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Take advantage of Windows XP Pro's multiple monitor support for Remote Desktop Connection


If you manage Windows XP Pro systems via Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) with multiple monitors, you'll want to get the newest version of RDC (Terminal Services Client 6.0) because of its invaluable support for multiple monitors.

After you download RDC (Terminal Services Client 6.0), you can use it from your multiple monitor system and span the desktop of the remote computer across the multiple monitors on your local system.

Two caveats: Your multiple monitors must have the same screen resolution, and the screen resolution on your multiple monitors and the monitor of the computer to which you're connecting must be under 4096 x 2048.

Follow these steps to launch RDC with multiple monitor support:

  1. Open a Command Prompt window and type the command Mstsc /span.
  2. Fill in the connection settings in the standard RDC dialog box.
  3. Once you're connected, you can toggle between RDC's new multiple monitor display and a regular window by pressing [Ctrl][Alt][Break].

Note: This tip applies only to Windows XP Professional.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

15 comments
senmathi_saran
senmathi_saran

thanks to your kindly informations. this informations are very usefull. but my qus is what is the advantage windows xp to other operating system. pls i need clear explaination to windows xp.

mikemgarro
mikemgarro

This tip, as well as many of your tips, has been a very useful resource for my new small business for Tech Support. Thank you for allowing me to add new techniques and support tools to my tech support toolbox! Michael Garro (Owner) Advanced Binary Solutions http://www.ABS-TechSupport.com

jim.brown
jim.brown

This awesome. I can't remember the number of times that I've needed dual monitors on the remote controlled server. This makes me more productive during a remote control session.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

I would really like to see a new version of the Remote Desktops ( notice the "s" ) that lets you control resource forwarding the way the Terminal Services client does. It bugs me when using RDS, starting a song on the remote iTunes, and have it play through my local speaker when I wanted it to go through the remote speakers....

Soopaflyguy
Soopaflyguy

Does not work on 64bit. Maybe you should have mentioned that

ojopere
ojopere

This is from MicroSoft KB Article 925876: The Remote Desktop Connection 6.0 client can be used to connect to legacy terminal servers or to remote desktops as before. However, the new features that are mentioned in this article are available only when the remote computer is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. MORE INFORMATION The Remote Desktop Connection 6.0 client update contains the following new features. Server authentication Resource redirection TS Gateway servers Terminal Services Remote Programs Monitor spanning Visual improvements I have not tried the new RDP TSC 6.0 so can anyone confirm if Monitor Spanning works on a RDP connection from computer running Win XP SP2 to another computer running Win XP SP2?

tri2ride2003
tri2ride2003

?? or only when remote accessing Vista ?

mnil
mnil

If by RDS you mean the RDC function (Remote Desktop Connection), you can opt for the sounds to remain on the remote machine. One of the options within RDC is to 'Leave sound at remote computer'. (I am referring to options available in Remote Desktop Connection Shell Version 6.0 here - not sure about previous versions). This can be attained by navigating to the 'Local Resources' tab within the Remote Desktop Connection client, and from the Remote Connection Sound section select 'Leave sound at remote computer'.

Marty the Borg
Marty the Borg

Host B is at work, two monitors, 1200 x 1600 res. Host A is at home, one monitor, 1200 x 1600 res. Is there a way to toggle so Host A is viewing Host B left or right?

mp04279
mp04279

Has anyone been able to get this to work? Haven't had much success... Using MS's VPN into Windows Server 2003 then RDP to WinXP Pro workstation which has dual monitors. Have dual monitors at home office. Can only use one monitor. Any assistance in getting this to work would be appreciated.

tom
tom

Sorry, this was supposed to go under the original article. Wish this forum would make it easier to get back to the original article. Guess I better pay better attention. Since you have to execute this functionality from a command prompt, is there any way to save the settings? Any reason why MS didn't just build this in and make it an option you can turn on and off in the settings?

charles_herrmann
charles_herrmann

We have several people who telecommute and they have multiple monitors (2) on their office PC. Now when at home they can use 2 monitors and veiw them just as they do in the office with seperate apps running in each monitor when attached to their office PC using Remote Desktop Connection 6.0 and a great little software program called Splitview. Splitview is under $30.00 and gets installed on the remote (office) PC. The telecommuter connects to the office PC and the Home PCs monitors work exactly as if you were in the office. Very slick and it is done with Win XP Pro on both ends.

pkokkinis
pkokkinis

I've been using monitor spanning on many systems using RDP5, so it is incorrect to say this is a 'new' feature of RDP6. True, RDP5 spanning did not work with all graphic cards and if it didn't you would see vertical black bars on the far left and right of the spanned display. Some of my spans worked with my cards/drivers without any intervention. Some I had to update a driver, some I had to replace the graphics card. Maybe RDP6 is more foregiving than RDP5, but certainly not new.

mp04279
mp04279

Hi pkokkinis.... you mentioned that you've been doing this successfully with RDP5. Is this just with Windows Server 2008 and Vista? I'm using a Microsofts VPN through Windows Server 2003 and then RDP to WinXP Pro workstation. Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated!