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When Using MS Remote Desktop 8.0.x to connect from my Mac to a Windows VM on another host I have a key mapping problem.

Windows treats the Mac's arrow keys as if they were on the numeric keypad (which this keyboard doesn't have) and the number lock was on. The result is that when I use the arrow keys they act as keypresses on the numeric keypad rather than moving the cursor around.

In the following image, I've edited in the effective number mappings:

Something Odd

  • This issue happens only with this one particular RDP host.
    • I am not experiencing this problem with other hosts (I have about a half dozen I connect to)
  • This issue happens only with MS Remote Desktop 8.0.x (presently 8.0.6) on OSX.
    • I have confirmed that CoRD 0.5.7 maps the keys correctly.
    • I connected with an MS RDP client from another Win7 box and the arrow keys functioned fine (though that box had a normal keyboard with numberpad as well).

I tested using the Windows on-screen keyboard to turn numlock off in the RDP session. As soon as I pressed an arrow key after that, numlock came back on and the arrow keys continued to function as if they were number keys.

This problem magically materialised one day (sorry can't remember exactly what version of RDP I had at the time but it was 8.0.something).

The RDP target is a Win7 VM running on VirtualBox 4.3.10 on an Ubuntu 14.04 host. I am connecting to the RDP host in the VirtualBox hypervisor rather than directly to Windows due to the fact that the Windows guest is Home Premium and thus doesn't support inbound RDP connections.

Can anyone suggest how to get the OSX arrow keys to be treated as arrow keys within the RDP session like they are everywhere else?

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Dang it, I have the same problem on Yosemite, VBox 4.3.20r96996 and 8.0.12 of Microsoft RDP client –  Jamgold Jan 20 at 17:53
I just found royaltsx.com/main/home/osx.aspx which works better than CoRD for me and doesn't have the problem MRDP has –  Jamgold Jan 20 at 18:31

2 Answers 2

This is a confirmed bug in VirtualBox 4.3.8 but should of been fixed in 4.3.10. You may want to try an older version or the "test" version in the first link.

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interesting. Would this issue allow for the fact that it's the specific combo of MSRDP on OSX hitting this particluar VM that has this issue? –  LRE May 21 '14 at 22:23

Can you try using the OnScreen keyboard (OSK) on the remote machine (Accessories,Accessibility) And toggle the num lock key and try again? I've had this issue with Linux+Windows RDP, however my linux machine has an actual num lock I just have to toggle a couple times to sync the state, where the mac missing one created a second problem- the OSK should work.

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tried that: as soon as I pressed one of the arrow keys, the num lock on the OSK turned itself back on. Have mentioned it in the paragraph just below the bullet points. –  LRE May 21 '14 at 4:05

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