Friday, May 22, 2009

DevTnT 5 - CTRL+ALT+DEL in a Remote Desktop Session

The Keyboard option of a Remote Desktop Session controls the Windows shortcut keys (ALT+TAB etc.). This allows you to set how you want the behavior to be while you are connected. You can choose whether to execute the keystrokes for those special combinations at the local computer, the remote computer or only on the remote computer when in full screen mode.

When connecting to the other machine, depending on your settings just about all keyboard actions are transmitted to the remote machine, i.e. pressing Enter, typing, pressing the Windows key, etc. However, that is not the case for some key combinations: so, by default, CTRL+ALT+DEL will only work for the local computer - even in full screen mode.

  • CTRL+ALT+END – Display the Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC is the local command)

There are a bunch of other keyboard shortcuts you can use in Remote Desktop in non-full screen mode:

  • ALT+INS – Cycle through the programs in most recently used order (ALT+TAB is the local command)
  • ALT+HOME – Brings up the Start menu on the remote computer
  • CTRL+ALT+ (+) Plus/ (-) Minus – Minus takes a snapshot of the active window and plus takes a snapshot of the entire remote desktop window.
  • CTRL+ALT+BREAK: Switch the remote computer between a window and a full screen

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