Top 10: Remote Desktop Keyboard Shortcuts
Let your fingers take screenshots, switch programs, and perform other useful admin tasks—remotely
Have you ever been using one of your RDP sessions to manage a remote system and found that you needed to press Ctrl+Alt+Del on the remote system but you couldn t remember how to do it inside the Remote Desktop window? Just pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del sends the keystrokes to your local desktop, which certainly isn t what you wanted. If you ve ever had this problem, then this Top 10 column is your answer. In this column, I show you 10 handy keyboard shortcuts you can use in your remote desktop sessions.
10. Ctrl+Alt+plus sign (+) Dealing with capturing screen images from a Remote Desktop session can be a mystery. If you press Print Screen, you get an image of your local desktop not the remote desktop. Pressing the Ctrl+Alt+plus sign (+) keyboard shortcut captures a snapshot of the entire client window area of Remote Desktop and is the same as pressing Print Screen on your local desktop.
9. Ctrl+Alt+minus sign (-) Sometimes you don t want an image of the entire desktop; sometimes you want just a selected window. Pressing the Ctrl+Alt+minus sign (-) keyboard shortcut captures a snapshot of just the active window within the remote desktop session. This key combination is the same as pressing Alt+Print Screen on your local desktop.
8. Alt+Home Pressing the Alt+Home keyboard combination with Remote Desktop displays the Start menu on the remote system. The Start menu gives you quick access to the different programs installed on the remote system. This key combination is the same as pressing the Windows key on your local desktop.
7. Alt+Delete Pressing the Alt+Delete keyboard combination in the Remote Desktop session opens the Windows menu of an application running on the remote system. The Windows menu is typically displayed under the icon in the extreme upper left corner of most Windows applications, and it lets you move and resize the application.
6. Ctrl+Alt+Break Sometimes you might want the Remote Desktop window to be displayed in full-screen mode just as if you were using your local desktop. If you want to toggle the Remote Desktop session between a window and a full-screen display, you can press the Ctrl+Alt+Break keyboard combination.
5. Ctrl+Alt+Pause Like the previous item, the Ctrl+Alt+Pause keyboard combination switches between full screen and windowed mode. However, with this keyboard shortcut, the remote desktop window remains at its standard size and doesn t fill the entire local desktop. Instead, it s displayed on a black background.
4. Alt+Insert Sometimes you want a quick way to switch between the different programs that you have running. Pressing the Alt+Insert keyboard combination lets you cycle through the programs on the remote system in the order that they were opened. This process is the same as using Alt+Tab on your local desktop.
3. Alt+Page Down Another way to cycle through the running programs on your Remote Desktop session is to use the Alt+Page Down keyboard shortcut. Pressing this key combination lets you switch between programs on the remote desktop session, moving from right to left in the Windows task switcher. This is the same as Alt+Shift+Tab on your standard desktop.
2. Alt+Page Up Pressing Alt+Page Up lets you switch between programs on the Remote Desktop session, moving from left to right in the Windows task switcher. This is the same as Alt+Tab on your standard desktop.
1. Ctrl+Alt+End One of the most common yet hard-to-find things that you ll need to do in a Remote Desktop session is to send a Ctrl+Alt+Del signal to the remote system. Press Ctrl+Alt+End if you need to send a Ctrl+Alt+Del keystroke combination to the remote system. This keystroke opens the Microsoft Windows Security dialog box, which lets you lock the computer, log off, change your password, and start Task Manager.