If you regularly use Remote Desktop Connection to manage other Windows XP Pro systems, chances are that you’ve been working with a remote system in a window. If so, you’ve likely used [Windows] or [Alt][Tab] with the intention of controlling the remote system and then remembered that those keys control the local system. This happens because the Keyboard setting on the Local Resources tab of the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box is set to In Full Screen Mode Only by default; as a result, all of the Windows key combinations will only work when you view the remote system in full screen mode.

While you could easily switch to full screen mode or even change the Keyboard setting, it is definitely worth your time to learn the Remote Desktop Connection shortcuts. For example, you can activate the Start menu of a remote system by pressing [Alt][Home]. Likewise, you can cycle through the programs running on a remote system by pressing [Alt][Page Up]. In addition to these Remote Desktop Connection shortcuts, here are others that you might want to use.

Shortcut Keystroke Description
[Alt][Insert] Cycles through running programs in most recently used order
[Alt][Delete] Displays a window’s Control menu
[Alt][Page Down] Cycles through running programs from right to left
[Ctrl][Alt][End] Opens the Windows Security dialog box
[Ctrl][Alt][Break] Toggles the remote computer display between a window and a full screen
[Ctrl][Alt][-] (Minus sign) Places a screenshot of the screen in the remote computer’s Clipboard
[Ctrl][Alt][+] (Plus sign) Places a screenshot of a window in the remote computer’s Clipboard

Note: This tip applies only to Windows XP Professional.

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