Connect and login to a remote machine using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) also known as Terminal Server Connection (TSC).

      MSTSC option
      MSTSC /Edit "ConnectionFile"
      MSTSC /migrate

   ConnectionFile     The name of an RDP file for connection

   /v:<server[:port]> The remote computer to connect to

   /console       Connect to the console of a server (NT/XP)
   /Admin         Connect to a session for administering the server(Vista/2008)

   /f             Start in Full Screen mode

   /w:width       Width of the RDP screen
   /h:height      Height of the RDP screen

   /span          Match the Remote Desktop width and height with the local virtual
                  desktop, spanning across multiple monitors if necessary.(Vista/2008)

   /public        Run Remote Desktop in public mode. (Vista/2008)
                  In public mode, passwords and bitmaps are not cached.

   /edit          Open the RDP file for editing.
   /migrate       Convert a legacy Client connection file into an .RDP file

To connect to a remote computer the user account must be a member of the local group 'Remote Desktop users' on the remote server (either directly or inherited via a global group) in addition the user account needs the privilege SeRemoteInteractiveLogonRight (allow logon through RDP/Terminal Services.)

The command CMDKEY can be used to setup/save the password credentials used by Remote Desktop.

Shortcut Keys

Shortcut keys that can be used when connected to a Remote Desktop:

Windows Shortcut Remote Desktop Description
Ctrl+ALT+Del Ctrl+ALT+END Bring up the Windows Security dialog box.
ALT+TAB ALT+Page Up Switch between programs from left to right.
ALT+Shift+TAB ALT+Page Down Switch between programs from right to left.
ALT+INSERT Switch between programs in the order they were started.
Ctrl+Esc ALT+HOME Display the Start menu.
n/a Ctrl+ALT+BREAK Switch the client between full-screen mode and window mode.
ALT+Space Bar ALT+Delete Displays the remote window's Control menu
ALT+Print Screen Ctrl+ALT+NumPad MINUS Place an image of active window onto the Terminal Services clipboard.
Print Screen Ctrl+ALT+NumPad PLUS Place an image of the entire TS client on the Terminal Services clipboard.
This is almost the same as pressing ALT+Print Screen to capute the window locally but removes the Windows chrome and so shows more of the remote window.

If the RDP shortcut keys don't work - this is dependent on your RDP options/settings.
The window may need to be full screen to accept shortcut keys.

RDP Shortcut Keys

All the RDP connection settings can be saved to a .rdp file, which you can then run from a shortcut:

Save RDP settings

The default settings are saved in default.rdp, you can also edit the .rdp file, the settings while scarcely documented all in plain text.


MSTSC /v:MyServer /f /console
MSTSC /v: /w:1024 /h:768
MSTSC /v:MyServer /w:800 /h:600
MSTSC /edit filename.rdp

Error: "Your credentials did not work"

This error can have several causes:

If using a domain account, prefix with the domain name: SS64dom\user64
If the account is a non-administrator, you may need to grant logon rights as described above.
If the password contains any special characters: $,/,\, Tabs etc then copy and paste of the password to an RDP session may not work.
Specific problems: copy/paste will convert TABs into spaces and double $$'s are removed (e.g. Pa$$word1)

“Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong” - Thomas Jefferson


Remote Desktop Connection Manager - RDP to multiple machines.
Q216783 - Keep-Alive Disconnected TS Connections
Q2726399 - Cannot change the DPI setting through an RDP session.
MAPISEND - Send email from the command line.
RMTSHARE - Share a folder or printer.
SHORTCUT - Create a windows shortcut.
SHADOW - Monitor/View another users running RDP session.
SHUTDOWN - Shutdown the computer/Log off a user.
TSDISCON - Disconnect a Remote Desktop Session.
VMConnect - Connect to a Hyper-V Virtual Machine.
Remote Desktop Services Shortcut Keys - Microsoft.
Equivalent bash command (Linux): VNCconnect or screen

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