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I've recently upgraded my home workstation and now have four monitors on it. I work remotely most of the time and need some way to get remote desktop onto only two of those four monitors.

The top two monitors (monitors 4 & 3, going from left to right) each have a maximum resolution of 1680x1050. The bottom two monitors (1 & 2) each have a maximum resolution of 1920x1080.

In my .rpd file for this remote desktop connection, I have the following keys (I've clipped it for brevity) screen mode id:i:2 use multimon:i:1 desktopwidth:i:1920 desktopheight:i:2130 session bpp:i:32 winposstr:s:0,1,3,75,1655,675

Previously I was able to get away with just doing "mstsc /span" when I had only two monitors, but that isn't working now (and isn't desirable). I'd like for the new setup to only use two of my monitors. I don't really care which two. How do I alter the .rdp file to accomplish this?

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5 Answers 5

Open the Run dialog (Win+R) and type desk.cpl. Then find the number of the screen you would like to edit.

Change the 1 in use multimon:i:1 to the screen number desired. Also, change the resolution:

desktopwidth:i:1920
desktopheight:i:2130

to

desktopwidth:i:1680
desktopheight:i:1050
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1  
Changing the number in 'multimon:i:1' doesn't help. See technet.microsoft.com/cs-cz/library/ff393695%28v=ws.10%29.aspx –  JohnEye Sep 16 '13 at 17:03

Well, I think it is a design flaw. They simply didn’t design the ability to use only some of the available monitors. There is a possibility to circumvent this though, by limiting the number of allowable monitors per session in the RDP-Tcp properties of the remote desktop services host. See this article.

Unfortunately, this is also an “all or nothing” option. It limits the number of monitors for all users of the RDS host. Then you must be able to control which monitors to use through the “desktopwidth” and “desktopheight” parameters of the rdp file. What really is needed, though, is to be able to define how many monitors you are willing to use in the RDP file on the client but currently this is not possible.

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This is unfortunately not possible. Believe me, I tried really really hard. There are articles saying that you can limit the number of monitors, but that does not work. Microsoft obviously didn't test the functionality at all and they can't be bothered to fix it.

Until they fix the bug, it is either one monitor or all of them.

I will try some alternatives and see whether I can come up with some third party solution that actually works, other than switching to Linux/VNC, that is.

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I've had this problem for a while and I have found a "hack" that solves it for me. Change the size properties in the .rdp file to a value that is nearly that of the two monitors you'd like to use. I Have three 1200*1920 monitors in portrait mode an theese values work for me:

use multimon:i:0 desktopwidth:i:2390 desktopheight:i:1840

This creates a window that i can position on two screens (with space set aside for the taskbar and the window borders. This leaves me with two minor issues:

  1. I've not found a way to start the RDP window full size (I must resize it after opening the connection)
  2. The host does not relaize that there are two screens so maximize will fill both screens and dialogs open across the screen border
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I use RDP full screened on 2 of my 3 monitors, my solution is actually really simple:

  1. Setup a Windows 7 or 8 VM (I use VirtualBox and Windows 7 Ultimate)
  2. Set the VM to use 2 of your 3 monitors and full screen
  3. Setup your VPN and RDP connections on the VM (And have the RDP connection use all of your monitors (2 virtual monitors)).

That's it, kind of over the top, but it takes very little time to set up a basic Windows VM and is easy to start/suspend.

I use my 2 monitors do do dedicated work, and my third for entertainment/music/netflix/etc...

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