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Is it possible to change the screen resolution of a Windows remote desktop session after I'm already logged on?

For example: it's set for fullscreen but afterwards I want to make the window smaller but now it's Windowed with scrollbars etc. making it a real pain.

Basically what I'm hoping for is like when you resize a VMWare session, the guest OS can resize the resolution and everything works beautifully.

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I see there's a vote to move this to SU but I for one have wanted to do this many times when using RDP to connect to servers, so see it as equally applicable to this site. – John Gardeniers Mar 12 '10 at 4:47
I have a solution for linux. I have created a wrapper around rdesktop which reconnects whenever you resize the window. It feels like resizing a vmware window. – Tarnay Kálmán May 14 '10 at 15:42
up vote 3 down vote accepted

About your only hope is to DISCONNECT the session (leaving it running by closing the RDP session without logging out), and then reconnect using a different resolution. Of course this will all depend on the server remote session settings, etc. This works in 2003/2008. No idea if it will work in 2000. The screen scaling in the VMWare client (and the old McAfeee RDesktop32) was very nice.

mstsc.exe /v server.dns.local /w 800 /h 600

Or something like that, will do it for you. Not really "on the fly" though.

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OK thanks for confirming my suspicions. This is at least a workaround. – At Nel Mar 12 '10 at 14:14

Add the following line to the RDP file (open with notepad):

smart sizing:i:1
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No, not until you close that particular remote desktop connection. I think that the reason for this is becasue some older applications retrieve the colordepth and resolution on start and crash when they change suddenly.

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As you stated in your question, you can resize the window but you can't change the resolution "on the fly".

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Not a perfect solution (you still have to reconnect) but the Remote Desktop Connection Manager (by MS) makes it a lot easier.

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