Changing Remote Desktop settings

Here are answers to some common questions about Remote Desktop settings.

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How can I hear music or other sounds from the remote computer?

Remote Desktop is set to "bring" sounds from the remote computer to the computer you are using by default. If you can't hear sounds from a remote computer, follow these steps to restore the default setting:

  1. Open Remote Desktop Connection by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Remote Desktop Connection.

  2. Click Options, and then click Local Resources.

  3. Under Remote computer sound, click Bring to this computer.

How can I improve the performance of Remote Desktop over a slow connection?

You might need to change the connection speed settings, or use fewer visual effects on the remote computer.

  1. Open Remote Desktop Connection by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Remote Desktop Connection.

  2. Click Options, and then click Experience.

  3. Choose the appropriate connection speed, if necessary.

  4. Select or clear the check boxes for the visual effects you want to use or show. In general, the fewer effects you select, the faster the connection will be. But selecting Bitmap caching will improve connection speed.

Can I save my Remote Desktop settings and use them again in the future?

Yes. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Remote Desktop Connection by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Remote Desktop Connection.

  2. Click Options, select the settings you want to save, and then, on the General tab, click Save or Save As.

To open a settings file, click the General tab, click Open, and then select the file.

How can I disconnect from a Remote Desktop session?

To disconnect without ending your Remote Desktop session

  • You can temporarily disconnect from a session by clicking the Close button Picture of the Close button on the connection bar (the horizontal bar at the top of your screen). This leaves your programs running so that, next time you connect, you can continue where you left off.

To end your Remote Desktop session and disconnect

  • In the Remote Desktop Connection window, click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click the arrow next to the Lock button Picture of the Power button and Lock button on the Start menu , and then click Log Off.

How can I reconnect after temporarily disconnecting from a Remote Desktop session?

Connect to the remote computer as you normally would. The next time you connect to the same remote computer, Remote Desktop Connection automatically reconnects to the session that was in progress (if the remote computer is set up to allow reconnecting of disconnected sessions).

Can I use keyboard shortcuts with Remote Desktop Connection?

Yes. There are two ways to do this. You can set up the remote computer to recognize Windows keyboard shortcuts that you type (for example, ALT+TAB), or you can use Terminal Server keyboard shortcuts.

To use Windows keyboard shortcuts, follow these steps:

  1. Open Remote Desktop Connection by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Remote Desktop Connection.

  2. Click Options, and then click Local Resources.

  3. Under Keyboard, select On the remote computer to make the remote computer recognize the Windows keyboard shortcuts that you type. (You can also choose In full screen mode only to get the same result as long as you use Remote Desktop Connection in full-screen mode. This is the default setting.)

To use Terminal Server shortcuts, refer to the following table:

Shortcut
Description

ALT+PAGE UP

Switches between programs from left to right.

ALT+PAGE DOWN

Switches between programs from right to left.

ALT+INSERT

Cycles through programs in the order that they were started in.

ALT+HOME

Displays the Start menu.

CTRL+ALT+BREAK

Switches between a window and full screen.

CTRL+ALT+END

Displays the Windows Security dialog box.

ALT+DELETE

Displays the Windows menu.

CTRL+ALT+MINUS SIGN (-) on the numeric keypad

Places a copy of the active window, within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing ALT+PRINT SCREEN on a local computer).

CTRL+ALT+PLUS SIGN (+) on the numeric keypad

Places a copy of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing PRINT SCREEN on a local computer).

CTRL+ALT+RIGHT ARROW

Enables you to “tab” out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) program.

CTRL+ALT+LEFT ARROW

Enables you to “tab” out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) program.

CTRL+ALT+BREAK and CTRL+ALT+END are available in all Remote Desktop sessions, even when you've set up the remote computer to recognize Windows keyboard shortcuts.