The perfect RDP experience from Mac to Windows

Posted on 7/27/2014 @ 4:00 AM in #Apple by | Feedback | 4376 views

For the reasons I mentioned in my keyboard remapping blog post, I live in a Mac+PC world.

This means, I find myself frequently RDP’ing to Windows Machines from my Mac. And yes, that Metro UI on RDP is even more frustrating than it is without RDP.
Mac is a different OS than Windows (duh!), and the way it handles multiple screens and spaces is entirely different from windows. This means, RDP experiences are tough to make 100% seamless.
You can see the frustrations in the various reviews on the Microsoft RDP app on the Mac app store. It can be difficult to find the perfect settings for the perfect user experience.

Well, here they are -

  1. Use the keyboard remappings I use shown here.
  2. Download Microsoft Remote Desktop application from the mac app store.
  3. Go to your Mac system preferences, and disable “Displays have separate spaces”, logout/login to take effect
  4. Start Microsoft remote desktop and,
    1. Go to preferences, and disable “Displays have separate spaces”
    2. Create a new RDP entry in Microsoft remote desktop and ensure that you have,
      1. Resolution = native
      2. Full screen mode = Custom

That’s it!

Now if you set Start session in full screen, and optionally even set “Use all monitors”, the user experience is pretty much like being on a windows machine. All keyboard shortcuts work, and conflicting keyboard shortcuts with MacOS do not interfere (you have to use my keyboard shortcut settings though).

And here is the best part, “Windows –TAB” cycles through PC’s RDP windows, and “ALT-TAB” will cycle through Mac host OS windows – pretty easy and quick way to get out of Windows and get back to Mac should you need it.

Sound off but keep it civil:

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