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How can I send ctrl+alt+del to a remote computer over Remote Desktop?

For example, if I wanted to change the local admin password on a remote PC using a Remote Desktop connection, it would be helpful to be able to send the ctrl+alt+del key sequence to the remote computer.

I would normally do this by pressing ctrl+alt+del and selecting the change password option. But I can't send ctrl+alt+del using Remote Desktop since this "special" key series is always handled by the local client.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 23 down vote accepted

ctrl+alt+end is the prescribed way to do this.

Coding Horror has some other shortcuts.

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Basic solution valid for one layer of RDP, for the exceptional case of multiple RDP connections to reach the server you need to change your password on, use On-Screen Keyboard, see Dave's answer serverfault.com/a/149030/92008 –  Thomas Jul 21 '14 at 18:02

In newer versions of Windows there is a link to Windows Security in the start menu that will get you to the same place.

Never tried ctrl+alt+end - very sweet. I'll have to stick that in the storage space with ctrl+alt+ins for VMware. I personally avoid using the mouse as much as possible - weird for a Windows admin, right?

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Thanks -- this is just what I needed. Ctrl+Alt+End didn't work from my laptop (the End key is only available on the numeric keypad). –  swref Mar 8 '12 at 12:05
Mouse avoidance isn't necessarily "weird" for a Windows admin? I personally got my start in computers back in the DOS days and, even I moved up to Windows 3.11, often found myself in GUI interfaces while I didn't have a mouse or the mouse was malfunctioning. You learn keyboard shortcuts real quick in those scenarios. –  Iszi Jun 20 '12 at 13:55
+1 This also works when remoting from another remote session. Ctrl+End only applies to the "outer" session. –  Anders Abel Aug 13 '12 at 14:08
This. Exactly for the same reason as @AndersAbel –  Chris Marisic Feb 6 '13 at 15:58

In the Remote Desktop help, it says you must use ctrl+alt+end , so that is the correct, official way.

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+1 for R'ing TFM. –  Darth Melkor Aug 21 '09 at 18:25
+1 from me for the same reason. I actually did search the help for this answer, but did not find it. –  T. Marshall Aug 21 '09 at 19:15

One option is to use the on-screen keyboard from within the first RDP session.

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You can press Ctrl-Alt-Del virtually, holding ctrl-alt on the top-level machine and clicking the 'del' in the desired level OSK. This allows you to send the key stroke within several depths of RDP session. Also confirmed on tomshardware.com/answers/id-1629393/… –  Thomas Jul 21 '14 at 18:41

You can use the following key combinations in remote desktop connection.





See this http://www.morgantechspace.com/2013/08/how-to-press-ctrl-alt-del-in-remote.html

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If you're on Windows 7 on a MacBook Pro it's fn + ctrl + alt/opt + → larrydaniele.com/Blogs/tabid/55/EntryId/53/… –  elif Oct 10 '14 at 13:10

protected by Chris S Sep 29 '14 at 17:32

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