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Remote Desktop: /span across multiple monitors

I spent some time searching the web about Remote Desktop, fullscreen and multiple monitors, so I decided to write down my findings to avoid having to search for them again.

/span for multiple monitors

If you pass /span to mstsc.exe, the target session’s desktop will become a huge rectangle that equals to the summary area of your physical monitors. This way the remote desktop window will fill all of your screens. The downside of this approach is that both screens are part of one desktop on the remote machine, so if you maximize a window there, it will span all of your monitors. Also, a dialog that is centered, will show up right on the border between your monitors. There is software on the web to workaround that but I’m fine with keeping my windows restored and sizing them myself. Also Tile Vertically works just fine in this case.

Saving the /span option in the .rdp file

There is a hidden option that isn’t mentioned in the description of the .rdp format:

span monitors:i:1

Just add it at the bottom of the file.

Saving the /f (fullscreen) option in the .rdp file

screen mode id:i:2

(By default it’s screen mode id:i:1, which is windowed).


Published Friday, April 10, 2009 5:38 PM by Kirill Osenkov
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# re: Remote Desktop: /span across multiple monitors

Saturday, April 11, 2009 12:37 PM by Phil Bolduc

Using SplitView in this case is highly recommended. http://www.splitview.com/

When remote desktop with span, Windows think you have one large desktop, makes maximizing windows a real pain.

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# re: Remote Desktop: /span across multiple monitors

Saturday, May 09, 2009 7:57 AM by Bob

Does not work for me.  I have XP prof ver 2002 SP3 and MSTSC.exe version 6.0.6001.18000.  I am connecting to my PC at work that has two monitors.  I have not seen a way to scroll or switch between monitors.

# re: Remote Desktop: /span across multiple monitors

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 12:22 PM by Pete Smith

Hi Kirill,

Thanks for posting span monitors:i:1.

I was trying to use span:i:1 and getting a bit frustrated. You saved the day!

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