There’s no denying that Remote Desktop is one of the greatest features of Windows. It’s incredibly handy and it’s speed and performance beats VNC and many other remote control solutions in speed and picture quality.
One gripe I have had with Remote Desktop is that I want to be able to connect to my desktop machine (my work laptop) at a resolution which would allow it to be a full size window but NOT full screen. In other words, I want it full screen but still showing MY taskbar. It turns out scaling the window to fit without scrollbars isn’t that difficult; you just can’t do it from the GUI.
Here’s how to pull this off:
- Configure your remote connection from the GUI as usual.
- In “Local Resources, make sure that “Apply Windows key combinations” is set to “On the remote computer”.
- Save the connections settings to a file. Call it for example “MyLaptopRDP.rdp”.
- Open Notepad and edit the file you just created. Here’s a shortened version of what you’ll see:
screen mode id:i:1 desktopwidth:i:1280 desktopheight:i:800 session bpp:i:16 winposstr:s:0,3,0,0,800,600 compression:i:1 keyboardhook:i:1
- Add a new line with this text: “smart sizing:i:1?
- Change the desktop width and height to what you want (for example I set mine to the laptops 1600×900).
- Save and quit Notepad. Double click on MyLaptopRDP.rdp (this part is important… you have to use the NEW RDP connection file to launch to get this to work) and now you’ll have an RDP session that fits on your screen but still shows you default machines taskbar. Super sweet!