I work with a laptop, which has its own display of resolution AxB, but is often connected to a monitor using resolution CxD.

Now, when I connect from this laptop to some other machine using RDP, I want the RDP window to exactly fill the screen. If I manually set the display resolution before connection, this works; if I choose 'Full Screen'; this works. However, it only remembers the last resolution, not the fact that I selected 'Full Screen'. Thus when I switch from the laptop display to the main display and connect to the same computer, the window is too small; and vice-versa with window too large.

How can I make the MS RDP client remember to use 'Full Screen'? Alternatively, can I somehow create a script which changes its saved value from AxB to CxD or vice-versa when detecting that the display resolution (on the laptop) has changed?


You can open RDP file with notepad and add or enable option smart sizing:i:1
Then your session will autofit to the RDP window. Hope this helps you.

  • No, this scales the display, so that if my remote host's resolution is high, I get a reduced-size image. That's not what I was asking for. – einpoklum Jan 7 '14 at 15:17
  • ... but this sounds like an avenue for a workaround. If I had a script triggered by a change in the display resolution and/or by writes to default.rdp, I could ensure that file has the appropriate line for the current resolution. What do you think? – einpoklum Jan 7 '14 at 19:14
  • I think you can write script and run it instead of *.rdp file. If you want to go this way, each time you will run the script it will determine the display resolution and just write the resolution to the *.rdp file, then run it. – ko4evneg Jan 7 '14 at 20:18

This was fixed in RDP 8.1 (requires both client and server to run 8.1). The bigger fix is that adding / removing monitors or changing resolutions on the client side is transmitted to the server side and the server automatically adjust to the situation (adds / removes a screen or changes resolution). Therefore, now you can drag a full-screen window from your AxB panel to the CxD panel and it will automatically scale (without reconnect) to the full screen resolution on CxD.

So, the solution is to install Windows 8.1 on both client and server :)

  • First of all, nobody said the server is Windows. But, regardless of that - I can't change the OSes. Can't I install MS RDP 8.1 on older versions of Windows? – einpoklum Jan 8 '14 at 9:09
  • I don't think that is possible on the server side - there is a KB package for the client side (that was actually botched and taken back), but no KB package on the server side. – cdavid Jan 8 '14 at 17:59

The issue you're having has been a known issue for a long time.

Though there is not a fix, there's a work around. If you do press Ctrl+Alt+Pause/Break (assuming your laptop has that key) it'll put it in full screen with scroll bars on the side.

Remote Desktop Services Shortcut Keys

  • Switching between Fullscreen and Window is indeed something I do. Although, when the RDP window is smaller in size than your desktop, the 'Fullscreen' mode isn't really full-screen... – einpoklum Jan 7 '14 at 19:15

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