I'm connecting to several machines via rdp at once. Is it possible to somehow log into each machine once and then display all remote windows directly on my local desktop and taskbar so I can e.g. alt+tab directly between windows on different machines?

(If additional software is required, freeware that doesn't require admin rights is prefered)

edit Thanks to harrymc I now know that I basically search for a client site admin-free freeware implementation of the Remote Desktop Services (aka Application Virtualization)


You cannot Alt-Tab between RDP sessions, since it is transmitted to the remote session and is not handled locally.

The product Royal TS is an RDP client program that offers more features than the standard Windows Remote Desktop Client. Version 1.5 is still freeware.

This product does use the Windows Remote Desktop ActiveX, same as RDP, but in its own windows. These windows can be embedded in tabs, which makes it easier to move between the sessions.

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    alt+tab is only transmitted on fullscreen or with the respective setting enabled. It would of course not make sense anymore if rdp were used to display a single window only. Royal TS seems to offer a workaround by creating one tab per app&connection, but would still lack alt+tabbing :( – Tobias Kienzler Oct 18 '10 at 13:19
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    Are you really after a mechanism that is similar to the "Application Virtualization" feature of Server 2008 R2? Meaning that the windows of server application are displayed locally as if they were running on the client computer. – harrymc Oct 24 '10 at 9:53
  • @harrymc from the sound of it, yes (although I seek a client-side solution). I haven't heard that term before, googling for it looks promising, so thanks for mentioning it. – Tobias Kienzler Oct 24 '10 at 17:30
  • It is actually now called Remote Desktop Services : microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/rds-product-home.aspx – harrymc Oct 24 '10 at 17:42
  • update: we use 2k8 server with rds now, and it works the way I thought it would – Tobias Kienzler Dec 10 '10 at 13:27

If you can't find anything else then you could use logmein which uses your internet browser for the connection. This allows for the alt+tab option because you are now using the browser. note: I have only used this program/service for a single computer connection and am not for sure that you can have multiple rdp connection simultaneousnessly

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    Note that this is semantically very different from RDP. If you're administering severs, multiple people can be logged in with RDP, only one can be logged in with LogMeIn. – Billy ONeal Oct 18 '10 at 16:52
  • @BillyONeal You are perfectly right. This is not at all optimal for admin purposes. – James Mertz Oct 18 '10 at 16:57
  • thank you, this looks interesting, especially the using my internet browser part. Unfortunately I don't have admin rights and therefore can't install anything new on the machines and need to stick with RDP / client-side solutions. – Tobias Kienzler Oct 19 '10 at 7:07

I have a kluge... The UNIX RDestkop http://www.rdesktop.org/ has a Seamless RDP component. My kluge would be to install the seamless component on your server. Not sure if any client can connect, but rdesktop in cygwin might be able to. painful, yes.

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You might want to check out Terminals. I use it to manage multiple servers at the same time. I like the tagging option so I can organize connections e.g. physical, virtual or by function etc.

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