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  • Windows 7 Remote Desktop and Multiple Monitors

    Posted on September 5th, 2013 Andy Parkes 6 comments

    It’s safe to say I’m a multiple monitor fan. It’s a setup I’ve been using for a long time and I really notice the difference when I have to use a single screen. (I use three in the office and two at home)

    Working remotely though can have an impact on this.

    Up until the recently the only option for multiple monitors was span mode.

    From the run dialog enter:

    MSTSC /span

    When you connect, the screens you’re using are treated as one huge entity. It’s a subtle difference that still makes use of your extra screens but you lose some of the benefits you get when managing multiple windows. For example, if you maximise an application it fills both screens instead of just the one. Some of the nice Windows 7 features such as “snap” don’t work in the same way either.

    So because of this I was really interested in the “Use all my monitors for the remote session” option in the latest version of the Remote Desktop Connection client.

    image

    However, just ticking the box doesn’t seem to do anything.

    You can also use MSTSC /multimon if you’re so inclined.

    After a bit of digging it turns out that it’s reliant on the RDP 8.0 protocol which needs to be specifically turned on.

    To enable RDP 8 in Windows 7:

    Install updates KB2574819 and KB2592687 on the Windows 7 system you’ll be connecting to. If you’re connecting from Windows 7 machine install them there too. Windows 8 is good to go without any changes.

    Enable RDP 8 via group buy ativan in pakistan policy

    • “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Remote Session Environment\Enable Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0” should be set to “Enabled”
    • “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Connections\Select RDP Transport Protocols” should be set to “Use both UDP and TCP”

    All of this is explained in the depth along with how the span options works in this really good Remote Desktop Services MSDN post:

    Using Multiple Monitors in Remote Desktop Session

    What it neglects to mention is that you only get multiple monitor support if the Windows 7 machine you’re connecting to is running Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise..

    Detailed here

    image

    I wasted a couple of hours trying to figure out why it wasn’t working for me…

    However, I can report it works quite happily when you’re connecting to Windows 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Pro (no Enterprise edition needed)

    This will be a big help to me when working remotely but I wanted to make a note of the Windows 7 version restriction somewhere as I’m pretty sure I’ll have forgotten this in a few weeks time, plus it may help someone else out.  

    Some other useful Remote Desktop and multiple monitors I found while looking into this are:

    Remote Desktop Connection 7 for Windows 7, Windows XP & Windows Vista

    Get the best RDP 8.0 experience when connecting to Windows 7: What you need to know

    Remote Desktop Multimon – Just Kidding!

    Enhancing Windows 8 for multiple monitors

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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    6 Responses to “Windows 7 Remote Desktop and Multiple Monitors”

    1. It is useful. But it can also be a pain when you RDP into a server, if you flick back and forth to articles and things – personally i prefer to keep one screen local and one in the rdp. With the dual monitor RDP you end up having to run the RDP windowed and resize it.

      You could turn it off i guess, but where is the fun in that?

    2. Hey Rob

      Yeah I agree there won’t be too many reasons for using this when connecting to a server as an admin but I’ll certainly use it for working on my office PC

      Also users that connect to Remote Desktop Servers that are used to working with multiple screens could get some mileage from the feature too 🙂

    3. […] last post talked about using RDP 8.0 for multiple monitor support. It reminded me of something useful when […]

    4. Hi,
      I have a 3 monitor client, and I want to use 2 of them to control my server (1 is not enough for me, and all three would force me to keep minimizing/maximizing)?
      Thanks!

    5. So – if I have Windows 7 Pro on the computer I want to remote into there is no way to use the multiple monitor function or will the updates you gave make that possible? Was a little confused by that. Thanks!

    6. Hi Tina
      RDP 8 only works with Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise I’m afraid

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