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Is there a way to change the default resolution that mstsc uses?

I dont want it to default to the full resolution of the client machine.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Sure, just slide that "Display Configuration" back a notch to whatever resolution you want. Then go back to the "General" tab and click on the "Save" button.

Hey presto, new default :-)

While you're at it, usually doesn't hurt to go to the Local Resources tab and uncheck Printers and review what else is shared (seriously, who ever prints over RDP?).

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thanks. so simple :) –  Simon May 6 '10 at 5:22
who ever prints over RDP? Folks of the Server Fault lot. –  Twisty Nov 26 '14 at 20:13

I personally work on a 1440x900 laptop screen and like my Remote Desktop windows to be a bit smaller than the screen when maximised so I run mstsc.exe switches /v: and /w: to set its height and width (see mstsc.exe /? for a full list). mstsc.exe /h:900 /w:1100 sets it to my preferred size, and it seems to keep this setting for future sessions.

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+1. Although I think it should be /h:900 instead of /v:900 for height :) –  Meleak May 17 '11 at 11:35
well spotted, thank you :) –  Aaron - Solution Evangelist May 18 '11 at 14:54

The 1440x900 laptop issue is quite common. yes, you could choose a smaller resolution, say, 1024x768 or 800x600, and they would yield acceptable results - if what you're seeking is to avoid scroll bars withing the RDP instance itself.

Must more convenient is to choose to use your current desktop resolution, but in many clients this will yield less than desirable results (You get the scroll bars) unless you toggle full screen.

To have your RDP client (Since we appear to be talking about MSTSC.exe here) session occur in a window itself, while avoiding the scroll bars (or the afore mentioned resolutions which are less than optimum), the /h:900 /w:1100 parameters suggested above are a great starting point, but with all things YMMV, so play with it until you get it just so ;)

Many RDP clients also allow you to set a 'custom' res just prior to connect, and yes, most clients will remember your last sessions.

One major thing you should be aware of. For all of us UNIX folks, we're going to be using things like vcenter, putty, etc., in our remote windows sessions, and whatver you want to call your DOS-like consoles, well... They don't follow the same set of rules as the rest of your desktop, so just make a note of that when setting your resolutions, and set your preferences according to how nicely the Windows desktop fits into your workspace, because you're just going to have to get used to moving those DOS-like windows about, as they'll always be a bit clunky.

You can also set 24bit color with a hack, because it's disabled by default, although there's really no need for most folks, and although some people like to disable printing, I find that using remote apps and printing locally via RDP is not only a dream, but part of my regular tasks on a daily basis.

so remember, if you're local res is 1440x900, you either need to run your RDP client in full screen mode (appears as if it is your local desktop), or, in order to run it as an obvious windowed app, you'll need to adjust your custom screen resolution to something slightly smaller, which will yield a window about the size of your entire desktop, but without appearing as if it is your local desktop - this is what many prefer, as they find it confusing otherwise.

I hope that helps :)

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Another item of note: I also enjoy the RDP window in a particular location on my dual-monitor setup. If you have an RDP window open, hold down CTRL when you click the "RED X" and it will remember the position (location) of your RDP window. Have I said RDP enough? RDP. lol

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I like starting mstsc.exe from a PowerShell script. My scripts is named, "RDP.PS1" because RDP is easier to type than mstsc :)

There are some values that I usually almost always want the same: no printers, no drives and BASIC display settings so that the RDP session runs faster.

I have a combination of a "default.rdp" and the switches available with mstsc.exe. I did this because mstsc.exe does not allow complete configuration from the command line. By setting all my preferences in "default.rdp", then including a server name, /v: and display dimensions, /h: and /w:, I get a session the way I like.

Create a "default.rdp" and save it as this thread has described. then combine it with mstsc.exe switches:

mstsc.exe MyDefaultPrefs.RDP /v:MyServer /h:815 /w:1300

I used PowerShell to add in a few other switches if I care to use them. For the most part though, all I type is:

RDP MyServer

and let the defaults be.

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