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I have some Remote Desktop connections "pinned" to the Remote Desktop icon in my task bar. All of the entries in the "Jump List" are labeled either with the machine's IP address or its hostname. While this is generally sufficient to uniquely identify each system, it would be much better if I could rename them to be more unique to my preferences.

For example, instead of having a list of:

  • 192.168.1.100
  • 192.168.1.110
  • 192.168.1.254
  • etc.

or

  • HPLT7680431
  • HPDT0164059
  • HPSV4630750
  • etc.

I'd like to have something like:

  • Workbench
  • My Desk
  • File Server 1
  • etc.

Is this possible?

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Iszi, I added to my answer. You might want to take a look at the application I discussed. –  KCotreau Aug 2 '11 at 2:06
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4 Answers

The items that appear in the jump list are just what you have typed in to connect to a PC.

What you may be able to do is create some custom entries in your hosts file (found in %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\)

Open the file with note pad and add entries in the form of:

192.168.1.100      Workbench
192.168.1.110      MyDesk

After a restart you should be able to connect to the server using what you called it in the host file. Simply clear out the old entries in the Jump List and you should be golden.

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Yuck. While this would probably work, I really hate the thought of editing the hosts file over a matter of aesthetics. Maybe M$ will fix this for us sometime. (Not holding my breath, for sure.) –  Iszi Aug 2 '11 at 1:20
    
If all you want is a tidy list of remote computers (without having to edit your host file - and also not using the jump list) you might want to look into a program like Royal TS. It lets you list remote machines down the left hand pane (separate-able into different categories). The actual connection is framed in the right hand pane (i.e. not full screen.) –  Windos Aug 2 '11 at 1:37
    
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm aware there are third-party (and even Microsoft) tools for managing multiple remote connections. However, those does not suit my preference in this case because: 1.) I really like full-screen. And 2.) I really like the functionality of having the connections in that little "jump list". –  Iszi Aug 2 '11 at 2:21
    
Unfortunately, that limits your options to: 1) Editing hosts. 2) Changing the name of the remote machine (this is even uglier than the hosts edit, imo) 3) Finding some other means of spoofing the remote computer's name. –  Windos Aug 2 '11 at 2:26
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There is a really simple answer.

Use the "save as" button when you first configure the RDP session and use a name that has some meaning. Then "name.rdp" will appear in the recent list.

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You cannot do that without a workaround: Those names are THE resolvable names or IP addresses RDP uses to connect, they are not just descriptive identifiers.

I tested this by editing this registry key where they are kept:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default

What you could do is edit your C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\HOSTS file, but it only supports IP to name mappings.

Edit: Josh King brought up a very good point about a third party application. My favorite is Visionapp Remote Desktop. Although newer versions are paid, version 1.5 was free, and is still available on the Internet, like here:

http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/rtrent/archive/2008/01/22/visionapp-remote-desktop-version-1-5.aspx

Among its features is that you have multiple desktops open simultaneously, and they are tabbed (I had two open for the screenshot), so they are very easy to switch from one to another. You can also have multiple credential sets, and have the inherit, or specify them on a connection-by-connection basis. You can also order the calculations alphabetically, and even add them to folders.

enter image description here

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Thanks for the suggestion. I'm aware there are third-party (and even Microsoft) tools for managing multiple remote connections. However, those does not suit my preference in this case because: 1.) I really like full-screen. And 2.) I really like the functionality of having the connections in that little "jump list". –  Iszi Aug 2 '11 at 2:21
1  
Very true about the full screen...that is one big advantage of the native RDP client alone. By comparison though, the Microsoft Remote Desktops MMC really stinks. I think you are left with going the HOSTS file route then. –  KCotreau Aug 2 '11 at 2:29
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There is also RDCMan from Microsoft

I'll let you know how it works out.

update - it's fine, for use with a handful of servers. You can get it to remember credentials, open multiple sites within a window... does all I need, and it's free.

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