I have been using remote desktop at my office and have been using it in maximized mode, but not in full screen mode. When I press maximize, it covers the entire window but doesn't move to full screen.

Recently I formatted system and now when I maximize the window, it switches to full screen. I really don't want full screen, because I would like to be able to see my taskbar, but I want the remote desktop window maximized. Could anybody please tell me how to maximize the window without switching to full screen.

  • 1
    possible duplicate of Remote Desktop won't maximize Mar 5, 2014 at 15:27
  • Marked dupe may seem to be (requesting) the opposite to this, but it's really the same thing with the same (although opposite) solutions. :) Mar 5, 2014 at 15:28
  • I know it seems like a duplicate, but I have tried those solutions. When I restore the window, the window is small. When I maximize the window to make it occupy the screen completely, but it switches to full screen, and hence I cannot see my taskbar
    – anirudh
    Mar 6, 2014 at 4:55
  • I am also struggling with this. If I put the remote desktop onto a second monitor that has a different resolution, it maximizes in old-fashioned Windows mode with a title bar. if I drag it down to my laptop monitor that has the same resolution, it goes full screen. However if I unplug the external monitor while the RDP is on it, then it goes to the laptop monitor in old fashioned mode like I want!
    – PhilHibbs
    Feb 11, 2020 at 13:23

6 Answers 6

  1. Launch Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Click Options and switch to Display tab.
  3. Drag the slider under Display configuration from Large (Full Screen) to one tick down.
  4. Click Connect to check the issue.

You can launch Remote Desktop with height and width parameters. If you set these to be slightly smaller than your display size, it will take up almost all the screen, will still show your task bar and will not display scroll bars:

Screenshot of Remote Desktop

As detailed in this answer, launch Remote Desktop with the following parameters:

/w:[width] and /h:[height]

I have a 1280 x 1024 screen size, so it works if I run the following:

mstsc.exe /w:1270 /h:960

Modify the parameters to suit your size screen, then go to Start > Run, and paste it there. Hit OK to run it. You may have to maximise the window to take up the full dimensions you have set.

Incidentally, every time you run Remote Desktop afterwards it should remember these settings without you telling it to. If it does 'forget', just save it as a shortcut and run that every time.

  • 1
    Works beautifully. I've found that windows often resets the Default.rdp file. With this solution, that isn't a problem.
    – primo
    Aug 11, 2015 at 11:10
  • 1
    All these years and never knew that existed. Great tip!
    – Bortus
    Apr 5, 2017 at 14:02

None of the other answers worked for me, I always got a vertical and horizontal scroll bar. But I also noticed that on the drop down from the RD menu "Smart Sizing" was greyed out and could not change. Some more searching and I found that I could edit the Default.rdp file with a text editor, and added the following line:

smart sizing:i:1

Now everything works as expected.


Hi you can use windows shortcut option: Ctrl+Alt+Break

  • +1 I've been using MSTSC since WIN2K era and finally learned this today Jun 22, 2021 at 9:00

I also like to configure the remote desktop so that the window opens directly in maximized form, but not in full screen, so that you can continue to see the windows toolbar of your pc, and it is also still comfortable to switch between applications with Alt+Tab.

To do this you must edit the .rdp file with a text editor, and play with the following parameters (example for a 1680x1050 remote desktop resolution on a 1920x1200 pc screen):

screen mode id:i:1
use multimon:i:0

The key parameter for this is the winposstr parameter.

  • The first three values ​​"s:0,1" I do not change.
  • The fourth value (50) would correspond to the x coordinate (I like to leave a little margin).
  • The fifth value (10) would correspond to the y coordinate (a little margin too).
  • The sixth value (2000) is the width of the remote desktop window (I usually give it more size and the window will fit to the maximum automatically).
  • The seventh value (1150) is the height of the remote desktop window (also, I usually give it more size and the window will fit to the maximum automatically).

In this way, the remote desktop window will open in a maximized way (without scroll bars) but not in full screen.

  • I also needed screen mode & multimon for this to work, in addition to winposstr.
    – Josh
    Oct 20, 2021 at 15:10

I tried to fix mine- I am remoting into work through my laptop and connecting to a wide screen through HDMI. I did what the first answer said by clicking the remote desktop connector, then options arrow, the display tab. Mine was already set at full screen, so I reduce it, click okay, closed it, open again and increased it and it worked. I guess I made it refresh.

  • You should provide specific details on how you solve the problem. Your solution, if properly explained, could be helpful to the author of this question.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 23, 2017 at 17:23

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