How to: Create and manage Remote Desktop Shortcuts

Use Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) to a computer at your office or home frequently? Do you go through launching the default RDC shortcut you dragged from the start menu to connect up? If so, this blog entry can help you.

Even though RDCs have been around a long time, I have been shocked by the lack of savvy with this built in feature of Windows by most users (Even IT staff!) I come across. Here is how you create a specific shortcut to a computer you use frequently that can save you a ton of time. Obviously you need to have the appropriate things configured on the destination computer. This post assumes that you already connect to the destination on a regular basis.

Launch RDC and enter your destination in the Computer: drop box. Then click Show Options.


Enter your username with domain if needed. Then click Save As… to save your shortcut where you want.

You could stop here and have a shortcut with your destination and username pre-populated. That might be all you need but there are other options you can utilize. I would like to highlight a few that I think are valuable.

Click the display tab and you will see a check box to use all my monitors for the remote session. This will not work like dual monitors on your local computer. This spans all local monitors into one giant remote desktop view. This can be helpful for certain situations like photo editing, etc.


This one is pretty cool for you IT pros out there. Have vSphere running on the remote computer and need to open the console of Virtual machine? If so, you will probably need to enter a ctrl-alt-del. This is how you enable it to go through to the remote desktop session.
RDC has some strict connection standards and unless you setup your destination computer to comply with those standards, you will get a warning when you connect the first time. If you trust the destination computer and don’t want to see that warning. Here is where you tell it not to warn you.

Don’t forget to go back to the General tab and click Save to preserve your changes!

Well those are the basics for setting up efficient RDC shortcuts. There are even more layers in RDC. More about connecting local printers, drives, and beyond. Some of which will be the topic of a future blog post I am sure.


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