window. To use a full-screen display, drag the slider all the way to the right until it says Full Screen, then make sure the Display the connection bar when I use the full screen check box is selected so that you can easily switch back to your local desktop.

Sponsored Content

Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management

Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.

Save Your Login Credentials for Faster Connections

Saving your remote login credentials can expedite logging on to the remote session every time you want to make a connection. This can be a big time saver for systems you connect to frequently. To save your remote authentication information, click the General tab and then select the Allow me to save credentials checkbox. The next time you connect, you’ll be prompted for your remote login credentials, but you won’t need to enter them again for subsequent connections. If you want to undo this option in the future, select the Always ask for credentials checkbox.

Connect Local Devices

One of the things that a lot of people overlook is the ability to automatically connect to local resources such as disk drives, the clipboard, printers, smart cards, local ports, and PnP devices. To redirect local devices, click the Local Resources tab and then use the Local devices and resources section to select the desired resources you want to use in your remote session. Printers and Clipboard are listed in the front pane. Clicking the More button enables you to add smart cards, ports, drives, and PnP devices. The resources that are allowed can be controlled using the Group Policy: Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Device and Resource Redirection setting.

Learn the Remote Desktop Connection Keyboard Combinations

Using the keyboard on a remote session can be different than using it on your local desktop. To direct your standard Windows key combinations to the remote session, use the Local Resource tab and the Keyboard pane to control where the keyboard combinations will be applied. I prefer the Only when using the full screen setting, but you can also choose for the keyboard combinations to be all local or all remote.  Next, you can take advantage of keyboard shortcuts to make your Remote Desktop Connection session more efficient. CTRL-ALT-BREAK toggles the full window view on and off (on some keyboards the BREAK key is replaced by PAUSE, PRTSCN or FN-SCRLK). CTRL-ALT-HOME activates the connection bar. If you’ve enabled the clipboard, you can use CTRL-X, CTRL-C, and CTRL-V to cut, copy, and paste information between your local desktop and the remote session.


This is part one of a three-part series on Remote Desktop Connectivity and Considerations — stay tuned for subsequent posts! In the meantime, you can find out more information about Remote Desktop solutions here.


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,
Live Webinar: Active Directory Security: What Needs Immediate Priority!Live on Tuesday, October 12th at 1 PM ET

Attacks on Active Directory are at an all-time high. Companies that are not taking heed are being punished, both monetarily and with loss of production.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How to prioritize vulnerability management
  • What attackers are leveraging to breach organizations
  • Where Active Directory security needs immediate attention
  • Overall strategy to secure your environment and keep it secured

Sponsored by: