Apple Remote Desktop Setup

If you are interested in using Windows Remote Desktop, then you probably already know what this service does, but you may not have a complete picture of its capabilities. Windows Remote Desktop allows you to remotely control virtually any Windows PC or server. You can remotely control a PC from a PC, a server from a server, a PC from a server, or a server from a PC. The RDP server component is built into the Windows operating system. on XP, Vista, and Windows 7 (but you must enable remote desktop on the target computer). If you work remotely with a computer, this is the only connection to a PC, and you control the console. If you are working with a server (say, with Windows 2003 or 2008), you can connect many users to the server using Terminal Services.

However, regardless of whether you use the server OS or not, the client part is the same. Remote Desktop Connection or the Remote Desktop client, as I call it. The executable file for the remote connection is called mstsc.exe, It is located in % systemroot% / system32 / mstsc.exe.

Let’s see what you can do with mstsc.exe ‘

Starting Windows Remote Desktop Connection from the command line

Chris Sander’s Administrator Tooltip on (Using the Remote Desktop Client Using the Command Line) explains the key points about working with Windows Remote Desktop from the command line. As Chris points out, the basic syntax for the mstsc.exe command is:

But if you run mstsc /? in Vista, you will find a few more options:

Apple Remote Desktop Setup

Figure 1: Remote Desktop Connection Help Screen

In most computers that I have encountered, it is not so easy to find remote desktop connection through the Start menu. Because of this, I’m used to starting Remote Desktop this way: Start Run, then you need to dial mstsc and click Enter

This method does not require long movements on the Programs menu.

Common reasons to start mstsc.exe from the command line

I love Remote Desktop, because using it, I can connect from my laptop or home computer to any computer or server in my infrastructure. This is very encouraging.

I often have to use command line options. Sometimes you need to save Rdp file, which is a persistent configuration file for a particular, frequently performed RDP connection with a specific server or PC. Naturally, for one server you can have several RDP files if you need several configurations.

These rdp files are simple text files; they can be created and edited with notepad. Here is one for an example:

Figure 2: RDP file opened in notepad

Although this can be done using notepad, usually editing rdp files occurs through the GUI of the Remote Desktop client, as it allows you to open and save (Open, Save and Save as) configuration files:

Figure 3: Opening and Saving RDP Configuration Settings

I can also edit a specific file through the GUI, initiating this process on the command line using the option / edit teams mstsc:

mstsc / edit test.rdp

Some reasons to save rdp files for future reference:

  • Presence of saved configurations for several servers and placing these settings on the desktop or in a folder in the Start menu:

Figure 4: Creating Multiple RDP Connections in the Start Menu

  • The presence of several versions of the same configuration; let’s say I connect to the virtual desktop using VDI and I create an icon for full screen mode and an icon for 800×600 resolution
  • Having one RDP file is easy for connecting to the server and a file for connecting to the server and launching the application (which can be configured in the rdp file)

Create a desktop shortcut to launch Remote Desktop

Let’s say you want to create a desktop shortcut to connect to a specific server. In this case, you can use the basic set of command line options, or use these options and the connection file rdp.

Another way is to enter the full command line in the wizard to create a connection shortcut on the desktop.

Suppose you want to create a desktop shortcut for:

  • Connections to the ‘exchange’ server
  • Connections to the console of this server
  • Create a window with a resolution of 800×600

To do this, you need to run the command:

mstsc.exe / v: exchange / admin / w: 800 / h: 600

And to create a shortcut on the desktop, you need to enter this line in create shortcut location, eg:

Figure 5: Creating a desktop shortcut for an RDP connection

However, if these basic options are not enough, you will need to use a connection file .rdp connection file.

For this you need to run mstsc.exe, and then configure your connection as you need. Add sound, adjust bandwidth, specify the application to run, increase productivity, connect local devices and resources such as printers and clipboard. When everything is ready, just click on the button Save as on the tab General under the configuration settings. When saving, give a name like imyaserver. Make sure you know which folder the rdp file is sent to when saving. I also recommend testing the connection to make sure everything is working correctly.

After saving, you can close the Remote Desktop Connection window and proceed to create a shortcut on the desktop. When you need to specify the path for the shortcut, enter the connection file after mstsc.exe. Be sure to enter the full path to the rdp file. This file should either be located at the path you specified, or the shortcut and the rdp file should be in the same folder. That is, it should look something like this:

OR, if you want to run mstsc.exe through the configuration file, you do not need to create shortcuts at all. All you have to do is save the RDP settings file and then run it. The file itself at startup is associated with mstsc.exe, and your connection to the server specified in the configuration file will be initiated.

And the last hint ‘If you want to change the default settings used by mstsc.exe to run without specific configurations, you can edit the file Default.rdp in the documents folder.


Windows Remote Desktop is an amazingly powerful tool without which it’s hard to imagine life. And although it’s quite simple to connect to the server using the RDP GUI, after some time using RDP, you will definitely want to do a lot more with it. Using the command line options with mstsc.exe and creating shortcuts on the desktop to connect to various servers is the next step you need.

information about Remote Desktop can be found at the following links: