Windows 8 : Configuring and using Remote Desktop (part 2) - Opening the Remote Desktop application - General, Display, Local Resources

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Opening the Remote Desktop application

There are a few ways to access the Remote Desktop application in Windows 8:

  • Search for Remote Desktop on the Start screen.

  • Pin it to your taskbar in the Desktop application or Start screen after the first run or from the Start screen. You can then access it at any time from the taskbar or Start screen.

  • Run Mstsc.exe, the executable name for Remote Desktop, by typing mstsc on the Start screen. MSTSC is the acronym for Microsoft Terminal Services Client.

When you start Remote Desktop, you must identify the computer to which you want to connect by providing the computer name, as shown in Figure 2.

Starting Remote Desktop Connection

Figure 2. Starting Remote Desktop Connection

You can change the way Remote Desktop behaves for each connection and save the connection to a particular server for later use. To view these options, tap or click the Show Options arrow at the bottom of the Remote Desktop Connection window. The configurable options are, in order of tabbed appearance:

  • General

  • Display

  • Local Resources

  • Programs

  • Experience

  • Advanced


On the General tab, shown in Figure 3, you can modify sign-in and connection settings.

The General tab

Figure 3. The General tab

The following two sections provide the options you can set:

  • Logon Settings You can enter the name of the remote computer and the user name of an account allowed access to the computer through Remote Desktop.

  • Connection Settings When you have configured the options you want for the remote computer, you can save the configuration as an RDP file and use these options the next time you connect without reconfiguring them.


On the Display tab, shown in Figure 4, you can modify settings for display color and size.

Remote Desktop Display options

Figure 4. Remote Desktop Display options

The available options are:

  • Display Configuration You can set the size of the screen, from small to large, when you connect, with large being full-screen. You can also set this connection to use all the monitors connected to your system by selecting the Use All My Monitors For The Remote Session check box.

  • Colors You can specify the color settings for the session, similar to the way you can for the local desktop.

  • Display The Connection Bar When I Use The Full Screen When you select this check box, a tab displays the name of the machine to which you are connected at the top of the screen when you are connected in full-screen mode. The tab can be pinned to be visible always, or it can be set to autohide to appear only when you move the mouse over it.

Local Resources

On the Local Resources tab, shown in Figure 5, you can modify settings for the local experience during a remote connection.

Remote Desktop Local Resources options

Figure 5. Remote Desktop Local Resources options

The Local Resources tab has three sections:

  • Remote Audio Tap or click the Settings button to reveal options for both audio playback and recording. For audio playback, you can play the audio on this computer (locally), play the audio on the remote computer, or not play the audio. For audio recording, you can record audio from this computer (your local computer) or not record audio.

    When you have configured these settings, tap or click OK to save them and return to the Local Resources tab of the Remote Desktop options dialog box to configure additional options.

  • Keyboard Select a choice from the list to define how the remote session handles Windows key combinations. For example, if you press Windows logo key+R, the Run dialog box opens on your computer. This can be redirected into the Remote Desktop session to work on the remote computer, meaning that all Windows logo key+key combinations take place on the computer selected in this section. The options for keyboard settings are:

    • On This Computer All Windows logo key+key combinations operate only on the local computer.

    • On The Remote Computer All Windows logo key+key combinations operate only on the remote computer.

    • Only When Using Full Screen Mode When the remote desktop session is running in full-screen mode, Windows logo key+key combinations are directed to the remote computer; otherwise, they function on the local computer.

  • Local Devices And Resources The last section of the Local Resources tab identifies the local devices you will share in your remote session. You can select either the Printers check box, the Clipboard check box, or both, as appropriate. Tap or click More if you have additional devices to share. The available device types include:

    • Smart cards

    • Ports

    • Drives

    • Other plug-and-play devices

    After you have selected the devices, tap or click OK to save these settings and return to the Local Resources tab of the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.

  •  Windows 8 : Working with Remote Assistance - Initiating Remote Assistance, Providing remote assistance
  •  Windows 8 : Managing authorization and access rights (part 4) - Run As,Using and managing certificates
  •  Windows 8 : Managing authorization and access rights (part 3) - Running tasks as administrator and user account control
  •  Windows 8 : Managing authorization and access rights (part 2) - Local Security Policy console
  •  Windows 8 : Managing authorization and access rights (part 1) - Assigning user rights
  •  Windows 8 : Determining who’s who through authentication (part 5) - Logging on by using a picture password,Using a personal identification number for authentication
  •  Windows 8 : Determining who’s who through authentication (part 4) - Managing credentials in Windows 8 by using Credential Manager,Configuring a Microsoft account for use with Windows
  •  Windows 8 : Determining who’s who through authentication (part 3) - Smart card authentication, Biometric authentication
  •  Windows 8 : Determining who’s who through authentication (part 2) - User name and password-based authentication
  •  Windows 8 : Determining who’s who through authentication (part 1) - How does Windows authenticate users accessing the system?
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