Remote Desktop Shortcut

The Windows Remote Desktop is a built-in tool that lets you take control of a computer over a network connection. It is useful for accessing computers that are not sitting in front of you, and it’s something that I use quite frequently.

I’m typically connecting to several computers every day using Remote Desktop, and it finally dawned on me that there had to be a better way to do it than pulling up the application every time. I came across a site from Microsoft that details special parameters you can use when creating a Remote Desktop shortcut, and it’s incredibly useful.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a new shortcut, which can be done by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting New -> Shortcut. Then you’ll be entering in something like this:

mstsc.exe /v:192.168.0.101 /w:800 /h:600

Here’s what the various portions of that mean:

  • mstsc.exe – this is the name of the Remote Desktop application, and is required for the shortcut to work properly.
  • 192.168.0.101 – this is the name or IP address of the computer you want to connect to.
  • 800 – this is the resolution width for the computer that you’re connecting to.
  • 600 – this is the resolution height for the computer that you’re connecting to.

With this information you’re able to create shortcuts for all of the computers you connect to, and when you execute the shortcut it will immediately begin connecting to the computer specified. This can definitely shave precious seconds off of the time it takes to launch Remote Desktop!

There Are 26 Comments

  1. or better yet, download a free copy of Royal TS… Much easier way to to launch your Remote Desktop shortcuts, even can setup auto login.

    [code4ward.net]

  2. I use the Windows Server 2003 Admin Tools pack. This installs a great Remote desktop plugin as well as a lot of other server administration tools. The remote desktop tools allows password saving, specify if you connect to the console session, screen resolution and some other technical options. It is free here [microsoft.com]

  3. I wholeheartedly second Bob’s suggestion to use Royal TS, it’s open source and it works great. With the recent addition of it being able to use windows shortcuts in the remote windows, it is now perfect.

  4. If you use the options button on the original Remote Desktop Connection window, you can set all the prefs in the article incl. username and password and store it in a shortcut too. Or am I missing something? :?

  5. All you have to do is load the RDC client, set your options and hit save instead of connect. No need for messing around with this command line stuff. You can even right click on a saved RDC file and edit it!

    Between that and the Vista RDC client allowing you to save passwords, I love RDC.

  6. Spock1982 — I notice the Server 2003 Admin Tools pack requires Windows XP for the client. Has anyone tried it on Vista?

  7. It is messy on Vista. It is possible to get it to work, but it is not just a simple install. There are tutorials on the web to point you in the right direction.

  8. Bob wrote:
    Spock1982 — I notice the Server 2003 Admin Tools pack requires Windows XP for the client. Has anyone tried it on Vista?

    Yeah it was the first thing i installed back in march on Vista, and a few months later Microsoft release a compatibility update which made it work flawless. So definately works without problems.

  9. My favorite command line option for my win2k3 servers is “/console”.

    Royal TS is pretty slick, but it gets a bit “flickery” if a win2k3 server session goes to screen saver. Not sure why, but it can get annoying.

  10. The programs that Bob and Spock mentioned in the comments look good, but I prefer to do as much as I can without installing additional applications. These shortcuts worked good enough for me.

    Change wrote:
    If you use the options button on the original Remote Desktop Connection window, you can set all the prefs in the article incl. username and password and store it in a shortcut too. Or am I missing something? :?

    You cannot store the username and password in the shortcut for obvious reasons. It would be way too easy for people to retrieve your username and passwords since they would be stored in unencrypted text.

  11. Change wrote:
    If you use the options button on the original Remote Desktop Connection window, you can set all the prefs in the article incl. username and password and store it in a shortcut too. Or am I missing something? :?

    You cannot store the username and password in the shortcut for obvious reasons. It would be way too easy for people to retrieve your username and passwords since they would be stored in unencrypted text.[/comment]

    I think you misunderstood his comment. The username and password are store in the .rdp file created when you click Save As in RD.

  12. I use the “/f” on me remoted Destop session

  13. Anonymous wrote:
    Ryan wrote:
    You cannot store the username and password in the shortcut for obvious reasons. It would be way too easy for people to retrieve your username and passwords since they would be stored in unencrypted text.

    I think you misunderstood his comment. The username and password are store in the .rdp file created when you click Save As in RD.

    Yup, that’s exactly what I meant. I never have to login/type anything when connecting to my desktop from my laptop.

  14. Change wrote:
    Anonymous wrote:
    Ryan wrote:
    You cannot store the username and password in the shortcut for obvious reasons. It would be way too easy for people to retrieve your username and passwords since they would be stored in unencrypted text.

    I think you misunderstood his comment. The username and password are store in the .rdp file created when you click Save As in RD.

    Yup, that’s exactly what I meant. I never have to login/type anything when connecting to my desktop from my laptop.

    Oops, guess I must have read through that too fast. Thanks for clarifying.

  15. It made my life easy with the short cut..
    :D

  16. nice tips bro
    it’s make me easier

  17. Thanks Ryan for this easy way of doing it – Works great !!

  18. Checkout mRemote, it’s free, multi tabbed and supports;

    * RDP (Remote Desktop)
    * VNC (Virtual Network Computing)
    * ICA (Independent Computing Architecture)
    * SSH (Secure Shell)
    * Telnet (TELecommunication NETwork)
    * HTTP/S (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
    * Rlogin (Rlogin)
    * RAW

  19. Ooops forgot the link: [mremote.org]

    Enjoy

  20. Type the following in your command line(DOS Prompt), you can see more parameters.

    mstsc.exe /p

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