I run a VM on my local PC to sandbox a VPN connection, I then RDP from this VM into the PC I use for work. I need to change the password but CTRL+ALT+END brings up the menu for the 1st VM.

How can I change the password (and access the CTRL+ALT-DEL menu) when in such a 'recursive' RDP scenario?

  • What RDP client are you using exactly? – Ramhound Dec 14 '12 at 10:23
  • The standard Windows one (I don't know the version, but it probably varies between machines) – Mr. Boy Dec 14 '12 at 10:43
  • If thats the case there should be a drop down menu option to send the CTRL-ALT-DEL command. – Ramhound Dec 14 '12 at 11:19
  • @Ramhound for some reason, no. The first RDP has those menu options on the top bar, but the 2nd - the one on their computer - just has minimise/pin/etc – Mr. Boy Apr 15 '15 at 8:42

Open "On screen keyboard" (osk.exe)

Send Ctrl + Alt + Del by mouse-clicking each on key individually, in the most nested RDP session.

If that does not work try holding Ctrl+Alt on your keyboard and clicking Del in OSK in the the RDP session

  • I'll try this. Is there any way to bring up the CTRL+ALT+DEL dialog other than using the keyboard shortcut, I wonder? Like some executable I can run directly? – Mr. Boy Apr 15 '15 at 9:59
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    I had do to the 2nd version in your comment... might be worth updating the answer. But it worked, thanks! – Mr. Boy Apr 15 '15 at 10:06
  • Answer updated. Glad it worked :). Sorry, I'm not aware of any means to bring up that screen without sending the keystrokes. – RJFalconer Apr 15 '15 at 11:20
  • I got "Could not start On-Screen Keyboard" when I attempted to open OSK, so I found this alternative method: superuser.com/a/1515453/68728 – AndrewL Jan 7 '20 at 23:12
  • I also got the "Could not start On-Screen Keyboard" message. I got my password changed by doing the following: superuser.com/a/1547031/345473 – thecoolmacdude Jul 1 '20 at 13:55

If you have a nested RDP session and the on-screen keyboard is disabled, you can try opening up PowerShell and running the following command:

(New-Object -COM Shell.Application).WindowsSecurity()

Then enter in your existing password, new password, and hit enter.


You can always open a "CMD" command prompt on the VM and reset the password via command line.

When you get the C:\ prompt, you would type something like "net user administrator Ch@rli3" and that would change the administrator account's password to "Ch@rli3".

  • I don't want to change the local administrator account, it's a network login on their domain. Unless the two are synonomous? – Mr. Boy Apr 15 '15 at 8:44
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    "Only administrators can change domain passwords at the Windows command prompt. " – RJFalconer Apr 15 '15 at 9:15

Open Run type in lusrmgr.msc go to users, select your user account, right click your user account select set password, set password, logout. Login with new password. Done.

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    Note: don't do this. There is a difference between "changing" a password, and "setting" a password. If you "set" someone's password, they lose all access to encryption keys and saved passwords (which is right and correct - it prevents you from resetting their password and viewing all their encrypted stuff). When you change a password, Windows does the bookkeeping to ensure all the encrypted information is made available under the new password. – Ian Boyd Jul 15 '20 at 18:14

StickyKeys can accomplish this:

  1. Turn on StickyKeys (from Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Make the keyboard easier to use) in the most nested RDP session.
  2. Hit Ctrl, then Alt, then Del

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